This study offers an analysis of policies and initiatives in the field of virtual learning platforms in Denmark, the United Kingdom and Spain (Andalusia and Catalonia).
The analysis was entrusted by the Caisse des dépôts to European Schoolnet, a network of 31 Ministries of Education in Europe and beyond, whose mission is to integrate innovation and the information and communication technologies into the teaching and learning processes for the benefit of ministries, schools, teachers and researchers.
The reference grid for investigation and the methodology of the whole study were established at the launch meeting for the study held in the premises of the Caisse des dépôts in Paris on 19 June 2009. The members of the Steering Committee of the study and the Virtual Learning Platform project managers Group took part in the meeting. It was agreed that European Schoolnet would analyse the main reference documents (policy documents, legislation and regulations, guidelines for implementation, implementation and évaluation reports, etc.) available in each of the countries concerned and complement this work with interviews with key protagonists in these initiatives. The participants also agreed that the results of the investigation would be presented in the form of national reports, together with a comparative overview that highlights the similarities and differences between the three countries.
To implement this methodology, European Schoolnet identified in each country a national correspondent who would identify the relevant documents and reports in all three countries, provide the necessary contextual information, and identify the persons to be interviewed by European Schoolnet. The list of correspondents and interviewees by country, and the authors of the national and comparative reports are presented in Appendix 1.
The results of investigations in each country were presented to all members of the Steering Committee and Virtual Learning Platform project managers Group as soon as each was finalised. The situation in the United Kingdom was presented and discussed at a meeting of the digital workspace project managers at the Ludovia Summer University (Ax-les-Thermes) on 26 August 2009. The situation in Denmark was presented at a meeting of the digital workspace project managers at the Educatice event at the Education Fair in Paris on 20 November 2009. The situation in Spain and the general conclusions of the investigation were presented in detail and debated at a summing-up meeting on 4 May 2010 at the premises of the Caisse des dépôts in Paris.
The first part of this study report provides a summary of each national situation according to a common structure that addresses key features of existing platforms, the services they offer, the status of their deployment, their modes of deployment and governance, their uses and the success factors determining their wider deployment. The second part of the report compares these three national situations in terms of these aspects and identifies common points and differences. Some general lessons derived from this are presented in conclusion. The detailed country reports are available on the website of the Caisse des dépôts.