National report GREECE by zhouwenjuan

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									National report
  GREECE




   DRAFT VERSION
  Please, do not quote




  DECEMBER 2006




                         1
Author:                      Andreas Kollias
Contributions by:            Kathy Kikis Papadakis

Inputs by:

Status:                      Released Draft

Distribution:                FeConE partners

Nature of the deliverable:   National Report

Stage

Contact:                     Kathy Kikis Papadakis (katerina@iacm.forth.gr)


ABSTRACT




Keywords:



Disclaimer
Wherever the male personal or possessive pronouns (he/his) are used in this report, they are
fully applicable to female persons as well.




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TABLE OF CONTENTS

STATE OF DISCUSSION................................................................ Error! Bookmark not defined.
   1.1.   Understanding the (e)-learning society .......................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
1.      NATIONAL POLICIES RELATED TO E-LEARNING IN PRIMARY AND
SECONDARY EDUCATION.............................................................................................................4
   1.2.   Policies implemented by the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs.......................4
   1.3.   Policies implemented by “The General Secretariat for Research and Technology”
   (GSRT) of the Ministry of Development......................................................................................11
   1.4.   e-Content development and e-learning courses offered by practitioners .....................13
   1.5.   e-learning courses for young people.............................................................................13
2.      E-LEARNING AT TERTIARY EDUCATION LEVEL .........................................................14
3.      E-LEARNING, FURTHER EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.........17




                                                                                                                          3
Introduction


The term “E-learning Society” is generally not used either in official documents produced by
government agencies or academics. The terms “Knowledge Society” or “Information Society”
are much more widespread in their use. Practically the above are linked to the processes of
globalisation and technological advances mainly in the ICT domain but relevant discussions
on the substance of the terms and their implications for learning and particularly lifelong
learning are rather subordinated by more direct economy and employment related concerns.


E-learning in the Greek context appears to be quite overarching in that it includes the use for
teaching/learning purposes of many different kinds of software and digital study materials in a
variety of off and on-line teaching/learning activities, from individual drill and practice to
different forms of face-to-face and asynchronous communication. Practically it can
characterise any “part” of a teaching/learning activity which includes the use of ICT. Until
recently the predominant use of computers for teaching/learning purposes was off-line
because of the very slow development of broadband network services offered by the main IT
players in the market. Characteristically, according to the latest data from the National
Statistical Service obtained from a sample of nearly 5000 people aged 16-74, only 29% of the
people replied that they had access to the Internet (from home, at work or an internet café).
Another characteristic indicator is that over 83% of those with home internet connection are
using a PSTN or ISDN line1. Until today the vast majority of primary and secondary education
schools, the most extended and populated part of the educational system, are connected to
the Internet with speeds that do not exceed 124 kbps.


In what follows we review the current situation in Greece in relation to e-learning and e-
content. The first part is focused on primary and secondary education, the second on tertiary
education and the third on further education and professional development.




     1. NATIONAL POLICIES RELATED TO E-LEARNING IN
         PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION

         1.1. Policies implemented by the Ministry of Education and Religious
              Affairs


Overview of national efforts to develop educational software and content



1
    Source: http://www.statistics.gr/gr_tables/S803_SFA_3_DT_AN_06_1_Y.pdf


                                                                                                  4
Prior to 1996, efforts towards the development of marketable educational software and
content for Greek schools were scarce. There were many reasons for this, the main of which
was the scarcity of computers and peripherals in schools and at homes. A successful
exception was “Logomathia”, one of the first multimedia educational packages on the market
(CD-ROM) in Greece which was focusing on Greek language teaching and learning. Since
1993 "Logomathia" has been used in many public and private schools and has proved to be
of particular value to distant, single-teacher schools. In the early 90’s it was only the really
motivated and innovative teachers those who introduced ICT in their teaching as schools
lacked resources and most teachers had receive no ICT training. The main massive national
initiative towards the development of educational software and content for Greek primary and
secondary education schools was introduced with the Odysseia programme - Hellenic
Schools in the Information Society Programme (under the Operational Programme for
Education and Initial Vocational Training funded by the 2nd European Community Support
Framework).


The Odysseia programme was initiated back in 1996 by the Ministry of National Education
and Religious Affairs and its scientific and administrative services (the Pedagogical Institute
and the Directorate for Secondary Education Studies) in collaboration with the Academic
Research Institute on Computer Technology (CTI). During its implementation several
academic institutions, researchers and software developers, practitioners and students were
involved in its various projects. Up to 2001 around 72 different educational software projects
were at a completion phase. In parallel, the Ministry of Education funded 18 more projects
related to educational software and content through other sources in collaboration with the
Pedagogical Institute. Overall, one of the main targets of these efforts was to localise
educational software that was widely and successfully tested and used internationally by
teachers and students. Localisation was also extended to the adaptation and further
development of teaching-learning materials and activities and also involved periods of testing
in schools. As the list of localised titles presented below reveals, most of the software was on
maths, science and technology and very few on foreign language teaching.


    1. Cabri Geometry II
    2. Centennia historic atlas
    3. Chemistry Set 2000
    4. Interactive Physics 2000
    5. Cell City (biology)
    6. Modellus (various science)
    7. The New Way Things Work (various science)
    8. Eyewitness Virtual Reality Earth Quest
    9. Eyewitness Encyclopedia of Nature
    10. The Ultimate Human Body




                                                                                                   5
    11. SIMCALC Mathworlds
    12. Design & Technology: Prime
    13. Tabletop & Tabletop Jr
    14. The Geometer´s Sketchpad
    15. Tina Pro - The Complete Electronics Lab
    16. Function Probe (accompanied by implemented learning activities)
    17. Auto CAD
    18. Edison: Multimedia Lab for Exploring Electronics & Electricity
    19. Weeds of Μediterranean
    20. Famous Museums of Europe, vol. 1 & 2
    21. Einblicke Lernprogram Deutsch (for teaching German language)
    22. English Discoveries v2.1
    23. Autohall (English for car mechanics)
    24. Aspects of Religion
    25. Interactive First Aid
    26. Marketing Plan


Some of these projects received further funding from the 3d European Community Support
Framework (see following paragraphs). The software titles produced by native academic
institutions, research centres and software development houses presented below are
categorised by broad subject matter.


Maths and Science
    27. Efkemp (Interactive software on electromagnetic, sound and mechanic waves)
    28. Democritus (Interactive software in physics and chemistry concepts)
    29. Space school (programmable science and math’s game environment)
    30. Microcosms of Vectors (Interactive multimedia)
    31. Proteas (Visualisation software for statistics teaching)
    32. Complex Lab Environment (Simulations on heat and thermodynamics)
    33. Statistics (MS Excel based environment)
    34. Stars and Planets
    35. Botanical Garden
    36. Gaia and Gaia II (Multimedia microworlds for exploring earth)
    37. Physics (Simulations)
    38. Chemistry (Simulations)
    39. Xipolo (Interactive multimedia on Chemistry)
    40. Microcosms on the Conservation of Energy (e-Slate platform)


Computing
    41. Structured programming (environment for learning programming concepts)




                                                                                         6
    42. Networks (Interactive software on networks)
    43. Delys (Interactive software for computer systems)
    44. Turtle worlds (simple programming environment) (e-Slate platform)


Ancient Greece language, history and culture
    45. Herodotus (Presentation and practice software on Ancient Greek language teaching)
    46. Kastalia (Exploratory tools and primary sources material on Ancient Greek Art)
    47. Ancient Attica Literature (Sample texts and multimedia information about Aristotle,
          Plato etc)
    48. Themisis (Multimedia series on Ancient Greek language)
    49. Civilisation of Mycenae (e-Slate platform)


Social studies, history and culture
    50. Work Environments (multimedia on different work environments)
    51. Professional Orientation (multimedia on different professions) (e-Slate platform)
    52. Hermes (Interactive multimedia on economic and social activities between nations)
    53. Diania (Web based environment for learning history and culture)
    54. Religious Education (Multimedia presentations)
    55. Politeia (Web site with information about the Greek and the EU Parliament and other
          democratic institutions)
    56. The Marine War during the 1821 struggle for independence (Presentation software)
    57. Ipodigmata (Game on Byzantine History and Geography)
    58. Greece and World from the 19th to the 20th century (e-Slate platform)
    59. Painting from the 19th to the 20th century (e-Slate platform)
    60. Art History (e-Slate platform)


