The proposed project is envisaged as a regional-scale project in Serbia and Albania whose main goal is to improve the quality of teaching and learning (T&L) in the field of natural and mathematical sciences at PC HEIs in line with advance EU practices. The project goal will be achieved through activities grouped into seven work packages.
The objective of WP1 (PREP) is to identify the necessary institutional measures, activities and documents for the successful implementation of new ways of T&L. First, the current situation at the PC HEIs will be analysed from the aspect of the level of education of the teaching staff in the areas of pedagogy and methodology of teaching (PMT), and the level of the use of technological innovations in T&L. After that, the experiences of the EU HEIs and forms and models of T&L that they use will be perceived, a comparative analysis will be performed, the needs and opportunities of the PC HEIs will be identified, and a concrete action plan will be made, with the necessary measures and actions.
The aim of WP2 (DEV) is to harness the potential of new technological developments in the service of high quality higher education in the PC HEIs by upgrading their educational infrastructure. This will include the purchase of equipment that will be used by the PC HEIs for forming videoconferencing rooms and modernizing classrooms and laboratories, as well as preparing printed and electronic learning material, and guidelines and instructions for the use of ICT in T&L.
One of our main objectives is to train and re-train teaching staff in the areas of PMT and the use of ICT in T&L, with a tendency to grow into a regular program of continuing professional development of teaching staff that will continue even after the completion of the project. Such training will be organised within the WP3 (DEV), with the participation of EU experts in the relevant fields. New opportunities in technology-enabled learning would potentiate organising some of this training as distance courses. Some of the teachers and teaching assistants who are the most active at these training sessions will have an opportunity to visit EU partners and see the best practice models of every topic they have learned about and to accumulate expertise. The WP3 also includes the training of teaching staff for teaching academic writing in English, as an important prerequisite for the true internationalization of the PC HEIs.
In order to foster wide integration of ICT in teaching and learning, several pilot projects will be launched in each of the areas of natural and mathematical sciences at the PC HEIs. This will be done within the WP4 (DEV) through the integration of online technologies into traditional coursers and laboratory classes and the development of systems for electronic testing. This will allow students easier access to the learning material and relevant information, better understanding and more efficient learning, as well as better communication with the teaching staff.
The WP5 (QP) should ensure the high quality results of the project. The quality will be monitored and analysed by the Quality Assurance and Monitoring Board (QAMB), on the basis of the internal work quality standards and procedures adopted by the CMT. In order to further improve and maintain the quality of the project results, interproject coaching and independent external monitoring will also be organised.
The dissemination of all project related information, activities and their deliverables will be done within the WP6 (DISS). It will start at the beginning of the project lifetime and it will continue during the project realization and after its completion. The project website will be created and regularly updated, presenting all necessary information about the project, about on-going and planned activities, project achievements based on reports, etc. The dissemination of the project information will be also ensured by designing and printing promo materials (leaflets, flyers, etc.). A number of popularization lectures will be organised, where information about the project will be given to project stakeholders, other HEIs, academic community and general public. To ensure the continuation of the training of teaching staff in the areas of PPM and the use of ICT in T&L even after the project is completed, a Rulebook on continuing professional development in the field of teaching will be prepared and submitted to the relevant PC HEI’s bodies for eventual adoption. Moreover, following the initiative and recommendations of the European Union’s High-Level Group on the Modernisation of Higher Education that all European HEIs have to develop and implement a strategy for the support and on-going improvement of the quality of T&L, a proposal of such strategy will also be prepared and submitted to the relevant PC HEI’s bodies for adoption. A unified questionnaire for evaluating the quality of teaching will also be developed. The work package WP7 (MNG) deals both with the overall coordination and management of the project and the local management (on the level of individual institutions and the level of all PC institutions). The project management bodies will be the Central Management Team (CMT), which deals with general issues of project management and makes decisions that are of vital interest to all the institutions involved in the project, and the Local Coordinating Team (LCT), which deals with those issues which are not of vital interest to the EU HEIs involved in the project, but only to the PC HEIs. CMT and LCT will have regular meetings, but ongoing issues of the project management will also be resolved via e-mail, video-conferencing and other modern means of communication. Project management will be greatly facilitated by the creation of an online platform for project administration (Project Administration Platform – PAP), which will serve as the basis both for project implementation and financial administration.