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“E-LEARNING AND THE BOLOGNA PROCESS: THE CASE OF THE SCHOOL OF

ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS SARAJEVO”

Kasim Tatic
Assistant Professor
School of Economics and Business Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo
kasim.tatic@efsa.unsa.ba

Kemal Kacapor
Teaching Assistant
School of Economics and Business Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo
kemal.kacapor@efsa.unsa.ba

With technology, the sky is the limit, but with education


technology, the sky is not the limit. The limit is the human
imagination and creativity of the society.
Gudmund Hernes

Abstract:

The aim of the article is to give a short review of some theoretical insights into the role
of ICT and e-learning in the education process, both at university and within
companies in the form of the life-long learning. We shall consider some experiences
regarding the preconditions to be fulfilled in order to introduce and organize an
effective and efficient e-learning process. The article will focus its attention on certain
requirements of the Bologna process and its consequences in the environment of an
underdeveloped country like Bosnia and Herzegovina. The case of the School of
Economics and Business Sarajevo will be presented. Since September 2005, the
School has been organizing education activities according to the requirements of the
Bologna Charter. The article will present the results of surveys concerning different
issues relating to the introduction of a DL system in an underdeveloped country. We
shall determine the main challenges, obstacles and problems in different areas
regarding the introduction of such a system.

Keywords:
e-learning, the Bologna process, open source platform, ICT, knowledge based society

1
1 Introduction
Rules of economy and science are changing fast, so that only those companies survive
that react efficiently and quickly, whose employees efficiently recognize the new rules
and acquire new knowledge. Knowledge we acquire over the years lasts increasingly
less time, while the group of people who require new knowledge increases. Educated
staff represents the source of economic power of the company and its basic
competitive advantage.
All this shows that the system of education, unless it adapts to the new trends in
society and business, will become the impediment to its development. Concentrated
education in which a group of students physically surrounds a lecturer is no longer
considered to be an effective learning method. Especially not in the segment relating to
adult education, professional training and specialist education for employees of
companies, whose presence and further advancement in the work place represents the
main driving force for continued education.
Demands for learning flexibility represent new challenges for the institutions of higher
education. The natural learning environment for new generations of students will be
based on the ICT (information and communication technologies). Learning flexibility will
be reflected in the desire to study at home or work place, at a time acceptable to the
student, and in the method in accordance with other obligations of the student. 1

2 Characteristics of the education system and the ICT


Numerous challenges that countries, companies and individuals face in the modern
world, as well as the extreme significance of education and various ways of acquiring
knowledge, skill and necessary qualifications, impose an obvious and urgent need for
critical analysis and examination of systems of education present in the most part of
the world, in the sense of asking and searching for answers to the following questions:
• How are priorities in the education sector set?
• How are content and methods of realization of curricula designed?
• How much money is assigned for the realization of curricula?
• How is the link between the education sector and the business sector viewed
and realized in the sense of satisfying its increasingly specific needs of training
the work force, etc.
Following the adoption of the Bologna Charter, the answer to these and similar
questions will lead us to the conclusion that a radical transformation of the system of
education is imperative, with the purpose of designing a system of education that
would, among other, possess the following characteristics:
• A holistic education structure that means disposing of the principle of separate
or insufficiently interrelated scientific disciplines and analysis as the dominating
scientific method, and adopting the approach of holistic observation , or a
systemic approach in which the interrelatedness of objects and phenomena is
considered the most important quality, essential for cultivating knowledge on a
different basis and with a different aim. The goal of education is not a
fragmented, narrow vision of isolated natural and social phenomena, but a
systemic, holistic understanding that will provide for necessary creativity and
orientation in new situations, in solving concrete problems in life and work.
1
Response of EADTU to the Communication fro the Commission – "The role
of the universities in the Europe of knowledge; The contribution of open and
distance laerning" 31th May 2003

