STEM-PCD @ EUni
The ECTN has become a partner in a new project entitled: STEM Continuous Professional Development at European Universities. The project was initiated by the ECTN Work Group on Lecturing Qualifications and Innovative Teaching Methods, and is led by the Faculty of Chemistry, Jagiellonian University in Krakow (ECTN member). This 3-year project is funded by the EU under the KA2 – Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices, KA203 – Strategic Partnerships for higher education action of the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.
For a long time, there has been an erroneous belief that being a renowned researcher is enough to be a decent university teacher. Now it is generally recognised that for good teaching abilities, pedagogical knowledge and teaching skills need to be developed and to this effect, most universities now organise some training for their academic staff. According to the survey of the European Chemistry Thematic Network Association (ECTN) Working Group, the training for lecturers at different universities greatly varies and are on the most part voluntary. Besides, the teaching staff training is usually focused only in pedagogy and in general teaching skills. They are organised in groups of lecturers in different disciplines. In this way, training cannot address specifics of teaching and learning in one determined discipline and the potential that specific digital tools can have for one discipline. This means that university lecturers in the present situation at most HE institutions cannot develop nor keep up to date with their Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) (Mishra and Koehler 2006).This is extremely important in STEM disciplines where there is a fast development of science and technology knowledge which is strongly connected to complex social quests that have a multicultural dimension.
To cope with these changes and to assure sustainable quality of teaching and learning in university STEM disciplines, a STEM oriented Continuous Professional Development (STEMCPD) of lecturers at their universities is indispensable. It is known that professional development works on its best if it is closely connected to working practice, in our case STEM teaching practice.
It is a very complex and demanding task for one university by itself to organise continuous professional development activities for the lecturers in each and all particular disciplines in which they operate. Even more, we believe that no university in Europe, no matter how big or wealthy, can correctly handle this alone because collaboration is essential to reach the necessary international discourse focusing specially towards quality considerations.
The aim of this project is to promote the importance of CPD at the EU universities in order that lecturers can keep on track with the quality of teaching and learning considering the developments in STEM disciplines and in society and cope with challenging problems that arise. The main goal is to develop a sustainable cooperation between people who organize or who wish to organize technological pedagogical content knowledge oriented CPD activities at their universities. This will be based on an inter university collaboration framework within the EU context, the so-called CPD-Ambassadors and through the activities of said CPD-Ambassadors with the aim of improving the teaching competences of university lecturers at their home universities and in consequence improve university courses. This will increase notably motivation and enhance learning outcomes of the students.
CPD needs to be considered as a normal part of professional life for all academic staff. The project will bring together a broad spectrum of learning opportunities for teaching staff of participant institutions in order to improve the quality of education in university STEM by enhancing the quality of teaching and learning – one of the priorities in the current Bologna Agenda and the Paris communiqué. Partners in the STEM-CPD@EUni project will create synergies between professional development in teaching and research, supporting collaboration and communication of the academic staff with educational developers, professional bodies and the private sector.
To give the impulse to this process and to empower the local CPD activities at the STEM faculties during the project, a summer school will be organized twice with the aim of training future CPD-Ambassadors. The philosophy of the summer schools is to train the trainer in co-creation. At the summer school the CPD-Ambassadors will gain knowledge, receive relevant material and produce their own resources to organize CPD activities at their home universities, the so-called user cases.
In this project, six partners will collaborate on six intellectual outputs:
- In O1 a Roadmap to set up STEM continuous professional development at EU Universities will be designed based on the expectations of the different stakeholders.
- In O2 the Framework for STEM-CPD according to the CPD-Ambassador principle will be developed.
- In O3 STEM-CPD scenarios and user cases will be collected and shared on the open platform.
- In O4 open online modules, the microMOOCs, will be developed to be used in CPD activities in different user cases.
- In O5 will design the summer school, its activities, materials and certification of CPD-Ambassadors.
- In O6 the evaluation and effect measurements will be conducted to evaluate user cases and CPD scenarios in the European context.
The list of partner institutions for STEM-CPD@EUni:
Disclaimer: The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
The ECTN General Assembly 2020 will be organised as a Zoom online meeting on Saturday, 3rd October 2020, from 11:00 – 13:00 CEST.
Filling the online registration form is the only way to confirm your attendance at the ECTN General Assembly. The registration is now open and all ECTN members are invited to join:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar (Webinar ID, password).
In case you are not familiar with Zoom, the Secretariat prepared the installation guidelines and explanations how this programme works. Please read them here:
Instructions for Zoom – 2020 ECTN GA
Several Zoom meetings are organised before and after the ECTN General Assembly 2020, and they are open for registration. Read more information about these meetings below:
12:00-13:00 “Chemistry in Everyday Life”
Register here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMvfuutqDMvGtaLG-1HpmCMFroU9hlAhwt1
14:30-16:00 “Student Activities”
Register here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEpdu6qqj8uEtQMl_uY1mmj3gL-6L8jFvgy
11:00-12:00 “Student Mobility”
Register here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMod-iprzkpHtcTmPK_yLBp3MXnJH4nseCg
15:00-16:00 “STEM Continuous Professional Development at European Universities”
Register here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwsd-msrT4iHdOizqRq1nqclcWgE5IjUHks
EChemTest® is the electronic Self Evaluation Session (SES) test service run by the ECTN Association (www.ectn.eu) through its Virtual Education Community (VEC) committee to evaluate Chemistry competences for:
• Professional workers seeking career developments and industrial mobility: of progression at work, of self-evaluation for motivation and starting a formal course or taking a national examination;
• Students seeking for European Academic Exchange: of evaluation of the chemistry knowledge as well as the understanding of chemistry in a foreign language to undertake a period of study in another country, or to evaluate competence at a European level;
• Citizens interested in self-evaluating his/her knowledge in chemistry: to pursue life-long learning.
