K.U.Leuven Association - case study

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Founded in 1425, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven is a Flemish University of Catholic signature with an international orientation. It has the legal status of private institution and encompasses almost all academic disciplines. K.U.Leuven is a member of many high-profile international networks and associations such as LERU, Coimbra Group, EUA, etc.

Since July 11, 2002, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and twelve university colleges in Flanders have joined forces in the K.U.Leuven Association in order to occupy a position of strength within the new European educational landscape and to work together towards quality improvements in education. It is the largest educational association in Flanders.

With more than 76.000 students, it accounts for over 44% of the entire student population in Flemish higher education. It is an open and dynamic network, with a strong, influential position in Flanders. The K.U.Leuven Association primarily aims to offer a wide range of study and training programmes and to improve the quality of education and research through intensive cooperation.

The K.U.Leuven Association web site is at http://associatie.kuleuven.be/eng/



Contents

Institution

The present

General description of the institution in its current state, putting the e-learning into context

In order to implement the Bologna Declaration, Flanders has adapted its legislation on higher education. The decree on the restructuring of higher education (4 April 2003) translated the Bologna principles into Flemish regulations. These introduced a dual system of professional Bachelor’s degrees and academic Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. A key element is the cooperation between universities and university colleges through the development of institutional partnerships. In future years, these partnerships will contribute to the creation of the European Higher Education Area.

The K.U.Leuven Association is based on close cooperation between K.U.Leuven and twelve university colleges. With more than 76.000 students, it accounts for over 44% of the entire student population in Flemish higher education. It is an open and dynamic network, with a strong, influential position in Flanders. The K.U.Leuven Association primarily aims to offer a wide range of study and training programmes and to improve the quality of education and research through intensive cooperation.


The institution's annual budget

The K.U.Leuven Association does not have a central finance department. The annual budget is arranged within each institution. The K.U.Leuven Association plans to have a central finance department in 2012.


Number of students, in total and as full-time equivalents

The K.U.Leuven Association currently has 76.537 students of which 25.477 (33%) at the university and 51.060 (67%) at the university colleges.


Number of staff, in total and as full-time equivalents

At the K.U.Leuven work 7.675,56 full-time equivalents. We have no accurate data for the whole Association.


The institution's "business model"

The K.U.Leuven Association is a consortium and is based on close cooperation between K.U.Leuven and twelve university colleges.


What percentage of the institution's students are based outside the home country?

About 12% of the number of students of the K.U.Leuven are international students. We have no accurate data for the whole Association.


Describe the institution's approach to virtual mobility.

The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U.Leuven) progressively organizes its educational support from a multicampus perspective, which includes several forms of virtual mobility. For more information, see the entry on multicampus.

Furthermore, in the long-range plan (2008-2013) of the steering group 'internationalisation' of the K.U.Leuven Association, virtual mobility is mentioned several times. One of the action points is that curricula should be built in that way that every student can have an international experience. The plan explicitly mentions virtual mobility as one of the possibilities to do so.


Describe how the institution manages its "brand" (a) in general and (b) in respect of any e-learning aspects.

The K.U.Leuven Association’s brand exists of an open and dynamic network of all the institutions involved, which together have a strong position within the Flemish and European space of higher education. The members of the association should work together in a creative way to search for a societal surplus by bringing together as much potential as possible. Prior to that is the valorisations and professionalising of the personnel. The Association would like to grow to a cluster of centres of excellence at many fields of education, research, and the arts. This quality-oriented view of the community of education and research is inspired by the valuable and diverse Christian thought. This mission is done in dialogue with and in service of an open, pluralistic and intercultural society.

The Association has one common Virtual learning Environment: Toledo. It is the biggest Virtual Learning Platform in Europe. Toledo is a unique (geographical) binder for the Association. The teachers have the opportunity to share courses beyond the walls of the institutions. They work together and this cooperation makes it possible for universities and university colleges to exchange information and resources. In this way the Association brings all the ICT strengths of all the Associated partners together.

