Continuing Education and Short Learning Programmes
By its flexibility, online teaching and learning gives a new impetus to continuing education in European higher education institutions, e.g. continuous professional development for professionals, professional knowledge networks and university-business cooperations. Also OERs and MOOcs can be integrated in a continuing education policy. Because of the needs in society and in evolving careers, this sector becomes increasingly important. Since the target groups are heterogeneous, the educational objectives are diverse as well as the respective educational/training environments, the sector becomes a challenge for universities. At the same time, it is a place for innovation, which can have benefits to degree education as well.
Meet our experts on continuing education and short learning programmes
Since November 2019, Alessandra is Programme Manager at EADTU, where, among others, she manages the European Short Learning Programme (E-SLP) project.
She holds a PhD in Technology Enhanced Learning, and she tackled with her research two of the main problems of MOOCs: high users’ dropout rate and low level of users’ engagement. In doing so she used a gamified approach and referred to ‘Implementation Intention’ and ‘Sense of Community’ theories.
Within E-SLP she has contributed to define the concept of short learning programmes (SLPs); defining design guidelines for scalable SLPs and draw recommendations with regards to recognition of SLPs. She is currently working on connecting the concept of SLPs with microcredentials, and on a sustainability plan for the E-SLP project.
She has contributed to the EMPOWER Envisioning report of 2020 (4th Edition).
She has organised several empowering events involving University staff from the National Association of Distance Education (NADE); Kaunas University of Technology (KTU); Katholiek Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) and AGH University of Science and Technology (AGH- UST). Furthermore a dedicated EMPOWER webinar week to SLPs where more than 11 experts contributed.
Dr Liz Marr is Pro-Vice-Chancellor: Students at The Open University. Her responsibilities include the student experience, student voice, student engagement and student satisfaction and she also has oversight of student employability, widening access and success, the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and Quality Monitoring and Enhancement (QME). Liz has over thirty years of experience in teaching and learning in UK Higher Education with particular interest in lifelong learning and continuing education and their role in social justice and social mobility. She is passionate about opening opportunity for all who wish to participate in learning, both formally and informally.
Päivi Kananen works as an International Coordinator at the Open University of the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She has worked on the field of Continuous Professional Education and especially online continuous education more than sixteen years. Recently, she has developed several MOOCs in the field of education. At the moment, she develops an online short learning programme called Digitally Competent Educators.
Earlier Päivi Kananen worked as the Programme Manager in the international online programme on the Institute of Educational Leadership, at the University of Jyväskylä. She developed and implemented the MBA programme on Educational Leadership at the Institute of educational leadership, on the basis of which the Master of Educational Management and Leadership online programme she led was constructed.
She has sixteen years’ experience in online teaching using different online learning platforms, and in guiding students by using different web-based solutions. Päivi is actively involved in several EU funded projects in the field of continuous education and a member of several Steering groups in different EU projects.
Päivi has contributed to these EMPOWER activities:
- Researcher and author in a country report, case Finland in The Changing the Pedagogical Landscape 2018
- EMPOWER Envisioning report (3rd Edition): Student Mobility Studying in a Virtual Mobility Context: An International Pilot in the Domain of Educational Science. Cathrin Vogel; Noëlle Diegel; FernUniversität of Hagen, Germany; Olga Firssova; Christian M. Stracke; Francis Brouns, the open University of the Netherlands, Netherlands; Päivi Kananen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
- EMPOWER Envisioning report (2nd Edition): Enhancing career practitioners’ competence in the use of ICT. Jaana Kettunen, Raimo Vuorinen, Jukka Lerkkanen, Päivi Kananen University of Jyväskylä, Finland
- EMPOWER Short Learning Programmes webinar week in October 2020: Lessons Learned from the Pilot Digital Competent Educators (Eva Cendon and Magda Zarebski (FernUniversitet in Hagen), Aysun GÜNEŞ (Anadolu University), Päivi Kananen and Virpi Uotinen (University of Jyväskylä), Glória Bastos (Universidade Aberta)
Doctor of Education
- Managerial skills, strategic planning of open university education, proven social and communicational competence.
