Why focus on the co-creation and sharing of doctoral courses in an online and blended context across universities, and across countries?
Cooperation on courses (and programmes) has been on the internationalisation agenda of universities for many years. What is new and may partially justify the work of IDOCOS, are some very important trends that have become increasingly visible:
- Digital transformation of learning and teaching of universities was growing slowly, and has been accelerated through the Covid-19 Pandemic. Still, a lot has to be done.
- More comprehensive university networks, e.g. the European University Alliances, are entering the international scene – and courses are often a key component in their collaboration.
- A new trend penetrating higher education, in particular the US and Oceania, but also Europe, known as ‘platforming’ is increasing. In platforming, Online Program Managers, OPM, is a key phenomenon. To have university control over content becomes more important.
- Virtual exchange (VE) in different formats has been mushrooming, pushed by the pandemic and the EU. The Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange (EVE – 2018 – 2020) program led by the European Commission, strongly recommends the promotion of virtual exchange throughout the European Education Area. Similarly, a specific form of VE CollaborativeOnline International Learning, COIL, has become more widespread throughout the world.
- The IDOCOS partners experiences in developing partnerships between universities in the global north and the south, put the issues in this handbook on our agenda. Nowadays, in light of recent concern relating to de-colonisation, rethinking is necessary for collaborative courses and programmes.
IDOCOS, Innovative Doctoral Courses for Sustainability, focuses on how to secure both quality enhancement, an increased number of PhDs and increased efficacy. IDOCOS combines an innovative approach in co-creation and sharing with relevant existing building blocks and has the following five objectives:
To support and facilitate university staff and doctoral students across universities in different countries
- In co-creation and sharing of digitalised courses and open learning materials prepared for quality online, flexible and blended teaching and learning.
- For adopting a scalable and
robust methodology for co-creation and sharing of digitalised courses.
- Access to shared courses and
open learning materials for teaching and learning.
- For access to relevant tools, (open when available) for co-creation and sharing of open courses and learning materials.
- In building competencies for digital transformation.
Four partners have joined in partnerships to deliver solutions for the European Education Area:
KTH, Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation Sweden.
UiB, University of Bergen a leading university in international cooperation and SDG commitment, Norway
IAU, International Association of Universities, the global association for universities, France, and
Nordic Insight, a company specialised in higher education, Norway.
Through the project we bring together complementary competencies and actors that have links to many crucial networks in Europe and globally.
To achieve these objectives, IDOCOS will create 4 Intellectual Outputs, IOs:
- IO1 A robust handbook for co-creation and sharing of courses in an
- IO2 Construct, based on the handbook, a doctoral course in Digital
Transformation in an Organisational Context.
- IO3 Delivery of the doctoral course in through the digital platform
- IO4 A digital platform that support the methodology and availability of
course and open learning materials.
This collaborative and sharing model, of online teaching and learning within networks of universities, should when adopted, adapted and further developed, lead to significant improvements, beyond the project. It promises cost-efficiently transfer teaching abilities, not the least to under-serviced regions and socio-economic under-privileged groups. The addition of a transnational cooperation allows for reciprocal exchange of research capacity and resources, while increasing the local competencies as well as providing solid high-quality research education and cross-border cooperation.
IDOCOS started in March 2021 and will be closed by end February 2023.
Gard TitlestadPROJECT MANAGER