Output 1 – Conceptual Guidelines for Digital Competences for Culture

O1  Conceptual Guidelines for Digital Competences for Culture

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The concept of  Digital Competences and Skills are very important within European educational policies. Recent definitions of Digital Competences and skills are provided in DigComp 2.0 (based on DigComp2.0: The Digital Competence Framework for Citizens Report (Vorikari, Punie, 2016) by JRC Science). Also guiding this project are the five areas of : information and data literacy, communication and collaboration, digital content creation, safety and problem solving. These five areas of digital skills are broken down into 21 digital competences.

This IO will seek to identify:

  1. which of the 21 competences are more relevant to the cultural and heritage sector,
  2. which skills are needed at different work levels and in different cultural areas
  3. how the skills can be gained through an online MOOC course or a blended learning course
  4. how open education methodology which can be applied to this sector
  5. how can Open Badges contribute to improving and validating the digital skills of cultural and heritage actors
  6. what considerations need to be taken into account for both cultural and heritage actors and higher education institutions  training for these skills?
  7. what are the most promising pedagogical and technology-enhanced learning concepts, approaches and methods in achieving better digital skills for cultural and heritage actors?
  8. How MOOC-type courses can improve digital skills
  9. how these guidelines can be transferred to other sectors such as tourism?

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have experienced a rapid take-up by students and educators, involving a large number of users. MOOCs are an integral part and one of the most exciting related products of the Open Educational Resources (OERs) phenomenon, instruments that are playing an ever-growing role in many countries’ educational policies. The great diffusion of such free courses raised, after the initial experiences, a series of critics (Daniel 2012, Dillahunt et al. 2014, Hollands & Tirthali 2014, Rohs & Ganz 2015, Schuwer er al. 2015). These were mainly directed at the following issues: dropout rates, low participation from Third Countries, lack of pedagogic rigour in the design of MOOCs together with a lack of quality criteria (Stracke, 2014). Despite all this, thanks to their dissemination and ease of use, MOOCs can become an excellent tool for the promotion of abilities and competences connected to the world of work, of lifelong and autonomous learning.

For many years now, cultural institutions and museums have been interested in the promotion of artistic and cultural heritage by means of the new forms of technology, mainly in the field of distance and digital learning. Through the use of MOOCs, cultural and heritage adult education has the opportunity to broaden the areas of integration for new technologies, while, at the same time, developing new teaching techniques for different users. In 2013, the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), created a MOOC addressed to museum operators and educators. Over the first four weeks, it was able to reach 17,000 users from all over the world (Mazzola, 2013). In 2015, the University of Leicester initiated the “Behind the scenes at the 21st Century Museum” MOOC, probably the first example of an accessible online course, created with the support of National Museum Liverpool. The project underlined the importance of shared management among museums and Universities in the planning and implementation of the MOOCs. Such methodology significantly improved the quality of the proposed contents and, in a broader sense, also museum and academic didactics (Parry et al., 2016).

The aim of integrating digital resources and opportunities in education (especially in the field of cultural and heritage) has to be seen in the light of 21st century learning. In their work titled “21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times” (2009), Trilling and Fadel create a framework of transversal skills necessary to prepare society for the complex realities of the 21st century.

The skills – critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration, or the 4 C’s – are particularly relevant to the cultural and heritage sector as the sector is an ideal vehicle to integrate the 4Cs in education. Through education about culture and heritage, adult learners are encouraged to think out of the box, which stimulates creativity. Moreover, cultural and heritage education is often done in collaboration, for instance when learners perform together or prepare a common presentation.

Output Type: Methodologies / guidelines – Methodological framework for implementation

O1.1   Conceptual Framework for digital competences for culture and heritage

It addresses pending issues related to innovation and integration of digital resources and opportunities in cultural and heritage education and serves as a theoretical basis for the partnership, both during the project and for the continuation afterwards.

Elements of the framework (non-exhaustive):

-Possibilities offered by cultural and heritage education for the enhancement of twenty-first century learning skills

-Potential role of digital competences and resources in cultural and heritage adult education, within the context of twenty-first century learning

-Pending research questions on digital resources and methods in cultural and heritage education. The pilot phase (part of intellectual output O5) and the subsequent evaluation (part of intellectual output O6) will contribute to the formulation of answers to these questions.

-Overview of the state of the art of research about digital competences for cultural and heritage sector.

Given these questions, the framework is also relevant to external parties performing research on digital integration and innovation in education, cultural and heritage education and 21st century learning.

Desk research for the creation of the framework will be conducted at the beginning by all partners involved. It will consist of:

-Creating a list of articles and materials, related to 21st century learning, the use of (innovative) digital resources in adult education, cultural and heritage education, that are relevant for other partners in order to be well-prepared for the next phases of the project.

-Gathering and formulating these questions, preparing presentations about specific themes for the first transnational project meeting and studying the suggested articles and materials.

-Internal discussion at management level about issues and questions relevant to include in the framework, given the long-term strategy of the organization.

Produced only in English.


Participating: UPT, AAU, DCU, UniGraz

O1.2  European and National research on digital competence validation

It will derive from the assessment study of current research on digital competence education practices from all partners, a qualitative study run with the cultural stakeholders involved and from a bibliographic review.

Based on the background from each team, this study should collect data in order to propose quality-assurance criteria on the development of digital competences in adults with low digital skills, discussing:

-Teaching and assessment methods

-Pedagogical materials and tools

-Research instruments

-Any other crucial elements (including support mechanisms).

The following tasks will lead to the production of the sub-output:

-Bibliographic Review on digital competence validation, current outcomes and difficulties.

-Description of the different curriculum/practices/strategies developed by all partners.

-Qualitative study of cultural stakeholders (questionnaire, focus groups)

-Development of an analysis and comparison grid of the described practices

The study will define the best practices to favour the acquisition of digital competences in culture and heritage sector as defined and presented in the current state of the art of the research in the field.

Produced only in English.


Participating: all

O1.3  Guidelines for Digital Competences for Culture

This sub-output is the direct result of the first two: after the definition of a Conceptual Framework of digital skills for culture and heritage and the grid of best practices for digital competence education, the creation of the Guidelines for Digital Competences for Culture will follow in order to provide to the whole project the theoretical basis that will be used to implement in the VLH (O2) the Digital Skills for Culture Online Course (O3), which is the core output of the project.

The following tasks will lead to the production of this sub-output:

-Comparison between the Conceptual Framework of digital competences for culture and heritage and analysis of current practices leading to the identification of gaps to be addressed

-Elaboration of “Preliminary proposal of Guidelines for Digital Competences for Culture” (best practices and assurance criteria for developing digital competences in heritage and culture sector in massive distance education)

-Translation of “Preliminary proposal of Guidelines for Digital Competences for Culture” in each partner language for dissemination.

At the end, a first draft of Guidelines for Digital Competences for Culture will be completed, in such a way that it is easily accessible and interpretable to a wider public. Its dissemination will lead to feedback from the research community to improve and refine it in its final version that has to be released at the end of O2 to allow creation of  the online course in O3.


Participating: all

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