The past

The institution's history since its foundation

  • 1425: Founding of the K.U.Leuven by Pope Martin V with Latin as working language; K.U.Leuven is the oldest Catholic university in the world still in existence and the oldest university in the Low Countries
  • 1797: Abolishment of the university by the French Republic
  • 1835: Reopening of the university as Catholic University in Leuven
  • 1911: For the first time increasing use of Dutch as teaching language
  • 1936: Almost all lectures are taught in Dutch and French
  • 1965: Founding of the Kortrijk Campus as undergraduate campus
  • 1968: Splitting of the university into the Dutch-speaking Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and the French-speaking Université Catholique de Louvain. The Université Catholique de Louvain moves to the newly built campus in Louvain-la-Neuve. The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven remains in the historic town of Leuven.
  • 11 July 2002: Founding of the K.U.Leuven Association in the framework of the Bologna declaration. The Association consists of 13 Flemish institutions of higher education (K.U.Leuven and 12 polytechnics).

External environment

What is the institution's funding from government as a percentage of annual income?


Describe the way that funding is provided for institutions in the institution's country, or state that it is the same as for other institutions in the country.

Belgium is a federal state with three communities and three regions. Some issues like foreign affairs and national security are regulated on federal level. But the communities are responsible for person related issues, including education. There is basic funding for all accredited higher education institutions in Belgium. The funding is based on the number of students and the scientific output.

The universities in Flanders (6) received in 2007 803.709.000 euro funding. The Flemish University Colleges (22) received 668.768.000 euro.


Describe the legal status of the institution

The members of the K.U.Leuven Association have opted for a strong decision-making and executive structure. Apart from the not for profit association form (imposed by the decree) it is a federation for which a personal integration on the level of the highest organs of the institutions concerned was chosen. The composition of the General Assembly of each of the members is identical for 60%. This identical part forms the General Assembly of the Association. The General Assembly consists of representatives of the university colleges and the university and of co-opted members. The members of the General Assembly of the not for profit Association form at the same time the common part (60%) of the General Assembly of the institutions concerned.


List the language(s) that the institution uses for instruction with the percentage of students studying in each. (Bilingual study can also be included.)

  • Dutch
  • English


Describe any specific cultural issues that affect the institution's students or state that that it is the same as for other institutions in the country. Mention any features relevant to e-learning.

Belgium has three official languages, Dutch, French and German. The K.U. Leuven supported originally both Dutch and French. Since 1968 the French-speaking part is separated from the Dutch-speaking university. The Association exists only of Flemish institutions. It is hardly possible to involve a French speaking institution in the Association, although most Flemish people speak French. For e-learning the languages of the courses are Dutch or English, French is hardly used. The knowledge of e-learning by the Flemish institutions is based on the Dutch- and English-speaking world.


Describe the external quality assurance and/or accreditation regime affecting the institution, or state that it is the same as for other institutions in the country. Mention any features relevant to e-learning.


Quality control at K.U.Leuven is organized on different levels. On the basis of the university’s pedagogical concept of ”Guided Independent Learning” (see below) the so-called permanent education committee of each major discipline develops and implements the curriculum. At least every 8 years an extensive internal self-evaluation of each curriculum takes place in preparation of an external evaluation. Every 8 years the external visitation commission evaluates each curriculum on the basis of the self-evaluation report, other relevant documents, and the dialogue with representatives of the discipline. The visitation report forms the basis for the further accreditation of a programme. After the publication of the visitation report a follow-up is performed. Representatives of the discipline will discuss the results of the evaluation with a delegation of the educational council and decide about the actions needed and how to tackle them. Later on a report is given to the academic council about the actions taken. To further improve quality of teaching, student course evaluations are organized annually and study-time measurements are performed. All instructors of the university have the possibility to take training courses on pedagogical or ICT issues. The accreditation in Flanders is done by the independent NVAO, the Nederlands-Vlaamse accreditatie-organisatie (Organization for Dutch-Flemish accreditation) every four years. This organization is a cooperation of the Netherlands and Flanders since 1993, and determines the minimum qualities for higher education. They play an important role in preserving the international contacts and they help to adapt the Flemish and Dutch institutions to the international standard. They are members of several international networks:

  • INQAAHE, International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education
  • ENQA, European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education
  • ECA, European Consortium for Accreditation in higher education

The decisions made in the Bologna-convention are extended by the Dublin Descriptors, which form the basis of the accreditation done by the Nederlands-Vlaamse accreditatie-organisatie. The VLIR (Vlaamse Universitaire Raad) coordinates the external quality assurance. Quality assessment initiatives are embedded in the concept of GIL (Guided Independent Learning) Responsibility lies at the level of the permanent curriculum committees and the staff members Each university and university college is responsible for their own internal quality assurance system.


