2016 » Papers » Volume 2 » Facing ethical challenges in the provision of eLearning by Romanian HEIs
|1. FACING ETHICAL CHALLENGES IN THE PROVISION OF ELEARNING BY ROMANIAN HEIS|
Volume 2 | DOI: 10.12753/2066-026X-16-161 | Pages: 495-499
According to the EU 2020 strategy, one of the objectives for Romania in the field of education is that at least 40% of the population aged 30 to 34 years to complete tertiary education (university and non-university). In 2013-2014 only 23.8 % of the population is in this situation and the goal set was to reach 26.7%.
Due to the fact that the number of pre-university students is estimated to decrease by 40% between 2005 and 2025, the number of traditional students is also declining. Second chance education could be considered as a solution to tackle the discrepancy between the policy goal and the real trend observed in the last few years, and eLearning appears to be an appropriate medium to encourage non-traditional students to enrol for further education and successful finish tertiary education.
In Romania, only about 60% of universities are involving eLearning solutions in their current education offer. On the other hand, for the moment being, there is no Romanian HEI offering full eLearning study programs. However, there is a great diversity in Romania combining face-to-face with elements of bended learning and eLearning.
Romanian universities have always been concerned with ethical aspects of their activities and many of them adopted codes of moral or ethical conduct. In some universities the principles of ethical conduct are implicit provisions of their charts or mission statements (e.g. Transilvania University of Brasov or West University of Timi?oara).
As the practice of eLearning is becoming increasingly applicable in the study programs offered by Romanian universities, the ethical dimensions of the student-teacher relationship and the responsibility for the quality of learning outcomes turns into a real challenge:
- Students for cheating and plagiarism attempts;
- Professors for their responsibility in quality assurance of the educational resources for eLearners;
- Students and professors for their co-responsibility for the quality and relevance of the eLearning outcomes.
As the Romanian society perceives high corruption in individual and institutional behaviour, the ethical challenges in the field of higher education merit a closer attention. Another strong argument is offered by the frequent complaints of plagiarism in doctoral theses, which let us understand that in lower levels of higher education there are also practices against the code of ethical conduct adopted in HEIs. In this context, examples of good practice in overcoming ethical shortages in the provision of eLearning and in the evaluation of the learners should become a focus point in preparing for enhanced eLearning and blended learning (UK, etc).
The purpose of this article is to analyse the status quo of the ethical challenges in the provision of eLearning by Romanian HEIs and to suggest recommendations to solve existing or potential ethical problems in the delivery of blended and or eLearning programs.
ethics in HEIs, eLearning, blended learning, Romanian higher education