AVICENNA: a virtual campus

AVICENNA:  a virtual campus

Coordinated by UNESCO and supported by the European Commission, this four-year project was launched in November 2002 to alleviate the digital divide in higher education along the Mediterranean basin.

Avicenna accelerates the adoption and use of Open Distance Learning (ODL) in nine Mediterranean non-EU member states. It provides, through distance learning, programs to sectors of the population that do not have easy access to university and continuing higher education. In the long-run, the Avicenna project aims at creating a self-sustainable virtual campus, based on cooperation among the institutions involved.

Avicennaís Network
The project engages a consortium of fifteen ďAVICENNA Knowledge Centers or ("AKCs"), also known as the nodes of the project. This network contains some of EUís Leading ODL universities who share their experience and pedagogical innovation with 11 universities from Mediterranean non-EU member states and assist them to become more effective providers of scientific information as well as Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Training centers.

Avicenna Knowledge Centers
Universities in the following countries hold AKCs: Algeria, Cyprus, France, Great Britain, Egypt, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Palestine, Spain, Syrian arab Republic, Tunisia and Turkey.

Evolution of the project
The first phase of the project accelerated the adoption and use of Information ICT and Open Distance Learning (ODL), securing the establishment of local infrastructures.

The second phase concentrated on module production in order to build up course content as a resource be used by all partners. For this purpose trainings were addressed to the AKCs personnel, teachers who produce the modules, teachers and tutors who will teach using ODL methodology and the students who will use ODL services.

The next phase of the project includes the following activities:

  • continuation of the production process and tutor training;
  • student self-assessment;
  • expanding the virtual library Avicenna;
  • defining the sustainability strategy of the network;
  • launching an on-line Avicenna Quality Assurance System (AQUAS).

  • Avicenna Quality Assurance System (AQUAS)
    This will be an accreditation system which ensures that produced or adapted courses available in the Avicenna network are in conformity with adopted quality criteria.

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