Eden Special Interest Group on Technology Enabled Learning (Tel) and Quality Enhancement

Aims and rationales | What is TEL? | Why TEL and Quality Enabled Learning matters | TEL trends | EDEN SIG TEL Members | Resources Activities 2018 | Webinars hosted by EDEN SIG TEL | Projects | How to be involved | Contact

Aims and rationales

The EDEN Special Interest Group (SIG) on Technology Enabled Learning (TEL) and Quality Enhancement (QE) was official launched during the EDEN Conference in Jönköping 13-16 June 2017. During the EDEN conference EDEN showed its competence and activities in the field of TEL and QE. EDEN hosted a series of four workshops during the conference. The themes were:

  • EDEN’s rationale and action plan on the work of launching a SIG on TEL and QE
  • Renewing the quality agenda
  • Quality in TEL at micro, meso, and macro levels, and identification of stakeholders
  • Innovation for quality leadership

The workshops were a start for the EDEN SIG on Technology Enabled Learning (TEL), and Quality Enhancement. Each workshop was a stand-alone event, and all were among the main contributions from EDEN during the conference days. The themes were selected as proposals for EDEN to further develop, especially together with EDEN NAP (Network of Academics). The workshops also highlighted how EDEN members might be further involved to continue to learn together.

The first workshop introduced and presented the rationale of the EDEN SIG on Technology Enabled Learning (TEL), and Quality Enhancement(QE), and the series of workshops/learning cafes were introduced. In addition, rationales why EDEN will take a lead on TEL and QE were discussed. Also discussed were the state of the art in research and practices, current challenges, and challenges ahead. In addition, the EDEN NAP presented how they could support and engage members. Suggestions were raised for different events throughout the year. In the three following workshops each theme was discussed, though maybe more questions than answers were given! Suggestions for further work by EDEN, EDEN NAP, and its members were outlined. At the end of the conference the EDEN President summarized the workshops/learning cafes, and discussed how EDEN can contribute to the international quality agenda related to TEL for quality enhancement.

The themes will be added to and further elaborated during the coming year within EDEN SIG Technology Enabled Learning (TEL), and Quality Enhancement. The aim is to work through the EDEN NAP, and to involve members, both experts and those with just an interest in QE and TEL. The action plan for the following year will include activities such as:

  • Creating a space (HUB) at the EDEN webpage for SIG TEL QE, for resources (projects, references etc.), events, experts, quality models and current news within the areas
  • Including hot topics within the areas of TEL and QE in EDENs monthly Newsflash
  • Working in close collaboration with the EDEN NAP
  • Organizing EDEN NAP Tweet Chats (to be announced)
  • Organizing EDEN NAP Webinars (to be announced)
  • Presenting the EDEN SIG TEL QE at EDENs own conferences, including EDEN Open Classroom, and EDEN RW
  • Integrating the topic of EDEN SIG TEL QE at the annual Open Education Week (OEW), and at the European Distance Learning Week (EDLW). For EDLW it will be during the week 6-10 November 2017.

What is TEL?

According to Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Technology-enabled learning aims to focus on increasing access to quality teaching and learning by supporting policy formulation and innovation in the application of ICT in education, and the development of ICT skills. TEL includes a wide range of technologies for teaching and learning: online access, mobile devices, and low-cost technologies such as audio and video, radio and TV.

From technology perspective, the possibility of realization of TEL is being enabled by various Artificial Intelligence technologies, theories, and techniques (e.g., Machine Learning, Data Mining, Semantic Web, Big Data, and Learning Analytics), which can be used to customize the learner’s e-learning process, predict her performance, recommend learning activities, and so on. Other distributed computing models such as Cloud Computing and Service Orientation allow further flexibility so that e-learning scenarios/processes can be enacted/orchestrated using a series of web services. The substantive rise of adopting TEL software systems in real life scenarios (e.g., academic organizations, lifelong learning, formal/informal learning, etc.) necessitates these TEL software systems to be properly designed.

Although the term TEL is coined technology enabled learning, pedagogical models using are a crucial issue for quality enhancement to improve learning opportunities for the learner. improving

Why TEL and Quality Enabled Learning matters

“Students today need access to the digital tools and media-rich resources that will help them explore, understand, and express themselves in the world they will inherit tomorrow.” Partnership for 21st Century Skills

The use of TEL can facilitate and promote educational access, equity and quality around the world, which are the Sustainability Goals related to education (SDG4).

High quality and relevant higher education equips students with the knowledge, skills and core transferable competences they need to succeed after graduation, within a high-quality learning environment which recognizes and supports good teaching. Within a context of globalization and the knowledge economy, the quality of higher education is increasingly regarded as strategically important for national economic development and competitiveness. As a result, countries and development partners are more willing than ever before to invest in quality higher education.