- Designing and delivering career guidance and counselling services based on guidance needs.
- Research Associate in Florida State University, Center for the Study of Technology in Counseling and Career Development.
- The National Forum of Finnish Open Universities, chair
- EADTU EMPOWER chair for the Off-campus, online, open and flexible education expert pool
- EADTU Supervisory Board, member
- Einarsdottir, S., Björnsdottir, M. D., & Lerkkanen., J. 2020. Cross-Cultural Validation of Asssessment instruments used in career counselling and guidance in Nordic countries. . In E. Haug, T. Hooley, J. Kettunen & R. Thomsen (Eds.), Career and career guidance in the Nordic countries. Career Development Series, 9. Leiden: Brill, 177–189 Sense. DOI: 10.1163/9789004428096_012
- Andreassen, D.H., Einarsdóttir, S., Lerkkanen, J., Thomsen, R., & Wikstrand, F. 2019. Diverse histories, common ground and a shared future: The education of career guidance and counselling professionals in the Nordic countries. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance. 19, (1), 1–26
See Jukka's institutional webpage here
Paz is a esearcher in philology and education projects: “European Short Learning Programmes”, “Data-Driven Learning (DLL) for the English writing competence improvement. Pilot experience in MOOC, bachelor degree and master degree”, and “Gamification and ubiquitous learning in Primary Education. Development of a map of teaching, learning and parental competences and resources "GAUBI”. Candidate for PhD Research Personnel Training Aid on the Languages MOOCs line of research: “A study about the use of MOOCs in foreign languages learning: framework, strengths and weaknesses”. Scientific contributions published in educational journal and conference proceedings in language learning and MOOCs language learning areas https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4095-7881
Esteban is a professor of the Faculty of Education in the Department of Didactics and School Organization. PhD in Education with Extraordinary Doctorate Award. Vice Dean of Students Affairs, Internationalization and Social Education (2017-20). Director of the Master's Degree in Educational Inspection and Supervision at UNED; his priority lines of research are: Mobile-ubiquitous Learning, Digital Language and Open and Flexible Education, with more than 200 scientific contributions published on these topics (see Google Scholar, Scopus and Publons). Currently, he is the Project Coordinator of the Research Project entitled: "Gamification and ubiquitous learning in Primary Education. Development of a map of teaching, learning and parental competences and resources "GAUBI". (RTI2018-099764-B-100) (MICINN/FEDER) financed by FEDER (European Regional Development Fund) and Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities of Spain. Associate Editor of the British Journal of Educational Technology (JCR Q1). He has been invited as technical committee of more than 60 conferences around the Word (Japan, USA, Canada, Turkey, UK, Chile, Morocco, China, Italy, Puerto Rico, Czech Republic, France, etc.).
Dr. Mehmet FIRAT is Associate Professor at Department of Distance Education and Deputy Head of Distance Education Department of Open Education Faculty at Anadolu University. Dr. Firat is GA member of European Distance Teaching Universities-EADTU. He has experiences in E-SLP and EMPOWER projects. He involved in many empower activities such as Innovative Student Support Solutions for Large Groups, Institutional support for prospective and new students in online and distance education, Innovative Distance Education Programs Recently Offered by Anadolu University for Providing Identical Needs of Different Target Groups. He is one of empower experts in the field of Student Support. Dr. Firat is still Deputy Director of Graduate School of Social Science at Anadolu University. His academic interest areas are open and distance learning, e-learning, learning management systems, educational technologies, learning analytics, educational hypermedia, lifelong learning, cyber behaviors, use of internet in education. He has over than 70 research articles published international journals.
Sandrine has developed her professional activity around innovative pedagogies and technologies.
She has been working for UOC since 2018 on various international higher education projects. Her responsibilities there include instructional design of programmes, guides and educational supports; the monitoring and quality control of co-designed programmes, the coordination of international design teams, and the training of educational staff.
In the context of the E-SLP project, she has co-developed the “Compendium of Good Practices” and the “Design Guidelines for Flexible and Scalable SLPs”.
