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Sustainicum Collection

Consus The aim of the project is to establish a regional science-society network for sustainability innovations in Albania and Kosovo in order to strengthen the connection and collaboration of institutions in the field of higher education, research and practice.
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Resource facts

  • Independent of the number of students
  • up to 1 semester
  • Internet connection necessary
  • English, Shqip

Resource Description

Instruction file

Additional attachments

Online Teaching Support Platform(Resource ID: 304)

x Please note: module with excess length - more than
7 lecture units required!
Albanian lecturers continue to rely on out-dated teaching methods who view the classroom as the main venue where teaching and learning takes place. By implementing this new Teaching Resource in subjects related to EU Policies and European integration, I aim to introduce an online teaching aid resource which will enable a continuous interaction between the lecturer and the students and the among students themselves outside the classroom, especially for dynamic and fluid issues such as those related to the European Union. Through such teaching resources, students will feel more ownership of the teaching/learning process, will be more involved, and consequently, more successful.

Most established universities have been relying for some time now on on-line platforms through which lecturers communicate with their students outside the classroom. From posting lecture notes, assignments, interesting course-related developments, forum posts, blogs, group discussions and more, these on-line teaching platforms provide many opportunities for more and a different kind of communication between course participants.  Unfortunately, in Albania this practice is very limited at best. My goal is to - in cooperation with the university’s IT support - begin the work for establishing such a platform during the subject EU Policy. Considering the subject, one can say that EU issues are higly dynamic, they require an interactive approach and call for inclusion and integration of actors into the explanation of related issues. Thus, I plan to initially introduce the platform to a few select modules in our undergraduate programs and then expand it progressively. This platform, can be very useful not to just our undergraduate and Masters Program, but also to our PhD program in which many Albanians living in Kosovo and surrounding states are enrolled. Through such platforms we could facilitate their participation in different PhD – related events and seminars without ‘forcing’ them to travel. Actors from the university which interact outside of the institution (such as the UET Centre; Foundation for Economic Freedom, etc.) will be invited to contribute in the platform, add topics and respond to studnets' concerns on specific EU related issues.

By using technology to increase student interest and provide opportunities for the practical application of the theoretical material, this teaching resource will stimulate interest and increase student performance, as well as class attendance.

Integration of Social Stakeholders
The online teaching support platform brings closer, and on a more equal footing, the student and the lecturer. Albanian universities suffer from a hierarchical student-lecturer relationship with most of the power vested on the lecturer. This platform will allow them to communicate on a more equal level virtually, which can spill over into their classroom communication.
In addition this platform can integrate the students’ families more in the teaching/learning process as it could enable students to share their experiences and activities with family members as they complete them at home. This is very important as an engaged family is a crucial element for a successful educational experience.
This platform integrates the university environment, often being accused as being too insular, with events as they develop. By offering the opportunity to write blogs, post forums and group discussions on relevant and on-going events teaching can become more relevant to the ‘real world’ and more in-tune with it without losing its academic character.
Actors from the society field (such as UET Centre; Foundation for Economic Freedom, etc.) will be invited to contribute in the platform, add topics and respond to studnets' concerns on specific EU related issues.
Strength
The main strength is that it opens a new venue of communication and provides lecturers with more ways to teach and reach their students. In addition, this tool cuts into the 1-week space that exists between lectures and consequently decreases the likelihood of the material being forgotten and overshadowed by other developments.
Weakness
The Albanian educational system relies very little on technology and on-line teaching support mechanisms, which means that most students will be unaware, and at first, uneasy with such tool. So there will be difficulties at first as students will be wholly unfamiliar with such a platform. I also fear that a significant push-back might come from the faculty that are used to doing things a certain way and are not comfortable with change. However, I believe both are problems that can be overcome.
Learning Outcomes
The outcome of this teaching resource will be an engaged student body that is connected with the course in a more profound and continuous level. So I would expect more class attendance as a result of increased interaction, more clarity on course assignments and requirements, more academic-related interaction among students, and ultimately even an increase in overall academic performance. For the lecturers I expect more virtual contact with the students and an increased capacity to evaluate their learning, follow their development, and identify best practices.
Relevance for Sustainability
The platform is important for providing a durable and transferable knowledge database which lecturers can use to learn from and develop their modules. Ideally, when the platform is fully operational and covers the entire university it will enable lecturers to see what colleagues are doing, learn from them, and avoid repetition. For students it can be a good guide in selecting modules based on more than just word of mouth. As importantly, it can be a tool for participating in learning beyond the classroom. For the community, this platform can be an ideal way to (re)integrate the family in the learning process and allow them to trace and contribute to their children's academic progress.
Related Teaching Resources
NA
Preparation Efforts
High
Preparation Efforts Description
This project requires intense preparation efforts. First, it requires cooperation with the IT support office to establish the platform. Second, and as important, it requires continuous preparation from the lecturer not just during the phase of the design of the course and delivery of the lecture, but also during the period in-between lectures to keep student engagement high and assess them continuously.
Access
Free
Assessment
There is no assessment for the implementation of this Teaching Resource. The Lecturer will just monitor the capacity and activism of its students in the class.
Credit/Certification Description
It does not apply.
Sources and Links

http://www.uet.edu.al/index.php/sq/jean-monnet-chair-home

http://blogactiv.eu/

http://www.ies.be/node/2716

http://www.uet.edu.al/index.php/en/visegrad

 

Funded by
This teaching resource, realised within the project ConSus, has been funded with the support of the TEMPUS of the European Union. The contents reflect the views of the authors, and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Contact

Elvin Gjevori
elvin.gjevori(at)uet.edu.al
This teaching resource is allocated to following University:
UET - European University of Tirana
Date:

License

Creative Commons
BY-NC-ND

Teaching Tools & Methods

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