Detailed Program of the Conference

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The current Conference time is: 19th Aug 2022, 06:23:42pm CEST

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Parallel sessions - E.8.1 Rethinking Higher Education at the time of Covid: challenges, new perspectives, critical issues
Friday, 04/June/2021:
9:00am - 11:15am

Session Chair: Stefania Capogna
Session Chair: Gregory Makrides
Session Chair: Erika Zuperkiene
Location: Room 7

Session Panels:
E.8. Rethinking Higher Education at the time of Covid: Challenges, new perspectives, critical issues

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ID: 107 / FRI-PRL-M1-E.8.1: 1
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Panels: E.8. Rethinking Higher Education at the time of Covid: Challenges, new perspectives, critical issues
Keywords: Distance education, Distance learning, Perception about technologies, Higher education, Covid-19 pandemic


Emiliane Rubat du Merac1, Oksana Stashina2, Anna Khaperskaya3

1Sapienza University of Rome; 2Samara State Socio-Pedagogical University; 3Moscow State University of Psychology and Education (MSUPE)

Attempts to demonstrate a relationship between students' approaches to studying in higher education and their perceptions of their academic context have been realized before,but nowadays it has a completely different context, because never before have we moved to a certain way of studying or teaching so forcibly and irrevocably as in the times of Covid-19.In the studies already conducted, we can see that many students have adapted to the new learning environment.The overall emerging scenario indicates that a large part of the present generation of university students is ready for novel educational processes, largely grounded on blended learning activities [Giovannella, C.].On the other side there are students reported that overall, their learning has worsened since the move to e‐learning.Polling results indicated that since the advent of virtual lectures, burnout increased, student perceptions of attendance stayed the same, and engagement and retention decreased [Chen, Kaczmarek, & Ohyama]

Historically, there have been 2 approaches to distance learning: synchronous and asynchronous.Synchronous learning involves students learning together in live environments like lectures, which allows greater engagement and sense of community at the cost of scheduling and technological issues.Conversely, asynchronous learning allows students to learn material on their own and discuss it together in forums like emails or discussion boards, which provides time for material synthesis at the cost of community engagement [Watts L.].Today, these two approaches are almost mixed in the hands of inexperienced in distance-education teachers and professors, who have never imagined working in such a way before.Our research is part of a response to a request from teachers to understand how to organize distance education, so that it will bring benefits and satisfaction to all the participants of the educational processes.We tried to evaluate students’ perceptions and preferences with asking them about live-lectures, video materials they received and learned and other course formats they have been participated in.We were interested in their impressions when they used online learning technologies using Zoom and WebEx platforms.A survey was organized during the post-course feedback session, which allowed students to anonymously fill out two multiple-choice questionnaires.

We have studied different parts of students learning processes the activities aimed at professional preparation, project work and research activity and perhaps the main thing of educational environment- a well-being in the classroom (or better say - virtual classroom).We were particularly concerned about of the possibility to make interventions during the lessons, level of involvement in activities, customization or individualization of the proposed activities and of the evaluation procedure.This research focused on what interventions are needed to make the modern university interactive environment more effective and to understand basic principles of motivating in a distance learning process.The purpose of the questionnaire was to check which aspects worked best and which ones left students completely dissatisfied.We asked students in Italy and Russia to express their level of satisfaction on a five-interval scale and compared trends and satisfaction levels across the two countries.The paper will present the survey results and provide the questionnaire, we translated and adapted into Italian, Russian and English.

ID: 156 / FRI-PRL-M1-E.8.1: 2
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Panels: E.8. Rethinking Higher Education at the time of Covid: Challenges, new perspectives, critical issues
Keywords: HE, Digital Competence, Online teaching, Online training


Marc Romero, Teresa Romeu, Montse Guitert, Pablo Baztán

Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain

Considering that the global pandemic involved an intense integration of Digital Technologies in all of the spheres of human life, education needed to adapt to an urgent remote context. That fact made teachers around the world consider online training as a response to adapt to students’ needs. Most teachers adapted remote teaching solutions that cannot be considered as online teaching: they literally replicated face-to-face activities and strategies in online settings. Given that situation, this paper explores the necessary transitions that must be developed to provide a quality online teaching: from traditional teaching methods to active and collaborative methodologies; from a content-centered learning to an activity-centered approach; and a change of students and teachers’ role. This shift of roles implies the consideration of students as an active part of their own learning and of the teacher as a guide of this process. The new role of the online teacher is related to the design of students’ learning activities, the promotion of interaction and collaboration among them and the monitoring and assessment of their learning.Considering all the concepts mentioned, this work explores the key elements for a quality online teaching and presents the design of a training proposal oriented to Higher Education teachers developed in the framework of an european Erasmus+ project that is based on the mentioned key elements.

