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OPEN UNIVERSITY OF CYPRUS. Third Ministerial Meeting of European Countries with One University “Modernization of European Universities: Challenges for Small Countries”. Universities and Lifelong Learning: e-Learning, e-University, Open Methods. 4/4/2008.

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4 4 2008




Third Ministerial Meeting of EuropeanCountries with One University“Modernization of European Universities: Challenges for Small Countries”

Universities and Lifelong Learning: e-Learning, e-University, Open Methods


Prof.Panos Razis Chairman of Governing Board Open University of Cyprus


  • Introduction

  • Lifelong Learning and Distance Learning

  • Characteristics of Distance Learning Education

    • Cyprus Legislation for Open and Distance Education

  • Elements of Quality Assurance

  • Learning Outcomes

  • Conclusions

Prof. Panos Razis




Propagation of Knowledge:

  • Oral Communication

  • Tradition / Myths / Poetry / Prose

  • Inscription on Papyrus / Copies

  • Paper / Printing / Books

  • Electronic Means / Optical-Acoustical Material

  • Internet / Digital Material / Databases

  • Teleconferences / Synchronous – Asynchronous Platforms



Interaction / Guidance

Prof. Panos Razis

Lifelong and distance learning
Lifelong and Distance Learning

Lifelong Learning:

The set of educational activities, actions andprocedures aiming

to acquire new theoretical and/or practical knowledge,

professional skills and vocational training, with the purpose to

further develop the human potential during its lifetime

Formal Learning

Non Formal Learning

Informal Learning

Distance Learning:

Learning procedure to acquire knowledge and skillsby distance,

with the proper pedagogical methodology, aided by the best

available technological tools (synchronous/asynchronous)

by necessity: Lifelong Learning Distance Learning

Prof. Panos Razis

European strategy
European Strategy

Lisbon Strategy:

To transform the economy of the European Union into the most dynamic and competitive in the World based on: -- knowledge society

-- continuouseconomic development

-- better and more work positions

-- social cohesion

-- respect to the environment

Lifelong Learning contributes to all the above areas

Revised strategy: research, education, innovation

Prof. Panos Razis

National strategy for lifelong learning 2007 2013
National Strategy for Lifelong Learning (2007-2013)


  • Access and participation of all in LLL

  • Infrastructure and Systems of LLL

  • Research, Development and Promotion of LLL

  • Efficient Governance of LLL

    Categories of LLL programs:

  • Updating/refreshing knowledge in the field of interest

  • Specialization/depth in the field of interest

  • Acquiring knowledge in other related fields

  • Learning of other fields

Prof. Panos Razis

Target groups
Target Groups

Target categories for Lifelong Learning:

- Sectors with multiplicative effects (ex. trainers, people involved in adult education, events organizers in professional organizations)

- Professionals with well defined, special career paths

- People facing integration problems to enroll in professional environments

  • Unemployed, persons with special needs, housewives, pensioners

  • Old graduates

  • Fields and professions with interdisciplinary approach

Prof. Panos Razis

Advantages of lifelong learning

  • Wide access of learning to the human potential

  • Lift social inequalities

  • Upgrade knowledge / increase productivity

  • Raise competitiveness

  • Interfere in important labor sectors (education, health, economy, technology)

  • Consolidate the use of modern technology and educational methodology

  • Theoretical/strategic framework of knowledge and development of skills to further professional career

  • Flexibility in professional (re)accession

Advantages of Lifelong Learning

Prof. Panos Razis

Distance learning

Wide Access

-arsis of inequalities

-providing 2nd chance


• Studies independently from:

-social conditions -mode



-learning rate


Distance Learning

Prof. Panos Razis

Distance learning1

Continuous Training

- social & economic development

- raise of productivity


• Synchronous system

- chat

- videochat

- video conference

•Asynchronous system

- forum

- email


Distance Learning

Prof. Panos Razis

Distance learning2

Means for Promotion of Knowledge

- fiber optical internet

- satellite internet


- Educational Television

- Teleconference

- Printed material


• Quality Assurance

- depth of material (databases)

- coupling education with research


Distance Learning

Prof. Panos Razis

Distance learning3
Distance Learning

Prof. Panos Razis

Systems of distance learning
Systems ofDistance Learning

  • System based on correspondence(outdated)

  • System based on educational TV (quality, not very efficient)

  • Multimedia system(synchronous and asynchronous)

  • Systems based on Internet (learning depth depends on user)

  • Combination of systems(blended learning mode)successful, covers the needs for all categories, ages and levels


  • Internet, Multimedia Technology, CD-ROM / Video Cassettes,

  • Television – Radio, Satellite Coverage, Teleconferences,

  • Conventional Material, Block Teaching of Laboratories,

  • Exams / Thesis Defense Projects-Seminars-Group Discussions

Prof. Panos Razis


• Formulation of specific and clear aims anddemonstration that they are in accordance with the goals of the Institution.

