Learning cafés I


DICE – Digital copyright for e-learning

Stefano Tardini, USI

Can I use in my class an image I have scanned from a book? Can I publish it on the LMS of my institution? The project DICE has developed tools and training activities to help teachers in Swiss universities face questions like these. The main results of the project DICE will be presented: The online tools and instructional materials, the training activities for teachers, the center that will be constituted to help them face the issue of copyright in their teaching activities.


E-learning quality management with e-xcellence.ch

Willi Bernhard, FFHS; Per Bergamin, SUPSI

e-xcellence.ch is a quality benchmarking assessment instrument for e-learning specific aspects of higher education. It includes a web-based self-evaluation tool, a community and a pool of experts. The purpose of e-xcellence.ch is to improve e-learning by supporting the e-learning quality management process. The aim of the learning café is to show the possibilities of the free accessible tool and to stimulate being part of the community and/or the pool of experts. You can also give input about your needs in e-learning excellence or relevant services, which you are able to provide.


Fostering open learning practices of life long learners

Kalli Benetos, UNIGE

Open learning, whether a learning theory, practice or educational system, puts learners in control of their learning process. This brings with it many advantages, notably in the personalisation and customisation of learning paths according to individual needs and goals. But to benefit from open learning, learners must undertake the role of academic counselor, curriculum planner and learning strategist. Adult learners must be able to assess their capacities and competencies, determine learning goals that match the competencies required in the area of study and select the appropriate strategies, courses and educational programs to achieve them. This is a process to be learned in itself. Project-based learning approaches and methodologies in continuing education can foster competencies needed to manage their learning path within a predefined set of goals.

Questions for discussion:

  • What support do students need to engage in PBL?
  • What support do students need in open learning?
  • What tools and environments are available and needed?
  • How can learners be helped to assess their capacities and needs?
  • What methods and systems are useful?
  • How can learners be helped to become aware of the process and transfer it to new learning needs and situations?
  • Other questions?


How to survive the jungle of innovative concepts and products? Start hunting!

Andreas Reinhardt, ETHZ

E-lectures, OER, PLE, clickers … there are thousands of potentially innovative concepts and products for teaching and learning. It almost feels like a jungle, where trends, projects and technology pop up for a moment, and just as quickly disappear. All may look interesting for a university, but only a few actually stick around as teaching and learning innovations. In our learning café we would like to discuss hands-on innovation management, and share our experiences at ETH Zurich. Our hope: let us hunt the best "open ideas" together!


Legal considerations and challenges of open ideas

Samuel Witzig, ZHAW

Legal considerations and challenges of open ideas should not be neglected. Two main challenges can be mentioned: The copyright of material (such as slides, pictures, graphics, text) and (data) privacy of web-services used (such as Twitter, Facebook, Google Docs).

Critical questions include: What happens if a lecturer publishes copyright protected material on open systems? Can an institution be held accountable for that? Can we use US-services such as Google Docs which do not conform to Swiss privacy regulations?


Project Mobile Uni-App

Thomas Sammer, UNISG

The aim of project Uni-App is to develop a generic framework that can be used to provide mobile access to IT-services offered by educational institutes from different mobile devices. The framework is designed to serve various smartphones and tablet computers and will be accessible by native apps as well as optimised websites. During our session we will introduce the framework, a prototype, and offer opportunities to join the second phase of the project. Within the second phase we want to invite other educational institutes from Switzerland to join our project and use the framework to offer mobile access on their IT-services.


Simplified use of SWITCHpoint for distributed classrooms

Bruno Wenk, HTW Chur

SWITCHpoint is a well suited service for a distributed classroom, where the lecturer and a couple of students get together for a face-to-face class, and some other – geographically distributed – students participate via the Internet. However, for some lecturers it is unreasonable to get acquainted with the handling of the software and the related audio and video equipment. We plan to develop a device which can be attached to the lecturer’s laptop and which simplifies the use of SWITCHpoint. What are the teaching scenarios you think the easy to use SWITCHpoint service could make sense? What are the requirements for the planned service?


Tablet didactics

Pascal Wurtz, FFHS

Tablet PC’s (tablets) are very common at the moment. They increasingly appear in different fields of applications. One of these is the educational sector: The idea that tablets could replace paper, laptops and other media, is promising. For a successful implementation however, teachers need specific knowledge on how to use tablets in their classes. Against this background the Institute for Research in Open- Distance- and eLearning is developing a course for imparting concepts in tablet didactics. Aspects such as collaboration, presentation or organisation using tablets will be discussed.


The faculty’s fear of openness

Urs Ingold, Caspar Noetzli, PHZH

The Zurich University of Teacher Education (PH Zurich) develops multimedia learning objects for self-directed learning and makes them available in a repository called "knowledge base" which is open to all students and faculty. Learning objects are a first step towards Open Educational Resources (OER). The repository at its present state is open only to the institution, but an evaluation of the knowledge base conducted in autumn 2010 by the Digital Learning Center of the PH Zurich clearly showed that even such a limited degree of openness represents a cultural change that can lead to fear among faculty. Which fears do we have to deal with? How does an institution handle them best? What can e-learning consultants do to promote and foster open ideas within the university?