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Evangelinos 2015 - Embedding Digital Competences in the Curriculum - A Case Study on Student-Experience of an Online Technology-enhanced, Activity-based Learning Design.pdf (235.48 kB)

Embedding Digital Competences in the Curriculum: A Case Study on Student-Experience of an Online Technology-enhanced, Activity-based Learning Design

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-07-26, 13:38 authored by George Evangelinos, Debbie Holley
Eight online study activities that included elements of digital competences identified by the European Union Digital Competence (DIGCOMP) framework were delivered via an institutional Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to examine whether the participants possessed the digital skills necessary for their studies and check whether the needed skills should be offered as a separated training course or be embedded in the normal curriculum. Designed along Gilly Salmon’s ‘e-Tivity’ model the activities were offered to 102 first-year Midwifery students as a part of their first-year study module taught by a number of tutors under the co-ordination of the module leader in two different campuses; the eight sessions comprised of: a) a pre-course bespoke, self-assessment questionnaire to establish the digital-competence potential across the groups and identify areas of interest, b) six technology-enhanced e-tivities representing short problem-based tasks on midwifery-related content aimed at revealing different aspects of digital competences and c) the final activity focussed on reviewing the student experience through short reflective diaries. The majority of the participants reported that they gained or refreshed skills, characterised the tasks as ‘interesting’, ‘enjoyable and motivating their learning’, and declared their preference for the use of multimedia. Some of them liked the honing of self-directed learning skills and only a small number reported that the activities did not stretch enough to enhance the already possessed skills. A few reported distracted by non-facilitated online delivery of the activities and required clarification about the depth and the breadth of the needed detail. The same participants often expressed positive and negative experiences deriving from technology-use, appreciation for the increase of communication channels on offer, referred to self-awareness, to the impact of new technological developments, the social media, and the impact of challenging tasks; however, others thought that technological skills could be time-consuming to manage and that the availability of technology did not necessarily result in its increased use in demanding situations. It was extensively agreed that training and support for the use of technology were very important. As to the provision of feedback positive experiences summarised the need for meaningful and timely feedback, while others complained about the lack of direct communication with the tutors and requested examples to enable their better understanding on the nature of the work that had to be done. Group work was appreciated as it allowed acquaintance with the peers, the sharing of knowledge and skills, the exchanging of ideas and other. Networking and socialising with colleagues were well received, group-work tasks were seen as an ice-breaker and team-formation dynamics were identified when people were asked to work together; difficulties in participation were reported only by those who lived far from the university campus. From a pedagogic perspective comments were positive for information and research literacies, information dissemination and critical evaluation of the sources; only few stated preference for a standardised list of resources. Although the VLE was found easy to use, some problems reported when dealing with video files. The utilisation of various digital devices mainly concerned the participants’ needed technological skills and at the beginning some felt discouraged by the quality of work their more technically able peers presented. In conclusion two factors should be carefully examined: a) the lack of protected time within the curriculum delivery to undertake the activities and b) the lack of an accreditation scheme.


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European Distance and E-Learning Network

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Expanding Learning Scenarios, Opening Out the Educational Landscape: Proceedings of the European Distance and E-Learning Network 2015 Annual Conference

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European Distance and E-Learning Network 2015 Annual Conference


Barcelona, Spain

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  • eng

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ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)

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