2
• An active role of students signifying a completely new way of participation in the
process of acquiring knowledge, in the sense of a changed relationship and an
active role in relation to the course material, but also to the teacher and peers
participating in the learning process.
• Education for all that means that certain social groups, that were excluded or
marginalized in the sense of extremely difficult access to formal education, are
now actively and increasingly becoming involved in the system of education,
which is, of course, provided by the introduction and use of various ICTs, and in
the institutions of education at all levels.
• Education at all times, meaning an approach that abandons the classical, usual
time in which students and all those acquiring knowledge must attend the
learning process. ICT provides for a much more flexible approach, enabling
thus all those who desire to acquire knowledge to do it at a time most suitable
for them. This is especially important for the increasingly large segment of
people employed in companies or state institutions who wish to get training.
• Education everywhere, meaning abandonment of ties to a physical location of
an institution of education or a classroom as a paradigm of the place of
transferring and acquiring knowledge. ICT provides for access to information
and active participation in the learning process, without being physically present
in a classroom, or from any place equipped with a work station with the access
to the local or global network. In other words, students and all those who learn
should be able to learn at home or at the work place, or just in passing; in such
circumstances, for successful learning, they need the following: access to
information (browsing, download) for a number of sources in a number of
formats; selecting, filling, restructuring and creating of information; direct
communication with teachers and their peers; incorporation of the materials
covered into documents relating to their studies or work;
information/document/project sharing and manipulation; ability to access,
combine, create and transfer audio and video filed, text and data, as needed.
• A significant change in the work methods, abilities and roles of teachers. The
new system brings radical changes to the role of the teacher, who transfers less
information, but mediates in searching for information; who does not offer a
complete picture of reality but, using active problem-solving and team work,
encourages creating knowledge based on students’ own experience, so that
they could comprehend and explain reality, in order to be more successful at
work, and have a richer and fuller life as individuals and members of the
community. Institutions of education, therefore, will have to introduce major
changes to the current work methods and concepts of the education process.
One of the constant demands is the one for continuous education of teachers
themselves, in the sense of mastering modern technologies and methods of
their application in teaching. Thus, teachers practically become living examples
of what is referred to as lifelong learning. This, of course, opens a series of
questions, such as whether to prescribe such activities as mandatory in signing
the work contract, and the methods of providing funds necessary for those
activities. In the research of the role of ICT in American higher education,
carried out in 2002, Green states that the heads of academic and IT
departments found «assisting the faculty in integrating technology in teaching»
as the single, most importance IT related issue their institutions will face in the
following two to three years. 2

2
Green, K.C. (2002): Campus Computing 2002: The 13th national survey of
computing and information technology in American higher education. Encino, CA:

3
ICT application in education brings significant changes to the process of learning and
teaching. It is possible to compare some of the most important characteristics of the
conventional (tentatively called “the old model”) and the model of education with the
use of most recent IC technology (tentatively called “the new model”).
On the part of lecturer, or teacher, we notice the following changes:
The old way The new way
Teacher transfers knowledge - disseminator Teacher mediates and facilitates learning – facilitator

Provides entire written learning material Provides sources of information (web addresses,
data bases and knowledge etc.)
Classical lectures and providing of writtenProvides access to sources of information and
textbooks databases
Computer application: Application of modern IC technology:
Reviews and doing routine tasks Research
ILS -Integrated Learning System Problem-solving
Use of tutorials Communication and work within the network

On the part of students, we notice following changes:


The old way The new way
Receives information – «receiver» Searches for information – «searcher»
Receiving passively Searching actively
A student is someone who mostly memorizesA student is someone who solves a concrete
and remember information problem (real or imaginary) and develops
appropriate strategies
Independent, isolated learning Group or team work and cooperation
Student does not share knowledge with otherLearning from previous experience at school or from
students practical work

On the part of the learning content, we notice the following important changes:
The old way The new way

Content is specific to a scientific discipline Content is interdisciplinary

Separate courses Viewing problems from multiple perspectives or angles

Content is divided into smaller parts or lessons Content is made up from realistic problems

