Open Lab for the up-skilling of higher educational staff in on-line Μanagement Εducation

The attention to e-learning in higher education (HE) has been raised in the past years after the arrival of the massive online open courses (MOOCs) while digitalisation in HE stands high on policy agendas at European and national levels (Bologna Process Implementation Report, 2018). This year the Covid-19 pandemic has caused the largest disruption of education in history having an impact on learners and trainers in all levels and types of education (United Nations, 2020). The transition to online training wasn’t an easy task and particularly not for the educational staff. The higher education staff (HES) and particularly those that teach more theoretical topics do not necessarily have the appropriate ICT knowledge and skills to successfully support online training. Successful online training is not only accomplished by using online educational methods and tools such as interactive platforms, videos, web conferencing tools, online creation of assignments and quizzes or the selection of high quality online educational resources. It is the appropriate online delivery pedagogy that engages students through online learning. In management education (ME) this process is even more demanding as a set of social and economic studies which is associated with solving problems and decision-making situations (Carneiro, 2004). Thus, theory, practice and reflection must continuously be linked in the learning process. In this context adult educators should integrate technologies and pedagogies in order to create and maintain positive learning environments, where students are actively engaged, cooperate, analyse situations, make decisions, face and solve problems. OLMedu project aims at the creation of an open lab for the up-skilling of HES staff in online management education. Its main objectives are: a) To provide higher educational staff with the proper knowledge, skills and competences required to facilitate distance learning using technologies and tools of online training b) To cultivate their ability to embed the appropriate pedagogies, into the online environment, form their teaching-learning process using online methodologies, adjusted to the training context of management education c) To create training activities and learning material to be studied and followed by HEI educational staff in order them to effectively create positive learning environments for their students, train them to collaborate, make decisions, solve problems and integrate them into strategic scenarios d) To create the capacity of HEI training staff to develop online simulations and integrate them in their training offering practice using a newly developed user-friendly tool e) To create an open access learning repository and online community of practice for the development of online training delivery skills and competences for HEI educational staff Five organisations from three Mediterranean countries (Cyprus, Greece, Italy) (4 HEIs and 1 SME), with experience in management education, development of platforms and tools for distance education and development and delivery of training and consulting services, are members of the OLMEdu partnership. The activities foreseen aim to produce the following outputs: a) The development of training content for the up-skilling of HES in the use of ICT technologies and online training in ME b) The development of learning material for the use of online training and ICT technologies in teaching management c) The development of a Toolbox for developing online simulations in ME d) The development of an online learning repository for HEI educational staff OLMEdu will apply a combination of active, collaborative, experiential, reflective and transformational learning, employing project work, team work, design thinking, problem solving and other process-oriented, adult learning techniques. Such a combination has never been developed before in ME. The project approach is based upon 4 logical steps: RESEARCH – DESIGN – TESTING – STREAMLINING. Products will be tested in a piloting phase adapted and presented in multiplier events. Activities have been designed in a goal oriented and sequential manner. The results expected from the project are both tangible and intangible and the expected impact is multilevel and addressed at local, regional, national, European and/or international level. The potential of the funded activities will be maximised via the production of high-quality and transferable results and dissemination activities to ensure a large number of potential stakeholders shall use the results beyond the lifetime of the project.

People:

Achilleas Achilleos, BSc, MSc, PhD - Coordinator

Andreas Konstantinidis, PhD - Lead Researcher

Panayiota Kyriakou - Researcher