POSDRU (Human Resources Development Project: “University school for initial and continuous training of teaching staff and trainers in the field of technical and engineering specializations - DidaTec”, Project No. POSDRU / 86 / 1.3 / S / 60891

Director: Prof.dr.eng. Radu VASIU
Value: 2,506,564 RON
Period: 2010-2013

Toma Leonida DRAGOMIR
Virel-Aurel SERBAN
Florin ALEXA
Silviu VERT

Technical University of Cluj Napoca
Transylvania University of Brasov

Project web page: www.didatec.utcluj.ro

The general objective of the project is to improve the education and training process in technical university education (engineering sciences) by creating a complete and unitary program (national approach) of initial and continuous training of teachers, focused on integrating interactive teaching-learning techniques and ICT among skills, as a key point for a "relevant education and responsive to the specific needs of the economy". The program will be piloted in order to train (continuous) the existing teaching staff and respectively for the training (initial training) of young specialists / professionals in the field of engineering education to ensure a higher technical education in accordance with the requirements of the economic environment.

Thus, the following specific objectives are set:

Strengthening intra- and inter-university cooperation as well as with other interested actors, in order to develop an efficient system of training and education of university teaching staff in the field of engineering sciences (IS)
Elaboration of a “Quality standard for teacher training” and “Personal development plans” for university teaching staff and taking into account the specifics of SI
Acquisition at institutional level of competencies, procedures and methodologies regarding the organization, implementation and promotion of initial and continuous training programs and respectively compulsory training of the teaching staff in a unitary framework at national / sectoral level
Teacher training in order to expand and successfully use teaching-learning techniques based on the support provided by ICT and integrated tools to support the management of educational activity and gain expertise in conducting courses / trainings on educational platforms e-Learning for technical courses (SI)
Increasing the degree of professional / personal development of beginning teachers by implementing a mentoring program
Development of human capital involved in teaching activities (effective teaching, management) by creating a knowledge and communication platform (in the virtual environment) to support future actions of training and continuous professional development

The project increases the quality and relevance of the system of education and vocational training in technical higher education institutions in Romania by improving the training of teachers and maintaining a high level of qualification of the human resources involved (over 850 direct beneficiaries). The open character will allow the transfer of knowledge and skills acquired for the restructuring of other areas of interest (humanities, etc.).

In order to achieve the main objective of the project, an integrated, multidimensional approach will be promoted, based on the following:

Concept - general framework for development and operation: activities dedicated to the realization of the general framework for the operation of the proposed training and education program
Study program: activities related to the specifics of defining and implementing a study program (initial and continuous training) in the field of teacher training and trainers / trainers working in the ethnic field
Development-integration-implementation of online support platform: creation of a complex support platform, accessible from the Internet, to support the development of human resource development activities within the project
Human resource development: conducting pilot training programs, mentoring program and organizing training and working visits
Management & promotion: activities related to project management, including procurement, information and promotion activities

The project begins with the realization of the general framework of the training program under the name of "University School of initial and continuous training of teachers and trainers (trainers) in the field of technical and engineering specializations - DidaTec", consisting of 6-8 centers of competence regional / local operating at the level of selected technical higher education institutions (including those within the partnership). The centers will provide the critical mass of initial trainers, who will subsequently coordinate the training activities of the beneficiaries. The mode of operation, organization and work will be established during the joint consultation sessions, resulting in the operation strategy, which will be the basis for the subsequent evaluation of the quality of the program. At the same time, the identification of the existing training needs among the teaching staff will be made together with their analysis, elaborating a study in this respect. A stage of training and work of the selected experts is foreseen, in the form of visits to renowned institutes specialized in educational sciences, both in the country (Institute of Educational Sciences, Bucharest) and abroad (Institute of Education, University of London , England). Experts will be involved in the development and management of in-service training programs for teachers and trainers, with leadership, monitoring, evaluation and control functions in education, experts in developing / reviewing vocational training and curriculum standards.

Within the developed framework, the teacher training program will be carried out. The modules that will form the study package will be identified, both for the initial and for the continuous training. Together with the staff from the competence centers, the afferent study material will be made, which will be integrated in the online educational platform, part of the integrated online support platform of DidaTec. Based on the feedback and suggestions received during the pilot phase of the program, the material will be corrected and revised to meet self-imposed quality requirements. In parallel, the optimal way of functioning will be identified and the training modules for the preparation of the actors involved in the mentoring program dedicated to assisting teachers at the beginning of their career will be elaborated. The result will be the mentoring program strategy and related training material, revised by the end of the project. Experts will participate in the elaboration / revision of professional training and curriculum standards, the creation of teaching materials for learning, testing and evaluation.

Based on a preliminary analysis, the integrated online support platform for carrying out the DidaTec activity with the components will be developed:
C1: The educational platform for the initial and continuous improvement / training of the teaching staff, which will include the developed material
C2: Pilot teaching-learning platform of eLearning type for technical education, based on a collection of technical courses / trainings developed by students as part of the training program
C3: Electronic support platform for the development of the mentoring program
C4: Support platform for communication and dissemination of project results

Experts will be involved in the elaboration of didactic material, with experience in the development of platforms and support tools in the didactic activity.
The piloting stage will have two components: the initial and continuous training / training program for the teaching staff - PFICPD and the mentoring program - PM.

PFICPD will be conducted on the basis of elaborated courses, with two distinct rounds. Students, accumulating knowledge and practical skills related to interactive teaching-learning techniques and the use of ICT, respectively, will have to develop a new course, having as theme the technical specialization from which they come; the created course will be integrated on the pilot teaching-learning platform; the restoration / restructuring of the technical courses already taught by the respective teacher will be encouraged (in order to achieve the transfer of the knowledge accumulated in the teaching process); during the training period, the beneficiaries will receive scholarships and will be able to make study visits in the country / abroad for documentation. The training program will be accredited and the graduates will be certified. Course materials will be refined and annotated based on the reactions and observations received. Experts in teacher training and beneficiaries from the universities involved will participate.

Within the PM, the participants will receive training on supervising a beginner and developing a mentoring program and respectively professional and personal guidance at the beginning of their career related to the elaboration of a course material and the management of the didactic activity, followed at the end by certification. At the same time, training and work visits are provided for those selected.