Science, environment and society
    61. World (Distributed multimedia and exploratory tools on natural environment and
          human activities)
    62. Environment (Interactive multimedia on science, environmental and health education)
    63. Multiple Represenations (Simulation software accompanied with information on
          different science topics seen through a history of science angle)
    64. Simmachia (multiuser game with scenarios)


Various
    65. Iris (Exploratory microworlds on Maths and Arts)
    66. Kotinos (Exploratory software on Athletics)
    67. Dictionary of Technical Terminology
    68. Leksiploigisi (Lexicology software accompanied by sample texts and exercises)
    69. I learn the Greek keyboard




                                                                                              7
    70. Diafil-a (Multimedia on health education)
    71. Eikon (Virtual environment focused on agricultural technologies)
    72. Free Drawing (Drawing tool)
    73. Ksenios (Foreign language teaching –e-Slate platform)
    74. Taxinomoume (Software for learning information processing and organisation) (e-
        Slate platform)


Scenarios, modelling and rapid software development platforms
    75. Model Creator I & II (Modeling environment)
    76. Networked learning (e-learning scenarios development)
    77. e-Slate (Platform for developing educational software)


The cd-rom titles and the accompanying study materials and teacher-student manuals
produced in the period between 1986 and around 2001 (some received further funding and
therefore they continued to be under development beyond 2001) were aimed to be distributed
for free to interested schools. It was on October 2003 that the Ministry of Education actually
begun to distribute them to schools. Prior to 2003 their distribution was actually limited. This
was due to several factors beyond the lack of a central packaging and distribution mechanism
on behalf of the Ministry and of course lack of funding regarding licensing etc. A major factor
was that many of these titles were actually not developed beyond a pilot stage and so was
their testing in real schools. Many of them also adopted socio-constructivist approaches to
learning that was not compatible with the dominant ways of teaching and learning as well as
the actual organisation of school life as this is realised through the subject-matter organisation
of the school curricula and the time tables of schools. The teachers were also not familiar with
the application of such pedagogic approaches in practice and few of them had received solid
pedagogic training on the use of ICT for teaching purposes. The ICT infrastructure in schools
was also scarce and sometimes outdated. Practically, the impact of these titles was limited to
schools which employed teachers who were highly interested in the use of ICT for teaching
and/or had in some way been involved in the testing of these titles in their classrooms2. A
wider consequence of the investments made by Odysseia programme and other funding
schemes was that it helped to attract the interest of a wider circle of academics, research
institutes and private companies in investing professionally and financially on educational
software.


The 3nd European Community Support Framework offered further opportunities to develop
and diffuse e-learning solutions in primary and secondary education schools. In particular, the
“Pleiades” project (2003-6) was funded under Action Line 1: “Education and Culture” of
Measure 1.2 “New Technologies in the Educational Process” of the Operational Programme

2
 See the extended study on these issues “Analysis of the current situation regarding
educational software and educational activities and their exploitation in schools”, 2004.
Available at the portal http://portal.pleiades.cti.gr (in Greek).


                                                                                                   8
for the Information Society (OPIS), 3rd Community Support Framework (CSF). The
“Pleiades”3 project consisted of 3 Units:


        NIRIIDES: Development of integrated educational activity packages
        The aim of the “Niriides” unit was twofold: a) to take advantage of existing educational
        software products and digital content (a prior Ministry investment –see above) in
        order to approach a significant number of the goals set by the curricula for Primary
        and Secondary education and b) the mobilization of the wider educational community
        in participating in this process.


        CHRYSALLIDES: Development of integrated educational software products
        The aim of the “Chrysallides” unit is to expand the Ministry’s basic and existing
        infrastructure with regard to educational software targeted tools and learning
        environments. For the development of these integrated products, existing pilot
        educational software tools or environments was aimed to be extended in terms of
        quality and coverage (as regards their functionality and their technical aspect, as well
        as their digital content and educational activities). The reproduction and distribution of
        copies of “integrated educational software products” (software and accompanying
        material) for the Greek schools was planned to be undertaken by the state school
        publishing organization (see our comments in the previous paragraphs).


        AMALTHEIA: Procurement of existing educational software products
        The aim of the “Amaltheia” unit was the broad distribution of available educational
        software products to schools. The scope of this unit was the procurement of a
        significant number of licenses and copies of educational software and their
        accompanying material for Primary and Secondary education and in particular:
        -   Educational software products available on the international market that have
            already been selected, localised and customized for the Greek school system,
            within the framework of the Odysseia programme.
        -   Educational software products that are available on the Greek market, cater for
            Primary education and fulfil specific quality and coverage specifications.


