E4 Activity 5 Minutes of the Activity meeting held in Berlin, October 3rd 2002

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E4 - Activity 5
Minutes of the Activity meeting

held in

Berlin, October 3rd 2002


Klaus Bednarz, TU Berlin

Valeria Bricola, SEFI (as Secretary of the meeting)

Anders Hagström, ETH Zürich

Raimo Harder, Bauhaus Universität Weimar

Joost Groot Kormelink, TU Delft

Frank March, TU Ilmenau

Matti Pursula, HUT Helsinki (Promoter of the A5 and Chairman of the meeting)

Welcome address

MP, Promoter of A5 and Chairman of the meeting, welcomes all the participants and opens the meeting at 2.30pm.

Approval of the Agenda

The Agenda (see Annex 1) is approved, with slight changes in the order of the items.

Report from the MC meeting of Milan

MP reports from the Management Committee meeting held in Milan on June 28th-29th. The main issue arisen there by the Promoters of some of the Activities has been the lack of participation of active members: this might cause problems in the final year, where reporting and getting usable results from the Activities will be the main aspect of the work.

AH underlines as A5 seemed to be the most well organised Activity, certainly the only one which arrived at the meeting with papers reporting about past and future activities.

As for finances it may happen that - not being able to justify enough contributions - the Thematic Network will be asked to return some money to the Commission.

Virtual University Initiatives

AH illustrates the "Survey of Virtual Campus Projects in Europe" conducted by the ETH Zürich in the context of E4 A5. Around 150 e-mails were sent the E4 partners, asking whether they had a virtual university/campus and, if so, who the contact person was. Around 30 answered, giving a contact person address; a questionnaire was then sent to them. 13 were the final replays to that.

The sample is not big enough to consider the results as statistical evidence, in order to get any conclusion; however, the genuine value of this survey could be seen in the big spectrum of possibilities that comes out even from such a small number of universities.

A discussion arises about the possible reasons of such a small number of reactions and answers obtained.

AH suggests this survey can be made available, together with the results obtained, on the website either of A5 or E4.

MP asks AH to send a summary obout the Survey by the end of October.

Draft of the report on good practices in the use and support of new teaching and learning technologies

FM presents the “Questionnaire about existing New Learning and Teaching Methods”. He illustrates through a slide the structure of the questionnaire. It was distributed via around 150 e-mails: they got 23 responses from 13 Universities in 8 different Countries. A discussion arises about how to proceed in analysing the data collected. A possible idea could be that of putting the data on the web, in the form of a database, making sure that all the linkages are clickable.

FM is invited to send Riitta Saarinen the data by the end of October, together with a short report on how they were collected and analysed. Ms Saarinen will then take care of the final support for the dissemination. All the A5 members will be encouraged to send their comments by the end of the year.

KB suggests discussing internally (among the A5 members) the results that come out from the different A5 groups - maybe through some workshop sessions - before making them public.

Training for engineering teachers on facilitation of ODL survey

A questionnaire was distributed among the participants of the 2002 SEFI Annual Conference which took place in Florence on Sept. 8th-11th, during the E4 Plenary Session (see Annex 6). Anna-Kaarina Kairamo, who is taking care of this, got a few responses. MP invites members to provide some more.

Again, the difficulty seems to be that of having a clear definition of what expressions like “facilitation of ODL” may mean.

KB suggests that this could be a first means to collect rough information (based on personal/local interpretation of the terminology) on this subject. Then it could be possible to go further, asking the different responders individually about their situation in that specific University and/or Country.

MP expects to have a short report on this survey by the end of the year.
Plans for transnational pilot courses

RH presents three ideas about what to do in this field for the next year (see Annex 7):

  1. POLE Europe (an international project based learning) – www.pole-europe.ch

  2. IKARUS (an on-line seminar on “Teaching and Learning in Virtual Environments”). RH circulates a paper with the information about the course (see Annex 8) – www.online-seminar.net

  3. A new questionnaire: “Why don’t they use e-learning?” (made by KB)

The questionnaire could be particularly interesting because it affords the field of e-learning under a different perspective: not that of discussing why e-learning is good, but asking why – in certain cases – it is not used.

AH suggests not starting very new initiatives in this third and last year.

MP proposes to collect the information that are already available and asks RH to send a report about that.
Final report for year 2

MP, who distributed among the participant the report of year 2 at the beginning of the meeting (see Annex 3), asks to read it carefully and to send comments to Ms Saarinen, before next Management Committee meeting (which will take place on Oct. 18th in Brussels).

Planning the third year and dissemination

MP says it would be better not to initiate new activities in the third year, but rather to concentrate on the production of the final results and on the added-value coming from the entire Thematic Network.

The possible meeting in Milan, initially planned for the year 3, remains to be discussed.

The dissemination phase should start with the event in Porto (P), in April 2003.

Participants at the meeting unanimously ask to have at least two half-days for A5 at the occasion of that event, in order to discuss the outcomes and the final phase of the reporting.

The following timetable is approved:



Before October 18th

A5 members are invited to send Ms Saarinen comments about the Activity Report on year 2

By the end of October

AH will provide a summary about the “Survey of Virtual Campus Projects in Europe”

By the end of October

FM will send Ms Saarinen the data about the “Questionnaire about existing New Learning and Teaching Methods” together with a short report about the methodology used

By the end of the year

Short report about the survey on “Training for engineering teachers’ facilitation of ODL”

By the end of the year

Closing the activities

By the end of the year

JGK will send a list of possible “questions” to be answered in the framework of A5

January and February

Time to think about those questions and discuss them in view of a workshop

Late February or early April

Workshop inviting all the A5 members. A draft of the final report should be presented in that occasion

After April

The final report will be produced

Co-operation with other Activities

There has already been a co-operation between A5 and both BEST and A1. Further co-operation could be implemented with A3.


MP closes the meeting at 5pm, thanking all the participants for attending and contributing.


Annexes (documents distributed during the meeting):

  1. Agenda 3.10.2002

  2. Summary of the Activities undertaken in E4 Activity 5

  3. Reporting and dissemination plan for Activity 5

  4. Work Plan for year 3

  5. Activity 5 – Innovative learning and teaching methods

  6. Questionnaire on “Training for engineering teachers’ facilitation of ODL”

  7. Transnational pilot courses

  8. IKARUS – Teaching and Learning in Virtual Learning Environments

Minutes of E4 Activity 5 meeting in Berlin, 3.10.2002 Valeria Bricola, E4 TA2

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