It is difficult to learn entire content Smaller concepts that relate to the method of problem-
solving

Content needs to be memorized Insight is required, or the understanding of the concept

3 Basic ICT components and reasons for introducing ICT to institutions


of education
It is possible to differentiate between three main reasons for introducing ICT to
institutions of education: economic, social and the pedagogical one. There are, of

Campus Computing 2002, p. 7

4
course, some similarities between these reasons, but they can be related to the
differences in methods of introducing and use of ICT in educational institutions. In
relation to the economic reason or justification, those are mainly recognized economic
needs – current and future – as well as the demand of many sectors of employment for
employees to be able to use the ICT. This demand is becoming one of the main
elimination factors in selecting and recruiting work force. The social aspect relates to
the possibilities and needs of participation in social activities and at the work place.
Computer literacy is becoming mandatory, and now we speak of the people’s right to
computer literacy. In that sense, educational institutions have the task to compensate
inability of some students to use computers outside school activities. The pedagogical
reason relates to the use of ICT in lectures and learning. ICT has the potential to
contribute significantly to the improvement of quality of the learning process. One of the
advantages of using the ICT is more efficient development of higher cognitive skills, or
problem-solving abilities, better communication skills, team work, etc. Of course, all
these demands are the result of the new environment that requires such abilities.
Educational institutions are expected to recognize the advantages that the application
of ICT offers, to find appropriate strategies for their introduction and use, so that they
could respond, in the right way, to the challenges of preparing young people for living
and working in an environment characterized by permanent and swift changes.
Dramatic changes in education brought about by the use of ICT are different from any
previous reforms in at least three aspects. First of all, previous curriculum reforms were
initiated within the education system itself, since it was teachers who wanted to
straighten out their affairs. ICT appeared outside education, but with great potentials
and advantages of including in the educational institutions. Secondly, those who
receive education are at greater ease with the new technologies than teachers
themselves. Finally, the ever-present ICT has deep-reaching impact on the character
and organization of the entire learning environment..

4 Areas of application and the potential benefits of ICT in education


sector
When we speak about online learning, we often use various terms which is a fact that
makes the development of a generic definition difficult. The notions often used are e-
learning, learning online, distributed learning, network learning, tele-learning, virtual
learning, computer-assisted learning, Internet-assisted learning, distance learning, etc.
All these notions mean that the student is distanced from the teacher, that the student
used a form of technology (most often a computer) to access educational materials,
that the student uses technology to communicate with the lecturer and other students,
and that students have a form of continuous support in learning.

4.1 Web Based Learning


Online learning via the Internet or web based distance (online) learning provides
access to course materials from any place and mostly at any time – it basically enables
students to overcome time and geographic limitations. The online learning environment
demands commitment from students and institutional resources, and it must be
designed properly. Proper design means that the educational materials be designed
thus to include students and promote learning, concentrated first on students and
learning, with proper support in place. It is crucial to recognize most important benefits
of modern IC technologies in case they are introduced and applied properly in the
process of education.
• Those potentials can be defined in the following way:

