What's the CVS mandate?
The TECFA unit is in charge of the «Pedagogical
support and evaluation framework» mandate elaborated by the Piloting Committee
of the Swiss Virtual campus (SVC), and mostly concentrates on the projects in higher-level
schools in French speaking Switzterland (Fribourg, Geneva, Lausanne,
The mandate mainly aims at « improving
the quality of the projects in progress, capitalizing the teaching experience
of the projects involved in the SVC and establishing the bases for an
evaluation of all the projects» (page 1).
The expected tasks are :
- the development of the support
and supervision activities of the SVC projects related to the psycho-pedagogical
and methodological aspects of the use of educational technologies
- the constitution of an inventory
of the projects insisting on the exploitation of the potential
of the technologies, on their integration in the scenarios worked
out as well as on the extent to which the projects are innovative and
- the designing of an evaluation framework adapted to this mode of innovative teaching
in collaboration with the national and international community (page
Through the objectives of the SVC, as
formulated on the home page of the site (http://www.virtualcampus.ch/),
several questions are addressed. In the present
context of the knowledge society a redefinition
of the teacher role and learner role is crucial : how can Information and communication
technologies (ICT) answer this need in higher education ? Which strategies to adopt in order
to enhance the use of ICT for learning ? What are the teaching and innovating
qualities of these practices and how can they be evaluated ? How can such
teaching practices be stimulated and supported within the SVC projects?
How to favor their genuine integration in the institution ? How can the
exchanges of practice be favored inside and outside of the institution?
Which conditions would enable us to ensure the perpetuation of these projects
? Another question seems essential to us and will be central to
our work : what is innovation ?
Some elements of the answer to these questions have been found in the framework
of different European and North-American research studies. Therefore, for instance,
the use of ICT and their integration in a teaching scenario enable to question teaching strategies and puts more and more emphasis
on skills and learning processes. Procedures favoring project
building, learners' gaining of autonomy, collaboration and meta-cognition
are being promoted (Viens and Renaud, 2001). Moreover, beyond the teaching
options, it seems that a certain number of factors of the perpetuation of
these projects may be evidenced (Charlier et Peraya, to be published) as
for example :
- At the local level of a department or faculty :
- at the pedagogical and organizational level : coherence with the
present practices or/and innovative project of the teacher (or a team
of teachers), integration in the training curriculum (time allocated
to the activities, adaptation of the evaluation procedures, recognition
of the learning objectives followed particularly of the students'
training in ICT), possibility for all the
students of a target group to be reached by the training framework ;
- at the institutional level : recognition of the changes made at
the level of the students, the assistants and teachers' workloads
(for example : the investment in the conception of the training framework, the moments
of realization of the tasks : work at home or outside of the "
normal " hours) and the setting of an evaluation of the training framework
- At the global level of the university or the inter-university network
: sharing of the training frameworks with several people or organizations, possibilities of productivity increase
related to the sharing of resources (for ex : common virtual campus
or common courses) and to the sharing of experiences (for ex : the framing
of common training for assistants or teachers).