Academic Instruction in a Digital World: The Virtual TAU Case

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The Virtual TAU (Tel Aviv University) initiative ( was launched in the year 2000, aimed at fostering and stimulating a process by which instructors and students would use the internet to enrich prevailing learning processes and make traditional instruction more efficient and flexible. After a decade of intensive implementation, Virtual TAU aims to: enrich campus-wide academic instruction at TAU; use innovative ICTs in academic instruction to improve the quality of learning and teaching; promote research in the field of online-learning; and contribute to society by offering open online courses to the general public (MOOCs: Massive Open Online Courses). Virtual TAU focuses on three main pillars: developing and providing conceptual, pedagogical models for online-learning; providing training and technical support for instructors and students via workshops, one-to-one meetings, seminars, help-desk, on-line tutorials, and a support Web site; and research and assessment. In the 2012/13 academic year, approximately 2,700 lecturers incorporated roughly 500,000 web learning items in close to 6,000 course sites. During the same time period, the system counted approximately 30 million entries to Virtual TAU by 30,000 students and approximately 2,000 simultaneous student entries. Research and assessment are ongoing activities within Virtual TAU. The presentation will describe the innovative strategic program of Virtual TAU, focusing on the evolving addition of mobile technologies to the academic learning environment; developing innovative pedagogical online academic models using emerging technologies for TAU students and for the public (MOOCs); and integrating social network applications into the learning environment to enrich the learning experience. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-16
Number of pages8
JournalProcedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences
StatePublished - 2015
EventGlobal Conference on Contemporary Issues in Education - Las Vegas, United States
Duration: 12 Jul 201414 Jul 2014


  • Academic instruction
  • Mobile Learning
  • Online Learning
  • Fully online courses
  • Strategic program
  • Web-supported learning


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