The approach to credit transfer

K.U.Leuven has been awarded the ECTS label and is involved on a European level in discussions on ECTS and a project on ECTS. A working group of the K.U.Leuven also supports the members of the Association with obtaining the ECTS label (after 2007) and incites them to integrate the ECTS-system in their course descriptions and their computerized files according to the prerequisites of the European label.


Main associations that the institution is a member of

K.U.Leuven is member of


List the main international partners of the institution, in the order of strategic importance, with priority given to collaborations involving e-learning.

The AVNet (acronym for Audio-Visual and New Educational Technologies) Department of the K.U.Leuven is a university interface that aims to support networked e-learning in an international context, i.e. to support local university teachers in the internationalisation of their education by using ICT. It does this by providing advice, design, development, implementation, and training services. AVNet also assesses (inter)national trends in order to encourage local university teachers to participate in (inter)national activities and to translate (inter)national initiatives to the local and/or regional setting. Through AVNet, K.U.Leuven has participated in a number of research projects on virtual education, e-learning and technology-enhanced learning in general. It furthermore maintains contacts with international partners a.o. in the field of e-learning.

Examples:

  • K.U.Leuven and some of the other members of the K.U.Leuven Association are members of the EuroPACE network. Staff of the EuroPACE network houses in the same building as AVNet and as such close collaboration is obvious and intensive. EuroPACEs mission is to foster collaboration in e-learning.
  • The e-LERU virtual campus is an initiative of 8 European universities, all members of the League of European Research Universities whose objective is to share teaching and learning experiences at a European level.

Strategy

Describe or provide a document describing the current institutional strategy

The central strategy of the Association exists of three parts:

- to offer a wide range of study and training

- to improve the quality of education

- to improve the quality of research by concentration and intensive cooperation.


These three parts are worked out in priorities, which change every year. There are seven priorities for 2008:

1. A coherent and qualitative education network.

2. To make the colleges more academic, coordinate the research, and prepare for the accreditation.

3. To optimalize the education offered.

4. To improve the transfer possibilities.

5. To enlarge the expertise network: ‘School of Education Association K.U.Leuven.

6. To enlarge the Instituut voor onderzoek in de Kunsten.

7. To take social responsibility and pay attention to a chances-and-diversity-policy.


The current learning and teaching strategy, including the e-learning strategy

A few years ago, the K.U.Leuven introduced ”Guided Independent Learning” as its educational concept. The basic assumptions are threefold:

(1) students learn best when they can act as independent critical researchers within their discipline,

(2) students become responsible for their own learning,

(3) teachers on the other hand are responsible to coach their students adequately. The K.U.Leuven Association follows this teaching strategy.

According to the concept every course should aim at contributing to the development of students’ independent and critical thinking. Rather than introducing students in a discipline by reading out ex cathedra or by having them snowed under with a bulk of information, teachers should create a learning environment that triggers students to actively manage learning materials by designing assignments, by providing corrective feedback and by integrating research and educational activities. Aiming at the efficient support of (formative) assessment and learning, in September 2001 the e-learning platform ”Toledo” (TOetsen en LEren Doeltreffend Ondersteunen) was introduced in which the concept of guided independent learning could be realised. Within Toledo three different software products are used: a digital learning environment (Blackboard Learning SystemTM), an electronic assessment tool (Question MarkTMPerceptionTM) and Ariadne’s Knowledge Pool System where learning content is tagged with metadata and stored for future re-use. The VLE also integrates in-house developed tools, like f.e. a weblog and wiki service for both teachers and students of the whole Association. The university management strongly promotes the use of the e-learning environment as an (additional) opportunity for enlarging support facilities and individualised student guidance, as well as for the active participation of students in a variety of research-related activities and for promoting genuine dialogue and interaction among students and among students and teachers. In several training-seminars faculty members can learn how to incorporate the e-learning platform into their regular teaching activities along the lines put forward by the university’s pedagogical concept of guided independent learning.