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• They provide for multimedia presentation of the educational materials, which
enriches the learning process by enabling students to perceive educational
materials with various senses.
• They motivate students and involve them in the learning process.
• They relate abstract concepts to real life.
• The contribute to the improvement of critical thinking skills and acquiring higher
level cognitive skills.
• Students are provided the possibility to practice basic skills when they like, at
the rate they choose.
• Students are enabled to use the information acquired in solving concrete
problems, formulate new problems and clarify and explain the world that
surrounds them.
• They provide access to databases and information world-wide.
• They are the cheapest (and in some cases, the only) way of "bringing" the world
into the classroom.
• They offer (online) teacher ands students a platform for communicating with
their colleagues and peers from around the world, exchanging experiences and
papers, participation in scientific and research projects and functioning as if
there were no geographic limits. ("Geography is dead ".)
• They provide for the increase of population included in a form of education (the
disabled, persons that cannot leave their workplace, persons in geographically
distant places)
• The promote economic efficiency, which is mostly achieved through the
following: reduction of costs, learning time in so longer identical to the time
spent in the classroom, curriculum aimed at the student. The efficiency is
illustrated by the domain of virtual laboratories. Modern technologies provide for
video and digital demonstrations, as well as digital simulation of laboratory
activities in a very realistic way, but with no risks or expenses related to
laboratory experiments.
• Multimedia modules, representing the final product of a number of instruction
designers and teachers from an area, can simply be shared by many other
educational institutions. Since the knowledge of instruction design and
preparation of multimedia materials is limited and still relatively rare,
technological networking using ICT provides for the exploitation of positive
effects of the so-called economies of expertise.
• Initial costs of implementation, testing and deployment of IC technologies can
be quite high, but the emphasis is to be put on the significant effect of the
volume economy. In other words, the more technology is used, the lower
average total costs will be.3
• By reducing the number of years a student spends getting a diploma or a
certificate, and by producing better prepared and trained workers, product
based on the ICT improve both efficiency and effectiveness of systems of
education and promote long-term savings. A comparison of costs based only on
short-term goals will not provide a proper image of the savings.
• The cognitive theory has gone a long way from objectivism, over cognitivism, to
the currently widely accepted cognitive theory labeled constructivism that
means that an individual develops understanding and acquires knowledge of an

3
Use of interactive radio for the purposes of education promotes major effects of
volume economy: with the increase of the number of students from 100.000 to 1
Million, unit costs can be reduced by up to 40%.

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area or a problem by building on the previous experience. Such an approach
includes and favors learning by doing projects, group work, problem-solving,
writing critical essays, and other methods that stimulate critical and creative
thinking. All of this can be provided by adequate use of the ICT.
• ICT stimulates and encourages complementing the institution-based learning
with learning outside institutions – mostly within the family. ICT provides for
numerous ways in which formal education within an institution can be prolonged
or continued within the family.
Results and advantages reached by the introduction of distance learning enabled by
the ICT, characterized by space and time distance between teachers and students,
two-way communication between students and teachers, on one side, or among
students, on the other, can be summed up as the following: Increasing efficiency of the
learning process on the part of the teacher (teaching) and on the part of students
(learning); Availability of content, equality of students; Completeness, updating,
correctness and unification of content and methods of presentation; Better
management of education, detecting problems; Economy – saving access and
preparation time for learning and teaching, lower costs of adapting content; Quicker
feedback on acquiring knowledge; Obviousness (multimedia), increasing student
motivation; Individualization (age, interests, region) and socialization; Permanent
learning; Training teachers; Application in primary, high school and university
education; Continuous adaptation and perfecting skills for the needs of users -
students; Validation of methodology efficacy using assessment by students.
In addition to enabling distance learning with the characteristics that earlier
technologies were unable to provide, the modern IC technology renders the access to
such program and courses very simple. All you need is a computer with Internet
access. Any Internet browser provides access to literally thousands of web sites
offering distance learning programs. Generally speaking, distance learning web sites
can be grouped into 5 categories, as follows:
• Institutions with distance learning programs (e.g. Penn State’s World Campus -
www.worldcampus.psu.edu)
• Virtual campuses (e.g. California Virtual Campus – www.cvc.edu )
• Virtual universities (e.g. United States Open University – www.open.edu )
• Gateways – provide a directory of online courses, certification programs or
degree programs. In addition, they offer services of registration, application and
finding scholarships. (e.g. CollegeLearning.com – www.collegelearning.com ,
The Education Webpage – www.aleducation.com/dlearn, PBS Adult Learning
Service – www.pbs.org )
• Distance learning consortiums or alliances (e.g. EduKan Consortium –
www.edukan.org, New Jersey Virtual Community College Consortium –
www.njvccc.cc.nj.us)

