International Seminar on Teaching-Learning and New Technologies in Higher Education
The Centre for Policy Research in Higher Education (CPRHE) of the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), New Delhi and the British Council of India, as part of Global Education Dialogue(GED) series in South Asia, jointly organised an International Seminar on Teaching-Learning and New Technologies in Higher Education from 25 to 26 February 2016. The seminar brought together educationists and policy-makers from different countries.
Higher education across the world has witnessed unprecedented expansion and transformation in the past decades. The expansion of the sector is accompanied by diversification of providers, study programmes, student body, sources of funding and significant improvements in the use of information communication technologies (ICT). The improved connectivity through advances in technology has set global standards of quality. National higher education institutions are, therefore, striving to expand the system while ensuring quality of their outputs. Most countries have set up external quality assurance mechanisms to accredit institutions and established internal quality assurance cells to monitor quality at institutional levels. The university ranking exercises and national initiatives to establish world class universities are manifestations of increased interest in the quality of higher education.
Recent discussions on quality of higher education point to the need for focusing more on learning outcomes and on teaching-learning process. With the recent advancement in technology, teaching-learning has become a globally connected process. It is expected that technology will continue to revolutionize teaching and learning practices and delivery of higher education. This constant reshaping of the world of higher education, infused with unlimited potential of technology and new ways of teaching-learning, provides an opportunity to closely examine the issues aiming at making higher education improved and more efficient.
The dynamics of technology and teaching-learning have changed many facets of today’s higher education. They have changed the nature of knowledge, the process of teaching-learning and the organization of teaching-learning processes. The teachers and students now have access to on-line resources to supplement (if not substitute) the traditional class room teaching-learning processes. The use of OER (Open Educational Resources), MOOCs and other technology- mediated platforms to reinforce teaching- learning process is common in many institutions of higher education. Classroom teaching is now blended with digital media. However, the application of technology for higher education must be viewed in the light of changing socio-economic contexts to divulge the diverse pictures.
The factors influencing effective classroom practices and enhanced learning outcomes are many and varied. Though the empirical research on teaching and learning has been hitherto confined to developed countries, it is becoming an emerging area of research in developing countries. Many countries have established academies or specialized institutions of teaching and learning to carry out research studies and develop strategies to improve learning outcomes in higher education. India also needs to establish specialized institutions or academies to carry out research in the area of teaching-learning in higher education. The CPRHE is carrying out an empirical study on teaching and learning in higher education in the universities and colleges across different states of India.
The need for evolving strategies to address the issue of innovative teaching-learning and technology to improve higher education in a period of massification is a difficult task. This task becomes challenging given the high degree of diversity. It is also evident that there is perhaps no single answer or model of improvement. Thus, many countries have evolved new teaching and learning strategies, practicing different styles of teaching, and testing new technologies, methods of pedagogy to enhance learning outcomes. The seminar brought together academics and policy- makers engaged in activities related to improving teaching and learning and effective use of technologies in higher education and learn from different experiences and practices. Nearly-International Participants from countries and national participants attended the seminar.