(first bullet) The central goal of this effort is to provide high school teachers with an innovative e-learning environment based on the Next Generation Digital Learning Environment (NGDLE) principles . This will enable high school teachers to empower their students with the transversal skills and competencies they need to succeed at University. The project is uniquely placed on the transition path from secondary to tertiary level education, and focuses on developing teachers’ skills and digital competencies specifically for this purpose. (second bullet) NGDLE can be described as a loose network of various components, designed to work together — “a confederation of IT systems and application components that adhere to common standards, both technical and otherwise, that would enable diversity while fostering coherence.” Or, “a dynamic, interconnected, ever-evolving community of learners, instructors, tools, and content.” The LMS could continue to be one part of this broader ecosystem; the NGDLE doesn’t so much replace the LMS as supplement it, creating a context. (third bullet) The successful implementation of the CPD program is crucial for the success of the pilots, not only as a way to create a critical mass of teachers and students capable of using the platform, but also to further improve the learning platform itself by collecting and incorporating valuable feedback from teacher communities. (fourth bullet) Description of these key aspects will be followed by samples of teachers’ post-CPD feedback as evidence of participants’ increased awareness regarding the project’s new technologies and pedagogical methods.
(first bullet) To define the skills under review, we used frameworks validated in the professional literature as well as by recent international policies, for example Framework for 21st Century Learning. The questionnaires investigated perceptions regarding 60 skills, in 13 areas: 1. Information, 2. Text Processing, 3. Data Processing, 4. Media and Communication, 5. Media Languages and Production, 6. Creative Content Reuse and Storytelling, 7. Critical/Strategic Thinking, 8. Thinking the Environment, 9. Tools Management, 10. Creative Thinking, 11. Self-management / Flexibility, 12. Self-management / Resilience, 13. Social Relationships Management. The responses were scaled to a Likert scale from 1 to 5 (1-not at all, 5-extremely). The skills were grouped into three macro-areas: • Media and Information Literacy • Cognitive skills • Socio-relational skills (second bullet) According to teachers, the main skills required by students to succeed at university are as follows: Media and Information Literacy abilities ranked top, together with “evaluating information validity and credibility” (3.64), followed by “browsing, searching and selecting information” (3.63) and “consulting efficiently libraries and archives” (3.46). Some character skills also play a substantial role, including socio-relational competencies: “cultivating self-esteem and confidence” (3.45), “being passionate about own interests” (3.43), and “collaborating with others to solve problems” (3.42) and “working in a team” (3.01). According to school teachers, the top five skills, in ranked order, that students require for university are autonomy, responsibility, motivation, IT, languages and critical thinking. In contrast, university lecturers rated the top five skills as critical thinking, autonomy and responsibility, collaboration, writing, reading and creativity in ranked order, as shown in Fig.1 below (U-University Teachers, S-School Teachers).
Teachers and principals outline a reality where not enough attention is devoted to professional development and subsequent implementation of - for instance – Project Based Learning (PBL) models, and the use and reuse of Open Educational Resources (OERs). Above all, there seem to be a lack of a vision about students and teachers being knowledge-building communities working in direct contact with universities, businesses and institutions.
(first bullet) Technological tools and teaching methods that effectively support the Core Target Skills mentioned above. The suggested plan for the first module was: 1. Introductory Session: Subject presentation and the main aims of the Professional Development (PD) activities. 2. Online & Face-to-Face Sessions: The Sessions could be held either online or face-to-face, as best suits the needs of the participants. The sessions could be organized as follows: Introduction and overview of the PD – Engaging hearts and minds, rationale behind the project, why teachers should come on board. Student-centered approaches to learning methods and PD – principles, methods, ideas, contextualized in teachers’ subject areas. Focus on discipline-specific areas that are ‘gateway’ subjects such as mathematics, science and academic English as lingua franca of science and academia. Use Cases: This session can serve as an introductory section to the core tools of the NGDLE. Teachers would be encouraged to contribute their suggestions in order to gather feedback for the next improved version. Practical Applications: Need-based detailed demonstrations of the NGDLE toolkit in different subject areas, are provided to show teachers how these tools can ‘map’ onto key digital competencies. 3. Closing Session: This session can provide an opportunity to remind participants of key aspects of CPD and assess to what extent they have benefitted from Module 1. Participants can provide their input and feedback for improving future cycles of professional development and suggest modifications and improvements to the toolbox and the process for developing students’ skills.
(second bullet) In the second Module, the teachers’ assignment was to video-record themselves while they teach some aspect of the skills with tools covered in the first Module. To encourage completion of the assignments, these could be done either individually or in pairs. The suggested plan for Module 2 is described below: Online sessions: Focus on specific tools and their integration into specific areas of the school curriculum and informal tutoring. Similar methodology based on both synchronous and asynchronous sessions. Incorporation of the platform and its tools into teaching practices. Description of further, more advanced use cases.