Today, according to the data provided by the Ministry of Education4, 21 cd-rom titles (most of
which are on the list above) have been distributed to all Greek schools (depending on the
content of the titles). Another set of 7 among the localised titles is on its way to schools5
(Chemistry Set 2000, Function Probe, The Ultimate Human Body, Cell City, Centennia

3
  See
http://portal.pleiades.cti.gr:8080/external/English%20Profile%20Pleiades.pdf
4
  Source: Ministry of Education, see
http://www.ypepth.gr/ktp/download/2006/Edu_Soft_PI.pdf
5
  Ibid. See http://www.ypepth.gr/ktp/download/2006/Edu_Soft_ITY_Pleiades.pdf


                                                                                                9
historic atlas, Aspects of Religion and The New Way Things Work). A total number of 94 titles
have been approved and it is on the plans to distribute them in schools but there is no clear
timetable on this6. Obviously, the process of diffusion and actual exploitation of the products
produced or localised during the last 10 years is quite slow.


Beyond the distribution of already localised or developed software, under the “Pleiades”
project (“Niriides” unit) around 50 new software and content development projects were
funded. The “Chrysallides” unit also funded 9 more software and content development
projects which all are still under development.


In parallel, under the 3nd European Community Support Framework (Operational Programme
for the Information Society -OPIS), the Pedagogical Institute has been involved in the project
“Digital educational content and software” which is about the procurement of 51 in total
educational content and software titles for primary and secondary education available in the
market. Another PI project is about the procurement of 71 software titles suitable for special
needs students. Both projects are at an early stage.


Other national initiatives related to the dissemination of e-content and e-learning practices
The Greek Schools' Network (GSN7) is the educational intranet of the Ministry of Education
and Religious Affairs, which networks all schools and provides various services. The GSN is
funded by the Framework Programme for the Information Society, in close cooperation
between the Ministry of Education as well as 12 Research Centers and Highest Education
Institutes, specialized in network and Internet technologies.


The current design and implementation of the Greek Schools Network focuses in providing
networking (mainly PSTN 56 kbps but also ISDN 64-128 Kbps to around 14,000 schools,
2000 administrative units, 61,000 teachers and just 7000 currently eligible students), technical
support, web page hosting, information and communication services to the members of the
compulsory and upper secondary education community. Practically the GSN portal is the
main information dissemination instrument about e-learning initiatives and content originated
from schools and individual teachers.


One of the GSN services related directly to e-content is its e-Learning platform8 based on
Moodle that offers registered schools and individual teachers the opportunity to develop their
on-line lessons and courses. Currently in this platform there are only a small number of
lessons, most of which constitute experimental efforts made by practitioners to familiarise with


6
  Regarding the greek titles (i.e. not the localised ones) there is an ftp server (ftp://ts.sch.gr)
where everyone can download them to his/her computer (username: nhrhides1, password:
OxYoyjRl).
7
  See www.sch.gr
8
  See www.sch.gr/e-learning


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the functionalities of Moodle and communicate their ideas with other interested teachers.
Beyond Moodle the GNS is offering schools with access to the “e-class9” learning
management system which was developed by the University of Athens.


Another GSN service is the y-yliko10 portal which is dedicated to the exchange of learning
materials among practitioners. This portal categorises materials in three main broad
categories: lesson plans, support materials and software. The organisation of the lesson
plans follows the structure of the primary and secondary education in Greece and the subject
matters included in the respective curricula. This is also true for the support materials. The
main “content developers” who contribute to the portal are practitioners from Greece. Apart
from some general terms and conditions of use, the portal does not follow explicit content
evaluation processes and does not support commenting functionalities that would provide
useful feedback regarding the utility, usefulness and suitability of the contents uploaded. This
portal also does not propose the use of any detailed educational metadata scheme.


A further government run source of e-learning content is provided by the site of the Pedagogic
Institute. Through the PI site the educational community can access the digital versions of
schoolbooks. In the PI site there are also “distance training centre” web pages which offer
access to a quite limited number of lesson plans11 organised by subject matter, submitted
mainly by teachers and education professionals associated to PI. Equally limited is the
number of the proposed educational software12 and of other materials that could offer
substantial help to interested teachers to develop or use e-learning activities in their
classrooms. The site doesn’t look like it is updated frequently with news and materials and
doesn’t reflect the work that has been undertaken at national level in projects having to do
with educational software and content development during the past years.


