New and emerging technologies are forcing universities to change their approach to teaching and reconsider the process of learning. The competitive threat for traditional universities is not emerging virtual universities, but credible, established universities that have learned to use technology to meet student needs for meaningful learning opportunities. Higher education institutions need to invest in new teaching technologies or risk being uncompetitive within global markets (Soko, et al. 2015).
However, some academic staff still resist taking advantage of available technologies in their teaching, and some EU Universities offer robust online digital education courses and resources, while others lag behind offering few to no online learning opportunities. Immediate research is needed to determine how EU educators perceive adopting new technologies. Given evidence-based confirmation of benefits, robustness and rigour in online learning, why do some educators act as change blockers to new digital technology initiatives in higher educational reform? Although some of the resistance is ingrained in educators’ philosophical values and beliefs, the relevant literature and a needs-analysis conducted with all DIG-IT partners also identified the cost of and time required to design and learn how to design study units and resources as a barrier. There must be intentional development of educational supports that help conversion to online curriculum.
DIG-IT will explore how EU universities, and the healthcare industry can collaborate to benefit from international networks that support educators to develop confidence and skills to use emerging technologies to enhance learning opportunities. Creating an inter-nations learning community of practice and collaboratively creating, sharing and distributing online continuing education (CE), open access resources will reduce redundancy, time and cost.
University and industry collaborations in workplace education are manifesting themselves as a competitive advantage due to complementary core competencies, new ways of matching work and study, versatile study paths and, ultimately, securing and maintaining better employment. The need for convenient, accessible, CE is not a problem exclusive to academic staff. The healthcare sector has thousands of busy practitioners needing CE while trying to ensure patient safety.
The purpose of Dig-It is to:
- Correct the imbalance and inequity of digital education opportunities offered at EU universities to improve student learning opportunities, satisfaction, and success in a digital world.
- Provide solutions to the barriers preventing some educators from embracing technology to enhance teaching.
- Explore education and industries collaborations to pioneer learning processes and accessibly, convenient CE.
- Create an innovative partnership model of teaching and learning.
The intellectual outputs of Dig-It are:
- Quality Standards: An Innovative Interactive Digital Education Framework And Companion Evaluation Toolkit
- Design, Deliver And Evaluate A Robust Innovative Digital Education Continuing Education Course For Academic Staff Including Healthcare Professionals
- Designing And Delivering The Train-The-Trainer Online Course
- Bilingual (English And Italian) Digital Resources For Healthcare Professionals To Offer Mobile Learning At The Point Of Care And Enable Global Distribution
- Website And Repository Of Free Innovative Digital Education Resources To Reduce Redundancy, Cost And Time
- Program Evaluation Of Continuing Education Online Courses, Resources And Repository