Digital University - Issues and Trends in Romanian Higher Education

Gabriela Grosseck, Laura Malița, Ramona Bran

Abstract


Today's students, known as digital natives, are living a paradox. Although they grew up with technology, there are many studies which underline that students’ digital skills are not what they might seem. Thus, even if they are more familiar than professors or parents with functions and options available on the most used social networks and applications like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube etc., they still need “support with some areas of digital practice, particularly in an academic context” (JISC, 2015).
But are these perceptions / expectations of students’ digital skills based on reality? Moreover, what should we do as their professors?
Firstly, we should not forget that not all students have equal access to digital resources. Some of them need to be trained more concretely/effectively and most of them need to refine and update their digital skills and competencies in order to become more employable, ready to cope with the digital jobs of the future.
Secondly, they need to benefit from staff well equipped with digital skills, who can design and deliver courses with technology integrated, able to pass on the relevant digital skills to their students and colleagues.
Thirdly, they need a proper and adequate digital environment.
Given this approach, we formulated our research questions as follows:
• What are the challenges in creating the right environments for digital learning?
• What are institutions doing in order to equip professors with digital skills?
The aim of the present paper is to review existing evidence on what a digital university means. What is it? What actions should we take towards becoming a digital university? Thus, we conducted a small-scale study within the Romanian higher education space in order to investigate the aforesaid research questions and to emphasize what concrete steps, actions, responsibilities and measures should be taken to drive forward a digital university vision.


Keywords


Digital University; Digital Teacher; Digital Competences; Digital Skills

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