(third bullet) Teachers who completed Module 3 were encouraged to engage colleagues and support them, while they begin to implement some courses with the tools and services learned in Module 1 in their classrooms. Module 3 participants will also encourage colleagues and additional schools to use the proposed Next Generation Digital Learning Environment.
(first bullet) Teachers who participated in CPD in different countries are able to choose which of the following five assignment options they preferred in accordance with the needs of their local context: • Design a Moodle course • Video recording a ‘selfie’ of a model lesson that illustrates how specific tools can be used to focus on specific core competencies. • Collecting exemplars of tasks that teachers assign across the curricula to focus on developing core competencies in different subject areas. • Using a generic template as a guide, design a single-phase learning scenario to develop Core Competencies either in a specific subject area, or a multi-phase interdisciplinary learning • Designing a course unit of 1 - 3 lessons that focus on developing Core Competencies in a specific subject area, using any technology-based tools or solutions in the NGDLE. (second bullet) Interactions between NGDLE tools are tracked with the central Learning Record Store (LRS) in order to show to what extent teachers, engage with tools and resources. This produced Learning Analytics (LA) data for CPD participants. Moodle is currently the main Learning Management System (LMS) of the NGDLE platform. It is able to send a subset of the core events via the xAPI logstore into the LRS. This, enables us to get a partial view of the level of engagement and instructional design the teacher was involved with, setting up the course and managing it. Another option is to use Moodle internal reports and various analytics plugins. In this way, we are able to monitor teachers’ use of the platform, gaining a comprehensive view about their ability to access resources and exploit them to produce educational objects. Learning Analytics in a NGDLE, in fact, express their true potential just by monitoring different users’ actions and behavior on the platform. Thus, Learning Analytics are complementing other strategies and assessment tools. (pre-cpd questionnaire) Before the start of the CPD Modules, participants completed a survey that assessed teachers’ current position on the technology take-up continuum, as well as their prior knowledge on how to develop the core competencies to bridge High School – University gaps. Objectives of the pre-CPD survey included identifying possible teacher resistance, specific needs of a particular group and aspects of CPD that may require additional emphasis. (post-CPD) After Module 1, the post-CPD questionnaire repeated questions from the pre-CPD questionnaire to investigate changes in teachers’ perceptions after the CPD Modules. In addition, post-CPD questionnaire requested feedback from participants regarding: • Relevance – is the new knowledge gained perceived as practical and what can the proposed change offer students and teachers in their specific subject areas? • Readiness - does knowledge and skills provided in the CPD address a perceived need? Do teachers have the time that it requires? Does the school have the equipment and infrastructure needed to implement? Is the change compatible with the culture of the school? • Resources – availability of support materials.
(first bullet) Thus, the evaluation of the first module of the CPD, is also in progress.
(third bullet) About a half of them (12), can be considered as STEM teachers (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). The majority of these teachers (72%) have over 15 years of teaching experience, while 77% are high school teachers. The
(first bullet) As a result, the goal, the purpose and the pedagogical aspects of the CPD should be made clear and effectively addressed from the outset. (second bullet) We expect this positive trend to continue with their evaluation in all pilot countries (third bullet) These data will also indicate in which countries and in what ways we can continue improving our large-scale CPD.
Continuous professional development for secondary education teachers to adopt NGDLE platforms
Continuous Professional Development for
Secondary Education Teachers to adopt Next
Generation Digital Learning Environment
D. Pantazatos1, M. Grammatikou1, I. Barth2, S. Lariccia3, V. Maglaris1
1 National Technical University of Athens (GREECE)
2 Tel Aviv University (ISRAEL)
3 Sapienza Università di Roma (ITALY)
EDUCON2020 – IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference
What is a CPD for teachers?
Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for teachers is a planned,
continuous and lifelong process whereby teachers try to develop their
personal and professional qualities and to improve their professional
knowledge and skills.
A ‘well-structured CPD can lead to successful changes in teachers’
practice, school improvement and improvements in students'
Although the benefits, status and effectiveness of CPD have been well-
documented, it was observed that it is important to understand not just
whether benefits or changes occur, but who benefits and how these
benefits accrue, and not just what is effective, but who is defining effective
and by what measure. As a result, they differentiate between three types
of impacts of the possible benefits of CPD:
CPD that leads to changes in students', teachers' or school practices seen as
desirable by either teachers or head teachers is understood as having direct impacts.
CPD that enhances a teacher's status or career prospects, and even salary, is
considered as imparting indirect benefits to teachers.
CPD that increases recruitment or retention is considered as imparting indirect
benefits to the school.
