EADTU will promote research collaboration and valorisation in online and open learning by stimulating thematic research groups in advanced areas, the joint preparation of research and innovation projects for funding, collaborative programmes for PhD students in postgraduate schools and the exchange of research staff.
From their inception, EADTU member universities have developed new educational models, because they had to teach large numbers of students, combining work and study, outside of regular classrooms. This required new types of courses and new teaching and learning concepts, allowing for independent study at a distance and on moments which suited each individual student, although student support (face to face in study centers) was an important component of all models. Over the years, these universities have enhanced the quality of these models, last but not least by the use of online and blended education.
Along with the conceptualisation and implementation of these models, they have established research and innovation centres on teaching and learning in higher education, which now belong to the most important in Europe and in the world. Themes are related to learner characteristics and learning styles, teaching and learning design, course and curriculum development, student support and assessment, the organisation of courses and curricula, the creation of learning environments, staff development, quality assurance for online and blended education, educational management and institutional strategies, marketing and other issues which are closely related to the core of modern higher education provisions. This also includes new movements like open educational resources and MOOCs.
Next to collaboration on research, EADTU will promote the transfer of research knowledge into innovative practice, especially where this results in new patterns of teaching and learning design. By doing so, EADTU will contribute to a space for open innovation in new modes of teaching and learning, bringing together institutional innovation in the membership and disseminating/exploiting it European-wide. This will be also realised through the EMPOWER action programme, supporting European universities in their transition to new modes of teaching and learning.