VMU participated in European Distance and E-learning Network (EDEN) Research Workshop 2022, Dubrovnik

On September 19, 2022, Vytautas Magnus university prof. dr. Airina Volungeviciene, together with PhD student Rasa Greenspon, participated in the EDEN Research Workshop 2022: Towards Smart and Inclusive Learning Ecosystem, held in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Rasa Greenspon gave a presentation on the topic “A strategic reflection on digitalization in higher education. Developing a high-performance digital education ecosystem”. In the presentation, the DIGI-HE project deliverables, including the survey findings on digitally enhanced learning and teaching in European higher education institutions, the desk research report Developing a high performance digital education ecosystem, and the key insights from thematic peer groups, which were developed within the Erasmus+ co-funded DIGI-HE project, led by EUA (European University Associations) in cooperation with four universities, were presented.

Mostly, the presentation focused on the desk report and its findings as its relevance for higher education institutions, dealing with the digitalization of teaching and learning, is undeniable. The report provides an overview of 20 tools, used worldwide, to assess the processes of technology-enhanced teaching and learning, and digitalization in higher education institutions. The publication makes observations on the use of these tools by educational institutions for quality improvement and the development of digital skills. The report is addressed to higher education institutions, as well as policy makers, developers of similar tools and, more generally, all those seeking information on such measures.

Link to the report: Developing a high performance digital education ecosystem For more information on DIGI-HE project, click here.

Some insights from the presentation:

Recommendations for teachers before the start of the new semester

Dear Teachers,

With 2022 fall semester approaching quickly, we kindly remind you and recommend updating the following information in your Moodle courses:

  1. Change the date of the First lecture and specify the date of the Last lecture (if you do not know it, indicate the last day of the semester – December 31). Administration -> Course administration -> Edit settings -> change Course start date and Course end date.
  2. Update the dates of existing activities. It is possible to check and see the set dates of all activities at once -> Administration -> Course administration -> Reports -> Dates.
  3. Pay attention to whether the educational material is available (visible) to students (you can check this by activating the student role by clicking on your name in the upper right corner in Moodle and then Switch role to -> Student).
  4. Delete messages from previous semesters that were sent to the learners via discussion forum.
  5. Update the study description (the student guide).
  6. Delete student test attempts from the previous semester (it is required if you want to add/delete questions in the test activity).
  7. View whether uploaded video materials (videos, links, etc.) are available to students.
  8. Pay attention whether the authorship in your uploaded slides is indicated.

Synergies among international projects addressing online teaching and learning challenges

In 2022, from June 27 to July 1, VMU teachers participated in the training of the international project “Active Class: Activating Students in Online Classes” (“Active Class“), which aimed to introduce the flipped classroom methodology and its possibilities and peculiarities when planning blended and/or online teaching and learning. The training was aimed at lecturers from Vytautas Magnus University, Silesian University in Katowice and Sofia University. During the sessions, lecturers shared best practices on active student learning strategies in blended and online learning. Experts shared theoretical insights and presented their experiences with the flipped classroom methodology. Group discussions took place in national and international expert groups. The discussions provided more ideas for engaging students and increasing their participation in online classes. In addition to sharing best practices in online teaching and learning, participants also discussed the challenges they face in designing learning content and the growing need to develop digital competences to ensure smooth, engaging and evidence-based learning

VMU ISI team shared their experience of international projects aimed at developing institutional readiness for online teaching and learning, providing opportunities for University teachers to develop their digital competences, and creating a virtual learning environment that reflects modern studies. Participants underlined and agreed on the importance of synergies between all these aspects.

The following international projects conducted by VMU ISI were presented to the participants:

  • Transparent Assessment for Online Learning by Digitally Competent Professors – DIGI-PROF
  • Digital transformation in adult education for inclusive online training – TRANSFORM
  • Supporting the Development and Certification of the Digital Competences of Educators – EDDICO
  • European Credit Clearinghouse for Opening up Education – ECCOE

Following the project presentations, the training participants discussed how to develop and implement transparent assessment of online learning and digital recognition of learning outcomes to further promote mobility between European higher education institutions by adapting the established ECCOE framework. Next to this, the launch of a learning lab for adult educators was presented. This laboratory will help adult educators and adult education organisations to transform traditional training activities into online learning. At the same time, it will also help to empower trainers to transform and improve teaching strategies, to find learning opportunities and resources that are relevant and necessary for the acquisition of competences.

