Project Description

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“Working together for a greencompetitive and inclusive Europe”

In the second half of 2019, due to the fast spread of the COVID-19 virus, the pandemic crisis has put the entire world at the precipice, with numerous challenges covering a large area of the socio-economic life. A general reaction to the lockdown was the shift to teleworking, and mainly toward digitalization. McKinsey Global Institute published, in September 2020, the results of a study on 800 executives, showing that the adoption of digitalization has accelerated. In the paper “The future of work and skills in ETF partner countries” (2019), the European Training Foundation considers the digitization, artificial intelligence, and automation as some of the global trends. Digitization is increasingly influencing the global market and the dynamics of knowledge, innovation, and education. It is important to develop skills needed for remote work and learning, while the reform of education and lifelong learning systems need to include new technologies. The Global Innovation Index (GII), developed by Cornell University (2020), is structured on 7 chapters, including knowledge, innovation, human capital (education, training, R&D), ICTs and online creativity. Iceland is placed #21, and Romania #46 from 131 countries studied in the 2020 rank of GII. 2020 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report Teaching and Learning Edition identify 3 trends for higher education: Changes in Student Population, Alternative Pathways to Education, Online Education. Therefore, the global context shows that we are on a global education market that has to be connected with the world of work. Higher education is being challenged by large macro trends unfolding in the world surrounding it. These trends will shape the future of teaching and learning. We see four major trends emerging that will, to a greater or lesser extent, direct higher education strategy-making, namely social, technological, economic and political perspectives. Technological advancements will change the nature of teaching and learning through artificial intelligence, and the next-generation of digital learning environment (NGDLE). This project will be focused on the bigger picture developments around and within higher education. The goal is to create an understanding about the circumstances in which teaching and learning technologies and practices are taking shape, as well as about the world that institutions, instructors, and learners are going to find themselves in. Understanding the trajectories of these large-scale trends will aid our universities’ decision-makers to build more responsive and sustainable teaching and learning environments and practices within our institutions. 

The European Union Digital Strategy highlights the importance of digital skills, and states clearly that “This represents a major cultural change overseen by DG HR that will be achieved by equipping all staff (both IT professionals and non-IT staff) with the RIGHT SKILLS THROUGH TRAINING, coaching, knowledge sharing, etc.” 

The current project aims to determine the HEIs staff digital education knowledge gap, and proposes tools to address it on behalf of the faculties. Investing in human capital to develop digital education skills, and to easier adapt teaching methods to a blended, e-learning and tech, innovative based one represent one of the digitalization’s main pillar. HEIs staff is the target group of the project, and the proposed training curricula is the contribution of the project to enhance the quality of digital education and to showcase the importance of training. 

Recent studies show that the future will be digital, and in need of highly skilled human capital. With our project we are putting the first brick to the reconstruction of the higher education environment.