Modernization and Internationalisation of Iranian HEIs via collaborative TEL-based curriculum development in engineering and STEM
Guidelines for Research
State of the Art of HE for TEL
Institutional and National Report
The aim of baseline analysis is to identify details of the current practices and methodologies of HEIs in Engineering and STEM studies (pedagogical approaches and ICT-supported tools and systems). It will be done both at PC and EU levels and it will be focused on the state of the Art of HEIs in Engineering and STEM studies in relation to the pedagogical approaches and ICT-supported tools and systems used.
PC HEIs will produce a baseline analysis at institutional level and national level. The study methodology will follow a bottom up approach integrating a literature review with an action research involving 13 professors and instructional designers, 4 business actors and 10 students per each PC HEI in interviews allowing for a stratified sample. The filed-work analysis will be conducted through structured/semi-structured interviews, questionnaires and surveys to acquire qualitative and quantitative data. Academics, businesses and students real-life experience will be captured and used as “content” for developing participative learning activities contextualised during the training development phase.
This guideline has been prepared for all partners of the UNITEL project in order to conduct the baseline research analysis. In the first part of this document, a brief history has been given how WP1 started and how the main framework of research was defined. Details on the questionnaire preparation have been described as well. In the next pasrt of this guideline, the methodology of WP1 is explained and instructions are given for the partners on how to prepare the institutional and national report. Finally, the expected outcome and the due date of the report is presented.
The main purpose of the UNITEL project is to support modernisation, internationalisation and accessibility of the HE system within the partner country (Iran) through the development of innovative pedagogical approaches based on collaborative technology enhanced learning methodologies.
The UNITEL project aims at tackling the challenges outlined in section D.1 by implementing a working methodology that allows the consortium to achieve two main specific objectives:
- empowering engineering and STEM departments in Iranian universities in enhancing skills and competences of professors and instructional designers on innovative collaborative ICT-based practices as a means to increase curriculum modernisation and internationalization
- modernisation of engineering and STEM curriculum through the development of flexible and accessible training path boosting new educational approaches based on technology enhanced learning and collaborative methodologies
The UNITEL project identified the following target groups, which will benefit from the project:
Primary target groups (direct beneficiaries) at PC HEIs level:
- Engineering and STEM departments professors and instructional designers (technical and pedagogical staff) 13 each PC HEI (total 91, 30% of which instructional designers): they will be directly involved with a bottom up approach at all stages of the project implementation.
Secondary target group (direct beneficiaries) at PC HEIs level:
- University students, also from peripheral/disadvantaged areas/institutions (including people with migrant background as it will be outlined in the Diversity Policy and Action Plan) 100 students per each PC HEI (total 700 students): they will be also involved since the beginning participating in the baseline analysis and will afterwards be directly engaged in attending the modernised courses and providing their feedback on them.
Indirect beneficiaries at PC level:
- Project stakeholders including HE practitioners, ministries and authorities, industry–related representatives, advisory bodies and institutes, policy makers, students’ associations and families (5000 people will be reached via dissemination and communication tools and strategies). They will be actively involved in the project, through dissemination, exploitation and QA activities.
Indirect beneficiaries at EU and PC level:
- UNITEL consortium will undoubtedly strengthen its cooperation network and improve its own skills in terms of connection to professional and social communities and in the fulfilment of its needs and expectations. Furthermore, project activities will increase potential for relations development among PC HEIs and between PC HEIs and EU HEIs.
In order to guarantee that the project responded to the target users’ needs a set of well-planned activities led to the achievement of concrete results:
- baseline analysis: identifies details of the current practices and methodologies of HEIs in Engineering and STEM studies (pedagogical approaches and ICT-supported tools and systems)
- e-course for faculty staff: defines the curriculum in terms of course objectives and learning outcomes and designs the online course focused on ICT-supported tools and systems applied to innovative pedagogical approaches composed of Learning Objects that will be developed jointly by partners based on their expertise;
- piloting phase I: a total of 91 professors and instructional designers in PC HEIs will be trained using the online course delivered through an e-learning platform, which also enabled participants to share opinions, discuss issues among themselves and seek experts’ advice on various situations and challenges they were confronted with.
- piloting phase II: trained faculty staff is to modernise its own course based on the acquired skills and knowledge. The modernised courses will be accredited within each PC HEI and delivered to a test group of students (at least 10 each course each HEI for a total of 700 students).
The “knowledge spill-over” effects would contribute for the improvement and modernization of education not only at a university level but also at a national level. The consortium will advance beyond simply designing one curriculum but rather towards a methodology for designing programmes for “reskilling” or planning new and better careers in STEM. This way, educational curriculums will be designed to focus on STEM, technology and leadership skills in new and exciting ways. Demand in target countries is already shifting towards vocational skills, lifelong learning and the ability of the new employee to arrive with a specific practical skills set and be fully “job ready”. This requirement is met through the employment of agile, adaptable and bespoke curriculums.
Short- and long-term benefits for HE, business and society generating EU Added Value will be:
- enhancement of the inter-cultural dialog among the participating countries;
- provision of a common framework stimulating the exchange and synthesis of experiences and best practices gained through collaboration of experts from different sectors of EU and Iran;
- fostering the link: education-business-society.
Because the identified challenges are relevant at different levels, UNI-TEL will focus (a) firstly on faculty staff members (professors and instructional designers) and students and (b) at a second level on the higher education system, policy makers and stakeholders. The UNI-TEL consortium will put in place a holistic approach starting from those who deliver and accept education and extending to those who plan and administer it in order to strengthen the key contribution which education makes to personal and professional development, social inclusion and participation.
Project public deliverables will be made available to the public via the website, thus increasing the number of visitors. Push activities include the constant publication of project-related news and content on popular social media and online channels, as well as the distribution of printed material (newsletters, brochures, …).
Social media channels are as follows:
(brochure e posters scaricabili)
Dissemination tools and material include the website and media, printed material, lectures/presentations etc. The project website will constitute the main online dissemination tool, supported by online social media, in EN and FA. The partners will design and produce project leaflets and brochures in FA and EN. In addition, press releases and reports will be distributed, while academic will participate in international conferences, producing scientific papers and delivering lectures.