This paper describes the aims, the methods, the stages and the results of the research project ‘e-University. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) as a factor of change in Italian universities’, undertaken between 2003 and 2006 by the Universities of Trento, Perugia and Sassari and the Catholic University of Milan. The characteristics of the four institutions' subjects and objects of the investigation are analysed as case studies and then compared as a cross-case study in the light of the factors that we feel constitute the main areas of concern in the four institutions as to the implementation of ICTs in the teaching/learning process, ie, the characteristics of the governance strategic plan, the choices relating to technology and the choices related to pedagogy. The paper describes the collaborative effort characterising the community of researchers through the different stages of the research. It also analyses how the individual features of each university—relating to its history, the number of students, the range of faculties, the diffusion of e-learning, the driving factors for innovation, the institution's policies—have fostered a lively and fruitful discussion between different view points, thus engendering deeper reflections for each context.
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