        1.2. Policies implemented by “The General Secretariat for Research and
             Technology” (GSRT) of the Ministry of Development


The GSRT using funds from the 3rd Community Support Programme for the period 2000-
2006 approved the financial support of 25 projects having to do with the development of
educational software and content. The following list presents some of this software and
content development projects which were targeted primarily on primary and secondary
education schools:



9
  See http://eclass.sch.gr/
10
   See http://e-yliko.sch.gr/indexen.htm
11
   For example currently there is only one lesson plan on mathematics and on
Environmental education… See http://www.pi-
schools.gr/hdtc/material/scenaria.htm
12
   See http://www.pi-schools.gr/hdtc/material/software.htm


                                                                                                 11
    •   EAGLE: Server with exercises on the Greek language
    •   DIAS: Satellite networking of schools is isolated areas
    •   eSchoolLib: e-learning and school library cataloguing and digital content
        management tool
    •   On-line virtual reality science lab
    •   On-line teaching about biology
    •   New Logomathia: Greak language learning package
    •   (My) school everywhere
    •   LeGa. Changing the mindsets in educational practice and Learning through the
        construction of models and Games


The GSRT also funded a number of projects which were aiming to develop some kind of e-
learning platform:


    •   MINDPORT: A modular collaborative e-learning architecture for life-long learning over
        broadband computer networks
    •   ELEVATE: e-learning system with integrated capabilities for data mining and
        knowledge management
    •   Flexible Electronic Learning Environment Using Adaptive Learning And Testing
        Methodologies
    •   ISL: Integrated System for Learning
    •   E-Land: environment for supporting e-learning communities
    •   E-Academy: e-learning platform


Finally, some other projects were dealing with topics and targeted audiences which could also
be of interest in relation to primary and secondary education:
    •   CHOPIN: Web platform for intelligent services in Music
    •   Integrated system for knowledge management and e-learning about drugs
    •   VERSANT: Virtual learning environments for people with special needs
    •   SINENNOISI - Syntax, Composition and Presentation of educational corpora of
        Greek Sign Language through a Virtual Reality personal assistant system


A quick review of the above projects reveals that GSRT as compared to the Ministry of
Education policies gave more emphasis on the development of e-learning platforms and that
in general its emphasis was less on learning contents for the general school audience and
more on e-learning tools and, as we shall see later, on professional training projects.




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        1.3. e-Content development and e-learning courses offered by
              practitioners
During the last decade many teachers pioneered in the dissemination of e-content they have
developed for their own teaching needs. In Greece there are some very popular educational
portals13 maintained by teachers that, among others, offer to their colleagues e-content and
lately pilot e-learning courses mainly on how to implement ICT in their teaching.


The e-content provided in such portals is developed mainly with desktop applications (texts
for example with images) or rapid development tools, such as the HotPotatoes and are
organised by school grade and subject matter. The extent to which these materials are used
(on or off line) by other teachers is really difficult to assess.


        1.4. e-learning courses for young people
The widespread use of home computers with access to the Internet have created the
possibility for a market of on-line extra-curricular or supportive education services to primary
and secondary education students. This market is truly underdeveloped but some
entrepreneurs are already exploiting it.


Foreign language software for practicing listening, vocabulary, grammar and syntax is often a
standard supplement of foreign language textbooks. With the Internet some foreign language
centres are starting to move into the area of on-line courses. Possibly this is an area which in
the future could develop more in market terms. Furthermore, some private tuition centres for
school core curriculum subjects (such as maths, science and language) now offer on-line
courses.




13
  See for example, http://www.eduportal.gr, http://www.simotas.org,
http://www.pedia.gr, http://www.daskalos.edu.gr/, http://www.asxetos.gr,
http://www.alfavita.gr/, http://www.epyna.gr/, http://www.netschoolbook.gr/.


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     2. E-LEARNING AT TERTIARY EDUCATION LEVEL

A main instrument for the development and implementation of e-learning at Greek
Universities is offered by the non-profit civil company called "ACADEMIC NETWORK"
(GUnet14) which was founded in September 12th 2000. GUnet members are all the Higher
Education and Academic Institutions (20 Universities and 16 TEI) in Greece.


