E-learning has long been a natural part of higher education, in Sweden and internationally. At Uppsala University there are many excellent examples of digital resources and tools being used in distance and on-campus education. However, much still depends on the enthusiasm and interest of individual teachers rather than on systematic development efforts. Moreover, as this is a rapidly developing area conditions are constantly changing, making new demands on both teaching methods and the University’s IT systems.
A working group, e2014, was given a mandate to compile a knowledge base and propose specific measures for the further development of e-learning at Uppsala University. The group delivered a report, which was subsequently supplemented by comments and recommendations from an international panel. The final proposal, presented in May 2015, set out three priorities:
- A new learning management system. The Student Portal, developed in-house, was not considered capable of meeting teachers’ and students’ needs quickly enough. The first-choice recommendation was one of the large learning management systems in widespread international use. This would make it easier to guarantee the system’s further development, stability and security, as well as simplifying cooperation.
- An e-learning skills development initiative for all teachers at the University.
- The development of forms and routines for digital examinations.
Following a decision by the Vice-Chancellor in May 2016 to order quality development measures in the area of e-learning at Uppsala University, work has now commenced on the first two proposals. The project will be divided into two phases. During the first phase, which has a time-frame of one year, work will focus on procuring a new learning management system and drawing up a proposal for terms of reference for the second phase of the project. The second phase of the project will include implementing a new learning management system, carrying out skills development measures and phasing out existing learning systems.
Work is in progress on digital examinations. A special working group has identified needs, and systems and routines are being developed for dealing with technology, security, premises and other issues. Read more about digital examinations at Uppsala University (In Swedish).