|Descriptive Title of Proposal:||International conference on online education & Francophone digital education trophies|
|Person(s) Responsible for the Idea||
|Name of Institution||TÉLUQ|
|Office Address||455 Parvis Street
Quebec, Quebec G1K 6H6
|Telephone:||418-657-2747, ext. 5321|
|Name (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution)||Richard Hurteau|
|Title (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution)||Director of Administration|
|Office Address||Université de Montréal campus: 2900 Édouard-Montpetit Blvd.
Polytechnique Montréal: 2500 chemin de Polytechnique
Montreal, Quebec H3T 1J4
After signing a partnership agreement with the École supérieure de l’éducation nationale, de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche [ESENESR] (National College for Education Management, Higher Education and Research), TÉLUQ University undertook to organize a joint event, which resulted in an international conference on online education (Colloque international e-éducation) that was held November 7–10, 2016.
The event was held in France and Quebec simultaneously. This required planning that took into account the time difference, a bipartite facilitation, and ensuring that both organizing countries were represented among the speakers and panelists. Success depended on overcoming sizeable technological and logistical challenges, for instance, ensuring that input from ministry officials and speakers came through clearly, keeping participants engaged, allowing real-time discussions on both sides of the Atlantic, and connecting participants gathered at 45 locations in France, Haiti, Lebanon and other Francophone countries.
To make a significant contribution to the event groundwork being provided by the ESENESR, TÉLUQ University developed the concept of Trophées francophones du numérique pour l’éducation (Francophone digital education trophies). The aim of this competition is to recognize excellence in projects combining the digital with the educational, in the spirit of sharing good practices. Since the idea originated with TÉLUQ University, it organized every aspect of the competition, including drafting the participation criteria and regulations, deciding on participation categories, developing the technological means for submitting projects and planning for the possibility of holding a public vote. In the end, some 40 projects were submitted by various organizations.
|Criteria||Please submit one paragraph describing how the proposal fulfills each of the evaluation criteria.|
It was TÉLUQ University’s first involvement in a project of this scale. This meant that it needed to create all the documents required for the project and that there would be close scrutiny of the project’s governance. Therefore, the event’s planning and organization were thoroughly documented. This incidentally has provided TÉLUQ University with the groundwork for organizing the 2018 edition. In addition, TÉLUQ University is always open to an ad hoc sharing of expertise; it already did so at the request of the École nationale d’administration publique. As well, the conference proceedings are publicly available online, and video presentations by the finalists in the trophy competition are disseminating best practices in digital education around the world.
The event was wholly organized internally. This allowed TÉLUQ University to develop its experience in international events and its work practices. The debriefing we carried out internally allowed us to identify the technological changes that were made to the university amphitheatre. External indicators measuring the impact on quality include comments received from participants, particularly those from Francophone Ontario and from REFAD, and the benefits generated by the conference. These include, for instance, the filming of a documentary piece, L’école du futur, by Canal Savoir during the conference, and the exposure of TÉLUQ University professors and other participating speakers to other areas of the francophonie. In addition, channels for the exchange of expertise and practices were opened up thanks to the networking and connections arising from the conference.
The two main issues at the outset involved outreach and budget. This event and, more specifically, the Francophone digital education trophies competition, were firsts for North America, and TÉLUQ University was still only at the very early stages of its positioning. This meant that the number of participants was a challenge. In the end, TÉLUQ University succeeded in many regards: the opening address was given by the minister responsible for higher education in Quebec, the videos submitted for the trophy competition received almost 90,000 views, and 11 organizations from two provinces took part in the event. In addition, the top participants had an opportunity to present their project, allowing learning to be shared by all. This created added value that extended beyond a mere nomination. By this measure of the outcomes, we can see that there was a positive impact on the renown of TÉLUQ University and on the mobilization of its community in a spirit of belonging. The broadcast method was successful because it allowed people to attend without having to travel. In France, the Poitiers site was able to reach numerous sites across the country and throughout the francophonie. The same was true for Quebec. Traditionally, trans-Atlantic events of this calibre have required air travel. The second concern was budget related, since we had to organize an event that fell outside the university’s regular activities, without incurring a huge financial deficit. The deployment of a sponsorship plan made it possible to receive a contribution from the provincial government; most of the production and services were internal efforts, and an admission price was set to cover meal and break expenses. The final result was that the budget was respected, without any cost overruns.
There is no shortage of international conferences, but it is a great advance, particularly in the university sector, to enable simultaneous participation on both sides of the Atlantic via distance participation. This conference demonstrated that it is possible to organize such an event, and that participant interest and presentation quality are not lessened, but heightened by the inclusion of international expertise. In and of itself, the Francophone digital education trophies competition offers opportunities for further development, and TÉLUQ University is proud to have instigated this idea, at the heart of which is an interest in spreading knowledge about promising projects.