Recommendation on digital learning in Higher Education (05/13/2014)

This recommendation at own initiative was prepared by a working group under the Council for Higher Education.

Given the rapid developments of digital technologies, the use of education technology is a very actual topic in Higher Education. The Vlor is trying to conduct this debate in a deep and structured way.

For the Vlor, digital learning is any kind of learning using digital technology. Digital learning is not different from learning, it is part of it. Therefore, digital learning is a means, not an objective in itself. In order to develop a vision on digital learning, it is necessary to examine how educational technology can be used to enhance effectiveness of learning. Further scientific research is needed on the benefits and effectiveness of digital learning. Furthermore, all stakeholders in Higher Education need to explore how digital learning can contribute to the main policy themes such as democratization, internationalization, sustainability, etc.

The Vlor asks the government to take the initiative for a platform with representation of all stakeholders in order to dress an action plan based on this vision. Monitoring and trendwatching will have to be included.

The Vlor states that digital learning has to be implemented based on quality criteria, and not in order to save money. Good digital learning calls for extra funding, for instance for infrastructure, professionalization of teachers, .. Project funding has its value, but at the same time funding for the regular functioning of the institutions is needed.

Digital education technology should stimulate social contacts, group dynamics, face to face contacts, and not replace it. In this sense, digital learning can be a means to train communication skills, but also entrepreneurship, cooperation and leading skills.

The recommendation states that further debate is needed and urgent for efficient policy; the Vlor is prepared to play its role in this process.