PRE-SERVICE ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING BASED ON THE COLLABORATION AMONG TEACHERS
As a fully online university, the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) must promote the quality of teaching to apply its educational model that situates students’ in the center of their own learning process. Being aware of that, the Digital Competence Area at the University, performs a process of the teaching staff based on two phases: On one hand, a regular selection process (based on an analysis of the profiles of the candidates that must be digitally competent and an interview) and, on the other hand, an online workshop called Form@TIC. This workshop is specific only for the online teachers of a concrete course called “ICT competence” that promotes students’ acquisition of the Digital Competence in order to study online. This workshop provides pre-service teachers the knowledge to perform the teaching strategies in the future.
Regarding that, once they become part of the teaching staff of the Digital Competence Area will work fully online and in collaboration with more of 70 teachers, the Form@TIC online workshop focuses on collaborative online teaching. During the Workshop, that is developed in a month, pre-service teachers experiment the role of the online student, analyze the role of online teacher in order to apply the teaching strategies more adequate for any situation, work collaboratively to experience the online teamwork and get to know the Digital Competence course to suggest online resources and to design assessment tools.
In fact, this training is based on collaboration among teachers taking advantage of the potential of the ICT, while we make them reflect about what being online teacher means in the framework of a concrete course at the UOC. Thus, during the workshop a future professional scenario is simulated.
In order to give them the necessary knowledge about both Digital Competence Course and online teaching strategies, pre-service teachers can access, in a virtual classroom, to the resources used in the Digital Competence course and some specific about online teaching strategies. All resources are methodological, instrumental and reflexive.
Once the Form@TIC workshop finished, pre-service teachers complete an online survey where they have the chance to reflect about the training and assess it. A preliminary analysis of the surveys show that the candidates highly appreciate the acquisition of the online teamwork’s competence, the opportunity of sharing experiences with other teachers, the acquisition of knowledge that they will apply in their professional practice, the fact of experimenting the role of online students, being updated about Digital competence, to debate with peers about the role of online teacher and the development of a catalogue of online tools to get updated.
In conclusion, all of them agree that experiencing this training has allowed them to be updated on online teaching strategies, get to know UOC’s virtual campus, to communicate and collaborate in an online environment and to get a new path for their professional development.