She participated in Empower activities by contributing to the article: Good practices in European Short Learning Programmes (E-SLP) Marcelo Maina; Lourdes Guàrdia; Sandrine Albert, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain and performing a Webinar on SLPs design for the EMPOWER webinar week dedicated to Short Learning Programmes.
Deputy dean of teaching at Psychology and Educational Sciences Department at UOC. She is associate professor of Educational Technology. She teaches courses in the Master in Education and ICT (e-learning).
Researcher of the Edul@b research group (UOC). She has participated in numerous European projects like the recent H2020 CRISS selected for publication on the EU’s Innovation Radar platform (leading WP3) and H2020 EPICA (leading WP4) recognized as a distinctive innovation being published in the EMPOWER Envisioning report of 2020 (4th Edition), but also in national research projects funded by the Ministry of education, currently e-Feedskills project. Her research focuses on eAssessment, ePortfolios, educational technologies, teaching professional development, including such topics as learning design methods and tools, emerging digital pedagogies, schools innovation, personalized learning, course and program design, and open education.
Within the E-SLP project, she has coordinated and participated together with Marcelo Maina and Sandrine Albert in the development of the Compendium of good practices and the Design guidelines for flexible and scalable SLPs.
PhD in Educational Sciences at Basc Country University (UPV/EHU).
Postgraduate program in teaching Second Language Acquisition (University of Barcelona)
Virpi Uotinen is working as an university teacher at the Open University of the University of Jyväskylä (JYUOpen), Finland. Her subjects of teaching are psychology (in which she has PhD) and gerontology. She has worked in the field of Continuous Professional Education almost two decades. During those years, the development and implementation of flexible modes of online education has been essential part of her work.
In the field of international course collaboration, she has recent experience in coordinating and developing the online short learning programme called Digitally Competent Educators (DCE) within the European Short Learning Programme -project (E-SLP). Within this project, she has contributed to define the concept of short learning programmes (SLPs) that included definition of design guidelines for flexible and scalable SLPs.
Her earlier work as a university lecturer of the Nordic Master’ Programme in Gerontology and as a coordinator of the Nordplus Gerontology Network, she has experience in curriculum development and ICT practices in higher education in the context of international co-operation. Planning and organising joint intensive courses in gerontology that combined e-learning and one week stay at the host university were part of her work. These positions provided a possibility to get an overview of variation of practices in higher education in Finland and in other Nordic countries. Her earlier career at JYU has comprised of various positions such as a research assistant, PhD student (PhD in psychology in year 2005), researcher, coordinator and education planner at University of Jyväskylä.
Currently, she is working in the ONE Meeting project (years 2020 to 2022). Aim of this project is to enhance sustainability and green values in higher education institutions in EU area. This is done by encouraging project leaders to use more effective virtual tools in their multinational project collaboration.
She has contributed to publications by E-SLP Project and the EMPOWER Envisioning Reports (4th and 5th Editions). Currently she is involved in a study focusing on factors explaining the dropout rate and low level of users’ engagement in online courses among psychology students at JYUOpen.
Jeroen Winkels, Open University of The Netherlands (OUNL)
Sebastián Rubén Gómez Palomo, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED)
Carla Maria Bispo Padrel de Oliveira, Universidade Aberta (UAb)
Maria Amata Garito, Università telematica internazionale (UNINETTUNO)
Alessandro Caforio, Università telematica internazionale (UNINETTUNO)
Achilles Kameas, Hellenic Open University (HOU)
Virpi Uotinen, University of Jyväskylä (JYU)
By online continuing education and short learning programmes, universities can upscale their initiatives and organise them directly in an international context, which contributes to the reputation of the staff and the institution.
The EMPOWER expert pool delivers examples of good practice with a variety of formats, based on practice within their institutions, relevant for continuing education and short learning programmes. It deals as well with the development of organisational and business models, with which universities are less familiar. Especially, the organisation of continuing education by multi-disciplinary teams with allocation models, directly linked to departments are important for a successful implementation.