ID: 237 / FRI-PRL-M1-E.8.1: 3
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Panels: E.8. Rethinking Higher Education at the time of Covid: Challenges, new perspectives, critical issues


Elizabeth Balbachevsky

Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil

In the last few months, many articles published in journals and magazines shed light on the intense challenges faced by higher education amid the current pandemic. The health crisis worldwide posed critical challenges for the entire organizational field by accelerating some dynamics already in place and imposing new pressures that ended reconfiguring it.

The crisis imposes strong pressures on research and outreach activities. The unknown consequences of the pandemic, as it unfolds and hit different areas of society, pushing for a new inter and transdisciplinary research agenda everywhere. In order to respond to critical issues faced by governments and local communities, new teams including specialists from different fields were quickly assembled. They started to work amid the debris produced by the crisis as it hit different aspects of society. Also, while the dynamics supporting the old model of internationalisation went into complete disarray, a new powerful mode started, mobilising the connections already in place inside the global web of knowledge. Everywhere webinars, webconferences, workshops, and other initiatives connected specialists from different parts of the world, exposing local knowledge to global scrutiny and creating relevant opportunities for exchange and cross-learning. It is also worth to mention the impact of these changes for opening the university to new previously unsuspected audiences.

II is possible that the dynamics set in motion by these moves have lasting consequences on the organisational field of the universities. The general direction of the change the general sense of the change points to greater embeddedness of the university in the social fabric, both at the local and global level. To a certain point, one could say that the crisis pushed universities to play a more central role in the new knowledge economy. Thus, inquiring about the lasting effects of the crisis on the university institutional design is a core issue for the field of higher education studies.

This paper proposes to approach the impact of the crisis using the tools from historical institutionalism, in particular considering the contemporary debate on the dynamics supporting endogenous institutional change that shapes its response to external pressures. The institutional model of the university has been under pressure since the end of the last century. If some of the forces engendering these pressures come from outside, mostly from the several waves of reform enacted at the policy system, other forces have endogenous origins. Changes in the institutional fabric of science. Rule displacement, layering, drift, conversion and even exhaustion describe some of the processes of institutional change that are at work inside universities. This theoretical perspective seems tailor-made for the task of accessing how the crisis reinforced and/or accelerated some inner dynamics for change, and how it engendered new dynamics inside the underlying institutional fabric of the university. The paper will explore the experience of one university – the University of São Paulo, reputed one of the most research-oriented in Latin America – and follow how research and international engagement have been reshaped by the COVID experience.

ID: 230 / FRI-PRL-M1-E.8.1: 4
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Panels: E.8. Rethinking Higher Education at the time of Covid: Challenges, new perspectives, critical issues
Keywords: Crowdsourcing, gamification, problem-solving skills, communication skills, software engineering.


Mercedes Ruiz, Manuel Trinidad, Alejandro Calderon

University of Cádiz, Spain

Software engineers need both rich technical skills and the ability to clearly communicate within international projects characterized by cross-cultural communication and collaboration. However, although the development of effective communication skills is critical for modern software engineers, this topic is frequently overlooked in software engineering curricula.

This work describes our approach to integrate the learning of content and communication skills into a software engineering curriculum at a Spanish university supported by the integration of gamification and crowdsourcing within a problem-solving model. Our method stems from the following works:

a) The communication skills needed in the software engineering workplace, including a broad range of formal, interpersonal, professional, and team communication skills (Ruff and Carter, 2009).

b) The 4Cs framework of CLIL, which provides a solid basis for the rigorous integration of content and language learning from the European perspective (Coyle, 2008).

c) The practice of gamification, by including game elements in non-game contexts, to boost student’s motivation and engagement (Deterding et al., 2011).

d) The Self-Determination Theory, which is one of the leading theories in human-motivation (Deci and Ryan, 1985).

e) The use of crowdsourcing, an emerging distributed problem-solving model, to foster interaction and the construction of knowledge (Mao et al, 2016).

In this work, we report on the findings of an experience with undergraduate students. We introduce the process followed, provide examples of the activities developed, describe the tools and the technological environment that supported our method, and summarize our findings and the lessons learned. We also provide guidelines about how this approach can be generalized to other non-engineering-related areas.


  • Coyle D. CLIL - A Pedagogical Approach from the European Perspective. In N. Van Deusen-Scholl and N. H. Hornberger (eds), Encyclopedia of Language and Education, 2nd Edition, Volume 4: Second and Foreign Language Education, 97–111. 2008 Springer Science+Business Media LLC.
  • Deci E, Ryan RM. Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Human Behavior. Plenum, New York, 1985.
  • Deterding S, Khaled, R, Nacke, LE, Dizon, D. Gamification: Toward a Definition. CHI2011, ACM, Canada, 2011.
  • Mao K, Capra L, Harman M and Jia Y. A Survey of the Use of Crowdsourcing in Software Engineering. Journal of Systems and Software, 2016.
  • Ruff S and Carter M. Communication Learning Outcomes from Software Engineering Professionals: A Basis for Teaching Communication in the Engineering Curriculum. Proceedings of the 39th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, W1E-1 – W1E-6, IEEE, 2009.

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