TELESCOPIA - TransEuropean LEarning System for Crossborder OPen and Interactive Applications
DG XII (Research), DG XIII (Industry, Telecommunications), Task Force Human Resources
First comtracting Partner
The project aimed to assemble the technologies and contents needed to make operating Open and Distance Education.
The specific objectives of the project were the following ones:
- To create, using already existing telematics components, a transeuropean network of telelearning that could be used as an infrastructure for the Open and Distance Eduction in Europe;
- To carry out a number of case studies through courses based on the particular mix of technologies, able to reach large groups of users, both at individual and group levels, engaging the transnational learning environments, including the European peripheral regions;
- To develop research on the factors that determine the acceptance and effectiveness of Open and Distance Education, in particular with regard to: 1) the cognitive mechanisms developed in the educational process, 2) the interpersonal dynamics present in the interaction among individuals, 3) the specific group’s parameters that vary according to the learning environments changes, and finally 4) to the processes arising from the introduction of an Open and Distance Education system in the learning environment.
The implementation of the project was divided in three different components:
As the transnational multimedia and distance learning represents a complex innovation that requires both sophisticated research methods and development perspectives, the work included two major tasks.
The first task has provided the theoretical background for the transnational multimedia and distance learning; the second task has performed the assessment of the courses provided in a perspective that included the psycho-pedagogical and cognitive learning aspects developed in the courses.
Component 2 has realized a transeuropean support network for the telematics infrastructure.
The creation of three technological scenarios realized on the basis of networks and equipment already in use at France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom has been planned: network of interactive TV, including the satellites and the return from the sites receiving through ISDN; computer and video conferencing through ISDN with integration of different equipment to interconnect the students’ stations through computer, and providing audio/video connections among participants; a number of facililities that include the computer conferencing without requiring ISDN link, but those through PSDN, telephone and through dedicated lines.
Course providers were able to choose one of the scenarios or a combination of them.
This component has brought together the providers of the courses delivered during the project through the technology platform provided by the Component 2. The courses have covered various topics (innovation, environment, and a second language learning, etc.), presenting a transeuropean dimension. A large part of the courses had already been realized previously and, thus, they was later adapted for the project.
Role of NETTUNO
NETTUNO has participated in the project as a partner of the Component 1 along with University of Twente (the Netherlands), Center for Technological Assessment (Germany), Technet (Finland), and UETP-EEE (Finland).
The participation of NETTUNO in this project was motivated by the experience gained in these years and recognized at the international level. This experience was focused on the application of a cognitive approach and pedagogical processes of teaching/learning developed in the multimedia distance courses.
The responsibilities of NETTUNO have concentrated on the assessment of didactic materials for the courses and on the effectiveness of learning in a cognitive and pedagogical perspective.
During the first phase the work group has identified the topics which formed the theoretical background for the further assessment development, with particular attention to the flexibility of the training offer through the use of technologies, to the process of courses’ adaptation in a transnational context and to the different modes of learning. In this context, NETTUNO has mainly contributed to the theoretical study of two issues.
The problematic aspects of cultural and linguistic diversity present in the course’s delivery at the European level were examined. An analysis of the new learning forms that could be realized through the use of new technologies, and in particular, a study of cooperative learning was conducted.
W.P. 1.2 "Major Issues Relating to Cross-National Multimedia Distance Learning and Training" (Flexibility as a Key Construct in European Training: The TeleScopia Project; Flexibility and Instructional Approach: Increasing the Options for Organizing the Learning Process; Becoming More Flexible: Issues Confronting the Adaptation of Courses for Trans-European Tele-Learning).
The next step of the work has been developed on two parallel lines: on the one hand, some research questions of general interest, horizontally reasonable for all the courses provided in the project, were identified; on the other hand, the Telescopia courses have been analysed vertically being considered also as cases of study.
The work was divided among the partners, assigning to each partner a responsibility for both 1) one or more research questions, and 2) data collection and analysis of one or more project’s courses.
A summary of the material produced by NETTUNO
in the framework of the project is available online.