An intensive DiscoVET training course on digital badges and credentials

The DiscoVET project held an intensive training course at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics for representatives of higher education and vocational schools interested in the development, issuance, and use of digital badges for studies and/or professional development from 6th to 8th July. The project experts who organised and delivered the training presented the informal online learning course “Open badges and digitally signed credentials”, which provided training participants with the knowledge and tools to familiarise with this area, the theoretical context as well as easy to follow step-by-step guides to create, issue and manage your own digital badges and certificates. Three platforms for creating, issuing and/or storing digital badges and credentials were introduced during the training: Moodle, DISCO VET Player and Europass.

Rimantė Čepauskienė (project representative at partner institution VMU) presented the possibilities of creating and issuing digital badges and recommendations for describing the metadata of digital badges in the Moodle virtual learning environment. Given that Moodle is one of the most commonly used virtual learning environments in educational institutions, the participants of the course created and learnt how to issue digital badges to each other, thus trying out both the role of the issuer and the recipient.

The project experts pointed out that with the rapid development of digital badges and microcredentials and the growing demand for them, the challenges of issuing, assessing and recognising them are not only faced by educational institutions, but also by employers and the rest of the labour market.

Course participants agreed that the informal online learning course “Open Badges and Digitally Signed Credentials”, developed within the project, could be useful and relevant for educational institutions at different levels of education, the labour market, and other organisations providing professional development opportunities.

Just to remind, the project aims to build on the capabilities of the Open Badge 2.0 open standard to create an open-source platform (repository) where education providers and learners can collect (issue, retrieve, store, view) their digital badges in a way that is more meaningful and searchable. You can read more about the project on the project website.

 

 

 

VMU teacher trainings “How to apply ‘flipped class’ methodology for online teaching”

A team of VMU teachers took part in a 5-day international training “Activating students in online classes” which was organized as a part of the project “Active Class: Activating Students in Online Classes”. The training was organised by a project partner at Sofia University. This was the second project training for teachers from Sofia University, University of Silezia in Katowice and Vytautas Magnus University, who aimed to deepen their knowledge on the application of the flipped classroom methodology in online classes. 

During the trainings, the lecturers got acquainted with the principles of the flipped classroom in the teaching/learning process, looked for solutions how to integrate this method into their teaching and discussed the use of active methods for active online learning. Also, during the group work, the lecturers discussed different assessment strategies and the suitability of the chosen strategy for assessing the pre-planned activities and assignments.  

At the end of the training, the training participants presented the updated course study guides, in which teachers described in detail which part of the course will be “flipped”, what activities will be organised before, during and after the class, as well as how/if these activities will be assessed. 

Training participants agreed that consistency between the learning outcomes, the learning activities and the appropriately chosen assessment strategy are crucial for a smooth flipped teaching and learning process. 

The teacher training material is available here and on the project website. 

The teacher training course was organised as part of the Erasmus+ project “Activating Students in Online Classes”, no. 2020-1-PL01-KA226-HE-096358. 

More information about the project and other project outputs can be found on the project website. 

Active Class

Practical discussion-creating a microcredential

On 15 June 2022, the European Credit Clearinghouse for Opening up Education (ECCOE) seminar took place in Klaipėda. The aim of the workshop was to present the results of the ongoing international ECCOE project, to discuss and present what micro-credentials are, and to discuss with the participating teachers, educators, and representatives of educational institutions how to increase the acceptance of open, distance and flexible higher education through technology-based accreditation systems.

The workshop started with a presentation of the international project. The objectives, activities and results were presented. The workshop then went on to present the quality criteria developed for the description of courses, module competency cluster certificates and diplomas.

The workshop focused on practice, i.e. the development of micro-credentials and discussion questions. The workshop participants practiced how long it takes an inexperienced person to create a microcredential, what are the challenges, and, during the discussion, the workshop participants formulated strategic directions from the practitioners’ side on how to increase the recognition of open, distance and flexible higher education and, more generally, which target groups could benefit from this technology-based accreditation system.