Measure and activities necessary for adopting the ICT and use of its potentials and
advantages
• In the Internet era, a radical change of the existing curricula in educational
institutions of all levels is necessary
• Testing knowledge must be coordinated with ICT improved learning
• Computer literacy must become imperative, or the main goal in education for
everyone

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• Educational institutions should be equipped with adequate ICT and appropriate
assistance
• Educational institutions should have at their disposal quality educational
software and information on the possibilities of acquiring it
• ICT demands a broader professional roles of teachers
• Management of educational institutions must be fully dedicated to the
improvement of the educational process quality with the introduction of
appropriate ICT equipment.

5 Trends in Distance Learning development and use of ICT in the are of


education
The situation and the observed distance learning trends, or the application of ICT in the
area of education in the US has recently been assessed in a study titled «Thirty-two
Trends Affecting Distance Education: An Informed Foundation for Strategic Planning » 4.
Trends are grouped into appropriate sub-categories.
a) Trends related to students and enrolment in educational institutions:
• The existing higher level education cannot cope with the increasing university
population and enable planned enrollment, thus rendering distance learning
programs indispensable. Students want to take courses that agree with their
time schedule and circumstances. The profile of students in higher education
changes, including students online who study and work.
• The percentage of older students, women and marginalized groups is
increasing.
• The drop-out rates are relatively high.
b) Trends related to faculty:
• Traditional roles of faculty are changing or being distributed to more teachers
and staff members.
• The need for faculty development and further training is increasing.
• The strong relationship between teachers and the educational institutions in the
sense of tenure is in question, thus providing for less traditional roles of faculty
in distance learning.
• Some of teachers oppose to giving lectures using modern ICT.
• Faculty members who participate in distance learning courses develop a better
relationship with the ICT.
• Faculty members who teach distance learning courses using the ICT can feel
isolated.
• Teachers demand reduction of obligations in the sense of workload and
increase of salary for distance learning courses.
c) Academic trends:
• Knowledge and information increase exponentially.
• The institutional framework and outlook of higher education is changing: more
and more traditional campuses are being abandoned, the number of profit
4
Scott L. Howel, Peter B. Williams, Nathan K. Lindsday (2003): Thirty two Trends
Affecting Distance Education: An Informed Foundation for Strategic Planning, Online
Journal of Distance Learning Administration, Volume VI, NumberIII, Fall 2003, State
University of West Georgia, Distance Education Center.

8
institutions is increasing, with growing integration of public and private
institutions.
• The organizational structure of educational institutions is becoming more and
more decentralized.
• The process of transferring knowledge is becoming increasingly student-
oriented and non-linear.
• The academic emphasis shifts from formal graduation from courses to real
ability of doing tasks.
• The differences between high school, college and university education is
decreasing.
• Outsourcing of certain segments of higher education and strategic partnership
arrangements are increasing.
• The demands for standardization of educational content are becoming more
pronounced.
d) Trends in technology:
• ICT is becoming increasingly sophisticated, changing rapidly, indeed ever-
present.
• Internet use rates are soaring.
• The ability to use ICT becomes a requirement for graduation
e) Economic trends:
• In the recession economy (meaning the US - K.T.) the funds allocated to higher
education and its initiatives, such as distance learning are decreasing
• The issue of finding investments for the ICT is the most important issue for
many educational institutions
• Life-long learning becomes a necessity that provides competitive advantage
f) Distance Learning trends:
• An increasing number of courses and universities are becoming available in the
form of distance learning
• The Internet becomes a dominating force in relation to other distance learning
media
• The difference between local and distance learning disappears
• The need for effective course-management systems and Web services
increases
• The need is increasing for adequate learning and teaching strategies that rely
on and use possibilities offered by modern technologies
We believe that these trends point out the importance of using the ICT in the segment
of education and the less-developed countries will soon suffer the consequences
unless they approach resolving problems in this area seriously, and remove obstacles
to introduction and use of the ICT in general, and especially in the area of education
that is the foundation of the knowledge-based economy. Unfortunately, Bosnia and
Herzegovina is one of the countries that cannot be proud of adequate use of ICT in the
area of education.