An important note however is that the university doesn't separate e-learning resources from other learning supported resources. The blended learning model is also translated in the financial decisions and organisational structure of the K.U.Leuven Association. The university has a budget to support learning as a whole and invests in innovative forms of learning. E-learning is a part of this, but not exclusive.


What is the percentage of students (a) taking courses wholly or largely delivered by e-learning (b) taking courses where the amount of institutionally supplied/guided e-learning is "significant" (i.e. has an impact on staff or students) and (c) taking courses where the amount of institutionally supplied/guided e-learning is insignificant?

All courses from the K.U.Leuven Association have an online component on the Virtual learning Environment. If a student enrolls for a course, they have automatically access to the course in the virtual learning environment. But all e-learning components are used in a blended model - to support the face-to-face lessons. There are no 100% distance e-learning courses available for students at the K.U.Leuven Association. There are no statistics about the magnitude of the online components per course. All professors and teachers are free to decide how they integrate the online component in their courses. There are only general figures available. For the K.U.Leuven Association in 2008:

  • There are 90.000 different users (people who have access to the VLE).
  • More then 32.000 different users per day/7.000.000 hits per day.
  • More then 15.000 active online courses and 2000 online communities.


Give the percentage of the institutional budget that e-learning represents. Comment on how it is measured including the assumptions made, whether it is appropriate and any trends.

Categorise the role (if any) of external funding in fostering the development of e-learning as (a) not relevant, (b) useful, or (c) essential. Comment on the choice. There is no external funding. There are some research projects funded by other organisation (like the EU) but these fundings are not integrated in the structured funding opportunities of the K.U.Leuven.

Structure

To ensure the long-term effectiveness of their efforts, the members of the K.U.Leuven Association have opted for a strong decision-making and executive structure. Thus, the Association’s policy is developed by various advisory groups, which deal with important issues such as education, research, student policy, finance, communication, internationalisation, diversity and quality management. These advisory groups have emerged from the cooperation between the institutional partners. They launch forward-looking projects which function across institutional boundaries. In the field of internationalisation, the members of the Association also strive to integrate their policies, to pool their resources and share their various areas of expertise.


The K.U.Leuven Association developed a common Virtual Learning Environment, for all partner institutions, called Toledo.

Organisation of Toledo

To meet the challenge of allowing the different institutes to continue to use their own legacy administration systems where students are enrolled in specific courses, a complex, transaction oriented and robust data-interchange system has been setup. Perl scripts are passed to the institutions. These scripts generate IMS enterprise compliant XML wrapping of data (see http://www.imsglobal.org). The XML-files are retrieved on site overnight via a tunneled secure ssh connection. The XML files are then parsed and SQL statements are generated: new records generate an insert transaction, existing data are compared and may generate an update transaction.

Parallel to the introduction of Toledo, the enterprise management software, based on SAP R/3, is also evolving to cope with the changing workflows in the education environment. This has led to new portal software, completely integrated with the master databases. This portal, KULoket, is being released gradually into the staff community, the first student applications are hitting ground and will be fully deployed at the beginning of the next academic year. At the moment, each Faculty member has his own administrative portal, with personalized access to finances, HR, even including course syllabi and project administration.

The most promising aspect is already a reality: the portal is the common interface, not only for the students of K.U.Leuven, but also for the other association partners. This way, they can offer the same information to all students in the whole of the association by using the portal roles and communities. Since bachelor students are possible candidates of master curricula in the same association, this portal interface offers many possibilities to provide the students personalized information throughout their curriculum. This “profiling” of students has tremendous educational potential.

It is also possible to create courses or communities for more institutions.

