Hacking Education through eLearning and Open Education Erasmus Project

General information for the Hacking Education through eLearning and Open Education Erasmus Project

Hacking Education through eLearning and Open Education Erasmus Project
July 7, 2020 12:00 am
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Project Title

Hacking Education through eLearning and Open Education

Project Key Action

This project related with these key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project Action Type

This project related with this action type : Strategic Partnerships for higher education

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2017

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: New innovative curricula/educational methods/development of training courses; Open and distance learning; ICT – new technologies – digital competences

Project Summary

The EduHack project (Hacking Education through eLearning and Open Education) was created to address the recommendation in the 2013 European Commission’s Communication on Opening Up Education to “Support teachers’ professional development through open online courses”, a recommendation followed by a number of policy initiatives and actions that have put a renewed emphasis on the creation and pedagogically-sound use of digital resources for education. The research accompanying the Opening Up Education Communication, in fact, found that 50%-80% of students in EU countries never use digital textbooks, software, broadcasts/podcasts, simulations or learning games, that most teachers do not consider themselves as “digitally confident” or able to teach digital skills effectively, and that 70% of teachers would like more training in using ICTs. What these numbers currently indicate is a large and systemic ICT-skills deficiency, also felt within education, which is suffering from an acute lack of teachers with the appropriate expertise to design and develop digital educational resources and run ICT-enabled educational courses.

In this specific context, in which an increasingly pressing demand for digital competences related to the massive diffusion of technologies in education does not correspond to an effective possibility to acquire them quickly and easily (a demand that became more and more urgent in 2020 due of the Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent revolution that educational institutions at all levels were forced to face in order to ensure effective distance learning), the EduHack project aimed to tackle this gap by:

– Improving the digital skills and competences of higher education teaching staff in developing and delivering content for distance courses, with attention to open education approaches, thanks to the creation of an open and innovative capacity-building program.
– Promoting the creation of teachers’ groups from different backgrounds and of other professionals (media-production experts, quality-assurance professionals, web developers, etc.) to share and combine work and to strengthen trans-disciplinary collaboration in the field of digital education.
– Creating a network of institutions interested to experiment with new teaching approaches and spread them in their own context, enlarging the potential benefits, and promoting a virtuous circle.
– Creating a support network that enabled teachers and institutions to freely and collaboratively explore the co-creation of digital content, greatly enhancing their confidence in the ability to create.

In order to reach these objectives, the five partners involved in the EduHack project (Politecnico di Torino, Universidad Internacional de La Rioja, Coventry University, ATiT, Knowledge Innovation Centre), worked together to create a blended and innovative capacity-building program intended for university teachers who wanted to become familiar with the use of digital tools and approaches and to increase their digital skills, competences, and confidence. The program has been piloted in the three partner universities, which involved their own communities of teachers (main target) to test its effectiveness, and it has been (and will continue to be) spread and promoted in a broader context, involving in the process other universities and institutions that have joined the EduHack “extended network”. In particular, the activities of the Edu-Hack project have been:

– The creation of a Curriculum of contents and an online course (open, collaborative, active: https://eduhack.eu/course/), composed of four learning areas and nineteen teaching units.
– The creation of an online infrastructure WordPress based, made up of a service space (Website: https://eduhack.eu/), collaboration and publishing spaces (Splots: https://wall-it.eduhack.eu/-https://wall-es.eduhack.eu/-https://wall-en.eduhack.eu/-https://polito.eduhack.eu/-https://unir.eduhack.eu/-https://coventry.eduhack.eu/), a smart content aggregator (EduHack Community Hub: https://hub.eduhack.eu/), all preparatory to the three piloting paths realized (and that will be potentially replicated in the future), and useful to make the learning experience more interactive and engaging.
– The piloting of the online course in the three partner universities, with the involvement of over one hundred higher education teachers who followed with success the activities proposed.
– The organization of three EduHackathons (offline and online: https://eduhack.eu/eduhackathons/) in the three partner universities, in which teachers, but also other professionals interested in participating, worked together on the development of ideas on digital tools and practices potentially useful for distance teaching and learning.
– The creation of the EduHack Toolbox (https://eduhack.eu/outputs/o4/the-toolbox-contents-2/), an online book with the guidelines on how to use the materials and the technical infrastructure for all those who want to replicate the experience in their own context, universities or other institutions.
– The building of the EduHack Network (https://eduhack.eu/network/), an informal network of practitioners in institutions interested in the project and its approach and contents, a real community that will try to replicate the experience made within the Edu-Hack project in other contexts and continue to collaborate on improving the project and enlarging the number of beneficiaries of the Edu-Hack project.

Summarizing, the results of the Edu-Hack projects are:

– 1 open online course, with an open digital badge system for the certification of the competences.
– 1 multisite WordPress based with different learning and collaborative environments (1 website, 6 Splots).
– 1 semantic connected platform (Community Hub), linked to the main multisite.
– 3 training pilot online courses (Spain, Italy, UK: 158 participants).
– 3 hackathons-pilot events, offline and online (Spain, Italy, UK: 75 participants).
– 12 trans-disciplinary groups that worked on 12 ideas for the development of new digital tools and new teaching practices for education.
– 1 online “toolbox” (or guidelines) for a collection of the project experience and the full instructions and tools for its replicability in other contexts.
– 1 network of 25 members including universities, stakeholders and institutions that worked (and will work) with regard to the adoption of approach and contents developed, guaranteeing a long-term impact of the project.

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 437886,25 Eur

Project Coordinator

POLITECNICO DI TORINO & Country: IT

Project Partners

  • UNIVERSIDAD INTERNACIONAL DE LA RIOJA SA
  • ATIT BVBA
  • KNOWLEDGE INNOVATION CENTRE (MALTA) LTD
  • COVENTRY UNIVERSITY