The article aims to emphasize the role of foreign language teaching in fostering sustainable development competence in higher education. Foreign language classes enable students to analyze actual topics about sustainable development, to discuss problems, to share personal emotions and experiences. English as a foreign language curriculum aims to build students’ basic language communicative skills with the focus on sustainability, communication for the enhancement of sustainable development competence. The present paper aims to analyze the correlation of sustainable development competence between English as a foreign language studies in the system of higher education. The article overviews the importance of the sustainable development competence development on the theoretical level as well as introduces the practices of the importance of sustainable development competence elements in foreign language classes on the empirical level. The research was planned and performed in 5 universities of Lithuania, in which the respondents studying English (average age of participants was 22 years old) expressed their opinions on the sustainable development topics and usefulness of sustainable development competence. The results of the research demonstrate that students are more engaged in topics and materials on sustainable development and it is challenging for pedagogues to constantly update their materials, to apply innovative English as a foreign language teaching strategies related to sustainable development in foreign language classroom. Therefore, the research findings with the embedded elements for sustainable development competence development encourage educators to search for innovative ways of English as a foreign language teaching in higher education.
Airina Volungevičienė, Margarita Teresevičienė and Kristina Mejerytė- Narkevičienė
This article defines the shift in the concept and conditions of collaborative learning for university studies using the social networking tool Facebook and discusses the collaborative learning effect in terms of using Open Educational Resources (OER), creating learning artefacts and new generic competence development. In order to evaluate students’ learning through collaboration in Facebook, qualitative research method and survey of generic competencies based on the Tuning project framework (2003) were used. The data was collected through focus group interviews and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. The qualitative research method was chosen because it provides information of how students collaborate and what experience they gained during the activities. First, Facebook online groups have been identified at three different levels at VMU. The Facebook first level group was the social networking of Vytautas Magnus University’s students and academic staff. The second level group was created for the department dealing with social sciences, and is called “Department of Social Science”. The third level group is “Education Service Management” within the Department of Education. The research was done at the third level group with the students of the “Education Service Management” study programme. As research results show, Facebook as a social network has been changing communication between students, by facilitating the exchange of information and knowledge. The research analyses Facebook in the context of undergraduate university studies, based upon the experience of Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) for using Facebook for university studies. It could be concluded that learning is about developing capabilities to think and to act. Learners using social networking tools for collaborative learning, act, provide feedback and peer-review, asses and rate information. Openness is based on the idea that knowledge is disseminated and shared freely for the benefit of society as a whole. University students collaborate online and learn by using and exchanging OER, as well as developing them as the artefacts of online collaborative learning. They influence task design by creating “educational resources” themselves.
Margarita Tereseviciene, Airina Volungeviciene and Estela Dauksiene
The concept of virtual mobility and its characteristics are presented. Most definitions which consider virtual mobility from the educational perspective describe it as a form of learning, research, communication, and collaboration, but also as a form of mobility, which can be a supplement or substitute for physical mobility. Based on the theoretical dispositions a study module “Learning in Higher Education” was created and delivered by an international, multiinstitutional group of teachers to an international, multi-institutional group of students. The virtual mobility case, research design, and data analysis, are presented. The results demonstrate the importance of virtual mobility in promoting international communication and developing communication skills with people from other countries, cultures as well as impact of internationalisation on higher educational institutions