Source: UNESCO

Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) comprises a variety of innovative ICT solutions to deal with numerous evolving educational challenges. These challenges include improving the experience of learners, academics, and institutions; and providing an adaptive, effective, and personalized learning to every learner, managing and meeting the users’ requirements, to mention but a few. Overcoming these challenges can empower learners and consequently the overall society, and contribute to improving the community quality of life. Utilizing ICT in education, or in another word TEL, can facilitate efficient e-learning models where technology helps learners to build their own advanced critical thinking capabilities. TEL also facilitates new ways of learning such as connectivism, communities of practice, and social based learning.

Despite the great potential and the recent innovations in TEL domain, much development is needed to ensure better learning experiences for everyone and to bridge the gap toward TEL good practice. Effective TEL models, tools, and frameworks conceive learning as a complex process that includes various activities and interactions between different roles, so as to achieve certain goals in a continuously evolving environment. This requires capturing the context and using advanced knowledge representation and management techniques. Also, due to the dynamic nature of learning process, TEL models should possess a high level of agility.

In order to accelerate skill development and innovation in the areas of ICT to help Commonwealth of Learning (COL) emphasize that in order to accelerate skill development and innovation in the areas of ICT and to improve the livelihoods of citizens, it is crucial to facilitate the development of 21st-century skills amongst learners at all levels. Some initiatives can be mentioned:

  • Develops ICT in education and OER policies and strengthen policy implementation.
  • Strengthens research on technology-enabled learning for evidence-based advocacy and decision-making.
  • Works with government, industry and academic institutions to develop relevant and innovative courses.
  • Helps institutions to use technology-enabled learning for programme delivery.
  • Promotes the use of open technologies, and OER for skills development.
  • Implements tested models at scale and develop new models for learning using emerging technologies.

Technology-enabled learning trends that will change the way we look at learning

(source: eLearning Industry, 2017)

The learning landscape looks completely different today than it did five years ago. The way that learners are learning is changing dramatically: We see individuals learning anywhere, and everywhere making the most of their spare time, in cafes watching a new video tutorial before they get into a meeting; in subways and buses playing a game or learning a new process with focus and intent that has not been witnessed in digital learning earlier. Mobile learning is the first choice for most people today. Learners consume content in a way that is typical to their smartphone usage patterns. They expect content to be short and personalized and are more committed to their learning goals. These trends indicate the need for change for both content and technology in the learning space. There are hence needs for learning solution providers to visualize what has not been seen before and formulate solutions that blend modern learning with traditional and personalized learning experiences and bring these at par with contemporary mobile applications and just-in-time learning methods.

Through research the eLearning Industry (2017) predict the 5 technology-enabled learning trends that will have a significant impact on the workplace learning ecosystem:

  • The Growing Need For Microlearning
  • The Explosion of Growth in Mobile Learning
  • The Rise of Real World Learning
  • The Success of Gamification
  • Increasing Collaboration With Social Learning

Members of the EDEN SIG TEL QE core group:

  • Professor, Dr. Ebba Ossiannilsson, EDEN EC (coordinator)
  • Dr. Sandra Kucina Softic, EDEN EC, President
  • Dr. Airina Volungevičienė, Vytautas Magnus University
  • Professor Antonella Poce, Roma Tre University
  • Professor Antonio Teixera, Universidade Aberta
  • Professor Ulf – Daniel Ehlers, Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Karlsruhe
  • Dr. Jack Koumi, Freelance consultant and trainer
  • Professor emeritus Yaacov Katz
  • Dr. Ahidoba de Franchi Mandscheff, Pôle Qualité – Centre pour la formation continue et à distance CFCD, Université de Genève
  • Dr. Fred de Vries, Consultant
  • Dr. Alfredo Soeiro, Porto University


We would like to encourage members to share resources, and references in the area of TEL QE. Some references are given as a start:

Kirkwood, A., and Price, L. (2016). Technology enabled learning implementation. Vancover: Commonwealth of Learning

 Duval, E., Sharples, M., and Sutherland, R. (Eds.). (2017)

Ossiannilsson, E., Williams, K., Camilleri, A., & Brown, M. (2015). ICDE Global overview of quality models– Oslo: ICDE.

Esther Huertas, Ivan Biscan, Charlotte Ejsing, Lindsey Kerber, Liza Kozlowska, Sandra Marcos Ortega, Liia Lauri, Monika Risse, Kerstin Schörg, Georg Seppmann (2018). Considerations for quality assurance of e-learning provision

The ENQA working group on quality assurance and e-learning has drafted their “Considerations for quality assurance of e-learning provision”. It is still a work in progress, but the group would already like some feedback from representatives of stakeholders/organisations who are welinformed about quality assurance and e-learning. Read more here.

The Considerations for quality assurance of e-learning provision is very promising and welcomed. The Considerations for quality assurance of e-learning provision are very much in line with the EADTU Excellence, The European quality benchmark for online, open and flexible education. The considerations are very close to the work on SEQUENT by EADTU.