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6 Harmonization with the demands of the Bologna Process: DL as a
replacement for part-time studying - Case of the School of Economics
and Business Sarajevo
Educational institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region are only starting to
use the Internet for lectures and transferring information, both in classic education and
in the context of some forms of distance learning. However, the legal foundations are in
place, and the distance learning system is envisaged in Article 9 of the Rules of the
University of Sarajevo (UNSA) dates September 22, 2005, which states the following:
"Individual forms of education can be organized as 'distance learning’, but
examinations must be organized at the seat of departments."
Also, the DL system is mentioned in basis ECTS documents (e.g. see the
"ECTS’ Users Guide", EU Directorate-General for Education and Culture,
Brussels, February 14, 2005, where it says: "The mode of study refers to how
the programme was undertaken, e.g., Full-time, Part-time,
Intermittent/Sandwich, Distance, including Placements etc. (p. 39)."
ECTS system of work also includes the framework for the organization of
part-time study: "The curriculum-reform process accords a high priority to
equal opportunity for working students as well as for students with dependent
children, in particular by making sure that it is possible to assemble a flexible
and individual course of study. The modular structure of the courses of study
is an ideal basis for achieving this flexibility. Students are virtually free to
choose the number of modules they wish (or are able) to take in a
semester.6" .

6.1 State of Web based DL programs and initiatives in the region and in Bosnia
and Herzegovina
Worldwide, there are some 1.300 institutions for open study and distance learning, of
various types and sizes, located in 127 countries. It is expected that the present,
provisional number of students - 90 Million of them in this type of study, will grow to 120
Million by 2025. There are no exact data on distance learning programs in Bosnia and
Herzegovina, but a general conclusion is that the existing initiatives are mainly the
result of individual efforts.
• School of Economics and Business Sarajevo appears as the driver of
development in this area since 1998.
• Since 2001/2002 school year, the Schools of Information Technologies of the
"Džemal Bijedić" University in Mostar offers distance learning.7
• Later distance learning initiatives related to support to establishing eLearning
development centers at universities in Tuzla, Banja Luka, Sarajevo, Bihać and
Mostar by the World University Service (WUS). With the establishment of these
centers, the prerequisites for development of eLearning centers at these
universities were provided (equipment was purchased, programs and pilot
courses were designed, faculty was trained...).
5
http://europa.eu.int/comm/education/programmes/socrates/ects/guide_en.pdf
6
http://www.studienreform.unizh.ch/faq/index.en.html
7
Data was taken from "Bosnia and Herzegovina, eLearning Working Group –
Recommendations", WUS Austria, 2005; First Issue

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Within the FP5 program of the European Commission, the South East Europe
Research and Education Network (SEEREN) was established, with the main purpose
of establishing the South East segment of the European academic and research
network (GEANT). In our environment, the following academic networks are active:
AMREJ (Academic network of Yugoslavia), AMRES (Academic network of Slovenia)
and CARNet (Croatian Academic and Research Network). These networks provide
connection and access to the Internet for all research and educational institutions,
under favorable terms, and work on developing, promotion and use of eLearning.
Unlike these countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina still does not have an academic and
communication network (the problem of reactivating BIHARNET), and thus no
connection to the SEEREN/GEANT. That is surely a limiting factor for further
development of the distance learning system in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
E-Learning Academy (ELA) of CARNet is composed of three one-year online programs
on the topic of eLearning and is oriented towards academic managers, faculty and
support staff. ELA is composed of three professional development courses: eLearning
Management, eLearning Mentorship, and the Course Designer. According to the data
from the Survey of the Technology Assisted Teaching in the West Balkans region,
prepared by the European Training Foundation, Croatia leads in the number and
quality of use of eLearning in higher education. CARNet has been identified as the
generator of stimulation and promotion of development of technology assisted
teaching.8 In that sense, activating the research and educational network and its
integration into the trans-European network NREN, in accordance with the
recommendations from the "Strategy and Action Plan for the Information Society
Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina – eLearning 2004-2010"9 is of great
importance for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Among our neighboring countries, only Slovenia, Albania, Romania and Bulgaria are
included in the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU).
Members of EADTU initiated a joint activity titled e-Bologna as the framework for
cooperation and joint projects of members, and the contribution to the goals of the
Bologna Process. By Thanks to association, EADTU members are able to focus on
their specific strengths and goal topic, with simultaneous contribution to finding integral
solutions at the European level.10

