Challenges of teaching with technology in higher education and ideas of the EU project DITECH"
Keywords:pandemic, universities, challenges, project DITECH, online learning platforms, digital skills
EU Erasmus+ educational projects have been helping to modernize University education, innovate and create the resources needed to meet the challenges of our education space for years. Following the spread of the new coronavirus COVID 19, the EU funded the project "Technology Enhanced Tea-ching and Learning in Georgian Universities" developed by Georgian universities and submitted for competition by Tallinn University. The project should become one of the important mechanisms for overcoming the challenges and threats created in the new situation. Its goal is to improve the quality of higher education through the development and introduction of technology-enhanced teaching-learning in Georgian universities. Aim of the research: Problems created on the basis of the new coronavirus COVID 19 in Georgian universities and identification of mechanisms to overcome them based on the concept of the EU project DITECH. Research Methods and Instruments: Qualitative and quantitative research methods are used in the research process: Identify problems in the online learning process after COVID 19 in Georgian universities using a survey method; Based on the documentary research, the concept of the EU educational project DITECH was analyzed; Research results: During the pandemic, a number of problems were identified in universities: the threat of full implementation of the educational process, the transition to the online educational process and the lack of experience in the use of online platforms in the educational process; the problem of placing learning resources on online platforms, limited access of students to them; creating online learning resources and increasing accessibility for students; validity of student knowledge assessment: the problem of homework, intermediate and final assessments, mechanisms for correct assessment of student knowledge; question marks in the possibilities of conducting laboratory trainings on the online platform and many other problems accompanying the learning process; Based on the study of the work performed on the basis of the project DITECH concept and the analysis of the data obtained as a result of the research, the existing problem-solving mechanisms were identified. The concept is directly in line with the challenges posed by the COVID 19 pandemic in Georgian universities and is one of the most important mechanisms for overcoming them. Based on the results of the first working year, syllabi developed for the undergraduate and graduate levels within the project are ready for piloting in the university field, with relevant learning outcomes, methods, assessment systems and teaching topics. Learning resources with exercises and cases are created for each topic presented in the syllabus; from the next semester it is planned to pilot not only the acquired knowledge and created materials in programs, but also to disseminate them in the form of trainings and seminars to the academic staff and teachers; The results of the project DITECH will help reduce the challenges and threats identified through research in universities: adapting the work of academic staff and stu-dents to online learning platforms, developing digital skills, increasing the introduction of new technologies and online learning opportunities in Georgian universities.