Writing on a computer keyboard [Illustrative].
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
The Council for Higher Education announced on Monday that for the first time Israeli higher academic institutions will be able to provide online courses to millions of students worldwide.
The CHE plenum, headed by Dr. Rivka Shauman, approved the recommendation of the Council’s Planning and Budgeting Committee, headed by Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats and issued a tender for academic institutions to offer online courses on the edX international education platform.
As part of the tender, issued by the CHE along with the PBC and the Digital Israel headquarters, higher academic institutions will be asked to submit proposals for online courses.
Dr. Liat Maoz, CHE vice president of research and policy explained that any recognized academic institution will be able to submit up to two proposals for English courses at the undergraduate or graduate level, with the potential to later translate them into Hebrew and Arabic.
In the initial stage, the winning Israeli universities or academic colleges will provide 10 open online courses on the global edX platform to millions of users around the world.
According to the council, for the past decade and especially in recent years, there has been a worldwide trend toward online courses, both academic and across a variety of other fields. In an academic setting, the online courses are often used as additional aids for traditional classroom courses or may often replace them all together.
Introducing digital learning will lead to an improvement in the quality of teaching in Israel and will also contribute to the body of knowledge of research on innovative educational technologies to improve the quality of teaching, Prof. Zilbershats explained.
She added that it will also allow for collaboration between Israeli institutions in developing new courses and will expose a larger number of students to leading lecturers.
The council is currently in the process of formulating a five year plan for higher education in Israel and aims to place digital learning at the forefront.
According to the PBC chairwoman, the five year plan will place an emphasis on digital learning across two main channels: The first will be to encourage the development of academic courses and digital learning materials that will be open to a worldwide public.
The second aspect of the plan will be to develop a national digital learning platform for Israel which will aid existing higher education institutions by offering online courses and digital learning materials in Hebrew, Arabic and English.