"EUROPEAN VIRTUAL UNIVERSITY; a program for the
Future of "e.Europe".
Paolo Manzelli – LRE/EGO-CreaNET
Quality skilled "e. work" need to be created and sustained in productive and viable ITC enterprises for the development of the post-industrial Knowledge Society. In fact to day the world wide market generates the ever changing structure of production and employment . Therefore the contemporary "top- challenge" is to produce an integration between knowledge " net-systems" and best practices in a way that both can improve productivity and competitiveness while at the same time is to meet the increased social expectations on new businesses "e.commerce" adventures.
Starting from the consideration the for the incoming Knowledge Society, the productive
criteria are deeply changing the LRE-EGO-CreaNET of the University of Florence is drawing a pilot project for the organisational criteria to aggregate an e. learning community into the
"E.V.U. -B.L.U.e.S". program (1) , it is important to underline that the traditional concept of productivity, which is just the ratio of outputs over inputs, is obsolete because it is a purely
efficiency concept, that today is not sufficient any more.
In fact such limited view of productivity , calculated as a simple money difference, today
is out of the dominion of the incoming "net-economy" , the obsolete concept of added value to the production, could lead to very short-term and myopic approaches, that it is not more able to improve skilled- labour employment through a creative lay-offs.
Consequently productivity and competitiveness for a sustainable development in the
contemporary globalising economy, strongly need to emphasize more creative improvement through increased of intellectual added value , rather than productivity increase through labour input minimization.
In order to get an effective evolution of the KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY advancement , amd overcoming the shill shortage in "e.work management" a networked co-organization of Universities joining in the "EUROPEAN VIRTUAL UNIVERSITY should become interactive in promoting an "e.learning on demand" European co-organizations, in a way that such aggregation in can be able to improve lifelong professional advancement in the net-economy knowledge management, from their own experiences as well as best practices from other countries.
Following those goal the Pilot project E.V.U. - B.L.U.eS is based on the INDUCATOR "R&D" STRATEGY and represent a conceptual strategic innovation . In fact : "Inducator" meaning is equivalent to "incubator e.learning interactive plan", representing a new strategy for avoiding the failings of typical methods of distance learning. (2)
The innovation of "inducator research & development based system", consists in fact in
programming an effective answered interaction inside of an "e.learning community", in order to realise "on demand" educational contents to prepare shared web courses among University and Enterprises ( particularly SME's) .
Following the" Bologna Declaration (3) goals about "the inalienable democratic right
of the citizen of Europe to have access to the University studies", the B.L.U. e.S. pilot project will develop an European strategy to the to overcome the common obstacles of skills shortage in the key area of Knowledge Economy Management , activating an interactive Virtual University enterprise to grow up an lifelong e.learning network, finalized to increase in value the essential process of change of "e.Europe".
Into the above line is moving forward the main strategy that the LRE-EGO-CreaNET, joined with the co-operation with CeSIT of the University of Florence and of eight European Partners (4), has written proposing to the European Commission DG EDUCATION & CULTURE ,an innovative pilot project to advance a Management Development Programme for helping European SME's competitiveness in the global market .
Those pilot program was proposed to EU –Commission at the date of NOV.16/2001 to the e.learning initiative call – ( see: Off.Journal.E.U. - DG EAC/25/01 - C-166/38 –9.6.2001):
see also : http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/education/elearning/call.html
- Follows : a syntheses of the Application form of the Business Labour University for electronic society program , finalized to grow up an EUROPEAN VIRTUAL UNIVERSITY on the basis of the previous general considerations of the future development of "e.Europe".
" goals & forecast of results"
1) European laboratory for innovation in e-learning
ANNEX 3 - BUSINESS LABOUR UNIVERSITY FOR ELECTRONIC SOCIETY
( Achronym B.L.U.e.S) -Proposed by - CeSIT- UNIVERSITY of FLORENCE
B. Objectives, activities envisaged, results anticipated
B.1 Give a clear description of the types of activity which are the subject of the grant application and the anticipated results.
VIRTUAL BLU.e.S is a "pilot project", developing an e-Learning and Knowledge Management permanent systems, for Knowledge based Economy Solutions. To this end, a partnership European Consortium will be completed to get an in-depth innovative perspective on the adoption and usage of e-Learning and knowledge management interactive wired-systems across different professional groups operating in different organisational and national European cultures and languages.
