Mobility, Assessment, Selection, Technology and E-learning Research is a joint project from
Maastricht University, University of Dundee, Šiaulių Universitetas, Fachhochschule Lübeck
The introduction of the Bologna process is designed to increase mobility and accessibility of education. This raises some issues that both prospective students and receiving universities have to deal with. Students considering a masters programme have to find ways to determine if the programme they are applying for will meet their expectations and their skill level. Universities have to find ways to attract students from all over Europe while safeguarding the quality of their programmes despite an increasingly diverse student enrolment.
The overall objective of this project is twofold. Firstly, it is about developing an innovative learning environment which will help prospective European masters degree students in making their selection of programme by allowing for more informed decision making and providing an online preparation prior to them beginning their masters degree programme. Secondly, the project will give the universities an opportunity to inform students about their programmes, increase the completion rates and improve on time completion. In this way, a student should be able to make a more informed choice, refresh or acquire the necessary skills while at the same time forming a bond with the university at an early stage all of which will possibly increase the likeliness of their obtaining a masters degree. Some of the outputs are: publications, methods, conferences, codes of good practice, tools and a community of practice.
The expected impact will be that masters students will be able to make a better choice of study, thereby reducing drop-out rates and costs for both student and institution, increasing access to higher education, and generally encouraging student mobility.
The project presupposes that the educational process starts before a student actually joins a programme. The process starts during the selection process both of and by the student. The student who joins a pre-masters programme learns about the programme in a far more involved way than through traditional marketing materials such as brochures and websites. Students who then choose to join the programme will be better prepared before the start of the programme in a non-traditional way through online assessments and collaborative online courses.
The end users for the project outcomes are all higher education institutions that offer masters programmes and their prospective students. M.A.S.T.E.R. focuses on social interaction among participants combined with support by a coaching teacher. This project improves accessibility and shows how online assessment and online remedial teaching can be used.
Heterogeneity of enrolled students has increased due to increasing internationalization, the introduction of the Bachelor-Master structure in Europe, and the new accreditation procedures of the Treaty of Bologna.
Students are ill informed about the content of master programmes and not always possess the required skills and knowledge level to study a specific master, this leads to higher then needed dropout rates.
The overall objective of this project is on the one hand the development of an innovative learning environment to facilitate prospective European master degree students in their selection process by ensuring more informed decision making, and providing online preparation for a master programme. On the other hand, it will improve the opportunities of universities to inform students about their programmes and increase the completion rates and reduce necessary study time. Therefore, a student should be able to make a more informed choice, refresh or attain the required skills and form a bond with the university at an early stage, thereby possibly increasing the likeliness of obtaining a Master’s degree.
The expected impact will be that master students will be able to make a better choice of study, thereby reducing drop-out rates and costs (for student and institute) and increasing accessibility of higher education and stimulate student mobility.
The specific objectives are to create guidelines for programme directors who want to create online assessments that show prospective students the content of a master programme and the required levels, transferable (topic independent) pedagogical scenarios for remediation of lacks in knowledge, skills or competences and a set of instructions for staff members involved in online distance education and thereby ensuring higher completion rates in a shorter time-span.
The results of this project are:
The results were be presented at 15 (inter)national conferences and the final S-ICT Conference in the Netherlands, and in total 10 publications have been published or are forthcoming.