This campus has become an international model (norme) for quality online teacher training and education for students using e-learning and blended learning.
Given the name of the 10th-century Persian scientist Ibn Sina (or Avicenna), 980–1037 AD the most famous physician, astronomer, mathematician and philosopher of his time, The Avicenna Virtual Campus uses the Information Technology and Communication for Education (ICTE). Its concept is to train the teachers on how to produce quality online courses and pedagogical contents and share skills, resources and research results among universities and education institutions.
This campus has also become a reference for the production of online courses based on a structured teaching model called Avicenna pedagogical model.
In just four years (November 2002 to December 2006), an e-learning knowledge network in the Mediterranean has become a model for quality online teacher training and education for students (E-learning and Blended Learning). This network was established by UNESCO and the European Commission. (80% financed by the European Commission on a total of US$ 7 million budget).
The Avicenna Virtual Campus has been successful in the creation of 14 Avicenna e-learning centers (AVC) (technical and educational support for teachers) in the universities partners within the Euro-Mediterranean region.
The Avicenna Campus is a sustainable model that develops autonomously very short term in the partner countries (developing national networks for higher education, Education and Vocational Training).
The network involves partner universities in Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Palestine, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
The participating centres in the Avicenna Virtual Campus
AQ-OU: Al-Quds Open University
CNED: Centre national d’enseignement à distance (France)
CNAM: Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (France)
CU: Cairo University (Egypt)
ENSIAS: École Supérieure d’Informatique et d’Analyse des Systèmes (Morocco)
LU: Lebanese University
MCST: Malta Council for Science and Technology
METU: Middle East Technical University (Tukey)
NETTUNO: Network per l’Università Ovunque (Italy)
NIACE: National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (UK)
PUA: Philadelphia University in Amman (Jordan)
UC: University of Cyprus
UD: University of Damascus (Syria)
UFC: Université de la Formation Continue (Algeria)
UM: Université de la Méditerrannée, Marseille (France)
UNED: Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (Spain)
UVT: Université Virtuelle de Tunis (Tunisia)
Since 2006, many other countries (UNESCO member states) beyond the Mediterranean are clamouring to join the Avicenna network, among them Libya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Mozambique, Tanzania, Senegal, Togo, Benin, Comoros, Cap Verde, Russia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan etc.
The Euro-Mediterranean partnership has developed cooperation and the exchange of expertise and innovation in the field of coeducation (Blended Learning & E-Learning). The Avicenna Campus also helped to develop quality online courses and adapt programs in a multilingual context and multicultural. It has emerged as a very important tool for the strengthening of the capacities of the higher education, Education and vocational training as well as for the improvement of the quality of education and training
The Avicenna Concept has been built on six 6 pillars:
– The organization of the network
– The pedagogical model
– The technological model
– The copyrights and intellectual properties
– Efficient and reliable quality assurance system
– The integration of visual impaired teachers and students in the network
The results of the first network in Mediterranean were:
- 14 e-learning Avicenna centers in the following countries: Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, Cyprus, Italy, France, Spain and Malta;
- A virtual library shared by partners
- A system of on-line quality assurance control
- 1,000 teachers and tutors trained
- 206 modules produced online (20 hours each)
- 140 416 students have used the online content (Blended and e-learning);
- 80 seminars and 6 films produced;
- 1500 blind students have used adapted online courses (e-learning for blind students)
- The average cost per student was only US$ 35 per 4 years;
The Avicenna Model:
The European Commission declared the Avicenna Virtual Campus a ‘sustainable model’ that had fulfilled its goal of creating a self-perpetuating campus based on cooperation between institutions.
The Avicenna model differs from other virtual campuses in that each university is autonomous in creating its own online course material.
In addition, each is entitled to share the knowledge bank of an open virtual library constituted by the partners in the network. Within this virtual knowledge network, professors produce courses in scientific and engineering fields online using their university’s curriculum.
The Avicenna model offers also:
- appropriate solution for the development of education for all
- large scale training of teachers at all levels
- e-learning and blended learning for students
- A reliable quality assurance system courses products (experienced in several countries)
- Construction of a virtual library in science and technology
- Virtual Labs Development
- Integration of teachers and students with disabilities
International extension of the Avicenna network
Initially, the network was only in Mediterranean region in Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Palestinian, United Kingdom, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey.
Since 2008, the network has extended to Iraq, Africa (Benin, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Togo and Cap Verde).
Currently, there are more than 49 Avicenna centers.
A significant number of university teachers were trained on teaching engineering production of online courses and quality assurance.
In December 2014, two new Avicenna projects were launched in Central Asia (Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan) and Gabon.
National network extensions were completed and in progress in some partner countries.
The National Avicenne networks are currently used in some countries for large-scale training of teachers in the Education sector.
References – UNESCO et CE:
UNESCO World of Science – p.15-18 – October – December 2006 – Vol.4 UNESCO Science Sector – http://www.unesco.org/new/fr/natural-sciences/science-technology/sti-policy/e-science-and-e-learning/african-virtual-campus/cape-verde-joins-virtual-campus-network/#c1401901
Avicenne en Afrique: