Universidade do Porto
The University of Porto (UP) is a traditional university created in 1911, currently the largest in Portugal. Although eLearning was considered very important for the modernization of UP, the process of introducing eLearning in such a large institution was not easy. By 1999, UP was conscious of the growing importance of the “New Information and Communication Technologies” (ICT) in education and a project for Distance Learning called PEDIST was created to support and promote the use of ICT by teachers and students. From this project it was concluded that the UP schools were in very different stages of development and most of them lacked a structured approach to ICT. There was also a lack of technological infrastructures.
In the beginning of 2003, UP started a new project aimed at promoting the use of ICT, and Internet in particular, in the education process. This project intended to increase the number of courses with an on-line component by 30 every year and at the same time evaluate the value of eLearning to an institution such as UP. Since UP is a very fragmented university, it was also intended to involve in this process not only faculty members from every school, but also to have the support of the school itself.
The second edition of the eLearning project at UP is currently active and following a similar approach to the first project.
Apart from this project, two other initiatives had a positive contribution to the development of eLearning at UP. Funding through the National Funding Programme provided the involved schools with extra multimedia material, such as hardware, software and services contributing in a positive way to an increase on the quality of the courseware developed. Also, UP encourages and supports teachers that want to disseminate their work in national and international conferences. To encourage the application of eLearning at a high level of quality, UP created an internal Excellence Award for eLearning to recognize those who positively influence the eLearning programme. These two initiatives were seen to be very important to increase the motivation of the community and reinforce the idea that eLearning is a priority at UP.
The university's web site is at http://elearning.fe.up.pt
Also available on this wiki: University of Porto, Faculty of Engineering