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What is Virtual University

Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Depending on a context, the term points to networked universities or to open and technology-enhanced education at the universities. However, virtual university courses are widely used to support face-to-face education.
Published in Chapter:
Communities in Technology-Enhanced Environments for Learning
Johanna Pöysä (University of Jyväskylä, Finland) and Joost Lowyck (University of Leuven, Belgium)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 7
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch051
The contemporary society addresses complex, interrelated, and interactive global situations to be faced by its citizens. Instead of pursuing solitary actions, this post-modern turn requires its actors to develop capacities to resituate their activities in collective unities and to successfully communicate their actions within these multiple local and global communities. Also in education, the concept of community continues to possess a positive image and the optimistic premises of how communication technologies may enable communities to grow have been widely discussed. For example, in higher education, educational practices (e.g. Virtual University) are more often fixed around Web-based collaborative learning environments, based on the broad frame of computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) approach. It is put forward in this chapter that in higher education, technology-enhanced learning communities, if seen as an extension of the idea of Web-based collaborative learning environments, could be welcomed as timely and innovative educational practices - as relevant paths to successful collaborative learning.
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Part-Time Faculty Affiliation with the Virtual University
University that provides education through the medium of the Internet rather than in physical classrooms.
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Higher Education's New Frontier for the E-University and Virtual Campus
Sometimes called telematics university is an organization that provides higher education on the Internet. Among these organizations there are truly “virtual” institutions, existing only as aggregations of universities, institutes or departments providing courses over the Internet and organizations with a legal framework, yet named virtual because they appear only on the Internet.
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Strategic Leadership in Instructional Design: Applying the Principles of Instructional Design through the Lens of Strategic Leadership to Distance Education
A university that provides access to higher education programs through the internet or other electronic media format.
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The Agile and Virtual University
An institution involved as provider of learning opportunities to students, using a Web-based approach to deliver programs, courses, and support and is organized under the format of alliances/partnerships to facilitate teaching and learning to occur (based on the definition proposed by the Commonwealth of Learning).
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Hypermedia Modules for Distance Education and Beyond
A university that delivers courses (typically credit, but also non-credit) primarily online, that is, by networks such as the Internet or intranets, using asynchronous technologies, such as computer conferencing or Web-based technologies especially conceived for education.
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E-Learning as Organizational Strategy
The term virtual/college university (VCU) is used today to describe a broad range of entities and activities: corporate training centers, distance learning efforts of individual institutions, nonprofit and governmental education activities, and multi-state and international learning collaboratives. Aside from institutional programs, most of these initiatives are not true “universities” in the degree-granting sense of the word. Virtual universities supply infrastructure for providing students with learning experiences and related support services partially or totally online (Aoki & Pogroszewski, 1998; Epper & Garn, 2004).
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Corporate - Higher Education Alliance
An organization comprising one or many higher education degree-granting institution(s) that either provides some or all of its programs on the Internet or acts as a virtual organization.
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The Evolution of Virtual Universities
A university that accommodates administration and lecturing staff without having any physical lecture theatres. This alleviates the need for limiting the number of students that can be enrolled simultaneously.
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From R&D Project to Virtual Universities
A university without one fixed campus; either an institution offering online/Net-based learning only, or a networked university having multiple campuses and offering Net-based learning facilities.
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