So Toledo integrates:

  • Different administrative systems
  • Non unique course and student id’s
  • Distributed authentication
  • Educational portal function for each institution
  • Other e-learning solutions

To make this integration of different systems happen Toledo developed:

  • Data integration through IMS conform XML
  • Prefix for course and student id’s
  • Custom login module
  • Several portal roles, tabs and modules for each institution
  • Building blocks to other tools
  • Load-balanced environment


The support of the Association's Virtual Learning Environment is based on a layered support model

The Advisory board makes decisions for the whole Association and consists of 1 representative from each institution, 1 representative from the Toledo Team and the ICT-coordinator of the Association.

The Toledo Team is the project leader. They supply both technical support (Hardware and Applications) and didactical support. They create the help desk and the Toledo support courses for the K.U.Leuven staff and local administrations of the other partner institutions. The Toledo Team also creates the data Integration, Building Blocks and bridges.

Each institution has their own local administrators who are supported by the Toledo Team through:

  • Train the trainer courses
  • XML manual
  • Toledo2know (knowledge base)
  • Webform for questions/problems
  • Special queue in helpdesk
  • Administrative module

Learning and Teaching processes

Learning and teaching design and delivery

Describe how choice of pedagogies and technologies is made for a typical programme that is envisaged to include significant e-learning.

To support different learning programmes and concepts is a very big challenge for the Toledo support team. Within the K.U.Leuven Association there is a big variety of disciplines, concepts and courses in various degrees and contexts (international - local). The Blackboard environment is a generic environment and suitable for the basic support. But it is necessary to combine the Blackboard environment with more specific tools, needed for a specific discipline or teaching method. To include external applications the Toledo Team created a document with technological requirements.

Learning and teaching development

How much e-learning content is sourced from outside the institution? Use a scale of 1-5 with a comment (an exact percentage is useful).

The K.U.Leuven Association doesn't use external e-learning materials for teaching.


Of all e-learning content sourced from outside the institution, what fraction is OER? Use a scale of 1-5 with a comment.

Not relevant


When staff in the institution develop content, is the content (a) owned by them and licensed to the institution, (b) owned by the institution but with some licensing back to staff, (c) owned by the institution but with no licensing back to staff, (d) unclear or disputed IPR position? Whatever option is chosen, provide a narrative describing the situation in more detail.

a) owned by them and licensed to the institution.


When content is sourced for a programme within the institution, how much is sourced from other departments within the institution? Use a scale of 1-5 with a comment (an exact percentage is useful).

There are some collaborations between teachers, but there are no percentages about how many online courses are shared.


What is the role of student-generated content in the institution's programmes? Use a scale of 1-5 with a comment.

Since 2008 the e-learning environment from the K.U.Leuven Association supports the use of web 2.0 applications. For some courses, students have the opportunity to make exercises in wiki's or write their own weblog.

Learning and teaching evaluation and quality

Describe the quality procedures (a) in general terms and (b) with respect to e-learning.

As already mentioned above, quality control at K.U.Leuven is organized on different levels. On the basis of the university’s pedagogical concept of ”Guided Independent Learning” the so-called permanent education committee (consisting of representatives of academic staff and students of a discipline) of each major discipline develops and implements the curriculum. At least every 8 years an extensive internal self-evaluation of each curriculum takes place in preparation of an external evaluation. Every 8 years the external visitation commission (consisting of independent experts of the discipline and its didactics) evaluates each curriculum on the basis of the self-evaluation report, other relevant documents, and the dialogue with representatives of the discipline. The visitation report forms the basis for the further accreditation of a programme. After the publication of the visitation report a follow-up is performed. Representatives of the discipline will discuss the results of the evaluation with a delegation of the educational council and decide about the actions needed and how to tackle them. Later on a report is given to the academic council about the actions taken. To further improve quality of teaching, student course evaluations are organized annually and study-time measurements are performed. All instructors of the university have the possibility to take training courses on pedagogical or ICT issues.

Meta Learning and Teaching processes

Communications

Describe how the institution communicates good practice in e-learning within itself, focussing on communications across internal boundaries.