Aspects of the implemented CPD
It was designed to help high school teachers to bridge the High
School – University gaps as part of the Up2University (Up2U)
European Commission innovation project.
It focused on a comprehensive e-learning platform based in the
NGDLE architecture as a potentially powerful way to enhance
teaching and learning, as well as to develop the skills and digital
competencies that students need in order to better prepare for
It was implemented as part of the pilot activities of the Up2U project in
eight countries to date (Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania,
Poland, Portugal and Spain) by the project partners.
Although key aspects of proposed CPD were identical for all
participating countries, each project partner was free to modify the
proposed structure, based on each country’s local context and needs.
First Steps towards developing
As a first step towards identifying which skills and
competencies are needed for bridging the High School –
University gaps, we collected and cross-referenced the views of
school teachers and university lecturers (275 high school
teachers and 97 University lecturers), across eight countries to
identify in which areas they perceived the widest gaps.
The general picture that emerged from this survey in the
schools, is a lack of adequate preparation and dissemination of
innovative practices that effectively exploit digital technologies
to enhance teaching and learning.
CPD Goals & Target Population
Empowerment of high school teachers to make informed decisions about how to
integrate student-centered teaching methods and technological tools in order to help their
students acquire core competencies they need to succeed at university.
Motivation of teachers to become involved and contribute to the development of the
Demonstration of effective ways of expanding learning beyond the classroom by
integrating formal and informal learning, for example, by utilizing video-based instruction
and curating OERs to support flipped classroom models (DigCompEdu Area 2).
Encouragement of teachers to create communities of practice where ideas for the project
and best practices can be shared across curriculum areas, schools and countries
(DigCompEdu Area 1 - 1.2)
The target was differentiated according to their attitudes towards integrating new
technologies and teaching models in their classrooms:
Reluctant to move out of their comfort zones, try new teaching methods and trust new
technologies (DigCompEdu A Levels).
Moderately motivated to use and/or experiment with the above (DigCompEdu B levels).
Very motivated to use and/or experiment with the above (DigCompEdu C Levels).
Module 1 – Introduction and Orientation to main components of
Module 2 – Hands-on implementation and practice: Teachers
who have chosen to continue to the second module, applied
what they learned in Module 1 in their own classrooms, with
their own students.
Module 3 – Teachers who submitted their Module 2 assignment
for assessment are able to proceed to the third and final
module. This module follows a Cascade or ‘train-the-trainer’
model to facilitate scaling up to the project’s goal of reaching
1,500 high schools across participating EU countries and
Evaluation of the CPD
Tools for direct and indirect assessment of CPD participants were
designed and developed by the project partners in collaboration
with internationally recognized experts in the field of assessment
in order to investigate the impact of two large-size pilots on
students and teachers in the pilot countries.
Learning Analytics – Moodle tracking of CPD participants
Teacher questionnaires before and after CPD
Teachers’ Participation in Module
Teachers Participated in Module 1 Activities
since the beginning of the project
Country Schools Teachers
Germany 2 10
Greece 70 220
Hungary 14 75
Italy 86 124
Lithuania 370 790
Poland 56 70
Portugal 7 50
Spain 15 30
Visits in the central e-learning platform
instance from 1st of September 2019 to 15th
of December 2019
Visits in the Lithuanian e-learning platform
from September 2019 to 15th of December
First Evaluation Results from the
CPD Module 1 activities
The first module of the first large-scale iteration of the CPD activities was
in progress until the COVID19 crisis.
However, some initial results from the pre- and post-CPD questionnaires
for the first module are available from Greece. The responses were scaled
to a Likert scale from 1 to 5 (1-not at all, 5-extremely).
25 School teachers have answered pre- and post- CPD questionnaires,
According to the participants, their experience from the first module of the
CPD activities can be described as follows:
The training learning content and support materials, were both helpful (4.6 out of 5 in
the Likert scale) and applicable to their classroom teaching (4.0)
Regarding the learning approach and methods, the participants found them helpful
(4.5) and also applicable to their classroom teaching (4.1)
Regarding the CPD training, teachers think that it provided enough hands-on
opportunities to use the learning platform (4.0). It also seems that this training has
provided a considerable amount of opportunities to exchange ideas with people who
teach the same subject areas (3.5) and solutions to closing high school gaps that are
practical and doable in terms of time and effort that need to be invested. (3.8).
Their overall experience with the CPD Module 1 was quite good (4.2 out of 5) while
the 91% of the participants would recommend this module to somebody else.
A large-scale CPD requires a scalable and flexible strategy,
especially when it is organized in different countries.
The initial results, after the end of the first CPD Module, are
quite encouraging regarding the successful implementation of
the large-scale CPD activities.
Final evaluation data from all the pilot countries will provide a
comprehensive view of the strengths and possible
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