GUnet offers to interested institutions the e-Class15 course management platform which can
host for free courses developed by the teaching staff of Greek universities. Currently there are
270 courses on offer in 10 different topics. Most of them are open to anonymous users to
browse and only a few are for registered users. The general picture of the open courses is
that (at least for most of them) they are at an experimental stage and they do not really offer
any e-learning service to their prospective users. In some of them the tutors appear to use the
functionalities of the platform to deliver and receive course documents and assignments.


Gunet also offers a variety of support services to interested members of the academic
community16. For example GUnet has its own teleconferencing room and can contribute to
the coordination and support of teleconferences through the network of teleconferencing and
multimedia centres of the universities across Greece17. GUnet also offers digitization services,
and technical advice on various issues related to implementations of ICT in higher education.


GUnet is also involved in the “e-University” pilot action18 with the participation of the University
of the Aegean and the University of Crete. This project among others aims at the
development of the U-Portal, an on-line environment with e-learning management
functionalities. The proposed portal is aiming to become a widely adopted solution that will
replace existing portals or static web sites of individual universities. The rationale is that the
different universities will be served best if they adopt a common policy regarding on-line
information and administration services offered to the public and as a consequence a
common platform that will ensure conformity to the same standards.


Another project that GUnet is involved in is the “Advanced Telematics Services for the
Institutions of GUnet” which is constituted of three axes of actions:
     •     The coordinated development of advanced telematics services (services of
           catalogue, security, voice-over-IP), directly exploitable by the academic community.




14
     See   http://www.gunet.gr/index_en.php
15
     See   http://eclass.gunet.gr
16
     See   http://mc.gunet.gr/index_en.php
17
     See   http://mc.gunet.gr/universities/025.htm
18
     See   http://e-university.gunet.gr/


                                                                                                 14
     •   The development of digital content with accent on the Information and
         Communication Technologies, aiming at the appointment and exploitation of the
         activities and content of the Greek Academic Institutions.
     •   The development of synchronous and asynchronous tele-education services and the
         implementation of projects for the acquisition of know-how in the new technologies of
         telematics and networks by the members of the Network Operations Centers (NOC).


This project is complementary to the actions of measure 3.3 of the Operational Program
"Information Society", supporting the encouragement of organization and production of
innovative products and processes, particularly in the sector of new technologies and e-
learning.


Apart from inter-university activities related to the GUnet projects and services having to do
with e-learning, many different initiatives have been undertaken by tertiary education
institutions individually or in collaboration with others. An initiative of the library of the
University of the Aegean is to offer to the academic community of the university the “Plato19”,
an e-learning service which is based on WebCT VISTA. This service is considered as
important for offering learning from a distance as the university is dispersed in different
Aegean islands. The course list20 on this e-learning service includes many of the typical
course titles on offer by the undergraduate and postgraduate curricula of the different
Departments. However, this service is for registered users only and therefore it is not possible
for an outsider to browse through the on-line environment and take a view of the actual on-
line activity.


The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens is one of the most active Greek
universities in the area of e-learning, particularly e-learning from a distance because, as we
mention later, it offers an established set of further and professional education on-line
courses. At undergraduate and postgraduate level the UoA is using the e-Class platform on
its own servers to offer on-line courses. Currently on this platform there are 580 courses on
offer with more than 300 teaching staff and 18,000 students registered. Our review of a
number of courses open to the public that we chose randomly from the list21 made us to arrive
at the conclusion that most of them were setup for no particular reason beyond
experimentation. A few do offer a detailed description of the course aims and course study
materials. Perhaps those that require registration from the UoA students are more fully
developed and used for teaching/learning purposes. The Aristotle University Of Thessaloniki
is also using the e-Class platform offering 21 courses22. Browsing through the open courses
our impression is no different than this we developed for the UoA e-Class courses. This is

19
   See http://www.lib.aegean.gr/eserv/plato/
20
   See http://vista.lib.aegean.gr/webct/entryPage.dowebct
21
   See http://eclass.uoa.gr/claroline/auth/listfaculte.php
22
   See https://www.auth.gr/eclass/


                                                                                                 15
also the case for the University of Piraeus e-Class course titles23. At the University of Crete
there is no e-Class server. Instead there is some on-line e-learning activity going on by
individual members of the teaching staff. For example, at the Department of Primary
Education currently there are 5 courses on offer on a Moodle platform24. Two of the open
courses appear to offer sets of course materials and guidelines but there is no evident
communication activity in the forums.


