This report was created by partners on the VALEU-X project and lead by staff at the European University of Tirana with significant contributions made by all partners in the project. It aims at laying the scientific foundation for effective and innovative intervention complying with international best practices in virtual innovative teaching and learning using state of the art ICT-based environments and tools. This needs assessment report is based on the finding from different resources and used tools, specifically: desk research, baseline reports and online survey run at Albanian partner institutions.
This report is essential reading for anyone with an interest in international virtual collaborative teaching and learning, particularly in the Albanian higher education context. The first section of the report gives an overview of the VALEU-X project. The second section concentrate on desk research about e-learning and internationalization at home. The third part of the report gives information about e-learning perception and virtual internationalization development level in Albanian public and private universities. To achieve this purpose, a survey was developed and implemented among VALEU-X partner universities in Albania. The results of this survey are presented in the fourth section of the report.
The analysis provided important insight into the Albanian higher education context, and helped to shape the 23 recommendations made for the continued improvement of virtual collaborative learning in Albania. These recommendations were categorized under the following themes:
- International exchange projects must become available to all staff members at Albanian universities and equal participation must be guaranteed by universities themselves.
- More intensive partner acquisition and MoUs signature are needed so there will be more exchange opportunities for all staff members.
- A more diversified digital learning resources portfolio in Albanian language is needed to improve the quality of online teaching and learning at Albanian universities.
- More capacity building and awareness raising programs are needed to develop skills and competences of the educators and learners in Albania, as well as change their mindset towards online education.
- A recognition system using the ECTS framework must be developed for online courses and classes.
- Virtual exchange, virtual collaborative learning and internationalization at home must become part of the formal curricula for some of the study programs, as an alternative to face-to-face education.
- More technical, didactical and pedagogical support is needed to boost the academic staff and learner’s ICT literacy in Albania.
For the next steps of the VALEU-X project we will make use of these recommendations to continue fostering the adoption and implementation of innovative virtual teaching and learning in the Albanian universities, and we are eager to hear comments from others with insight or interest in this area.