European research on e-learning technologies - an historical perspective
· First systematic research on ICT for Education and Training on European level started with the programme DELTA (Developing European Learning Through Advance) in 1988, which was part of the second Framework Programme (FP2, 1988-1990). Delta supported 30 projects involving over 200 organisations with a total budget of 20 million Ecu.
·The Telematics for Flexible and Distance Learning programme (FP3, 1990-1994) covered 30 projects and 10 studies carried out by more than 200 participants. The total budget was 62 mio. Ecu.
· Within FP 4 (1994-1998), the Telematics Applications programme focused on research and development of tools and applications specific to teaching and learning (86 projects, about 700 participants, EUR 100 mio.), and the ESPRIT programme had a particular call on “IT for learning and training in industries” (17 projects, about 150 participants, EUR 17 mio.).
· The Educational Multimedia Task Force was set up 1995-2001 with the mandate to analyse the status of educational multimedia in Europe, estimate market potential and propose courses of actions and led to joint calls resulting in 46 projects from about 425 participants (EUR 49 mio.).
· Research on education and training applications has been one of the most popular aspects of the IST Programme (FP5, 1999-2002). It has so far funded around 90 projects with a total budget of almost EUR 140 mio., covering innovative technologies, systems and services, infrastructures and applications for schools, universities and training settings (including lifelong and non-formal learning). Under the Multimedia Content and Tools Key Action (KA3), a number of action lines have been allocated wholly to research into education and training technologies:
The action line Open Platforms and Tools for Personalised Learning supported the development of tools and systems enabling education and training centres, companies or service providers to implement and maintain integrated learning services based especially on re-usable learning objects. It also provided a very much needed strong European contribution to international standardisation.
The Flexible University had the objective to integrate and demonstrate emerging technologies for the flexible university of the future through experiments. Moreover, the idea of Virtual Campus has been further developed in this framework.
Projects under Advanced Training Systems looked to develop and demonstrate new ways for improving the future training of the workforce, building on new approaches enabled by emerging technologies.
School of Tomorrow aimed at improving quality and accessibility of learning at primary and secondary school level through embedded IST, in particular addressing knowledge and skills required by future citizens of the information society.
The Learning Citizen focused on new IST-based approaches for enhancing and facilitating lifelong learning for individuals outside formal education and training settings, including the potentially socially excluded.
The Take up measures Trials and Best Practice Addressing Advanced Solutions for On-the-job Training in SMEs concentrated on the adoption of technology-based solutions and services enabling the whole lifecycle of on-the-job training services in SMEs, including development of sustainable business models.
The Self-learning for Work projects aim to empower individuals to define, procure and manage their learning for work, in response to rapidly changing organisational, business and employment needs. The research is evaluating the added value of the new ways of learning and its socio-economic impact.
eLearning Futures provides increasing insight into next generation e-learning systems and services, leading to enhancement of human learning and cognitive processes through experimental, longer term research.
eLearning for European Youth in a Digital Age pulls together a critical mass of various key actors, to develop and perform large-scale validation of novel ICT-based systems and services at a trans-European level, for improving e-learning in schools and higher education institutions.
KA3 Specific Support Measures are accompanying measures or thematic networks working on the aggregation of the results emerging from research funded under FP5. They assist in documenting and disseminating these results widely so as to improve knowledge and best practice sharing and to accelerate technology take-up and roll-out, across Europe.
Preparing for Future Research Activities addresses accompanying measures or thematic networks preparing for RTD roadmaps and exploring collaborative schemes that can be implemented using the new instruments of the next Framework Programme.
The action line KA3 Pioneering Research includes RTD, demonstration and combined projects laying out the foundations of the future provision, access and management of knowledge and contributing to the development of advanced systems for multimedia digital content.
- Networks and applications to support collaborative learning and teaching in schools, universities and training centres (EUN/European Multimedia Schoolnet, LAB OF TOMORROW, etc.)
- Experimental services and applications for Virtual Universities (CUBER, CANDLE, VIRTUAL BLACKBOARD, etc.)
- Methods and tools to enhance and facilitate lifelong learning anywhere and anytime empowering individuals with personalised learning solutions (HERO, HOPE, FELLOWS, METACAMPUS, m-learning, MOBILearn, etc.)
- Advanced training systems to support professional training and to demonstrate the benefits of just-in-time and on-the-job training (ADAPT-IT, AGORA, DERIVE, ETUDE, etc.)
- Open and Interoperable systems and tools enabling education and training centres, companies or service providers to implement and maintain learning management services (ARIADNE, PED-CARE, UNIVERSAL, etc.)
- Human networks linking people and institutions disseminating research results and best practices. PROMETEUS – Promoting Multimedia Access to Education and Training in the European Society - involves more than 450 organisations and 1800 people.More information about
The Framework Programmes for Research and Development
The IST programme
Research projects in the field of Technology Enhanced Learning