ASTRE (or Automatic System for TRacking E-Learners) is a project funded by the European Commissions under Erasmus + KEY Action 2 Programme , initiated by 6 Partners from Spain, Germany, Greece, Cyprus and Italy, including the European Association of Erasmus Coordinators in order to address the lack of data and information about MOOC learners.
In more detail over the last few years, Europe witnessed a rapid and massive expansion of e-learning courses since an increasing number of adults choose to register in e-learning courses and MOOCs, with different motivations. However several research shows that online learning attracts mostly learners from medium and higher socioeconomic and education background, so a challenge we face is to open up e-learning and MOOCs to people not traditionally participating in lifelong learning.
The monitoring of learners has been addressed in recent policy documents such as the ‘New Skills Agenda for Europe’ (2016) which emphasized the need for EU member states to have a ‘better understanding of performance of graduates’. Furthermore the Council’s Recommendation on tracking graduates (November 2017) stressed the need to improve the availability of qualitative and quantitative information about what graduates from different education and training settings do after they complete their education and training.
In order to address the lack of data and information about MOOC learners, ASTRE project proposes:
- The development a tracking system for MOOC learners that will feed into the quality assurance system of the MOOC provider.
- To support MOOC providers to establish the tracking mechanism and integrate it into their quality assurance system with the aim to expand the audience of MOOCs and increase their relevant and quality.
The aimed target groups of the project are:
- MOOC providers and organizations that provide open e-learning courses;
- MOOC learners primary from the project countries and to a lesser extent from other countries.