Improving Digital Technology Skills for University Staff

IEEE Computer Society Team
Published 10/12/2022
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Staff Training

Computer technology has become an essential element in the DNA of modern education. But many universities have inconsistent — or inadequate — technology education systems in place for their faculty. The following methodology developed by a team of researchers from the Ural Federal University in Russia addresses this deficiency by providing a systematic approach to ensuring all faculty get up to speed on the tech they need to do their jobs.

Materials and Methods

General Organization and Implementation

The general organization and implementation of the employee training program are based on three primary principles:

  • Versatility. To achieve versatility, the system analyzes the technological environment of the university, determines the digital competence of staff, monitors how much staff members use the system, and monitors when there are changes to the implementation of digital systems and services.
  • Adaptability. The tests are designed to meet the unique needs of each staff member to enable them to be successful in their positions.
  • Cyclicality. Testing happens at least once a year, so each staff member’s digital proficiency is evaluated regularly.

Once the course has been organized and implemented, the learning infrastructure is in place. However, to ensure learners not only take the right courses but also apply what they’ve learned, the university designed an in-depth assessment system.

Assessment System

The assessment element consists of nine different components:

  1. Assess how a staff member’s job interfaces with specific digital competencies
  2. Assess how much an employee uses different digital systems and services
  3. Pinpoint any discrepancies between what each employee has to do in the digital skills they need to perform their jobs
  4. Determine how proficient each employee is when it comes to using digital tools and services
  5. Either create or update each employee’s profile, so it outlines their proficiency in working with digital services and systems
  6. Aggregate and analyze how employees use digital systems and services
  7. Assess how much digital tools are used across the university
  8. Monitor instances where services are underutilized and determine why
  9. Pinpoint the most frequent errors encountered by staff as they use digital systems and tools

A Personalized Training System

The system is based on an algorithm that helps deliver a personalized arrangement of advanced training courses — organized according to individual staff categories. Each employee, therefore, gets a personalized training system. This means that instead of getting a general technology education, each staff member’s training system works to specifically give them the skills and knowledge they need to excel at their jobs.

The Role of Software in Ural Federal University’s Initiative

Software plays an integral role in all elements of this system. Not only does an algorithm help determine what each employee needs, but the software also helps determine how staff members can improve and where the system may be falling short.

For example, the software powering Ural Federal University’s education initiative can identify “problem zones” using data from employee testing. Administrators can then give extra attention to these areas. This positions admins to support higher competency over a broader range of skills as well as fine-tune the training system, so the staff gets the most effective skills education possible.

Download the full study, “Employee Development Program: A Generation Model for Project-based Learning Implementation at the University”, to learn how Ural Federal University’s system provides university staff with the training they need to excel at their jobs.


Download the Full Study

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