E-learning plays an increasingly important role in the changing landscape of Higher Education in the
European area. In the three main provision areas (degree education, continuous professional development,
and open education), Higher Education Institutions find in e-learning the possibility of supporting both the
shift towards flexibility in learning paths and modalities, and the transition towards student-centered
learning and active teaching methods.
It is now well established that e-learning in itself is not a panacea, nor, on the contrary, a catastrophe for
educational systems, and it is generally accepted that it is not equally suitable for all educational settings,
for all subjects and for all learners, but evidence from research can be found regarding its effectiveness
under certain conditions. Furthermore, as was already known from decades of research into distance
education and educational technologies, it is clear that pedagogical awareness and educational purposes
must guide the choice and development of technical solutions, not the other way around. Such awareness
allows education professionals to take full advantage of the affordances and possibilities of blended and
online education for specific types of students, subjects and contexts.
The purpose of this study is to provide Higher Education Institutions and practitioners, policy makers, and
education funders in the Republic of North Macedonia with design principles and effective implementation
models for online and blended courses and programmes, based on widely accepted learning theories,
available evidence from research, and best practice.
Most of the solutions covered in this study tend to have a wide range, a strong user base and evidence of
impact in Higher Education settings. The study is divided into three main sections.
- Part 1 provides a conceptual framework for describing the variety of phenomena that go under the
umbrella term of e-learning.
- Part 2 focuses on current trends and future prospects for e-learning in the European Higher Education Area.
- Part 3 gives insights into teaching and learning activities, people & roles, and technology in e-learning.
Finally, relevant instructional and multimedia design principles are presented, as well as valuable guidelines
for course development, implementation, and evaluation.