The K.U.Leuven publishes "good practices" in a database on related subjects intended for their own staff and they run training and induction courses for new academic staff in the tools and methodologies employed.


Describe how the institution communicates its good practice in e-learning to organisations outside.

Both management and staff of the K.U.Leuven Association are present at a lot of eLearning Conferences to present their good practices in e-learning. The story of Toledo has been told in a lot of grand-scale e-learning conferences.


Describe how the institution communicates good practice in e-learning from outside organisations into its own organisation.

The Central support services with the K.U.Leuven Association organises a lot of seminars and trainings to which they invite experts from other higher education institutions to update the staff of new developments within other similar educational institutions.


Describe recent occasions on which institutional leaders or managers have made presentations with significant reference to e-learning.

See above

Value for money

Describe the annual planning procedure (a) in general and (b) how it handles e-learning aspects.


Describe the decision-making process for a typical academic programme, with particular reference to how e-learning aspects are handled.

To ensure the long-term effectiveness of their efforts, the members of the K.U.Leuven Association have opted for a strong decision-making and executive structure. Thus, the Association’s policy is developed by various advisory groups, which deal with important issues such as education, research, student policy, finance, communication, internationalisation, diversity and quality management. These advisory groups have emerged from the cooperation between the institutional partners. They launch forward-looking projects which function across institutional boundaries. In the field of internationalisation, the members of the Association also strive to integrate their policies, to pool their resources and share their various areas of expertise.


Describe the decision-making process for a typical large IT project such as selection and installation of a new VLE.

K.U.Leuven Association set up a specific council to follow-up on educational ICT. Normally, however, ICT falls within the authority of the general manager, so a mixed committee was set up, the “ICTO Advisory Board”. In this committee, ICT managers from the ICTS directorate paired with people from the educational sector, both management and support.


Describe the approach to budget management with particular reference to the staff versus non-staff issues in budgeting for e-learning.


Describe the procedures in the institution for assigning or negotiating teaching workload to/with staff, taking account of non-traditional styles of teaching as well as classroom teaching and taking specific account of e-learning.

Staff

Teachers, lecturers, trainers and equivalent support roles

Describe the approach to development of e-learning technical and pedagogic skills among staff, taking account of the different needs of different categories of staff. Set this within the context of staff development generally.

Professional development activities at K.U.Leuven are aimed at different target groups: new faculty members, teaching assistants, members of educational innovation teams, faculty members in general, but Guided Independent Learning (GIL) remains, in each of these, the guiding principle. It fits in a longer tradition of teacher training by the University Education Support Office, in which new faculty members were offered (on a voluntary basis) an intensive residential training in lecturing and assessment (especially for use of multiple choice tests), partly based on deficiencies that were identified through a student evaluation of their teaching. In preparation for the Toledo implementation, this training programme was experimentally enlarged to the preparation of materials that made use of ICT to support teaching and the student’s learning. The topics of this training covered a large area, ranging from learning theories, principles of instructional design and theoretical/practical considerations about the process of materials development, over theoretical aspects of interaction and the provision of information, the selection of digital platforms, and even aspects of policies and management, to practical questions like the evaluation of ICT materials and their use, intellectual property and copyright, how to provide feedback, various tools to develop materials. The reader that supported the training was afterwards published under the title “Muizen in het auditorium” (Mice in the lecture theatre, Elen and Laga, (2002)). The training had also a practical component that existed in the development of learning and/or teaching materials that made use of ICT and had to be implemented in the teaching (environment) of the participants. An extensive support group of experts and tools were brought together for the purpose and participants received support that was customised to their individual needs.

The introduction of GIL and the implementation of the Toledo platform changed the situation; the concept of earlier training was not suitable for the number of people that might now need support and it was also too labour-intensive. A new training programme was set up called “Digital Chalk”. This training consisted originally of four elective modules: an introductory module, a design module, a module about information delivery and one about communication facilities. The focus of the training was put on the development of particular insights and competencies that are essential to use the Toledo platform (namely information delivery and communication) in relation to their effect on learning. The introductory module gave insight in the features of the platform, whereas the design module helped to integrate the different functionalities of the platform into each other and into the global learning environment and to make sound decisions. Each module took 3 hours and consisted of a mix of demonstrations, assignments that forced the participants to use the platform and reflection on their own teaching in relation to students’ learning. Participation in the first module was a prerequisite for participation in (one or more of) the others. Evaluation of the training revealed that participants had the necessary basic computer skills and that their questions were instrumental (“How to…”, “Which solutions to this concrete problem”) and teaching oriented. Participants were glad to discover that others had similar questions and experiences. The complexities of the Toledo platform, with three independent parts that can exchange elements, but have different user interfaces and functionalities, led to the necessity of more extensive training. Also the fact that only the design module paid explicit attention to the educational practice of the participants was identified as an issue4. It was noticed that, after the training, most participants continued to design materials and resources from a teacher perspective.

At the moment different departments at the K.U.Leuven offer training, workshops, seminars, etc. The offer can be found at for example (in Dutch):

Staff members of the association members have access to all sorts of initiatives for professionalisation.

  • Practical computer courses.

The department ICTS organises several times a year a couple of practical courses to make users more used to the means and application in the field of informatics and telematics. The offer is very diverse: databases, operating-systems, Toledo, spreadsheets, internet, statistics. These courses are open for all staff members of the member institutions of the Association. The course offer can be found at https://icts.kuleuven.be/cursus/ (in Dutch)

  • Training audiovisual communication

Several services and trainings of AVNet-K.U.Leuven are available for the association members. AVNet is a educational support service and expertise centre for the acquisition, production, presentation and all applications of moving images and sound within higher education (e.g. videostreaming, videoconferencing,…) What AVNet offers to the K.U.Leuven Assocation can be found at: http://www.avnet.kuleuven.be/en/associatie.php

  • Educational professionalisation

For the individual institutions it is not always feasible to offer specific educational training to only a small group of interested people. Moreover, they do not always have the capacity to keep track of the newest developments. At the level of an Association it becomes possible to organise specialised training. The course offer can be found at http://associatie.kuleuven.be/diensten/ond_prof.html (in Dutch)

Describe the way that the institution rewards and recognises staff with competence in e-learning, in (a) monetary and (b) non-monetary terms. No rewards

Students

Until know, no centrally supported research has been done on the satisfactory level, or e-competence level of the student. There is a very well established helpdesk for students concerning ICT problems.

Technology

VLE and/or content repository

Blackboard – HE usage: score 4

Email or bulletin boards

Email used widely: score 5 Bulletin Boards: score 3

Automated assessment

Question Mark perception score 4

Web 2.0 tools

Toledo supports the use of WIKI and Weblogs, completed integrated in the VLE.Score 5

e-portfolios

Score 4. e-Portfolio's are very often used, especially in the University Colleges

Laptops

There is a good wireless network throughout most of the campuses, and coverage is growing.

Audio or video podcasting or streaming

The use of streaming video is centrally supported by a streaming service: Videolab. Both students as teachers as staff have access to the server to upload and download streaming movies. They can integrate the streaming movies into their online courses. Teachers can also ask support to use podcast. Not that widely used.

Mobile devices

Score: 1. This is not an area where the University has focussed.


The paper Preparing the University Information Architecture for Net-centric E-learning and Research: a case study (PDF) presents an overview on how the IT infrastructure of the university was transformed and how the K.U.Leuven and its Association are currently using one of the largest implementations of an LCMS.

Futures

For now, the K.U.Leuven doesn't support distance education or provide completely online courses. But we notice there is a strong desire to open up the campus, to break down the barriers that have traditionally kept out those not directly involved in full-time courses and to invite the citizen in to share the academic richness of the modern day university. Lifelong learners will become an important target group for the K.U.Leuven Association. To reach this target group, the university will need to provide distance courses through e-learning. The 100% blended learning model must be adapted in the future.

The Toledo Team will also focus more on the implications of the use of web 2.0 technologies. Plagiarism, IPR, support and training in the use of these new kind of technologies will play an important role in the future organisation of the Toledo Platform.




References and reports


> Belgium
>K.U.Leuven Association
> Programmes
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