TEL-Map Project
Possible Futures for Technology Enhanced Learning – Dynamic Roadmapping for Uncertain Times

TEL-Map is a Coordination and Support Action funded by the European Commission under the Technology-Enhanced Learning programme. It focuses on exploratory/Roadmapping activities for fundamentally new forms of learning to support the adoption of those new forms, via awareness building and knowledge management on the results of EU RTD projects in TEL and socio-economic evaluations in education.

TEL-Map is responsible for the learningfrontiers portal 

TEL-Map's final event: European Forum on Learning Futures and Innovation

Committee of the Regions, Brussels, 18-19 March 2013.

TEL-Map gathers information on the current, desired and emerging position of TEL, and on awareness and appropriation (by educators and SMEs) of RTD results in TEL. The project codifies that information using state-of-the-art knowledge management tools/methods, at three levels of scale:

1) macro (political, economic, social, technological, legal, environmental),

2) meso (organisation of education and training systems and institutions), and

3) micro (enacted paradigms of learning and teaching).

Cutting across these levels of scale is the categorisation of changes as exogenous or endogenous relative to forms of learning and to the TEL community. This provides direct input to TEL-relevant decisions at all three levels, including economic, political, and research discussions. With a 10-year horizon, we co-develop a portfolio of stakeholder-specific roadmaps and influence maps, to explore and gain insights into fundamentally new forms of Learning, Education and Training activities (LET), into what makes for effective transfer and scalability, and into what role technology might play in the future. Our collaborative development approach leads to a Multi-perspective Dynamic Roadmap to track, anticipate and manage knowledge about new forms of LET and their impact on TEL. This extends established TEL Roadmapping methods in novel, powerful and cost-effective ways, with high potential for sustainability and for targeting each stakeholder’s goals. Outcomes include well-grounded recommendations on TEL and LET innovations, plus a Roadmapping platform and a sustainable dynamic process that will foster collaboration, consensus-building, and disagreement management across specialized communities and stakeholder groups. TEL-Map will build a meta-model for Dynamic Roadmapping which will provide a framework for the needed interoperability between individual Roadmaps developed in a dynamic way by different groups, who may be using different methodologies according to existing practice. This will allow TEL-Map to harness established communities and increase the chances of a sustained synergetic relationship beyond the lifetime of TEL-Map.

In this context, TEL-Map will build a platform for collaborative Roadmapping, which enables transparent assessment of TEL by different stakeholder groups. We will do this by using different approaches, different starting points, different interests and motives thus providing multidimensional views of stakeholders’ visions of the future and alternative ways to reach them. We will work with TEL stakeholders to help them create and dynamically update their roadmaps and coordinate their development activities. Building on this, TEL-Map aims to enable each participating TEL stakeholder community in Europe to share its insights on past and current TEL, and at least some of its thinking on TEL futures, so that all TEL networks can benefit from improvements in the capabilities of the strongest participants in TEL and insights and innovative developments can be spread and adopted more rapidly. As part of this capacity building, we shall work with community representatives to empower them to better discern and interpret what is going on within other participating TEL stakeholder communities (or going on externally and known to those other communities), and to share and exchange knowledge with these communities in order to take advantage of emerging trends and developments in TEL, of which it might not yet be aware.

The main aim of the TEL-Map Support Action: to enable Europe’s TEL communities and their constituencies, centred on the TEL Unit, to achieve earlier, stronger and longer-lasting results from their investments in TEL and use of TEL (e.g., as measured by the local and global visibility of TEL projects, and the adoption and impact of outputs from TEL projects such as tools, processes, content). The main areas for Support and Capacity Building within TEL communities:

  • Engagement (of stakeholders in TEL communities and constituencies, to ensure that they are broadly supportive of work relevant to them, underway within TEL)
  • Alignment (clustering, collaboration, discussion, modelling and disagreement management within TEL communities)
  • Dissemination (to share insights, models, processes and tools that help with inward-facing needs of TEL communities; likewise for external-facing needs, especially to share ways and means to raise the external visibility and impact of TEL community outputs, eg via social networking)
  • Forward-looking knowledge sharing (eg, in developing road maps and Grand Challenges, and in assessing likely future needs of users, and associated ideas and approaches).

Our main means for achieving these outcomes is through the cooperative development of unifying events to raise the profile of TEL and LET (e.g. in the style of and unifying goals (e.g. we shall invite all to participate in shaping the desired future of TEL, and in identifying and commenting on Grand Challenges for TEL). Everyone with an interest in TEL will be invited to help towards developing a 10-year time-horizon, dynamic (evolving) portfolio of stakeholders' Roadmaps for “current”, “desired” and “emerging” TEL in Europe, and to engage TEL stakeholder communities in an ongoing dialog around the issues reflected in these roadmaps. Knowing their future plans will enable us to target relevant information to them. The portfolio anticipates Fundamentally New Forms of Learning that emerge from within the participating TEL communities and possibly other communities that will be tracked, and progress on TEL Grand Challenges, as well as changes in transfer and scalability mechanisms on awareness building and knowledge management on the results of EU RTD projects. TEL-Map will pioneer and evaluate some of the more far-reaching changes in how TEL knowledge diffuses, facilitate the use within TEL of relevant futures methods, and enhance the state of the art in applying those methods to TEL. TEL-Map will map, compare and make sense of key emerging research and technology developments and their novel uses impacting on the Roadmaps and desired futures of TEL stakeholders. In particular, TEL-Map will investigate:

  • What the strong and weak signals are
  • What the knowledge gaps are
  • What the major distinct visions for the future are

Towards this, TEL‑Map will establish a pan-European TEL Observatory that functions as an alerting system for innovation, scanning for relevant emerging trends and events, empowering all engaged in TEL to build a multidimensional understanding of the crossroads and choose their best way forward. TEL-Map also aims to uncover the impact that has already been made by past TEL projects, reveal their adoption and use, and highlight their results, as well as discover the forces enhancing or blocking adoption and use of TEL. The TEL-Map portal will provide a single point of access to sources of information for European TEL, capturing, externalizing, aggregating and contrasting the views of different TEL stakeholder communities. Last but not least, TEL-Map will help establish a world-leading position for European TEL by improving the quality of learning, aiming via Roadmapping to reach this objective in effective and efficient ways.