Activities 2018

During the EDEN 2018 conference in Genova, the group was gathered to refresh the actions and activities for the SIG. Forthcoming activities such as:
  • that the group and each of us are Advocates/Ambassadors for EDEN SIG TEL QE
  • we would like to have possibilities with a blog site for EDEN SIG TEL QE
  • to act in conferences and meetings when appropriate
  • to still organize webinars when appropriate and with pesons (Advocates) and themes with may be of interest for members, but this should not be the only activities, but complementary
  • to work in close collaboration with EDEN NAP
  • To work in collaboration when appropriate with other stakeholders in the field of TEL QE

WEBINARS hosted by EDEN Special Interest Group (SIG) on Technology Enabled Learning (TEL) focusing on Quality Enhancement (QE)

EDEN SIG TEL QE will from now on host a series of webinars in close collaboration with EDEN NAP.

Quality In TEL On Micro, Meso And Macro Level, And Who Are The Stakeholders. Why And How Do They Have An Interest?

 21 November 2017 15.00-1600pm CET

Quality in TEL, in the digital transformation can be considered, discussed, and even measured from a variety of perspectives and approaches. First quality has to be considered at different levels, i.e. micro-level, meso-level and macro-level. Second there are different approaches, as accreditation, certification, benchmarking, and or guidelines or  frame of references. Several stakeholders  have an interest in quality. Most often the stakeholders are considered as the learners, the academics, the institution, and even on country level or international level. In addition maturity level has to be taken into consideration, and also if quality is considered as norm based or process based.

The facilitators for this webinar will introduce the theme, and different scenarios will be pointed out for an interesting discussion on how quality in TEL will be  a driver for the digital transformation  for learning and education.

Moderated by Ebba Ossiannilsson EDEN EC


  • Ebba Ossiannilsson, EDEN EC, The Swedish Association for Distance Education, Sweden
  • Mark Nichols, EDN EC, Open University, United Kingdom
  • Airina Volungeviciene, President, EDEN, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania

Please join our discussion and contribute to the discussion on Quality in TEL

Watch the recording

New Global Challenges for Quality Development in Open Online Learning

7 December 2017 15.00-1600pm CET

Although the MOOC-mania seems to be over and several world conferences have debated the potential of Open education and open educational resources, it still seems that after all discussions, debates and meetings, we (have to) come back to the one important question: How can digital media, learning technology, digital learning materials help us to transform educational experiences and institutions in a way that we can provide more suitable learning scenarios to our future graduates in order to prepare them for an uncertain future. This is in the heart of the (global) quality debate. While we have discussed theses issue already at length in European contexts and communities we can now more and more see that the issue is globally important to all nations. So – it is time to allow for a moment of reflection and to see what is going on. To take stock of the big challenges, the big global quality challenges.

In his presentation, Ulf – Daniel Ehlers will try to take into account the last 10 years of quality debate and see where we still have open issues and map out the points which from my point of view are relevant to a current and future discussion agenda. He firmly believes that in the difficult economic and political climate we are currently in, it is more important than ever to promote learning, human and social capital development, thus developing the knowledge society, and strive for innovation. Digitalisation within the entire education sector is seen as a catalyst to foster the capacity to promote, support and drive educational professionals’, learners’ and organizations’ abilities to develop the competences they need for an ever changing and potentially uncertain future with growing risks. However, open, online and e-learning in Europe and globally, as well as the concept of digitalisation in education are still not perceived with the same credibility as traditional modes of learning. Although a lot of progress has been made to bring digital technologies into the educational context in all European countries, a renewed debate about quality on open, online and e-learning, sharing of good practices and trust into innovation and transformation through the use of digital technologies in education is needed today. It will help to understand how the educational experience can truly be enhanced, how educational organizations’ capacity to do so can be developed and how policies around digital transformation can be shaped on individual, institutional as well as national and European level.

Moderated by Josep M. Duart, EDEN EC


  • Josep M. Duart
  • Ebba Ossiannilsson
  • Ulf – Daniel Ehlers

Watch the recording

In addition an #EDENChat will be hosted on behalf of EDEN SIG TEL QE

New Global Challenges for Quality development in open online learning – 13 December 2017 20.00-21.00 pm CET

Moderated by Professor Dr. Ulf – Daniel Ehlers


We would like to collect and explore projects on TEL and quality enhancement which EDEN members are involved in. This could be a place for sharing experiences, dissemination, and to inspire others what is dine and can be further build on and explored. You are warmly invited to disseminate your project/s here.

How to be involved

Hope you will find it of interest to be involved in the dialogue on the topic of TEL and quality enhancement. We are pleased to involve you in the current state of the art on the topic of TEL and quality enhancement, so we would like to invite you to stay in contact with us. If you are interested please provide your contact details as below:

Stay in contact

Join our LinkedIn group

If you would like to discuss TEL and quality enhancement, join our LinkedIn group.


Ebba Ossiannilsson, Member of the EDEN Executive Committee and co-ordinator of EDEN SIG TEL QE