Improving the pedagogical knowledge in connecting content and technological knowledge

Posted by Giacomo Giorgi, on Oct. 6, 2022, 11:12 a.m.

Giacomo Giorgi

Dept of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Perugia, Italy

Challenge and goal

Students are frustrated by the often outdated tools teachers exploit during lessons. Such frustration alters the perception of the learning activities, highly reducing the students motivations. Teachers as well may result frustrated by the usual "static" contents of their classes. A way to overcome this detrimental issue is integrating novel technological tools in the development of courses. To do it, the production of novel pedagogical material to connect technological knowledge with the more traditional academic approach of teaching is a mandatory task.

The idea is thus to develop proper pedagogical tools to connect the always increasing technological device availability with the standard teaching approach in academia. The main challenge is to understand the needs of students in learning, keeping at the same time a keen eye on the difficulties of teachers in producing and providing the updated pedagogical material. The goal of such approach is trying to maximize the result of learning minimizing the efforts of teaching. In other words, it means to make efficient the work of teachers and that of students


Topic of the user case

Implementing novel pedagogical tools to support the distribution of novel technological approaches in teaching/learning

Local context (specific)

Both BSc and MSc of all the scientific subjects (Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science)

Local CPD goals

Increase the satisfaction level of both students and teachers, patching the eventual lack of motivation of the former ones; help students to improve the focus of their study; Improve the overall student/teacher relationship

Needs defined in STEM-CPD Roadmap

1 frame the course in the context of the study programme
16 design interactive lectures
18 design problem solving sessions
4 engage students and arouse interest for the discipline in the class
8 develop critical thinking by students
20 use digital tools in lab courses
4 attending hands-on workshops on specific continuous professional development (CPD) topics.

CPD activities at the local university

Providing the guidelines for writing the pedagogical material to support the technological new tools; Constant update of the pedagogical material; Adapt pedagogical contents; Support the mind exchange and experience share among teachers; Asking for feedback to students; Further integration of the interface between technological and pedagogical knowledge (Movies/Demo/Youtube)

Teaching and learning materials

Staff training; Novel instructions/manuals for students; highlighting the features/quality/advantages of the novel technological tools; Updating exercises/homeworks (with focus on the novel technology tools) for students.


Sustainable implementation

Yearly (or shorter time) update of the pedagogical material (and accordingly of the technological tools) 

Expected impact of the CPD User Case

Strengthen the educational level of the classes, improving the focus of students on the specific scientific topic

Reduce the lack of motivation and the increasing frustration stemming from outdated teaching approaches

Plans for eventual continuation of the CPD within the same topic

Tentatively extending similar approaches to non scientific, humanistic majors.

Developing confidence in sound course design, interactive teaching, learning facilitation, and use of technology in facilitative teaching (type P1-1, P1-2, P1-3, P1-4)

This CPD scenario describes a User case in which lecturers develop their competence in sound course design and designing interactive teaching and facilitating problem solving and how to engage and motivate students and how to facilitate discipline specific thinking and how to facilitate student’s deep learning and development of higher cognitive skills and how to use blended learning.
The approximate duration of a User case that follows this scenario is several weeks.
In this CPD scenario the participants professionalize in a close connection to their own teaching practice (at their workplace) and meet in person on location with the training staff and with other participants.

Learning environment
Several weeks

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