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Scottish and Austrian perspectives on delivering a Master's: From paper to virtual and from individual to collaborative

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Abstract:

This article explores the transition in course delivery from a paper-based format to blended learning, and highlights the role of the virtual learning environment (VLE) in this process. Professional practice in postgraduate programmes in particular is investigated during this transition stage at the University of Dundee (UoD) in Scotland, and the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien (UASTW) in Austria. In this transition, UoD is developing and implementing a 'Master's Framework' supported by the VLE, 'MyDundee', which is built on the Blackboard e-learning platform. Similarly, UASTW is exploiting the Campus Information System (CIS) based on the open-source e-learning platform Moodle. Although the methods used to promote and practise e-learning differ at the two universities, their common aim is to support students' and professionals' learning when face-to-face contact time between students and tutors is significantly reduced. The use of collaborative and peer-assessed tools like e-portfolios, newsletters, discussion forums, Wikis and group puzzles are used as means of satisfying a delivery model which reflects socially constructivist principles of learning.

Keywords: BLENDED LEARNING; DISTANCE LEARNING; ONLINE COURSES; POSTGRADUATE PROGRAMMES; VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5367/000000009789346103

Publication date: August 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Industry and Higher Education, published six times a year, is dedicated to all aspects of the relationship and interaction between higher education institutions and business and industry. With a strong emphasis on practical experience, this peer-reviewed journal covers strategic, organizational, economic, political, legal, and social issues relating to the developments in education-industry collaboration. Topics such as knowledge transfer, regional development and entrepreneurship education are key concerns. For more details, see www.ippublishing.com.

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