- Challenges :
New employee induction for graduates ( taking in particular attention the man/woman equal opportunities) through developing models to convert higher professional institutions to permanent interactive system of "on-demand" e.Learning : giving new e.professional credits and certifications.
-ensure rapid "extended enterprises" networked co-operation between University and productive and commercial SMEs
- Benefits :
- Develop Knowledge Management course-ware for improving strategic e.business goals for Knowledge based Society improving performance and employee safekeeping
- Increase in networked "e. University" a broad European growth of Knowledge based Economy alliances among University, Colleges, Training centres of higher professional Institutions.
B.2- Give justificatory grounds for the project and specify its main objectives.
B.3 - Specify the target group identified by the project and the way in which the target group can expect to draw benefit from the project's result.
-The e.Learning pilot project of the VIRTUAL B.L.e.S network between University and training centres will be organised for opening a system of demand-driven Knowledge based Economy. Because the VIRTUAL BLU.e.S innovative course program, will be based as well as an interactive permanent education and consultant communication, it will be open to wide spread target groups especially in the final operational phase. During the deployment phase the VIRTUAL B.L.U. e.S. will be organised especially for the following typology of target groups :
a) University students and postgraduates, in fact they will be selected for co-organising (learning in a e.work based method), with the guide of a pool of expertise (professors , tutors) of the partners network consortium, to grow up the Research & Development laboratories for Professional on demand training issues on the general theme: "Knowledge Based Economy Management"
-b) Entrepreneurs of small-scale industries can make significant contribution, towards the achievement of socia1 and economic new economy in the on demand e.learning system of lifelong education.
-c) the VIRTUAL B.L.U.e.S. pilot project target groups categories who can attend the programs to benefit directly or indirectly from the multiple strategic paths of the e.learning project even if they do not participate in it directly , will be very large, and normally will be composed by managers (for instance coming from teacher trainers, inspectors, advisors, curriculum specialists, social partners, curriculum leaders, staff and educational developers , academic managers, administrative staff , political decision-makers , entrepreneurs etc…) in other words…to the target group will be constituted all that will raise their management profile profession joining e.learning, courses, web-resources lectures, consulting contacts with experts, forums, special news-letters and web-magazines,… open on the e.learning portal. The certification procedures of assessment and credits of all effective learners formally inscribed on the official life-long learning e.learning courses of VIRTUAL- B.L.U.e.S, should follow the distinctive contest of the Sorbonne and Bologna declarations framework and in particular the certification of academic credits will be given in reference to the criterion adopted for decentralised certification procedures, that will be provided by the European Credit Transfer System general rules .
Describe the added value offered by the project. Explain what you consider to be innovative about the project.
- The pilot project VIRTUAL- BLU.e.S (i.e. incubator of educational innovation) it is building as well as an open permanent "e-Learning Community" on the Internet organised through research laboratory based solution on the field of Knowledge Economy for improving the amelioration and the renewal of management skills in respect to the need to advance e. entrepreneurship in the net economy contemporary scenario of e.Europe.
- For the above goal the VIRTUAL- BLU.e.S will follow three strongly correlated action lines defined by the call, stimulating "e.Business innovation" by means improving e.learning contents in relation to performance, productivity and procedures for growing up the complex added value area that in essence consists to improve the space –market expansion through ameliorate the Knowledge Management Performance Solutions of European productive and commercial SMEs.
B.5 - Indicate, if appropriate, the main pedagogical and didactical approaches and concepts which will be used.
A special chapter of the VIRTUAL- BLU.e.S will be dedicated to the "Digital Pedagogy".
A major advantage of ITC today is the ease and efficiency of linking interactively, mature-learners to a large and qualified multi-disciplinary team of knowledge management and advanced science & development experts. In this way adult-learner have deeper and more important digital-communication that it will be infeasible to get through face-to-face traditional room-instruction.
Face-to-face encounters are essential if they will be well co-ordinated in a program of collaborative e.learning practices for improving digitalised contents on demand , without losing time and the great opportunities of self-learning flexibility provided by web- e.learning chain of unlimited access to e. learning opportunities.
