One of the key competences any lecturer needs to develop is to identify good educational resources, and to modify, create and share digital resources that fit their learning objectives, learner group and teaching style. At the same time they need to be aware of how to responsibly use and manage digital content, respecting copyright rules and protecting personal data. These issues are at the heart of Area 2
Please consider where you stand in view of the following long-term goals.
Your answer: I only rarely use the internet to find resources
Using different internet sites and search strategies can help you in finding new digital educational resources and in designing your lesson. To get started, you can use an internet search engine or ask your colleagues how they find material to use for course content online. To find suitable resources via search engines or resource platforms, use a number of different key terms relevant for the course you will teach next. Sift through the results to identify different resources for different purposes, e.g. as illustrations, applications or extensions of the core content, or as materials for group work, formative or summative assessments or for learners' independent study. Compare and select resources to integrate into your teaching or for your learners to consult to complement what they learn in class.
To level up: Search online for suitable digital resources
Your answer: I use search engines and resource platforms to find relevant resources
Now it’s time to expand out your strategy. Ask your colleagues about their search strategies and how they select material. Join an online professional community to learn about or even jointly create collections of useful materials. Once you have built up a portfolio of good resources, you can compare them and choose the ones that best meet your course's learning objectives. If such a resource can't be found, well, maybe it can be created…
To level up: Amplify and evaluate the resources
Your answer: I evaluate and select resources on the basis of their suitability for my learner group
Focus on making sure that you have access to a variety of diverse educational resources to be able to choose the best for any given purpose. Look around as widely as you can. Ask around among colleagues or join online professional communities to learn about or even jointly create collections of useful materials. Once you have an good inventory of resources, concentrate on comparing options to find a resource that does not only fit, but is also accurate, reliable, engaging and appealing to learners. Don't limit yourself to what is available. Rather look out for new sites and resources and re-mix what is available to suit your needs.
To level up: Amplify, compare and re-mix
Your answer: I compare resources using a range of relevant criteria, e.g. reliability, quality, fit, design, interactivity, appeal
It is important to have access to a variety of diverse educational resources to be able to choose the best for any given purpose. Considering your expertise in this area, you should start sharing your knowledge and insights with your colleagues. This can be done, e.g. by compiling an information sheet or a website with useful resources, by jointly setting up a resource repository among colleagues, or by inviting your colleagues to online networks you find useful, etc. Try to make your knowledge valuable for improving teaching across the organisation.
To level up: Share your knowledge with colleagues
Your answer: I advise colleagues on suitable resources and search strategies
Make sure that this advice goes both ways, so that you also benefit from knowledge sharing, and include as many colleagues as possible. With your knowledge on digital resources you are in a prime position to join forces with other digitally engaged lecturers to foster innovation at the organisational level. You can start with something simple, like an information sheet or a website with useful resources, which you share with all colleagues, via e-mail or at staff meetings. You will soon be able to identify interested colleagues and together you can make your knowledge valuable for improving teaching across the whole organisation.
To level up: Foster digital resource use across the organisation
Your answer: I do not create my own digital resources
You may have done this many times, without labelling the work as creating digital resources, when you created an exam or a worksheet on a computer, or built a course site on a learning management platform. If not, start by creating a single digital resource like a course grading sheet.
To level up: Create a digital worksheet or exam
Your answer: I do create lecture notes or reading lists with a computer, but then I print them
The next step would be to share your lecture notes by e-mail or on the organisation's website, so that learners can download them anytime. Eventually, depending on your learners' access to computers, they may want to fill some of them in online. This is when you should consider using an online quiz. Ask your colleagues for websites, apps or programmes that they use to identify the best one for your purposes. Just start exploring and you will see how much easier it will be for you to provide your learners with really good learning resources.
To level up: Explore online quizzes
Your answer: I create digital presentations, but not much more
You already have the technical skills to make much more out of your teaching. The next step would be to explore more interactive and engaging formats that can be realised within the constraints of your educational setting. One option could be to consider online quizzes for learners to do as a self-assessment activity. You will find that there are many different tools available, often for free, that make it easy to set up a quiz and provide targeted feedback on wrong answers. If you are in doubt, ask your colleagues for recommendations to identify the best resource for your purposes.
To level up: Explore more interactive formats
Your answer: I create and modify different types of resources
What is important for you, at this level, is to remember that technology is a means and not an end. When you are creating or modifying digital resources, make sure not only to focus on the learning goals, but also on your learners' learning needs and preferences. At the same time, you should continue trying out new digital solutions to further enhance your practices, for example, digital resources or environments that are more engaging, more interactive or more collaborative.
To level up: Expand on interactive tools and collaborative environments
Your answer: I set up and adapt complex, interactive resources
What is important for you, at this high level, is to remember that technology is a means and not an end. When juggling with the different features of the many different digital tools, programmes and apps you use, keep your focus firmly on the concrete learning objective and your learners' learning needs and preferences.
To level up: Enhance the user experience
Your answer: I do not need to do that, because the department takes care of this
Most educational organisations have data protection policies in place. However, you need to do your part for them to be effective: Make sure to use passwords that cannot easily be guessed and avoid others watching you use them. Change your passwords regularly and delete data you no longer need, e.g. personal data of past learners. Take care to protect your personal devices if you store personal data on them. Use encryption when sharing files with personal data with other lecturers.
To level up: Critically review how you share files and protect personal devices
Your answer: I avoid storing personal data electronically
It is advisable not to collect personal data that is not needed. However, in education it is unavoidable that, for example, learners' names and grades are recorded. Paper records and exams are as susceptible to fraud as electronic records. Check if there are specific rules or recommendations in place in your educational organisation. If not, follow the general rules on data protection and start by using passwords that cannot easily be guessed to protect your digital devices and personal data.
To level up: Start with password-protected digital records
Your answer: I protect some personal data
Data protection is a responsibility for all lecturers. This protection becomes easier for you if you approach it systematically. For example: Protect your computer with a password that cannot easily be guessed and change it every month. Keep your firewalls and anti-virus programmes updated. Protect personal data, such as exams, learners' grades and reports with different passwords. Check if there are special rules or recommendations in place that will help you protect personal data systematically and effectively.
To level up: Systematically protect personal data
Your answer: I password protect files with personal
Don't forget to also password protect your personal computers and other devices you may store personal data on. Frequently update anti-virus programs and firewalls. Remember to use strong passwords that cannot easily be guessed, frequently change them and avoid others watching you use them. Use encryption when sharing files with personal data with other lecturers. Regularly review the effectiveness of the measures and consult the rules and recommendations in place in your educational organisation.
To level up: Develop a comprehensive approach to data protection
Your answer: I comprehensively protect personal data, e.g. combining hard-to-guess passwords with encryption and frequent software updates
Don't forget to also password protect the device(s) you store personal data on, frequently updating anti-virus programs and firewalls. Regularly review the effectiveness of the measures you have taken and remain updated on data protection rules and recommendations. Do not forget the human factor, e.g. others watching you when you type in your password.
To level up: Routinely review the effectiveness of your data protection strategies