6.2 Prerequisites for the implementation of the WBDL program at the Sarajevo
School of Economics and Business and influence factors
In this section, we will concentrate on the analysis of primary strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities and threats to the process of introducing Distance Learning at the School
of Economics and Business Sarajevo, as the element of adapting to the demands of
the Bologna Process.
Strengths: Education available at a time and place adapted to students (just-in-time;
only-for-you); Reduces costs of studying (housing, food, time, travel, other costs...);
Easier communication between professors and students; Fresh and up-to-date
information; It reduces the use of physical resources of the school and provides for the
normal flow of regular instruction; It frees the faculty from the burdens of excessive

8
Dragana Kupres and Daliborka Pašić, E-learning in Croatia
9
Recommendations of the eLearning Working Group
10
Response of EADTU to the Communication fro the Commission – "The role of the
universities in the Europe of knowledge; The contribution of open and distance
laerning" 31th May 2003

11
personal contact and provides for alternative methods of communication with students;
It provides for simultaneous communication with a number of students
Weaknesses: Lack of personal contact between the faculty and students, and among
students; requires a high-quality communication environment; High initial costs of
implementation; requires additional costs of Internet access from students and the
faculty; Difficulties of the faculty in acquiring necessary skills and adapting to changes;
Requires availability of the faculty and their motivation; Requires more time from the
faculty; Difficulties in attracting students
Opportunities: Provides for expanding the market of users; Reduces costs of teaching
per student; Provides an additional source of income for the school; Facilitates finding
a new strategic position of the school, both in the region, and in relation to the
Diaspora; Influence of social changes to the increase of students’ expectations from
the study; Possibility of accessing various target groups and providing support to their
non-traditional style studying; Facilitates relatively simple launching of joint programs
with other schools; Provides for mobility of students and faculty members
Threats: Possible decrease in the quality of teaching (mostly due to the lack of direct
contact); Increase in the chance that students will “cheat”; Control of course curriculum
necessary; Cultural views: seeing traditional teaching as optimal; Lack of motivation of
the faculty due to excessive workload; Potential inability of meeting demands due to
large numbers and diversity of students
In addition to the defined strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, it is
necessary to analyze other factors that may have positive or negative influence on the
implementation of distance learning at the School of Economics and Business
Sarajevo. In the following section of the paper, we will state the factors that need to be
considered in the implementation.
Factors of influence:
• Low Internet access speed in dial-up users (most common among students)
• Tradition of "cheating" present among students
• Trends of reducing prices of computer equipment and Internet access costs
• Lack of institutional support and policies to regulate the area of eLearning
• Subsequent educational practices mostly focused on the faculty
• Lack of expertise and continuous training in the area of eLearning
• Status of the School of Economics and Business within the organization of the
University of Sarajevo
• Recognizing the value of degrees acquired through eLearning
• Quantity of students (critical mass necessary) who would attend distance
learning studies
• Volume of the curriculum content
• Quality of work and adequate response to demands
• Dedication of the faculty to quality, organization and information updating
For the purposes of project implementation, it was impossible to perform a detailed
analysis of first-year courses, but the curricula and existing web sites of the
Department of Management and the School of Business were scanned, and the
possibilities of adapting courses to the distance learning program were analyzed.
Appendix 3 of the preliminary design contains the course curricula for first-year courses
of the Department of Management and the School of Business for the distance learning
program of the School of Economics and Business Sarajevo.

