E-Learning and E-Management in Tunisian Universities

E-Learning and E-Management in Tunisian Universities

Rafik Braham, Lilia C. Belcadhi, Narjess T. Chebaane, Maha Khemaja
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-789-3.ch020
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In the year 2000, policy makers in Tunisian higher education decided to explore ways in which e-learning and e-management could be introduced to enhance university administration and teaching. This effort was by no means an isolated one at the international level. Indeed, it comes as a major spin-off of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) that led to the emergence of e-learning and web-based education and training, enabling remote access to information and knowledge. Developing countries, such as Tunisia which was the host in 2005 of Phase II of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) (Baldoni, M., 2005), have great expectations from the social and economic consequences of the Internet. These countries see the Internet as an opportunity that should not be missed. For this reason, the government has put in place several programs, all of which provide for its citizens e-services, that were, prior to the advent of the Internet, either impossible or real headaches. An important category of these services apply to the sector of higher education. They range from e-learning to student information systems accessible from the web. In this context, the e-learning team in the Higher Institute of Informatics and Communications in Hammam Sousse (ISITC), University of Sousse, has developed and deployed a number of online courses in a blended learning format. Various e-learning projects covering both pedagogical and technical aspects as well as doctoral research works have been under way to support this activity. The deployment of e-learning courses is supervised by the Virtual University of Tunis with technical help from our university. In this chapter, we describe our experiments, the results achieved thus far and some lessons that we have learned. We discuss e-management practices in universities around the world and address issues of concern and human factors at stake especially from the students’ point of view.
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Teaching Experiments

The e-learning experiments, carried out at ISITC, have gone through various stages involving several aspects. The first action was related to the choice of adequate courses. One choice criterion was to carry out e-learning for courses where the number of students was quite high and simultaneously the number of teachers was insufficient. After discussions with members of the e-learning team, it was decided to start with an Object Oriented Programming course (OOP) and later on a Data Base (DB) course.

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