Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present ReProTool Version 2.0, a software tool that is used for the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and the Bologna Process re‐engineering of academic programmes. The tool is the result of an 18 months project (February 2012‐July 2013) project, co‐financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research Promotion Foundation (www.reprotool.com). Design/methodology/approach – The project entails the development and pilot use of ReProTool, a software tool that will support the design and development of university academic programmes using Learning Outcomes and the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) of the Bologna Process. The paper briefly describes the various stages of the project: Identification of User and System Requirements; System Analysis and Design; and Software Development. More specifically, it presents the results of on‐line questionnaires distributed to students and academics aiming at extracting the user requirements of the system. Based on these results and the results from interviews with experts and literature review, the system was designed. The underlying database is thus presented. The implementation details and the system architecture are also presented. Various screenshots of the system are used in the paper to exemplify the functionality of the tool. Findings – The ECTS process and the supporting methodologies are quite complex and complicated, requiring the involvement of all education stakeholders (faculty, students, industry, etc.). The lack of a software tool to support the available methodologies and the involved stakeholders makes the process even more complex, laborious and difficult to complete. The authors are currently developing such tool. The availability of a free software tool will therefore simplify the process and help all Universities in their effort to obtain the ECTS label and help them towards the full implementation of the Bologna Process directives. Originality/value – The paper presents the software tool ReProTool, which will provide support to the Tuning Methodology, also taking into consideration state‐of‐the‐art developments in the area of ECTS, Learning outcomes and the European Qualifications Framework and will thus make it possible for Universities to re‐engineer their academic programs in line with ECTS, achieve ECTS certification/label and fulfill the Bologna Process directives. This will result in the improvement of academic programs offered by Universities and the creation of compatible programmes across Europe, so that students and faculty will be able to utilize the Erasmus and other mobility programmes and participate in exchange visits. Without the use of such a tool, the application of such methodologies is really a non‐trivial, error‐prone task. This is a very demanding task and very few Universities in Europe have managed to obtain the ECTS label.
Interactive Technology and Smart Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 14, 2012
Keywords: Europe; Universities; Qualifications; International standards; Computer software; Bologna Process; Learning outcomes; European Credit Transfer System; Software tools
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