Information on the origin, motivations and evolution of EChemTest® are given in the section BACKGROUND where details on the different European Life Long Learning Projects which provided financial support to the ECTN efforts to achieve its educational objectives since 1996 are listed.
EChemTest® SESs are up to one hour long test sessions consisting of a set of 30 randomly selected Questions and Answers (Q&A)s run on the cloud by the local examiner. The Open Source software EOL (https.//echemtest.libreeol.org) is used (see the relevant user guide in https://echemtest.libreeol.org/doc/ECHEMTestGuide.pdf) for this purpose. The large bank of Q&As covers the de facto standard contents of the ECTN Eurolabels grouped into Libraries of four different levels:
• Pre-University (Level-1): a person at the end of compulsory education (General Chemistry 1 (GC1));
• University Access (Level-2): a person at the beginning of Chemistry related University studies (General Chemistry 2 (GC2));
• University Bachelor (Level-3): a person at the end of the Core Chemistry Syllabus at the University Level as defined in the «Chemistry Eurobachelor®» (e.g. Analytical Chemistry 3 (AC3); Biological Chemistry 3 (BC3); Chemical Engineering 3 (CE3); Inorganic Chemistry 3 (IC3); Organic Chemistry 3 (OC3); Physical Chemistry 3 (PC3));
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• ECTN acts as a PRODUCER when managing directly/indirectly EChemTest® activities (e.g. by coordinating the TCs (Test Centres), Libraries, e-test software, etc.) and as a CONSUMER when using facilities and competences of the TCs for its own purposes;
• ECTN member signatory of the ad hoc MOU acts as PRODUCER when supporting upon request EChemTest® activities through its own TC and competences and as a CONSUMER when running EChemTest® activities for their own use;
• ECTN AGENCY signatory of the ad hoc MOU acts as PRODUCER when spinning the market for services to third parties and paid activities on behalf of ECTN and handles payments and credits/debits offsetting mechanisms.
EChemTest® is a cloud-based service which can be accessed using a Web browser compliant with HTML5 (Chrome, Firefox, Opera). The service is available in several languages (English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Russian, Slovenian). People not familiar with e-tests, should train themselves with the ad hoc demonstration tests (please forward the request to http://www.chem-learn.com/demo-libraries-request/) before taking any of the official SESs.
EChemTest® SESs are run either in a National TC or in an Accredited Test Site (ATS) belonging to (or associated with) a Higher Education Institution (HEI) member of ECTN and signatory of the ad hoc MoU. In the MOU the HEI commits itself to run EChemTest® SESs under controlled conditions, to get its own personnel trained for that function, to provide the resources needed to fulfil related responsibilities and to ensure the participation of its personel to the VEC activities as illustrated in the TEST CENTRES section.
The academic use of EChemTest® covers a wide area of T&L academic applications (like evaluating students’ dispersion, awarding curricular credits, supporting students’ mobility, training on laboratory practice, etc.). The non-academic use of EChemTest® covers individual and market oriented applications (like building lifelong learning curricula, delivering professional training, issuing Individual Proficiency Certificates (IPC) of the «ECTN – European Chemistry Certificate» useful for international mobility and career advancement, etc). Among non-academic activities run by the Agencies are the organization of commercial events and the support to companies and professional association activities.
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The ECTN General Assembly 2020 will be held from 3rd to 4th October 2020 in Perugia, Italy, provided that the situation in Italy will allow it.
Please note that you are therefore asked to keep these dates free, but not to make any travel or accommodation arrangements until the situation is clear. We will inform you later whether this new date can be maintained.
The ECTN Administrative Council have decided to postpone the ECTN 2020 General Assembly. Therefore, the meeting will no longer take place on 4 – 5 April 2020.
This precautionary measure is taken in response to the Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak.
However, the meeting will still be held in Perugia, Italy. The new date of the meeting will be announced later.
The ECTN General Assembly 2020 will be held from April 4 to April 5 2020 in Perugia, Italy, at the Department of Chemistry, Biology and Biotechnologies (DCBB) and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science (DMI) of the University of Perugia.
The 2020 General Assembly will see the elections for President-elect and for Administrative Council members.
There will be a Label Committee coaching event on Thursday and Friday 2-3 April. This event is open to anyone from an ECTN Member Institution, and younger ECTN members are strongly encouraged to participate. This coaching event is necessary for anyone wishing to join the Label Committee Panel of Experts and take part in assessing Eurolabel applications.
There will be an EChemTest and G-Lorep (Learning Object Repository) training event on Friday 3 April.
The website for the General Assembly is opened.
Please note that there is a national meeting of journalists in Perugia at the same time as our meeting so it is advisable to book accommodation as early as possible. Information will be available on the website.