Examples of Implementation

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Considering the delivery, purpose and structure of lifelong learning courses/programmes at selected universities

In the previous section we looked at the questions a university needs to ask before embarking upon a new lifelong learning venture.

We will now examine some existing initiatives so as to understand the continuously evolving parameters involved in addressing customers needs (employers and students needs) in compliance with strategic decisions.

The case studies are based on the institutional thinking and examples of best practice examined in the USBM project and presented in "Showcases of University Strategies and Business Models for Lifelong Learning". We try to focus on the strategic considerations and the business models involved in the realisation of the different lifelong learning courses and programmes offered by the universities involved.

A word on the trends

As universities move into lifelong learning, they have to cater for a different type of market, one that has a customer base that is becoming increasingly specialised.

Students who seek to update specific skills and improve their employability require learning methods that make use of the latest technological advancements such as in distance learning. Universities are also adopting an increasingly learner centred approach.

Delivery models are thus becoming increasingly learner centred, often tailored for individual learners' requirements such as independence from time and location, and learners' preferences such as allowing for personalised learning settings within virtual learning platforms.

Delivery methods are also greatly dependent upon the background, knowledge, interests and skills of the target group.

Courses may revolve around just-in-time delivery, asynchronous or synchronous learning needs or indeed they may be linked to very time specific delivery so as to access a group of students who wouldn't otherwise have access to learning materials.

 

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