The digital learning conceptual infrastructure of e.business courses, need to be modularised into not sequential or systemic asynchronous and synchronous patterns to study and research in a way that the distance-self learning , will be complemented by face-to-face conference/debate, finalised to present the better practices and case study and at the same time to inquire from learners a client centred demand for improving successive adjournment of a new cycle of open and accessible course-ware having a better shared added value for the social- economic innovative contemporary advancement in a manner that the production and the distribution of innovative permanent e.learning consulting system of knowledge management is growing in importance as factor of net economy competitiveness and scalable development.
B.6- Demonstrate that the project meets in an effective way the objectives defined in one or more of the areas described in the call for proposals: Preparatory and innovative actions - e Learning action plan - DG EAC/25/01.
The project VIRTUAL BLU.e.S is working for developing an European e.learning system for the deployment of the knowledge-based economy that means combining new leaning environments with the ITC infrastructure required to support the collaborative e.learning practices of a Virtual University, that it will be organised for integrating on-line course-ware into on-site web-portal with local and in presence conference/lectures. In this manner the VIRTUAL- BLU.e.S system will encourage to think global for the local economy collaboration within each region of participants partners, for deploying with the existing higher educational and training, public and private enterprises, an innovative concept of the University e.learning consulting system finalised to SMEs productive and commercial Enterprises grow up in the Networked Digital Economy by means e.learning demonstration and producing new learning materials in some key areas that links science and technology with special needs of the Net-Economy development .
(for instance Agro.Food , and their important problems of OGM and Bio pollution and so on…) The VIRTUAL- BLU.e.S will also foster the production and exchange of Multilingual e.Learning materials contributing to increased accessibility to e.learning resources for specific knowledge management education.
- VIRTUAL- BLU.e.S methodology will be appropriated to generate a strong connection between local needs and opportunities for Knowledge Management change and the not territorial "e.learning community" organised on line through the "e.Learning Portal".
Guidelines for e-Learning Web-Providers and Local Educators will be written for the project initiation and developmental forecast to obtain a well co-ordinated cross-fertility between "Synchronous" and "Asynchronous" methodology for producing lectures, conferences and material that will be needed to build up an high level permanent action plan for implementing VIRTUAL- BLU.e.S e-Learning strategy.
In concise terms the collaborative e.learning right approach is not a simple distance learning courses applying to the WEB the traditional methodology of University teaching. Taking in mind the above statement the VIRTUAL- BLU.e.S pilot project methodology, will be based on Research & Development Laboratories , where teams of young graduates and experienced students, in a continuous cross-referencing between partners, acquire the new professional skills a new category of e.learning community knowledge managers, allowing in this manner to create programs on the field of knowledge economy that will be highly interactive at large scale. In conclusion the methodology VIRTUAL- BLU.e.S pilot project will be flexible to support collaboration and knowledge-sharing among an e.learning European community, taking an advantage for high levels of interactivity and scalability of the Pilot Project, in utilising the academic sources of innovation in advanced science and technology for yielding a new integrated knowledge management strategy and practice to increase e.business competition of SMEs in the Net-Economy.
Provide a general work plan, preferably in the form of a table, giving dates, activities and expected results.
a)Divide the project into relevant stages which you envisage in order to achieve the project outputs identified.
C.3 Specify the working language(s) of the project.
ENGLISH , ( translations in Spanish and Italian )
D. Evaluation and dissemination
D.1 What measures do you envisage in order to monitor and evaluate the project. Indicate in the work plan (point C.2) when each of these measures will be carried out.
The evaluation criteria that will be considered in order to monitor the pilot project B.L.U.e.S. will be both of External and Internal estimation:
- A) External evaluation :
- B.L.U.e.S. is a pilot project based on the production of Immaterial goods and human capital resources , i.e. factors that today become very important in the definition of the added value of the production and the socio-economic development. Therefore the evaluation of the effective economical output of the pilot project B.L.U.e.S primarily need to be judged in terms of enabling of "net.learning" integration between University and Enterprise. Hence will be indicators of success the flows of interest and the participation of SME’s to the B.L.U.e.S. educational programs that will give a measure for the future economic added value of the e.learning on demand promoted by the European Virtual University enterprise.
- B) Internal evaluation :
- The B.L.U.e.S networked planning and managing of different functions and the internal subdivision of roles for a successful significant progress need to be continuously monitored for a successful significant progress.
