Seminar developed a concrete proposal to advance online education at UT
Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies has taken a proactive role in developing e-learning possibilities by creating specific content such as MOOCs, e-courses and flipped classrooms.
A growing number of universities have been engaged in debates on how to advance their digital capabilities in light of the most recent technological developments. The University of Tartu is no exception to this trend. Various initiatives to advance online learning have been developed at the university level. The latest of these was a 2-day event “Learn to Te(a)ch: Unlocking the Potential of Online Education” organised at the Skytte Institute on 7-8 November.
According to Dr Stefano Braghiroli, Lecturer of European Studies and one of the main organisers of the event, the necessity for a more integrated approach in online education was one of the reasons behind the organization of a seminar: “The seminar dealt with aspects related to raising awareness about the added value of digital tools in the field, increasing diversification of various types of online content, as well as expanding the networking modes of collaboration within and outside of UT.”
The seminar discussion consisted of different sessions combining both conceptual and practical aspects. First, participants were introduced to the latest trends and teaching methods in teaching innovation (i.e. augmented reality, personalized learning, use of HoloLens, etc.) by Ms Tanja de Bie, Project and Community Manager at the Centre for Innovation of the Leiden University.
Following the discussion of case studies, a more practical session followed, described Ms Anna Beitane, Project Manager at the Skytte Institute and one of the main organisers of the event: “The participants – divided into groups – engaged in a process of brainstorming on issues of awareness, diversification, and networking. Once clustered, the generated ideas were tested in a final session in light of concrete criteria such as technical feasibility, student/educator benefit, innovation impact, scalability, and economic sustainability. During this phase, each group of participants ranked all proposals accordingly, as summarized in the graph included.”
The seminar attracted 35 participants from different faculties and constituent units coming from academic, administrative, and student backgrounds. The event was organized within the framework of a 2016 Good Teaching Grant of the University of Tartu received by Dr Braghiroli.
The preliminary results were first presented at the Faculty of Social Sciences’ Autumn days held in Pärnu. The findings will be further summarized and elaborated in a coherent form which will be circulated to all the interested parties to continue the debate.
For more information about the seminar and its results, please contact Ms Anna Beitane, Project Manager, 737 5198, anna.beitane [ät] ut.ee.