On Thursday 18th of November, the official DigiTeL Pro launch took place. This collaborative European funded project began earlier in the year with the aim of bringing together a team of experts from several universities, well-known for their research and leading-edge innovation in digital education.
A major feature of the launch was an overview of three new online professional learning courses designed for higher educators. Each course, listed below, explores a different mode or dimension of digital education. Together they aim to support European educators to build their teaching skills and professional capabilities for digital education relevant to their particular interests and institutional contexts.
Course 1: Synchronous and Hybrid Education
Course 2: Blending Your Education
Course 3: Online Education
We invite you to register for these course and/or to share relevant details within your professional networks.
As part of the DigiTeL Pro launch event, we also provided a brief update on DCU’s free course, A Digital Edge: Essentials for the Online Learner, offered through FutureLearn. This course, co-facilitated by students and originally supported by IUA and the DCU Students’ Union, has so far attracted over 10,000 students worldwide with a completion rate of over 50%. Over 2,000 DCU students have claimed full certificates of completion. The course was a direct response to the COVID crisis and focuses on developing student readiness for online learning. It completes the suite of offerings supported by DigiTeL Pro.
To further infuse a strong student readiness dimension across and throughout all four courses, the NIDL team has undertaken a literature review to help answer the following questions:
- What research has been published reporting student readiness for online distance learning during the COVID crisis?
- How strong is the “learner voice” in COVID-related research reporting on student readiness for online distance learning?
- What lessons can be taken from the COVID-related literature on student readiness for new models of digital education?
A report of this research will be published in the New Year, but we can already conclude from our analysis that there is limited evidence of previous literature on student readiness informing the COVID response. Secondly, although numerous national and institutional surveys have been published over the past 18 months, which report on the COVID experience, the vast majority of this research does not adequately convey the student voice. Hence, this suggests that, with a handful of exceptions, an important gap remains in the literature which tells the students’ lived experience in their own words.
The above video provides a full recording of the DigiTeL Pro launch event. We look forward to sharing further information in 2022 on this project which is being led by the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU).