16 SES 10 A, Implementation and Impact of ICT
The current European Higher Education Area (EHEA) is fostering the development and implementation of a teaching and learning model in which teaching roles are being challenged and shifted. Online or blended programs are the most significant way in which most of the universities are facing this situation, even if their aims are twofold: to increase the number of students and to adapt themselves to the new methodological approaches in an easiest way. Consequently, the organization of teaching, as well as cultural issues related to, have been adapted (Lokken and Womer, 2007; Sangrà and González-Sanmamed, 2004).
Teacher’s professional development becomes a key issue to get the highest levels of quality teaching and learning considering this situation. There is a discussion about the kind of competences teachers have to have to teach online. Some authors consider there are a set of teaching competences that are the same, no matter if they are going to be used in a face-to-face environment or in an online one (Bautista, Borges and Fores, 2006). Many others take into consideration that ICT change the educational context a lot, so in order to handle online teaching, no matter if the delivery is going to be blended or fully online, teachers should get a number of specific online teaching competences (Ardizzone and Rivoltella, 2004; Espasa, Guasch and Alvarez, 2009; Laat, Lally, Lipponen and Simons, 2007; Muñoz-Carril and González-Sanmamed, 2009). Bawane and Spector (2009) highlight that the characteristics of the programme, the role the teacher has to perform, and the resources available (financial, functional, and human) require specific competencies from the teachers in order to successfully carry out their mission. These specific competences should be achieved through training and experience, so different programs have been put into practice to increase the capacity of teachers to become good online teachers too.
Considering the previous references it is logical to state that online teaching faculty development is a must to efficiently teach in online environments (Mcdonald and Poniatowska, 2011). In addition, the emergence of the MOOC phenomenon has put online education in the leading edge of higher education provision, and after this starting, low level stage, competitiveness will ask for teachers with improved online teaching competences. Teaching methodologies in online education should be revised. There still is an important amount of programmes that just replicate the teaching methods used in face-to-face classrooms when shifting to an online course. Faculty development has to be a relevant tool for this shift, especially because also new teaching roles are arising (Bawane and Spector, 2009).
A group of Spanish researchers from different universities considered the opportunity of determining which is the support for and the provision of online teaching professional development in Spain, where online programmes have considerably increased in the last years, and to identify which is the strategy, or the lack of it, underlying their actions. Keeping this in mind, a research project that was partially funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education was carried out. This research aims to show that the current situation regarding provision and support for online teaching professional development in the Spanish universities is still far away of what will be needed for facing the very next future with some competitive advantage in the European scenario.
Ardizzone, P. and Rivoltella, P.C. (2004). E-learning. Métodos e instrumentos para la innovación de la enseñanza universitaria.Málaga: Aljibe. Bates, A.W. (Tony) and Sangrà, A. (2011). Managing technology in higher education. Strategies for transforming teaching and learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Bautista, G.; Borges, F. and Forés A. (2006). Didáctica universitaria en entornos virtuales de enseñanza-aprendizaje. Madrid: Narcea. Bawane, J. and Specto, J. (2009). Prioritization of online instructor roles: Implications for competency-based teacher education programs. Distance Education, 30(3), 383–397. Espasa A.; Guasch, T. and Alvarez, I. (2009). A methodological approach to identify teacher’s ICT competencies in online learning environments in Higher Education. 13th Biennial Conference EARLI. Amsterdam, August, 25-29. Laat, M.; Lally, V.; Lipponen, L. and Simons, R. (2007). Online teaching in networked learning communities: A multi-method approach to studying the role of the teacher.Instructional Science , 35(3): 257–286. Lokken, F. and Womer, L. (2007). Trends in e-learning: Tracking the impact of e-learning in higher education. Washington, DC: Instructional Technology Council. Macdonald, J. and Poniatowska, B. (2011). Designing the professional development of staff for teaching online: an OU (UK) case study, Distance Education, 32:1, 119-134. Muño-Carril, P.C. and González-Sanmamed, M. (2009). Plataformas de teleformación y herramientas telemáticas. Barcelona: Ediuoc. Sangrà, A. and González-Sanmamed, M. (eds.) (2004). La transformación de las universidades a través de las TIC: discursos y prácticas. Barcelona: Ediuoc.
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