Policy visits to three European universities

06 January, 2015

For the successful implementation and sustainable development of ARMAZEG project the main deliverables were defined as the effective start-up points:

  • Analysis of current situation of lifelong learning and e-learning in Armenia and Georgia, including the needs and opportunities analysis of the participant organizations.
  • Vision and strategy of ARMAZEG project with strategic goals and objectives.

All these deliverables should be prepared taking into account all specifications, features and existing conditions of Partner countries. But, international experience, namely, the experience of EU partners was very important and useful. For this purpose in May-June of 2014 study visits for Armenian and Georgian partners were organized in KU Leuven, Belgium, in University of Granada, Spain and in University of Florence, Italy. All these partners provide preliminary trainings and consultancy about upcoming activities and expected results. It was very useful to find out the situation in EU countries, rules and law regulation concerning e-learning and lifelong learning, human resource and technical opportunities and existing experience in the process of establishment of e-learning centers, elaboration of strategic plans and e-learning policies. The most effective information was gained from the following presentations of EU partners:

  • Models and technology for Virtual Exchange.
  • E-learning @ KU Leuven: organization and policy.
  • Web lectures and knowledge clips: tools and educational use.
  • Moodle platform and its practical implementation.
  • The VICES experience.
  • Technologies for Enhancing Knowledge and Training.       

Armenian and Georgian partners were also impressed by the “Agora Learning Centre” environmental and technical resource opportunities and got their main ideas about future e-learning centers’ structure.

The above mentioned presentations introduced during the first study visits were useful and helped or will help to:

  • Develop the environmental resources for e-learning directed towards institutional cooperation that involves the European Union and partner Countries and to focus on the enhancement and modernization of the teaching and learning processes in the higher education system.
  • Offer lifelong learning seminars and trainings to interested target groups.
  • Organize workshops focused on strengthening the links of education, innovation, research environments.
  • Establish new e-learning centers based on good practice of partner universities.

For Armenian and Georgian partners as conclusion were emphasized the following important aspects:

  • It would be better to think not only about the separate benefits, but also about the creation of sustainable networks and sharing with results and resources.
  • All the presented software and technologies were mostly shareware with high license costs and prices, it would be better to think about open source products, which can be used without any restriction. This can provide sustainability even after the end of the project.
  • It would be better to take into account not only the equipment, software, etc. but also provide some trainings regarding the features of teaching methodology in e-learning, namely about management, content management, Instructional design and tutoring.
  • It is important to define more specific and realistic goals and objectives for the Project and reflect them in E-learning strategy.