A working plan evaluation commission will document from the beginning of the project for each trimester the efficiency and the integration of the essential roles and on line communication functioning sectors of Academic, R&D, Editor, Front offices and Tecnical Staff of the BLU.eS Portal. Indeed those differentiated functions of the B.L.U.e.S. Pilot project need to interact to avoiding confusion, duplication of efforts, or competition. Therefore will be established a " Permanent Evaluation Committee " of a local co-ordinating committee to support the pilot project and to encourage internetworking co-operation to test and define the critical area and the best organisational systems of co-operation good practices, eventually with the charge of re-designing a monitoring evaluation plan of interactive Net- Learning
D.2 Describe the means by which the project intends to test and evaluate its outputs.
Starting from the consideration that high quality online learning development is time and labour intensive enterprise , a B.L.U.e.S. "Permanent Evaluation Committee " (that can be organised in Subcommittees) will work develop a monitoring internal plan in respect to the objectives and goals, monitoring the teams internal aggregation aiming to provide the essential need and tools for implementing the project effectiveness. The monitoring internal plan include design, functional roles interactive communication, quality of R&D laboratories and quality assurance and control procedures of administration, intellectual property policy description , reporting requirements, personnel needs, and costs both for early stage - and post-project needs.
It will be a duty of the "Permanent Evaluation Committee " of B.L.U.e.S. pilot project :
to test and to assess the effectiveness of education efforts producing: reports of successes and failures of the networked organisation, will be written and diffused periodically to provide feedback to project participants and to all the networked staff the results of their efforts and also report on courseware development will be prepared for a very large diffusion of the B.L.U.e.S. courses catalogue of the approved qualified course-ware products list.
Describe the arrangements planned for publication and dissemination of results and experiences of the project.
In particular, describe how the partners will contribute to the process of disseminating results. Specify dissemination networks that could make the materials easier to access and obtain for the target group(s) across Europe
Starting from the consideration that high quality e.learning on demand is not just a matter of transferring class notes or a videotaped lecture to the Internet for University students; new paradigms to define the development of the critical area of SME’s competition in the world market by means of innovative content diffusion are needed:
‘) to make results available to the virtual community of SME’s aiming to enhance on demand education and contribute to more effective knowledge management problems of high quality online teaching in the future encouraging participants to implement the dynamic cognitive systems of BLU.eS
‘’) to put in evidence the academic maturity on commercial interests of on demand e learning virtual system for improving and supporting concrete measures to achieve tangible forward steps of an expansion of the European higher education networked system, accepting the challenge to take up a main role in constructing the European area of higher education for all citizen.
- Therefore looking to diffuse and to validate the BLU.eS model in the scenario of the promotion of the necessary European dimensions in higher education, particularly with regards inter-institutional Virtual University co-operation, and integrated programmes of on demand e learning will be organised two international Congress at the end of each semester of the first year of the B.L.U.e.S. working plan, that will be finalised to the promotion of the necessary European dimensions in higher education, particularly finalised to develop a critical thinking and synthesis of different areas of knowledge management that should be present for more extensive online programs for professional European communities in "Net.Learning".
Keys to Success in the continuous diffusion of preliminary and on going results of B.L.U.e.S. Virtual University project products and layouts, that will be obtained through internet "B.L.U.e.S." Magazine news and Forum debate, inclusive of the B.L.U.e.S Portal, (where courseware packages are installed) , within promotional actions and surveying activities, both finalised to open and to involve in the project the European community of SME’s .
D.4 Other information
Specify, where appropriate, how and to what extent the needs of disadvantaged people have been taken into consideration. Specify the nature of their difficulty (geographical situation, socio-economic context, disability, etc.).
The B.L.U.e.S. pilot project because is finalised to improve e. professions performance solutions , will take into consideration the tele-working needs of disadvantaged people taking in account accessibility internet issues for facilitating some physical disabilities to join in the e.learning for finding better ework employment opportunities and /or career advancement.
(1) - B.L.U.eS - e.Learning Project Proposal http://www.edscuola.com/archivio/lre/blues3.html
(2) - B.L.U.e.S – "INDUCATOR" Strategy http://www.see.it/blues
(3) - For the Bologna University Declaration see:
(4)- B.L.U.e.S. –Summary & Partnership http:// www.internetwork.it/egocreanet