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6.3 General student population poll
1.909 students of the School of Economics and Business Sarajevo participated in the
poll, 37% of them full-time, and 36% part-time students (other students did not respond
to this question). Also, 32% freshmen, 25% sophomore students, 9% junior year and
7% senior years students participated in the poll (other students did not respond). Poll
results for all students, notwithstanding the department, are given in the following table:

Should the School of Continue with the classic 696/1909 36%


Economics organize style of studying
Distance Learning, what
would you do? Transfer to DL 703/1909 37%

Did not respond 510/1909 27%

A significant number of current students, circa 37%, would transfer to distance learning,
if it were available.

In case you opted for Only the opening week 336/1909 18%
Distance Learning, how
much of classical style 3 weeks per semester 479/1909 25%
education would you like to
5 weeks per semester 389/1909 20%
have?
None 154/1909 8%

Did not respond 551/1909 29%

A majority of students, circa 63% of those who would opt for distance learning, would
want to have a part of classic, classroom-based instruction, mostly between 3 and 5
weeks per semester, or 20-35% of the entire instruction time.

In your opinion, what is your Lack of computer at 157/1909 8%


greatest obstacle to home/at work
transferring to Distance
Learning? Lack of trust in the quality 496/1909 26%
of DL

I prefer the classic 278/1909 15%


education

Something else 442/1909 23%

Did not respond 536/1909 28%

More than 50% students could not identify possible obstacles to transferring to distance
learning, which indicates their poor understanding of the concept of distance learning
and lack of experience. It is interesting that 26% students show distrust in the quality of
distance learning. Responses to this question indicate the need for intensive
communication with students and education on the principles of distance learning and
its value for students.

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In your opinion, how well Entirely 235/1909 12%
suited for DL is the existing
course material in the Major improvements are 1039/1909 54%
Courseware system of the necessary
School of Economics?
Not at all 116/1909 6%

Did not respond 519/1909 28%

A significant majority of students interviewed, circa 60%, believe that major


improvements to the Courseware materials are necessary (54%) for the purposes of
distance learning, or that the existing materials cannot satisfy the needs of distance
learning at all (6%).

If you are a senior, state Marketing 190/1909 10%


what Department are you
in: IS Management 56/1909 3%

Finance 37/1909 2%

Accounting 123/1909 6%

Other 232/1909 12%

Did not respond (no 1270/1909 67%


choice of department)

Even in the last question of the poll, Information System Management students were
critical of the quality of existing educational materials in the Courseware, in relation to
their possible use for the purposes of distance learning. Namely, 56% students believe
that major improvement of the existing materials is necessary, for them to be used in
distance learning programs.

7 Conclusion
Almost a third of current students of the School of Economics and Business would
transfer to distance learning system should such form of study become available. This
is some 2.500 students, which is a significant portion of the total number of 7.500
students of the School of Economics and Business Sarajevo.
More than 50% students who opted for distance learning would want to have a part of
instruction carried out in the classic method, in a classroom, mostly between 3 and 5
weeks per semester which lasts for 15 weeks, which is 20-35% of the entire instruction
time.
The greatest obstacle to transferring to distance learning is the distrust in the quality of
distance learning study, which was the opinion of almost 30% interviewed students.
Preference for the classic instruction is the second most common obstacle, while the
third most common reason for not transferring to distance learning is not possessing a
computer.
Most of interviewed students believe that the present quality of educational materials
contained in the Courseware is insufficient for distance learning, or that major
improvements are necessary for it to be used in distance learning. This means that
major adaptation of the content of existing educational materials is necessary.

14
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