Holistic approach towards problem-based ICT education based on international cooperation in pandemic conditions (Erasmus+ 2020-1-PL01-KA226-HE-096196)

During the COVID-19-induced pandemic, the entire European Community has been facing serious challenges. The COVID-19 has a strong influence on higher education. The European universities switched to distance learning for the safety of students and teaching staff. The shortcomings of the traditional teaching practice to adopt to pandemic conditions have become more explicit. The main challenges have been:

  1. Motivating students for active participation;
  2. Organizing laboratory exercises;
  3. Assessment of students´ competences.

Besides challenges imposed by COVID-19 pandemic, there is a strong need for transformation of education:

  1. While in the industrial society the main focus of education was to contribute to the development of procedural knowledge, in the information or knowledge society the development of conceptual and metacognitive knowledge is increasingly considered important;
  2. According to modern learning theories, knowledge cannot be transmitted, but has to be constructed by each learner in the appropriate social context;
  3. Student-active teaching methods with emphasis on student collaboration and reflection on the learning process are shown to be much more appropriate for the new needs.
  4. Assessment methods are shown to be the key factor that steers the way students learn. It is therefore of great importance to develop assessment methods that support development of 21st century skills.

Constructive alignment of learning goals, teaching methods and assessment practice is therefore a key issue.

The project aims to address the needs of adapting teaching and assessment methods to pandemic conditions, but also adapting the education system to the 21st century (or knowledge-society) needs and state-of-the art pedagogical research. This general objective will be achieved by applying the holistic approach through mutual transnational cooperation among four university partners from Poland (Bialystok University of Technology), Norway (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Serbia (University of Niš) and Bulgaria (University of Ruse „Angel Kanchev”), and a number of additional industrial partners. The basic innovation lies in the holistic approach covering the set of the activities: novel teaching methodology, elaboration of new courses programmes, edition of digital materials (manuals, reports, problems, exercises, tests, etc.), writing textbooks and training of academic teachers to involve them in this new teaching way.

The following results will be achieved during the project implementation:

  1. The innovative problem-based methodology under pandemic conditions will be developed and will be supported by appropriate digital presentations.
  2. Digital resources will be created in educating teachers for acquiring new skills related to the problem-based methodology. Detailed schedules, presentations and recorded movies will be accessed at the project website.
  3. Digital teaching resources will be created in selected areas of ICT applicable for a group of problem-based courses. At least eight courses will be modernized. The introduction-to-lecture movies, interactive lecture presentations, project statements, lab exercises and online exam tests will be created.
  4. At least three multimedia books will be prepared with the aim to enable students to follow online lectures and prepare exams under pandemic conditions. A collection of students’ lab projects sharing best practices within partner universities will be edited.

Duration of the project: 24 months (01.06.2021-31.05.2023).

The total value of the project budget: 234.700,00 EUR.