Innovative teaching methods in higher education

Himmelbauer/Michalek
The trend of integrating new information and communications technology into all facets of higher education is continuously expanding. There are different e-learning tools nowadays available; one of the most popular is Moodle. Such tools offer university stakeholders (management, academic staff and students) great opportunities for efficient knowledge transfer and skills, but the practical application under different environments (universities and countries) remains rather challenging.

In the line with the chief objectives of the on-going ACCES project, a training course on „Didactic and e-learning Innovative teaching methods and tools in higher education” was organised from 27th of November to 1st of December 2017 in Vienna. This training was supervised by the Centre of E-learning and Didactic at the BOKU. Several trainees (29% females) from the Georgian Technical University (GTU) - representatives of the young and experienced teaching staffs and of the academic leadership - participated the training.

The training aims at strengthening the staff competences through promoting excellence in innovative teaching and empowering teachers how to integrate e-learning platforms into study programs. The training was structured as follows:

  • Introduction to blended learning concept giving special focus on e-learning (Moodle) as a leading teaching approach at the BOKU University and in the higher education in Austria in general
  • Individual and group work on selected master courses of interest on using these methods, also covering related didactic and practical aspects under expert supervision.

The training process itself was planned following the blended learning concept combining of face to face lectures with self-organised (individual) learning also on PC (virtual learning) and reflecting, group work and presentation of the common pilot projects, discussions in plenum.

The trainers guided the participants through the basic steps of developing and integrating Moodle in their study courses. Moodle gives possibility of creating forums and surveys, organising lectures, assignments and tests; arranging libraries and glossaries, and to integrate extra digital resources and links. Through learning-by-doing, the participants learned how to apply the new methods for various educational purposes, also taking into account gender diversities when working on new study courses and syllabi.

By the end of the training, each participant awarded a certificate of attendance including a description of training content.