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E-learning: a challenge for higher education

E-learning: a challenge for higher education

Type of text : Opinion
Type of referral : Own initiative
Working group : Section for Education, Culture and Communication

Rapporteur(s) :

Youth Movements Group
Danielle DUBRAC
Enterprise Group
Date adopted : 24/02/2015 | Period : 2010-2015

The role of e-learning in higher education

The term e-learning may be used to designate all human, technological and material resources used for the acquisition of knowledge and skills that include the use of digital technologies, whether this is attendance-based or remotely via the internet. It is bringing about new ways of teaching, learning and working.
However, having appeared only recently, e-learning is not used in all establishments. Although the emergence of e-learning and the creation of digital universities nearly 10 years ago presaged the transformations currently taking place within the higher education sector, the transition to e-learning has accelerated in recent years with the development of social networks and interactive uses of the web. In fact, in the last four years, e-learning has expanded significantly, particularly with the emergence of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). In France, this trend has led to an ambitious initiative with the creation of the digital university France Université Numérique (FUN), a platform providing free online courses.
All these developments demonstrate that it is possible to harness digital technology for learners by developing tools that help them to succeed. Digital technology enables hybrid training programmes to be developed that combine attendance-based and distance learning. These asynchronous learning modes allow for greater flexibility in individual study for students, providing a potential solution for students who are not able to study regularly for any number of reasons, for example because they are working or hospitalised during the academic year. They also enable the development of innovative learning tools such as flipped classrooms.
The ESEC takes the view that the e-learning challenge can only be addressed by setting in place a national strategy to transition to e-learning in the interests of democratisation. E-learning is an opportunity that can provide unprecedented solutions.