Last Tuesday 23 May 2017, INTEF was invited to speak at the Fifth European MOOCs Stakeholders Summit, hosted by UC3M, to whom we sincerely thank for the opportunity to share what The National Institute of Educational Technologies and Teacher Training (INTEF) have been doing regarding Massive Open Online Teacher Training in Spain for the last 4 years.
We took part in a session about National Policies on MOOCs, together with stakeholders from France, Germany and the Netherlands.
The session was moderated by Darco Jansen and for an hour we could present, deliver, share, debate and discuss on the potential of MOOCs and how the various Ministries of Education in Europe are tackling their regulation.
This session addressed the potential of MOOCs to respond to the challenges relating to changing societal needs in a global and digital economy, and to the modernization of Higher Education.
On a European level, although differences were observed between the countries, it seems that strong European involvement in MOOCs is widespread. However, the strongest involvement is seen in those countries and regions with supportive policies and structures. Institutional policies at national and regional level seem to be a determinant factor in the uptake of MOOCs. Prominent addressed questions were, amongst others: why should governments (not) care about MOOCs, what are the reasons for governments to stimulate MOOCs, what are the potential benefits to society from a MOOC-based strategy, and so forth.
The presentation by INTEF was about how MOOCs are being managed at the Ministry of Education in Spain, and the evolution of the INTEF Massive Open Online Teacher Training Catalogue for the last 4 years.
Here you are the support slideshow that we used at the panel, the talk transcript, and the recording of the whole morning session:
Although in Spain there is no specific educational policy regarding Massive Open Online Teacher Training, it is back in 2012 when The National Institute of Educational Technologies and Teacher Training in Spain identify three lines of work to structure a Strategic Framework for Professional Teacher Development, fully aligned at that time with European Union policies on Education and Training that have been implemented in the “EU cooperation in education and training (ET 2020)” program and in the proposals announced in the “Rethinking Education“ strategy.
The three lines of work were:
First. Focusing both initial teacher training and continuous professional development towards a new competency model of the teaching profession in the 21st century,
Second. Exploring new training roadmaps that facilitate professional collaboration,
Third. Establishing a common framework that allows the accreditation of professional competences for the teaching profession and the recognition of activities that show contrastable evidence of effective professional development with itineraries that encourage educational leadership.
It is under the second line of work within that Strategic Framework for Professional Teacher Development, that open online teacher training is first regarded as a way to train teachers on competencies and skills, to open up training so as to foster personalized learning, learning by doing, autonomous training, and training which seeks for shared knowledge and educational practice exchanges, which survive beyond the actual training periods.
Our massive open online courses are a training roadmap that focus on content dissemination and include an activity plan that opens to collaboration. They are not based on topic delivery, but promote online learning communities, autonomous learning, and social connections, and where the role of the facilitators, mentors and the whole dynamization team is essential.
The Massive Open Online Courses that INTEF run have a connectivist approach, the interactions and connections at social networks play a key role and rather than tutors, we have facilitators and energyzers who guide and accompany participants all along the learning experience.
The mail goal that our catalogue of massive open online courses pursue is that participants learn by doing and produce digital artifacts which showcase their learning progress, that help them improve their digital competences and that they can set up portfolios and learning diaries full of learning evidences which endorse the whole experience.
From only offering a pilot catalogue of 3 MOOC in 2014, we have evolved into offering a series of Nano Open Online Learning Experiences (NOOC), whose estimated effort is 180 minutes and that are oriented to achieving a single goal, to developing or improving a single digital competence, whose learning evidence is a single digital artifact.
Self- Paced Online Open Courses (SPOOC) to foster learning anywhere, anytime, at participants’ own rhythm, and that catalogue completes the whole circle of the Open Teacher Training that we are so far running at the Ministry of Education in Spain.
The concept underlying the whole offer is The Common Digital Competence Framework For Teachers, whose latest version was published in January 2017, so all our online training initiatives are based on that framework, divided into 5 Areas, 21 sub-competencies and six competence levels.
From the beginning, in 2014, up to this very day, over 77.000 teachers and professionals in the field of education have signed up and taken part in our MOOC, NOOC and SPOOC, all developed at a customized Open Edx learning management system, which we have enriched with the design of X-blocks that cover the needs for the social open online teacher training that INTEF support. For instance, we have technically designed a portfolio aggregator, so that the learning evidences produced by participants are visible and spread, we have made the learning system bilingual (Spanish – English) and we have come up with a badge X-block connected to our own Open Badge Backpack.
The Open Badge Backpack that INTEF is continuously developing is fully compatible with our Open Online learning managements systems, and it is a safe, open standard badge backpack, also manageable with other backpacks which support open standards.
The badges that INTEF issue are serious badges, which acknowledge achieved goals and professional competencies. Participants can share them in social networks, organise them in collections, show them in their INTEF Open Online Training Profiles, export them to their portfolios and to any other backpack that they might be using.
Besides, the backpack has recently incorporated a design tool so that you can create and edit your badges before issuing them if you are one of our badge issuers.
This backpack is born with the aim of becoming a professional portfolio of digital micro credentials that favor a rethought education, which does not train teachers based on the hours they spend on their own professional training, but on the competencies and skills they acquire and improve when continuously developing professionally.