Educational Development - Challenges, Opportunities, Tools and Techniques
Keywords:Educational development, Pedagogical development, Technology-enhanced learning, , Teaching and learning tools, Pedagogical action research
: As pointed out by many researchers, the ongoing pandemic has been a catalyst for educational development. With the increasing need for reskilling and lifelong learning, the current model of technology-enhanced learning needs updating, and so does also the university programmes for bachelor's and master's students. This study is based on an online brainstorming session and submitted development plans in the HEaD (Higher Education and Digitalisation) project, a five-year initiative for technology-enhanced educational development. HEaD is a development project aimed at supporting university teachers to work with research and development in the field of technology-enhanced and lifelong learning. As the research strategy, an action research approach was used, with the purpose of improving the educational process where authors also have the roles of teachers and facilitators. The aim of the study is to describe and discuss pilot project members' perceptions of challenges, opportunities, tools and techniques in higher education development. Data gathered from workshop discussion summaries and project plans were thematically analysed. Ideas from the workshop sessions were written down and saved with the use of the digital notice board Padlet. Results from the thematic analysis have been grouped into the four predefined categories of challenges, opportunities, tools and techniques. Findings show that course participants and project members have interesting ideas that have the potential to reinforce the current educational model at the university. Several tools and techniques that could support synchronous as well as asynchronous online learning will be tested and evaluated. Both the workshop summaries and the project plans show a high degree of creativity, but on the other hand, the method descriptions were scarce and would need improvement. The conclusion is that the project has had a good start if seen as development, but that there is a need for improvement and more input to achieve the intended core idea of research and development.