E-learning requires the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and the Internet for its preparation, conduct and / or management. It can be crried out in an attendance form, a distance form or, most often, a mixed form. E-learning is typical of the global information society and responds to the needs of today's learners through flexible learning, accessible at all times and from anywhere. Nowadays, in the world, as well as in Bulgaria, there is a rapid invasion of e-learning in all spheres and at all educational levels - in higher and secondary schools, in vocational training and qualification, in business organizations, in state and non-governmental organizations. It is expected that this trend will increase and that the need for qualified specialists able to design, develop and offer quality e-learning will grow.
This Master's programme in e-learning is particularly suited to lecturers at higher, secondary and college schools; for specialists in training and human resources development departments in business, state and non-governmental organizations; for managerial and administrative staff working in the field of education and training. The program would also be useful for any modern person wishing to build lifelong learning skills.
The duration of the program is 3 semesters (regular form) and 5 semesters (part-time).
This programme is open to the following categories of learners to apply:
- graduates of Mathematics and Informatics, Informatics, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, Computer Technology and Technologies, Information and Communication Systems and Technologies and related.
- graduates of pedagogical or other majors, in which case students may have to take additional courses.
The programme addresses the three main aspects of e-learning - pedagogical, software-technology and organizational-managerial ones - and offers an in-depth analyses of the issues related to:
- planning and designing e-learning
- development of electronic learning materials
- management of the curriculum and the learning process
- evaluation in e-learning
- financial planning, implementation and management of e-learning
The experience of the Department of Information Technologies at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, based on a number of successful projects in the field of e-learning, as well as of the specialized training of lecturers at the University of Twente, the Netherlands, was used in the elaboration of the Programme.
The programme is oriented towards the training of specialists who have specialized professional skills in at least one of the three aspects of e-learning and extensive fundamental training in the other two aspects. Basic training is done through compulsory courses and the specialized one - by selecting suitable elective courses. The graduation project is generally linked to the set of selected courses and aims to deepen the specialization of the students in the respective field and to enable them to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the training.
The aim of the programme is to form a new generation of designers and developers of e-learning capable of creating fully functional and market-oriented solutions in this field. Program graduates will be able to apply a systematic approach to the design, development and management of e-learning based on good knowledge of software, education and management technologies. This will enable them to develop and assume leadership capabilities in e-learning at the various levels of government in organizations of the software, education and qualification industry.
Basic knowledge and skills. Successful graduates will be able to:
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles and theories related to the three main aspects of e-learning
- use this knowledge and understanding in the design, development and implementation of specific solutions in the field of e-learning, taking into account the advantages and disadvantages of different theoretical-based models
- identify and analyze criteria, specifications and standards appropriate to specific e-learning issues
- develop e-learning materials using professionally advanced e-learning systems and tools
- evaluate existing eLearning solutions.
Additional skills. These skills are not directly related to e-learning, but are in the field of the fundamental general and professional skills that every modern specialist needs. Successful graduates will be able to:
- make short and clear presentations to a different audience
- work independently, in teams, and on a project basis
- manage their own training and development
- allocate and manage your time efficiently
- demonstrate good organizational skills and abilities.
Graduates will be able to work effectively as designers and developers of e-learning software, pedagogical and organizational solutions in all types of eLearning organizations, namely:
- educational establishments in the public and private educational spheres
- human resources training and development departments in state, non-governmental and business organizations
- organizations and companies offering consultancy services in the field of training
- the industry for developing educational products and services (educational software companies, publishers, private centers offering educational services, etc.)
The program seeks to build e-Learning professionals who are competitive on both the Bulgarian, European and world labour markets. The goal is that they should have the opportunity for broad professional performance in Bulgarian, foreign and mixed educational institutions, companies or projects, as independent designers and as team members.