The programme already won a Curriculum Innovation Award in 2005 but Song-ee Ahn, the programme coordinator at LiU, is especially happy about this year’s trophy: “This time we received an Award which is specially focused on our core-element e-learning”.
The programme is currently in its 15th year and the collaboration between four universities on different continents is still unique. Unique would also be the correct word to describe its development or in Song-ee’s words: “It started as a ‘friendship-collaboration’”.
This special term incorporates the spirit of the programme which was founded by professors from different parts of the world in order to allow their students to benefit from several universities, its teachers and competences. It is this long-standing multi-university collaboration that impressed the jury the most and which they referred to as a ‘Large Scale Global Network Initiative’.
Nowadays the programme educates around 80 students per year, 20 per university, who bring in their different backgrounds and make the studies an interesting and challenging experience. Teachers and students alike can see which different impacts globalization has on the individual participants.
Though students are educated in a ‘global virtual class’, they are still in personal contact with university staff. For Song-ee a support system and a feeling of connection are major criteria in e-learning environments: “It is extremely important for the students not to feel alone and even if they are online, they are also at university.”
“The award is a confirmation of our quality which is the result of so many teachers’ hard work. Obviously, the members of the e-learning jury are experts in the field and this must mean that we have done a good job in developing a strong programme. This encourages us to continue our work and motivates us to think about things that we can do even better in the future.”
These big and small changes are ongoing: “Especially as technique changes all the time, its huge impact on e-learning causes important programme innovation every year”. Furthermore, the teachers meet every year to evaluate the courses and to discuss programme development.
After all, everybody wants to secure that the master programme in Adult Learning and Global Change will be as successful in future competitions as it has been in the last years.
Song-ee Ahn, program coordinator - Adult learning and global change