Overall many university departments, research institutes such as FORTH and academic
researchers are involved in e-learning projects at national and EU levels. However these are
r&d activities and the implementation of e-learning activities remain on a pilot stage. The most
widespread use of ICT for teaching/learning purposes is taking place in computer laboratories
of the universities and tertiary technical education institutes, in courses that typically require
practice with desktop applications and professional software (data analysis software for
example). Learning materials that are uploaded on the university web portals are in most of
the cases digitised versions of texts that are also distributed to the students in paper. The “e-
content” developers are usually the tutors of the courses.




23
   There were around 70 titles on offer but most of them (54 courses were offered by the
Department of Maritime Studies alone) where for registered users only so we couldn’t really
browse through them.
24
   See http://pegasus.clab.edc.uoc.gr/lst/course/index.php


                                                                                                  16
3.        E-LEARNING, FURTHER EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL
      DEVELOPMENT


GSRT funds from the 3rd Community Support Programme for the period 2000-2006 have
been directed towards the following national projects related to professional training:
      •   VRES: Virtual environment for training and certification of clinical skills
      •   ASPIS: Automated system of Certification in ICT skills
      •   E-learning system for training of Local Authorities administrators
      •   IRIS: on-line environment focused on training and certification of skills in international
          accounting standards
      •   CLEAR: e-learning environment focusing on training on quality control and Corporate
          Social Responsibility
      •   SOOS: training on security in industrial environments based on virtual reality


Academic Institutions and companies also participate in EU co-funded projects aiming to the
development of e-learning contents in the area of further education and professional
development. For example, the Athens Laboratory of Business Administration participates in
the following projects, all of which are including an e-content development component:
      •   TRAINMORE (Training Material in Organisational Knowledge Management for
          European Organisations & Enterprises)
      •   CHANGEMASTERS (Edutainment Services for Change & Innovation Management)
      •   L2C (Learning to Collaborate)


The National Accreditation Center for Continuing Vocational Training was recently involved in
an EQUAL project ENVI-E, about the “Creation of a Competencies Acquisition and
Accreditation System in the Employment Sector of Environmental Protection”. An action of
this project was targeting to develop an e-learning system with training materials on eco-
tourism, and Wastewater Management Systems.


Beyond r&d projects very few e-learning training programmes have been established in the
national e-learning market. One such programme is offered by the National and Kapodistrian
University of Athens' Vocational Training Centre. Currently the Centre is offering 16 different
on-line training courses mainly in management, marketing, and economics25. Our review of
sites of a large number of Vocational Training Centres and other non-academic institutions
offering further education and professional development courses in Greece revealed that
there is a huge variation in the quality of the offerings. The vast majority of the cases




25
     See http://elearn.elke.uoa.gr/elearn/en/news_en.html


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reviewed although were claiming to offer e-learning courses or modules in reality they were
just linked to experimental applications mainly in Moodle.


Some offerings however are based on well established international programmes that have
been localised for Greek learners (for example the Cisco Networking Academy Program) or
have been developed abroad and are offered in English with the local educational
establishments acting as intermediaries or consumers. For example, the NYC Educational
Group, is offering e-learning courses using the Qualilearning training platform and contents.




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    4. COMMENTS
The slow uptake of broadband connections in Greece has to a high degree defined e-learning
into various forms of off-line use of digital materials and software. This is especially true for
primary and secondary education. The national policies regarding software and content also
paid more emphasis on the development and distribution to schools of CD-Rom titles and no
investments have so far been made towards the direction of on-line content. The latter is
largely developed by the practitioners themselves. The investments have helped towards the
development of a few software houses which however typically do not specialise exclusively
on educational software. The centralisation of the administration system is also evident in the
ways schools get access to digital materials and software. An implication of centralisation is
that not many e-learning products have been developed for the school market without direct
funding from a government agency in the context of a project.


At tertiary education level on-line learning is at its early stages and so is in professional
training. There are only a very limited number of domestic established e-learning providers
and practically the most widespread practice is the marketing of international e-learning
programmes.




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