Teachers’ Certification on Basic Computer Skills

Teachers’ Certification on Basic Computer Skills

Christos X. Christakoudis (Computer Technology Institute & Press - Diophantus, University Campus of Patras-Rion, Patra, Greece), George S. Androulakis (Computer Technology Institute & Press - Diophantus, University Campus of Patras-Rion, Patra, Greece) and Charalampos Zagouras (Computer Technology Institute & Press - Diophantus, University Campus of Patras-Rion, Patra, Greece)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/ijcee.2012040102
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Abstract

Teachers need to acquire technology and digital skills in order to be able to follow the rapid changes in society. Since 2003, a national project has been carried out in Greece concerning the certification of teachers in basic computer skills. During this project (2003-2009) many teachers participated and certified through a Computer Based Assessment system (CBA) that has been developed by the Computer Technology Institute & Press - Diophantus. In this paper a brief view of (a) syllabus, (b) item bank, and (c) tools that are used for preparing and delivering examinations for teachers’ certification on basic computer skills is given. Moreover, the participants profile based on teachers’ responses is explored.
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Introduction

Acquiring basic skills is a crucial factor for our society due to the rapidly changing environment. Recognizing the importance of acquiring skills, the European Council defined a 'new basic skills' set. A framework proposed that covers what an active citizen must know (knowledge), can do (skills) and act (attitudes). This framework is based on the following competences: communication in the mother tongue, communication in foreign languages, mathematical-science and technology competence, digital competence, learning to learn, social and civic competences, sense of initiative and entrepreneurship, cultural awareness and expression.

These competences are equally important and must be enhanced by educational systems. This fact poses challenges for assessment of these skills in an accurate and measurable way. Nowadays there is a shift on Computer Based Assessment (CBA) or Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) (Scheuermann & Pereira, 2008; Scheuermann & Björnsson, 2009). These systems are actually software tools for administering eTests in order to assess candidates through the responses that have been recorded electronically. Some of the most obvious advantages of a CBA could be the unbiased test administration and scoring, the ability to apply testing methodologies, the suitability for large-scale assessment etc (Asuni, 2008).

Computer skills assessment is carried out globally following automated or semi-automated methods for assessment. Some commercial projects in this field are: European Computer Driving License (ECDL), Microsoft User Specialist (MOUS), Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC3), etc. Certification of knowledge and skills could be a complex task when the following parameters are involved: (a) large scale assessment (b) simultaneous consideration of many people (c) geographical dispersion (d) delivering many equivalent tests (e) different cognitive subjects.

Teachers need to acquire technology and digital skills in order to be able to follow the rapid changes in society. During the last years a national project has been carried out in Greece concerning the certification of teachers in elementary and secondary education in basic computer skills. During this project (2003-2009) almost 90.000 teachers participated and certified through a Computer Based Assessment system (CBA) that has been developed by the Computer Technology Institute & Press – Diophantus (Androulakis et al., 2006). Most of the participants followed a dedicated training program on using computers (48 hours) covering five cognitive objects: (a) Theory-MS Windows, (b) Word Processing, (c) Spreadsheets, (d) Internet & email, (e) Management Presentations (Papadakis & Chatziperis, 2000)

The data gathered (2003-2009) is considered interesting for educational policy makers and need to be analyzed because:

  • Different types of participants are involved (elementary teachers, mathematicians, philologists, literature teachers, physicists, etc.);

  • Certifications are carried out in a national level (large scale);

  • Five cognitive objects are involved (theory-MS windows, word processing, spreadsheets,internet-email, presentation);

  • Time (date and time, items’ response time, etc) and spatial (prefecture, city, etc) data have been recorded.

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