Distance education and adult learning - an obvious match?

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European higher education institutions use distance and online teaching to varying degrees in their offer to adult learners. ICDE, in partnership with the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning and StudyPortals, is now investigating the impact that distance education has made, and the potential it offers to improve access to learning for European adult learners.

The project group is now looking for your help to provide input to the study.

European institutions are invited to contribute to this study, which will aim for a better understanding of distance education offered by European higher education institutions and to examine if and how it addresses adult learners. The survey targets management of higher education institutions based in the European Higher Education Area and looks at:Study on the distance education offer of European universities launched

  • The strategic importance of having a distance education offering

  • The degree of student support on offer

  • Main motivations for institutions to offer distance education

  • How enrolments in distance education are expected to change over the next five years

  • Barriers to the growth of online teaching and learning

The results of the survey will be available in an online report in September 2014. It will be complemented by research on the demand for distance and blended forms of education - including a survey among students - and country case studies on the potential of these forms of learning. The final report will be available by the end of the year.

About the Impact of Distance Education on Adult Learning (IDEAL) project

The IDEAL project seeks to achieve better understanding of distance education offered by higher education institutions and to examine how higher education institutions can contribute to adult learning by way of distance education.

The project aims to:

  • Offer insights on the needs of adult learners to both policy makers and distance education providers;

  • Strengthen the social dimension of higher education by better meeting the needs of adult learners;

  • Increase the participation of adult learners in higher education through distance education.

IDEAL will help higher education institutions to more easily reach new audiences through creating a better understanding of their needs.

Project Manager: Carl Holmberg, info@idealproject.eu

The project runs from October 2013 to September 2015 with financial support from the EU Lifelong Learning Programme (sub-programme Erasmus Multilateral Projects) under agreement n°: 2013-3864, project reference number: 539668-LLP-1-2013-1-NO-ERASMUS-ESIN

IDEAL website