The European Commission should support Member States in developing and implementing comprehensive national frameworks for diversifying provision and integrating new modes of learning and teaching across the higher education system. It should promote mutual learning on key aspects including skills development, infrastructures, legal frameworks, quality assurance, and funding, in particular by exploiting the potential of the Erasmus+ programme.
The European Commission should prioritise support to higher education institutions under the Erasmus+ programme to enhance digital capacity and mainstream new modes of learning and teaching within the institution. Erasmus+ funding should also be made available to promote experimental partnering with specialist service providers.
The integration of digital technologies and pedagogies should form an integral element of higher education institutions’ strategies for teaching and learning. Clear goals and objectives should be defined and necessary organisational support structures (such as the European Academy for Teaching and Learning) established to drive implementation.
National authorities should facilitate the development of a national competency framework for digital skills. This should be integrated into national professional development frameworks for higher education teachers.
All staff teaching in higher education institutions should receive training in relevant digital technologies and pedagogies as part of initial training and continuous professional development.
National funding frameworks should create incentives, especially in the context of new forms of performance-based funding, for higher education institutions to open up education, to develop more flexible modes of delivery and to diversify their student population.
National authorities should introduce dedicated funding to support efforts to integrate new modes of learning and teaching across higher education provision. Funding should encourage collaborative responses to infrastructural needs, pedagogical training and programme delivery.
National and regional authorities should utilise opportunities under the Structural Funds Programme to support the development of necessary supporting infrastructures, technologies and repositories.
Public authorities should develop guidelines for ensuring quality in open and online learning and to promote excellence in the use of ICT in higher education provision.
The European Commission should support cross-border initiatives to develop quality standards for open and online learning under the Erasmus+ programme.
Higher education institutions should ensure that quality assurance arrangements apply to all forms of credit awarding provision in the institution. Institutions should use the quality assurance system to monitor retention rates and inform the development of appropriate supports.
The European Commission and national authorities should encourage and incentivise higher education providers to award and recognise credits under the European Credit Tansfer and Accumulation System for all forms of online courses. The current revision of the ECTS Guide should incorporate these principles.
Governments and higher education institutions should work towards full open access of educational resources; in public tenders open licences should be a mandatory condition, so that content can be altered, reproduced and used elsewhere. In publicly (co-)funded educational resources – the drive should be to make materials as widely available as possible.
Member States should ensure that legal frameworks allow higher education institutions to collect and analyse learning data. The full and informed consent of students must be a requirement and the data should only be used for educational purposes.
Online platforms should inform users about their privacy and data protection policy in a clear and understandable way. Individuals should always have the choice to anonymise their data.
Source: European Commision