University teaching in the 2.0 era: virtual campus teaching competencies
© The Author(s) 2012
Received: 15 April 2011
Accepted: 15 June 2011
Published: 15 January 2012
The rise of the information technology society and the advent of the Web 2.0 phenomenon in university education contexts have brought about a profound shift in the functions of teaching staff. The teaching and technology training of such staff is becoming an imperative need in order to cope with the challenges of new teaching-learning situations generated in virtual settings and/or with the support of technological tools.
This article describes the teaching, technology and tutoring competencies that 2.0 lecturers should have, given the fact that they undertake their tasks in technology-mediated environments. These tasks are directly related to aspects inherent to the adopted instructional model, to the context and to the new mediating tools. Student guidance, the capacity to design motivating multimedia materials and the formulation of collaborative activities are but some of some of the forms that these professional competencies take.
After surveying 70 lecturers and more than 840 students at the Spanish universities belonging to the Campus Virtual Compartido del G9 (a virtual campus comprising the universities of Cantabria, La Rioja, Extremadura, Oviedo, the Balearic Islands, the Basque Country, Zaragoza and Castilla-La Mancha, and the Public University of Navarre), the lecturers strengths and weaknesses were highlighted and the most pressing training needs were underscored, in keeping with the demands of European convergence plans.
Among the strengths mentioned by the lecturers and the students involved in the virtual education processes were the proper formulation of activities that foster learning, the variety of teaching resources used, content interactivity, etc. The main weaknesses were the lack of effective proposals for practicals that promote collaborative learning through participation and interaction among all students, and the lack of personalised comments of support and encouragement in relation to the students’ learning progress.