Society is changing, and learning methods have to change with them. The educational changes that are taking place everywhere, and at universities in particular, must be highlighted. (Photo: Flickr UOC_Universitat)
Yudy Garavito Diaz
Society is changing, and learning methods have to change with them. The educational changes that are taking place everywhere, and at universities in particular, must be highlighted
With over 25 years of experience in 100% online education, the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) provides content, stories, research and all its experience in digital transformation in the education sector for the entire academic community
The UOC has advised governments and institutions from various parts of the world on how to implement online and/or hybrid models
Digital transformation in higher education, digital ecosystems, the use of technology in learning and e-learning are just some of the terms that have gained currency in recent years. Educational institutions and governments have needed to change or adapt their learning models in order to create more flexible teaching models, without neglecting the educational quality of their training processes.
For this reason the UOC, the world's first digital native university, is launching the Sharing Learning project, with which it aims to pool the knowledge and experience it has acquired over its almost 30-year history, and which provides strategic and operational answers for institutions facing the uncertainties or questions that often arise during processes of change, improvement and reflection on digital formats and the use of technology in higher education.
According to Pastora Martínez Samper, vice president for Globalization and Cooperation at the UOC, higher education institutions must reflect on their educational and organizational models, and focus on integrating technology into all their processes, thus enabling them to have a positive impact on society and overcome digital divides without leaving anyone behind. "The challenges of the future of higher education are undoubtedly shared, and as a result, they must be addressed within a network, taking each member's experience and skills into account in order to achieve a greater impact and better results".
Sharing the UOC's knowledge and experience
Various institutions in different countries have approached the UOC to address the digital transformation process. Silvia Sivera, the director of the UOC's eLearning Innovation Center (eLinC), explained that "our support process is made up of several phases that are adapted to the institution's specific needs. That's how throughout the support phase, which is highly personalized, we can also identify change management needs and specific needs related to digital transformation, which we can respond to together, in collaboration with the institutions".
Throughout these years, the UOC has supported governments and educational institutions in Latin America with the aim of increasing access to and coverage of higher education through e-learning. "The UOC has a presence in various Latin American countries, where we work together with and supplement the existing university system. Thanks to our experience, we know how online methods can lead to greater coverage of and access to higher education, providing learning opportunities to everyone who wants them, and leaving nobody behind", said Gemma Xarles, director of Globalization and Cooperation department.
Sharing Learning: a project for sharing knowledge and experiences in digital ecosystems
Sharing Learning seeks to share the knowledge of the UOC and that of other institutions that have addressed the digitalization process. Multimedia content will be shared on the university's social media outlets to help educational agents to learn more about the various topics related to the digital transformation process in the education sector.
The contents of the project can be followed on various social media with the hashtag #SharingLearning and on the Sharing Learning page.
The project addresses the digital transformation of institutions based on four key factors:
- • People, who as the main figures involved must be committed, promote cultural change and the new organizational model within their organizations, and train in digital skills.
- • Technology, as a means to facilitate educational and management processes, collecting, analysing and using the data provided by students' actions, and incorporating emerging technologies applicable to education.
- • Management and academic processes, with students as the primary consideration, and with decisions being made by and for them, while always thinking about how to optimize operations to improve internal and external services.
- • Comprehensive communication management, as a cornerstone for responding to resistance to change, maintaining flexible, clear and fluid communication internally and externally, and having a presence in the various channels for that purpose.