E-learning, being one of the most propulsive way of education, is a
priority for CARNet Education Center Edupoint.
In May 2004 Edupoint started a pilot project on online IT courses for
students in higher education in Croatia.
This project was created by CARNet project team in accordance with strategic
plans of CARNet Education Center Edupoint and in cooperation with educational
institution Algebra and psychologist Jelena Vojvoda.
In this project Edupoint has been using experiences from different e-learning
projects and researches conducted in CARNet and in Europe.
European researches and projects gave Edupoint a framework but unfortunately
a very few of them were conducted in the countries in Croatian cultural
and geographic close surroundings.
Because of huge differences in economical, cultural and sociopolitical
conditions in the countries where the researches and projects were conducted,
particular results and experiences are not completely relevant and cannot
be uncritically applied in Croatia.
Therefore, these sources can be used only as valuable guidelines for
creating and interpreting
our own projects and researches.
CARNet has experienced some difficulties in applying the experience
of more developed
countries to Croatia in previous projects. For example, students were
communicate with mentors or group. One of the reasons for that is lack
between students and teachers in the universities in Croatia. The purchasing
power in Croatia
and cost of Internet is another important pitfall: Internet is still
too expensive for many
Edupoint is aware that e-learning projects rely heavily on technology
but that technology
should not be in the focus. E-learning projects should be oriented to
learners. Therefore, this
project will put emphasis on learning process and course participants.
One of the goals of the project is getting to know participants' attitude
motivation, their values and needs in order to implement the results
in new e-learning projects
and in promotional activities.
It is also necessary to adapt particular course in accordance with the
and performance indicators. Edupoint is expecting from the participants
to evaluate course
content, learning environment, communication with mentor and other aspects
Edupoint also monitors time participants spend on learning, their results,
drop out rate and
other performance indicators.
The online courses for students in this pilot project include the following
- Course 1 - basic Internet services: basics of Internet and WWW
Explorer) and Internet communications – e-mail (Microsoft Outlook)
- Course 2 - development of animations for web – Macromedia Flash
There are four groups of participants in this project: each of two
courses attend two groups of
participants. One group is facilitated by mentor, while the other is
not. Each group consists of
ten people. The participants had not been attending any online course
before and this is their
first experience of online courses.
During the course the participants behaviour is monitored by online
performance indicators are monitored by course administrators. After
the course, which ends
in July 2004, participants submit their evaluation forms and participate
in focus groups. The
results of evaluation forms and focus groups as well as performance
indicators are the basis
for creating recommendations for particular courses run in this project
and for online courses
delivery in general.
The recommendations for particular courses will be used in CARNet for
delivery of those
online courses to the entire student's population, while the general
recommendations will be
used in further CARNet's e-learning projects and hopefully in other
e-learning projects in