Skip to main content

Cross-Border Educational Innovation thru Technology-Enhanced Research

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CEITER (Cross-Border Educational Innovation thru Technology-Enhanced Research)

Reporting period: 2015-07-01 to 2016-09-30

The Lifelong Learning Strategy for Estonia envisions digital turn in formal and informal education, order to change the learning paradigm towards more self-directed, creative and collaborative learning. One-to-one computing, digital learning resources, semantic web tools, linked data applications and interoperable cloud computing services will be used to build and evaluate tailored educational opportunities for every learner. This will maximize each student’s self-actualization aspirations and role in the tomorrow’s society and adaptation of educational institutions in Estonia along the expectations of rapidly changing job market and European education space.

It is also well aligned with the EU Education & Training 2020 strategic framework, which aims at transforming education to deliver better socio-economic outcomes in the long term. Hence change in the approach to learning is needed in Estonia as well as across Europe, as teaching the skills needed in the 21st century demand creativity, entrepreneurial approaches and evidence-based policies at all levels and types of education. This in turn requires teaching methods and learning environment that considers each learner’s individual and social development and is tailored to his/her needs and capabilities. Latest developments in cognitive and developmental psychology enhanced by the innovations in the ICT sector show a strong potential for scalable applications to flexible and personalized approach to teaching.

CEITER project together with the new ERA Chair holder specifically addresses the move towards implementing formative assessment method in schools, which in practice aims at supporting individual learning and development curve of the learner by evaluating personal progress.

The main objective of CEITER is to facilitate structural changes to foster excellent interdisciplinary research combining methods, instruments and experts from educational sciences, cognitive psychology, human-computer interaction, media studies and learning analytics by establishing an ERA Chair position at Tallinn University helping thus the university to achieve its scientific vision and contribute to European Research Area.
"WP1 – Project management
The first task of WP1 was establishment of the Advisory Board which aim is to advise CEITER on setting its research strategy and Action Plan to tackle the current weaknesses. The Advisory Board was formed successfully and some of the members were represented already at the kick-off meeting that took place on the 16.-17. November 2015. Also the first report on Advisory Board recommendations provided within the period.
The everyday management and communication between project members has been constant and very good. Communication is continuous in terms of achieving WP results as well as regular in terms of meetings, since most of the involved persons work together in the same building.

WP2 – ERA Chair recruitment and structural set-up of ERA Chair working principles
The general objective of WP2 is to recruit the ERA Chair holder with his team as well as establish and introduce ERA Chair working principles at TLU with the aim to ensure the ERA Chair position at the university and ensure spill over effects of the ERA Chair set-up in the university at large.
The independent board was advising the recruitment of the ERA Chair holder and the rest of the team observed the procedure from the ERA priorities perspective. The recruitment team from carefully selected persons from inside the TLU as well as from the Advisory Board was formed.
As a result the ERA Chair and his team have been recruited and the first ERA Chair management principles have been introduced.

WP3 – ERA Chair sustainability and SMART specialisation strategy
The aim of WP3 is to ensure the sustainability of the ERA Chair post-CEITER. First steps toward this have been taken by mapping the current research strengths, based on which the concept ""Living Lab for Educational Innovation"" was identified as a promising direction for establishing a long-term sustainability plan.
This concept was then worked into a submission of a proposal to the H2020 WIDESPREAD Call on Teaming Centers to establish the European Center of Excellence on Digital Transformation and Lifelong Learning with partners at the University of Tartu and the Know-Center in Graz, Austria. The proposal received support from the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research, as well as from a number of stakeholders from industry.
Further steps toward building networks with stakeholders have also been taken, e.g. with the Samsung Digi Pass project, and with the Digital Mirror project - with the latter building links with policymakers in particular.

WP4 – Research capacity building and innovative doctoral training
The general objective of WP4 is to increase the research capacity of staff in two focus areas - research-based teacher education, and learning analytics tools and methodologies. While the main work in this task will start after M15 when the full team is operational, some preliminary work has been conducted in the first reporting period. This includes the building and piloting of a protoype of an online platform for teachers (""LePlanner""), web-based learning environment for teacher education eDidaktikum, an initial concept and state of the art research on Living Labs in education, initial mapping of learning analytics tools an
d methodologies used at Tallinn University.
Furthermore, as part of the innovative doctoral training objectives, six pre-school sessions for PhD program applicants in Educational Science and Information Society Technologies were initiated in Spring 2016, and in June 2016 the CEITER team hosted the 12th JTEL summer school, the largest European PhD summer school in technology-enhanced learning, which received excellent feedback.
To establish the analytical learning core facility, specific servers for cloud solutions were procured in August 2016.

WP5 – Soft skills capacity building
WP5 aims to deliver transferable soft skills to enhance the TLU’s capacity and competitiveness. This work package will start fully after M15 when the full team is oper"
As the main objective in the reporting period has been the recruitment of the chairholder and team, no measurable impact can yet be reported. However, the initial activities have led to some positive outcomes at the university.

First, the team recruitment was successful in that most of the candidates recruited to the positions had had competing offers from other European universities. This is a first indication of the attractiveness of the project and lays the groundwork for the future work.
Secondly, the organisation of the PhD pre-school workshops has increased the quality of the applications that were received and has better aligned the student’s topics with ongoing research projects.

Thirdly, the fact that we were successful in bidding to host the European Conference on Technology-enhanced Learning (EC-TEL) in 2017 was a direct outcome of the successful organisation of the JTEL Summer School in Estonia in 2016 and the positive feedback received. The fact that there had been a competing offer for hosting EC-TEL, our successful bid shows the recognition the group has established in the European research scene on technology-enhanced learning.
CEITER project logo