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Executive Summary of the VISIR Second Consultation


Understand, network, mainstream ICT for learning in Europe

Results of the VISIR Second Consultation

Reacting to change and transforming European Lifelong Learning:
The contribution of ICT in adressing key concerns related to learning innovation

Executive Summary - Main Findings

  1. The significant number of responses received to the survey, their diversity and substance, often also the deepness of the comments showed that the consultation has reached its goals, the importance of the topic was understood, having created many relevant responses. Stakeholders seem to be interested and informed about the contribution of ICT in addressing key concerns related to learning innovation.

  2. Practically all statements raised in the survey received strong support, meaning that the concerns raised have been much shared by the respondents. The disagreements made ca. 15-20% of the votes.

  3. We can highlight the following main messages of the consultation, from the textual comments left by the respondents to the individual questions;

    a. The positive impact of the work-based, workplace related learning, and “real-life situation embedded” instruction, the need of bringing real-world applications and experts in the classroom, was raised in considerable number of reflections.

    b. Also, several times was the opinion mentioned that better connection with the challenges learners face in their real lives is needed and that “changes will come from outside the institutions...”.

    Linked to this approach, the promotion of entrepreneurship was also highlighted as desirable.

    c. Integration, collaboration, strategy, concept and holistic approach are needed to realise the potential of ICTs.

    d. New paradigms, concepts were not really proposed, rather the better understanding and proper use of the existing tools was advised.

    i. Functional rationalisation, flexibility, increased economic (cost and resource) awareness, quality and assessment and legislation/accreditation issues were highlighted.

    ii. Encouragement of collaboration, further the preparedness and attitudes of the learners are also showing up in the comments

    e. In the meantime, some scepticism regarding the power and potential of ICTs seemed to be shown. It was also mentioned that the expected learning enhancements exist in traditional environments as well and they are not inevitably linked to the ICT use. A kind of impatient approach could sometimes also be observed: when ICT will be in education and training finally properly implemented…?!

    f. Whilst there was no doubt that “ICT has the potential...” as stated in the questions, in reflections of respondents it was noted that potential is different thing than saying that it will also happen. This threw the light on the importance of the implementation aspect and the necessity of further research on the reasons why this is not really happening.

  4. Existing geographic (US/UK vs. e.g. Europe) specificities and differences have been highlighted regarding the learning outcomes transferability approach. The scenario is not homogenous for this question across regions. The relatively lower support for the learning outcome focused assessment may show blocks of territories divided along this approach.
    Responding transferability of outcomes, support was received for the development of transparency of documenting learning outcomes by ICT.

  5. On employability value of education: the approach regarding to bringing closer the world of work to education received the strongest support. The positive effect of the employability demand was recognised not only for the learners but for their teachers as well. ICTs, in the same context, were also held valuable because their contribution to the development of transversal and soft skills (communication, critical thinking, collaboration, etc.), is being increasingly valued by the employers.

  6. Respondents clearly approved the potential of ICT in contributing to the new assessment methods. Providing instruments for the integration of informal learning, the e-portfolio approach received high support, together with relatively new assessment fields like media testing of learning outcomes or ICT use in social-collaborative open assessment forms. This is encouraging and shows the openness and interest of respondents for the newly emerging practices.

  7. Respondents also endorsed the potential of ICT in contributing to the scalability of innovation in learning. The preferred option for this was the support for setting up learning practitioners’ network. Sharing experience, peer collaboration, networking of students and families, thus the collaborative aspects in respect of this question have been emphasized.

  8. Concerning attractiveness of learning, the flexibility combined with real life activities like work and family life received strong support here as well.

On the survey methodology side, there have been some signs concerning that whilst the aim of the exercise was to find ways in which ICT could help - not to prove it! - from some remarks of the respondents we may guess that not all of them got that the formulation of the questions was intended as raising/highlighting a possibility and not providing a strong answer.

Thus, in few cases, the survey may have turned out to be an assessment of such answers rather than a reflection on other ways through which ICT could help achieve the objectives addressed.


Download full report here.

This project is funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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