The Swiss Virtual Campus program is part of a process aimed at promoting
the information society in Switzerland as well as enabling education - in particular
higher education - to take advantage of the opportunities now available through
new information and communication technology.
In this respect the program
hopes to provide students with a virtual mobility that will enable them to play
an active role in learning processes and follow high-quality courses on their
The principal concrete aim of the program is to develop teaching modules that
will be used through the Internet in several regular study programs of the Swiss
improve the quality of student learning processes and strengthen interactive
teaching by broadening university teaching into a range of available courses
for both on campus and corresponding students. The students should be encouraged
to use all the information and resources available on the Internet as part
of their real studies.
To strengthen of collaboration between the universities. Several institutions
should be involved in each project. A system of credits should be set up
to support the virtual mobility offered by the Swiss Virtual Campus system
as well as life-long learning over the long term.
To develop of high-quality teaching materials and methods. The steering
committee’s recommendation to create multilingual modules and use a common
set of tools for setting up modules and for management functions should
ensure that the course programs created by the Swiss Virtual Campus are
of the highest quality. This high level of content, didactics and ergonomics
should also guarantee a demand for these courses outside Switzerland.
The Swiss government intends to provide special support for a certain
number of projects for a maximum period of three years so that the established
targets can be achieved. The two Swiss federal institutes of technology,
the universities of applied sciences and any interested private or foreign
institutions are also invited to participate in the Swiss Virtual Campus
but will fund their own involvement in the program.
In general, each project should develop a course that can be followed
via the Internet that includes teaching material, exercises, seminars
or practical work as well as online or direct aids and assessment (self-assessment
and examinations). Projects involving teaching modules for large numbers
of students will be particularly welcome. The courses developed should
be part of a curriculum of the participating universities.
The projects receive support from an interdisciplinary team of teaching,
education and technology specialists with the requisite knowledge in the
course subject matter, as well as people with specific knowledge of the
IT tools necessary for implementing the course. All the parties involved
should draw up the aims and content of the course proposals, and the question
of certification of qualifications or credits must be clarified within
The courses will be made available to the general public after the partners
involved in the project have evaluated them. The modules that make up
a course will be drawn up by one or several of the participating institutions,
which will appoint a competent, motivated person as a project co-ordinator
(part-time, at least 50%). At the same time, they will set up the appropriate
infrastructure and ensure that the modules can be tested under controlled
The Swiss Virtual Campus projects differ from other efforts to enhance
teaching through the introduction of new information and communication
technology in that they involve complete courses that can be followed
independently over the Internet. They will thus open the way to correspondence
courses and life-long learning as an addition to the current range of
courses available. Thanks to their autonomous character, the Swiss Virtual
Campus projects will be well suited for use outside Switzerland.