Competencies for Universities – using Technology in Education (CUTE)
Funding: ERASMUS+: Strategic Partnership (KA203-867FE04B)
Project period: 1 September 2019 – 31 August 2022
Partners: Coordinator – University of Copenhagen, Teach, Teaching Centre Humanities (Denmark), University of Akureyri (Iceland), University of Murcia (Spain), AGH University of Science and Technology (Poland), National University of Ireland Galway (Ireland), GTN Solutions GmbH (Austria)
Associated partners: The Federal Center eEducation Austria, The University College of Education Upper Austria, National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in Ireland, Irish Universities Association, Instituto Nacional de Tecnologías Educativas y Formación del Profesorado (INTEF)
Goal: To develop a strategy at an institutional level to improve digital competencies for university teaching, based on the European Framework for Digital Competence for Educators (DigCompEdu).
- A mapping of the current institutional approaches to digital competence development with the DigCompEdu Framework. (IO1)
- An alignment of the DigCompEdu Framework with the Comet-tool creating pedagogical and organizational competence grids as the basis for Road maps for local development (IO2)
- Development of short-term actions piloted at each partner university or associated partner (IO3)
- A toolkit for using DigCompEdu to develop teachers' digital competencies in other institutions (IO4)
- Policy recommendations for the future development of the DigCompEdu Framework with a focus on Higher Education (IO5)
Comparing reports on online education during the pandemic, conducted among others by the Digital Centre or the Polish Society of Media Education it becomes clear that one of the problems most frequently raised by researchers is the low level of digital competence of teachers.
The attempt to translate traditional courses into an online form, and their receptive, instructional dimension, is a picture that raises questions about the quality of education and learning outcomes. The diagnosis is long overdue: more consideration should be given to the development of digital competences among teachers at schools and universities. The question is – how to get down to this.
The digital transformation that is happening on our watch, seems to be progressing rather slow in the case of universities. It is mostly driven by individual initiatives of teachers interested in digital tools. A more strategic, systemic approach is needed – and this is what the new Erasmus+ CUTE project, 'Competences for Universities – Using Technology in Education', will address.
In 2017, the European Commission published DigiCompEdu, the European Framework for Digital Competence of Educators. It is a multifunctional and flexible tool for supporting and developing teachers' digital competencies. It can be used for planning, monitoring professional development, training and evaluation, it helps facilitate structured conversations on how to reframe institutional strategies, to name but a few.
The CUTE project aims to create a strategy for the implementation of DigCompEdu in universities and to produce a set of tools and good practices that can support the development of digital competence of academic teachers. The materials and experience gathered during the project will help plan actions for different stages: awareness building, implementation and evaluation. The proposed strategies are dedicated to three groups of beneficiaries: university authorities, supporting units and academic teachers. The desired, far-reaching effect of the project is therefore the implementation of competence development strategies for academic teachers at the level of entire institutions.
What we have achieved so far:
▶️ First action plans that will be encapsulated in the institutional roadmap, later in the project.
▶️ COMET self-assessment tool
What we are currently working on in AGH University of Science and Technology:
💾 We have mapped our courses, webinars and meet-ups to the DigCompEdu framework. Gradually we are adding tags and labels with areas of DigCompEdu to our website. In the end, we will have all our actions labelled and linked to the DigCompEdu framework which will allow visitors to choose a training course or other action that helps develop specific competencies.
💾 Together with the University of Copenhagen, and the University of Akureyri we are preparing for the awareness-raising actions to be held in our institutions. The DigCompEdu is not well known in our local context, therefore we need to prepare a ground for further, strategic implementation of the framework. During workshops and webinars, we will introduce our colleagues with the European framework and trigger discussions and reflection on the necessity of developing teachers' digital literacy.
💾 In the meantime, we are populating project canvas with short- and long-term actions dedicated to our three main beneficiaries: university decision-makers, supporting units and academic teachers. Later in the project, we will use them to create roadmaps for each institution. Here are some examples of the actions.
💾 Finally, we are working on the Polish version of the DigCompEdu framework. We cooperate with representatives of local teaching institutions and communities to raise the awareness of the framework and CUTE project and to better adjust the tool to our local context.