You will find the slides of the seminar

Seminar program

VMU professors participated in the workshop DIGI-HE Workshop

VMU professors participated in the workshop “DIGI-HE Workshop 2: Developing a high-performance digital education ecosystem: institutional self-assessment”

Director of Institute of Innovative Studies, Prof. Airina Volungevičienė, and Chancellor of Education Academy, Prof. Lina Kaminskienė, participated in the workshop “DIGI-HE Workshop 2: Developing a high-performance digital education ecosystem: institutional self-assessment”, organized by European University Association (EUA) in partnership with the European Distance and E-learning Network (EDEN). The workshop took place on 24 May 2022, and was the second workshop of a three-part series, aimed at supporting institutions in the assessment of their achievements and opportunities in technology enhanced learning and teaching.

During the workshop, Prof. Lina Kaminskienė discussed about the importance of institutional self-assessment, and shared VMU experience on the institutional self-assessment process. Prof. Airina Volungevičienė gave a presentation on desk research report, “Developing a high- performance digital education ecosystem: institutional self- assessment instruments”, which analyzes institutional self-assessment instruments that can be used to support development of a high-performance digital education ecosystem

EDEN 2022 Annual Conference 20-22 June 2022

EDEN Digital Learning Europe is delighted to announce that the Annual Conference will be hosted by Tallinn University, Estonia, on 20-22 June 2022 in hybrid mode. We hope to see the majority of the participants face-to-face in Tallinn, but virtual participation will also be an option.

The digital ecosystem of education has experienced both challenges as well as innovation boosts within the last two years in Europe. This situation is a potential for EDEN as the hub of professionals dealing with digital transformation of educational organisations.

EDEN has a long history of supporting educators in online and distance education, providing a forum for discussion, learning, and refinement of best practices in this area. This pandemic has been no exception.

Registration required. We invite you to register 

 

Project TRANSFORM partners meeting in Athens

The first face-to-face project TRANSFORM Digital transformation in adult education for inclusive online training meeting took place in Athens, Greece, on 16-17 May. The project partners were happy to meet and discuss live and the results achieved.

During the two-day meeting, the activities and results that have already been achieved and which are still being pursued and are being actively worked on were discussed, so that the expected results would have the greatest possible added value and satisfaction for the project promoters.

The development of the Digital Transformation Learning Laboratory, which aims to help adult educators and adult education organizations to switch from traditional to distance learning to ensure high-quality inclusive distance learning that meets learners’ needs, was discussed.

Methodological guidelines and a questionnaire were presented to help ensure high quality subjects for distance learning.

Also, the project partners were happy to discuss the second meeting face to face.

Workshop: Developing a high-performance digital education ecosystem: institutional self-assessment

The workshop “DIGI-HE Workshop 2: Developing a high-performance digital education ecosystem: institutional self-assessment”

The workshop “DIGI-HE Workshop 2: Developing a high-performance digital education ecosystem: institutional self-assessment” will take place on 24 May 2022 at 14.00-16.30 (CET). This is the second workshop of a three-part series aimed at supporting institutions in the assessment of their achievements and opportunities in digitally enhanced learning and teaching. The workshop is organized by European University Association (EUA) in partnership with the European Distance and E-learning Network (EDEN). During the workshop, experiences in the use of self-assessment and self-assessment instruments for enhancing institutional approaches to digitally enhanced learning and teaching will be shared.  With a focus on the three topics of strategy and organisational culture, curriculum and assessment and international partnerships, which have been discussed under the DIGI-HE project, participants will exchange views on how they see their institutions developing in post-Covid times.

The workshop is free, aimed at HE managers responsible for learning and teaching as well as those working on the digital transformation of learning and teaching.

The program of the workshop can be found here.

Speakers

  • Airina Volungevičienė, Director, Institute of Innovative Studies, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania
  • Aisling McKenna, Director, Quality Promotion and Institutional Research, Dublin City University, Ireland
  • Lina Kaminskienė, Chancellor, Education Academy, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania
  • Michael Gaebel, Director, Higher Education Policy Unit, European University Association
  • Sandra Kučina Softić, President, European Distance and E-learning Network