The TeComp project
In the past ten years, Serbia and Albania have gone through a comprehensive reform of the higher education system aimed at its harmonization with the Bologna principles and the full integration into the European educational framework. As a reform outcome, in the field of natural and mathematical sciences modern study programs have been created with contents that strictly follow the European and world standards. However, the changes made in the way of studying and modernization of study programs have not sufficiently been accompanied by adequate changes in the way of teaching and learning, and we are faced with the continuation of reforms, which should be accomplished through the modernization of teaching and learning.
According to the report on New modes of learning and teaching in higher education, submitted by the European Union’s High-Level Group on the Modernisation of Higher Education to the European Commission and the report on Improving the quality of teaching and learning in Europe’s higher education institutions, submitted by the same group, the main task of European governments in the modernization of higher education is to strongly encourage and support a greater integration of new technologies and appropriate pedagogical approaches in conventional education. It was also pointed out that comprehensive strategies for the adoption of new modes of learning and teaching within higher education have to be developed at both the national and institutional level, and the main proponent of changes should be the teaching staff of these institutions. To be up to the task, the teaching staff must possess the knowledge and skills to allow them to fully utilise the range of new teaching tools available. Consequently, continual professional development for teaching staff must become the imperative across all higher education institutions.
The proposed project strictly follows the initiative and recommendations of the European Union’s High-Level Group on the Modernization of Higher Education (HLG) and consistently apply them in the modernization of teaching and learning in the field of natural and mathematical sciences at six higher education institutions in Serbia and Albania. In view of HLG’s recommendations, special attention is paid to pedagogical and methodological aspects of the use of ICT in teaching and learning, as well as to training in the use of new educational technologies. To stimulate internationalization, we are, also, planned to organise the training of teachers for teaching and academic writing in English.
Along with all these forms of training we will work on raising awareness about the necessity of modernizing teaching and learning through the integration of new technologies and relevant pedagogy. In order to demonstrate the benefits it brings both to teachers and students several pilot projects for the integration of online technologies and pedagogies within courses are planned to be launched, with special emphasis on their integration into laboratory classes. At our institutions we will also launch an initiative to develop and implement strategies for the support and on-going improvement of the quality of teaching and learning, especially for the adoption of new modes of learning and teaching.