To everyone in the 21st century it is essential to know how to operate and use digital applications correctly, but these skills differ depending on the job situation, role or activity. Students, lecturers, and administrative staff at universities each have their own needs. These are the three target groups that the DigiFit4All project focuses on. For them, researchers at four Austrian universities are developing learning materials to help them acquire digital skills. Before the researchers can set off to work however, they must first determine exactly what the individual needs are, so that accessing the knowledge transfer is personalized and oriented on individual competences. The University for Continuing Education Krems provides support for the target group of university administrators.
Ongoing digitization is noticeably transforming the way we live, learn and work. As a result, changes in technology require new qualifications. Not only in their educational mission, but also in their operations, universities are affected by the changing conditions in teaching and administration. Thus, there are three target groups at universities with very different learning needs: on the one hand, the students, on the other hand, the lecturers, and the administrative staff. What the learning needs of these three groups look like is one of the questions the project DigiFit4All investigates.
Personal learning paths
After carrying out a needs assessment, the aim of DigiFit4All is to draw up learning materials to help the above-mentioned groups at universities in developing digital competencies. The researchers will be looking at personal learning paths so that these learning materials are tailored to fit individual competences and needs by considering, for example, previous experience, interests, familiarity with different learning media such as traditional text or video, and other characteristics.
Qualitative interviews and content analyses are used to determine the learning content in order to achieve this goal. This is followed by prototype-based, step-by-step development of the learning material. In doing so, the project enables time- and location-independent, personalized learning activities and thus facilitates access to digital key competencies for the target groups. This creates a system for individualizing knowledge transfer. Ultimately, the digital learning resources will be stored in a digital archive with metadata and made available as a basis for future further developments and broader application scenarios.
Focus on administration
In this project the University for Continuing Education Krems has set itself the task of developing learning resources for employees working in university administration. So far, the researchers have already been able to develop a model of target group-specific competencies. With the help of students attending the study course eEducation, the data for this was collected using a qualitative interview study involving employees and managers at the 4 participating universities.
Moreover, the first prototypes have already been developed with users in order to prepare the learning resources suitably for the target group. In the next project phase two points are on the agenda: first, to test the learning materials created at the University for Continuing Education Krems on a broad scale; second, to explore the possibilities of publishing the learning content as Open Educational Resources that are freely accessible to all.
Funding: Federal Ministry Education, Science and Research
Responsible for the project: Prof Stefan Oppl
Participating research staff: Stefan Karlhuber
Coordination: Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt
Partners: Johannes Kepler University Linz, TU Vienna