The purpose of this presentation is to report on the process and emerging results of a European project, eLene-TLC that aims to define and validate the competencies needed for the pedagogical use of ICT in higher education, and to design and implement training actions to support university staff in the development of these competences.
There is an irrevocable shift towards an increased use of ICT-supported teaching and learning in higher education. The use of social software and digital tools offers a wide range of options to enhance teaching and learning, if they are embedded into innovative pedagogical concepts. It is also undeniable that we are facing a generation of students who regard access to information and teaching materials via Internet as the norm and who daily communicate and network using social software such as blogs, Wikis, Facebook etc.
This raises many questions for institutions of higher education: What competencies are required by the university teacher wishing to design innovative teaching scenarios that use ICT effectively? What should the objectives of training activities for teachers be in order to develop specific, appropriate ICT competencies and how should we assess and certify them?
The eLene network consists of a group of 9 higher education institutions from 8 countries who began working together informally in November 2003, and who have cooperated in three projects funded by the European Commission e-learning program: eLene-TT (e-Learning network for Teacher Training), eLene-EE (Economics of eLearning) and eLene-TLC (Teaching and Learning service Centre).
Building on earlier work on competence frameworks, such as the European eCompetence Initiative, and using national focus groups of teachers and teacher trainers from each partner institution, the eLene network identified the main roles of an online teacher and the competences associated with those roles, providing a uniquely European dimension to the development of a competency framework. These competences were then validated by means of an international group of 50 experts in the field of ICT enhanced teaching and learning, who took part in a final Internet-based validation process.
As a complement to the work carried out on ICT-related competences for teachers, work has also been carried out within the project on ICT-related competences for students, instructional designers and at university leadership level.
Working from the ICT-related competences identified, training actions have been developed that link the required competence with appropriate development activities, based on a needs analysis of the specific teaching and learning context of the university teacher. These training activities will be tested and evaluated by university teachers from the nine partner institutions 2007-2008,
Throughout the process of development and implementation, partners and participants reflect and continuously review both the process and results of work carried out and it is hoped that we will be able to contribute to the understanding of ICT-related competence development for university teachers.
A discussion of our choice of competences, working methods and results with other participants at the NU2008 conference would be more than welcome in our work to further develop training activities.
Lund: Centre for Educational Development, Lunds universitet , 2008.