  • Proof that the program of study achieves the goals of the Institution, that these goals are efficient and in agreement with all the applied criteria.

  • Programs must meet all criteria for the academic personnel and must offer the students a structured access and interaction with the personnel.

  • Guarantee of supply and ready access to sufficient library, technological resources and educational material.

Prof. Panos Razis

Cyprus legislation on open and distance learning
Cyprus Legislation onOpen and Distance Learning

ConventionalHigher Education

1.Duration of Studies

2.Teaching and Learning Process

3.Evaluation /Promotion /Graduation

Open Universities, Distance Learning

4.Specially designed Programs of Studies

5. Educational process provided only by the Institution that awards the title or certificate

6.Evaluation, promotion, graduation regulated by clear and unimpeachable processes

Prof. Panos Razis

Quality assurance elements
Quality Assurance Elements

Quality Control


  • Critical mass of personnel on the program

  • Educational Material

  • Students Support

  • Variety of technological infrastructure

  • Evaluation Report by independent organizations


  • Progress Reports

  • Reports by External Examiner and/or External Reader

  • Sample of Exams, Project Reports,Dissertationetc.

Prof. Panos Razis

Quality Assurance Elements

Academic Part:

  • Duration and content of studies, teaching load, scientific aims of the program, exams under the responsibility of the administration of the program, sufficient students supportpresentations and projects, dissertation, submission of corresponding reports(sector of quality control, external evaluators)

  • Sufficient staffing in the program, scientific profile and proper processes for selection of academic personnel, necessary technical and other infrastructure, library and databases, collaborations, research programs

  • Rules and Regulations for admission, evaluation, promotion and graduation of the students

Prof. Panos Razis

Quality Assurance Elements

Administrative Part:

  • Aims of the program,promotion, market research, websites, advertising material, public relations

  • Management and control of the program, economic restrictions, viability, funding, design of new programs, collaboration protocols

  • Admission system, students records, technical support,tuition, administrative support of the academic work, contacts with collaborating personnel

  • System evaluation, handling and sending of the educational material, preparation of new material, organization of meetings, exams, system of internal and external evaluators etc.

Prof. Panos Razis

Quality assurance indices
Quality Assurance Indices

Prof. Panos Razis

Quality assurance indices1
Quality Assurance Indices

In addition, we have to demand: High Quality Education

We have to guarantee that the graduating students have reached at least the same,minimumacademic levelsin their field of studies, independently of the system followed, location, time of studies and learning rate.

Learning Outcomes?

Prof. Panos Razis

Learning outcomes
Learning Outcomes


We have to analyze thoroughly the needs and extract the aims of a program, not vice-versa.The learning outcomes have to be:

Observable on the “Graduate”

Measurable on the“Graduate”

Characterizing theActionsof the“Graduate”

  • To whom are the studies addressed ?

  • What kind of attitudes they may develop ?

  • What results do these attitudes bring ?

Prof. Panos Razis

Critical elements of lifelong learning programs

  • Quality

  • Same courses, same material, same processes

  • ECTS credits

  • Target Groups

     compatible students groups

  • Learning Outcomes

  • Measurable with indices, for higher education not to

    include just professional skills

  • Viability

     Critical mass of people,market research

  • New programs for interested groups

  • Specially designed, reference programs, matching


Critical Elements of Lifelong Learning Programs

Prof. Panos Razis


  • Lifelong Learningis a necessity

  • Serious academic, administrative and institutional support by the institution that provides the Distance Learning Programs

  • From the beginning, a base of rules and regulations

  • Measurable indices that lead to quality assurance of the programs offered.

  • Central element of quality assurance is beyond the structure and quality of the programs, in the Learning Outcomes of the Student

  • These Learning Outcomes must be recorded in measurable forms, what to Know, what he can do, how he can act

Prof. Panos Razis