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EDU_LAB: Teacher Empowerment Tools

Kaunas University of Technology


The innovation is based on the idea to foster changes in teacher’s profile perspective shifting from teacher to student oriented approach by integrating modern didactic tools into study process and establishing teachers’ community. History teachers individually are encouraged to contribute to students’ personal development. However scientific literature shows higher study process quality results can be achieved through the university teachers’ collaboration community augmentation.

Major Objective

To create teachers didactic skills development system - combining teaching and active learning tools and establishing university teachers collaboration community.


To prepare a student for 21st century skills universities required to reconstruct study process by integrating critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration across networks and leading by influence, agility, adaptability and other skills. Moreover, to reconstruct study process integrating fundamental and 21st skills is not an easy task for the teachers. In 2014 the Faculty of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities of the KTU has started the project “System of modern didactic competences at KTU “. Under this project, the training programme was created to reflect on teachers teaching skills and to improve courses overall design. In 2015, Faculty Development Center EDU_Lab became the part of university central administrative office and became responsible for the two main goals:

  1. to introduce and develop the system to foster modern didactic competences at KTU
  2. to motivate lecturers to choose and apply suitable and innovative didactic methods.

EDU_Lab is ready to respond to any teacher needs and help to prepare individual self-development plan. Through inviting teachers’ community to activate didactic changes Edu_Lab every month organizes university teachers’ community discussions.

The system of modern didactic competences at KTU involves:

  • Courses for teachers (Basic Training for Development of Didactic Competences; Teaching of the Subject in Foreign (English) Language; E-Learning Tools and Methods; Development of E-Learning Skills; Study Programme (Re)Design; Problem based Learning; Design Thinking; Case Studies)
  • Community strengthening tool - Teacher’s café
  • Teacher consultations
  • Lecture observations
  • Self-evaluation system
  • Colleague to colleague system

Overall the system was created by group of 10 people. A large number of university interested parties were consulted and their ideas were incorporated into the system. This enabled to track how well the system is perceived those who are interested in teaching and learning quality issues. 

Major Outcomes

The difference made by the System is already evident by:

  • Explosion of teacher’s confidence. Our teachers get observed and get quality feedback and support. This gives them confidence to create, experiment, learn and share findings.
  • Cooperation between teachers. Teachers become more into sharing, collaboration, cooperation and teamwork with other teachers. These sharing practices cross disciplinary boundaries and ensures exchange of both best practices and support.
  • Growing student satisfaction. Although we are at the first stages, first feedback that we receive from students is very much encouraging. Students feel that teachers are more creative, confident, involving and, most importantly, cares more about the teaching outcomes.

Lessons about Innovation

  • The configuration possibilities of individual competences and community building are unlimited, but what makes as unique is clear intention of bringing these together and changing it according to the needs.
  • As reported by teachers themselves and internal experts, teachers became more self-reliant, cooperative, and professional. They are more likely to brainstorming, trying out new ways and sharing their experience

How it Challenges Conventional Thinking

Innovation helped university teachers to rethink his/her didactic system. Established system helped to make a huge shift from closed teachers culture to open collaboration culture. Moreover, we hope that teachers have stopped resisting new ideas, concepts and points of view that differ from those that was supported from past successes.

Name of Authors

Jurgita Barynienė, Asta Daunorienė

Name of Main Contact Person

Asta Daunorienė

Institutional Partners

University of Twente

Kaunas University of Technology


KTU is one the largest technological universities in the Baltics. Known for its linkages with business, leadership in scientific research, flexible interdisciplinary study programmes and unforgettable study experience, KTU is fast forwarding to becoming an internationally acknowledged institution of higher education.

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