Boğaziçi-BME-LifeSci-ISEK Tuesday Joint Seminars NeurotechEU-NEURICOO Match Making: NEUROFUND Capacity Building Sessions #2

15 Kasım 2021

Boğaziçi-BME-LifeSci-ISEK Tuesday Joint Seminars

NeurotechEU-NEURICOO Match Making:
NEUROFUND Capacity Building Sessions #2


Educational Technologies and Lifelong Learning
in a Changing World

with short presentations
of several highlighted projects of Bogazici University


Collaborative Course Design within the DigCompEdu Digital Competence Framework”
“Exploring University Students' Learning Experiences during the Emergency Remote Teaching Period
Strategies for Teaching in a Digital Era - STDE
R&D (Ar-Ge) School”

16 November 2021 (Tuesday);   12.00 (!) – 14.00 


Yasemin Bayyurt (FLED), Gülcan Erçetin (FLED), Senem Yıldız (FLED),
Diler Öner (CET), Mutlu Şen Akbulut (CET), Esin Öztürk Işık (BME),
Haluk Bingöl (CmpE), Necati Aras (IE)

Boğaziçi University


Zoom Meeting   (Passcode: 149556)


About The Seminar:


Technology has become part of everyone’s everyday life since 1990s changing its form over the years – e.g. mobile phones to smart phones, desktop computers to tablets, and similar. In this respect, its use, usefulness, effects and/or impact have been the topic of research in different fields of study – ranging from medical science, engineering to second language learning. Today’s younger generations are more skilled in terms of the use of technological devices than the younger generations of early 2000s. Hence, their digital literacy skills are highly developed leading to a change in their learning habits and expectations from education at all levels. Although the needs of the students in different levels of education show variation from discipline to discipline, there is one thing in common as instructors we are faced with the 21st Century classrooms where all of our students are digital natives. In this consortium, our aim is to develop projects that will promote interdisciplinary work to see connections between technology and content classes at all levels of education – i.e. from primary to adult education. In order to do that we are collaborating with colleagues from different disciplines at Boğaziçi University and other universities. Detailed research designs will be developed in line with the research questions that are developed in relation to topics of Educational/Instructional Technologies and lifelong learning. In this seminar, we will summarize some of the major projects we are conducting in distance learning, use of digital instructional technologies in education and how these may enhance learning. We will briefly summarize our already existing projects during this seminar session.


The order of the highlighted project presentations will be as follows:

Project 1: Collaborative Course Design within the DigCompEdu Digital Competence Framework”

Diler Öner (CET), Principal Investigator


Boğaziçi Üniversitesi, Istanbul, Turkey (BOUN)
Stichting Katholieke Universiteit, Nijmegen, Netherlands (RU)
Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitaet Bonn, Bonn, Germany (UBo)


The COVID-19 global pandemic has dramatically changed and created significant challenges for higher education. Most notably, higher education faculty members were expected to transition their face-to-face classes to a remote/online modality almost overnight. This urgency highlighted the need for faculty to develop a more sophisticated set of digital competencies to adapt to the changing demands of teaching at the universities. The typical/traditional approach to support faculty members in developing such digital competencies has been with training programs focusing primarily on developing technological skills or sharing digital resources created by experts. While such means of professional support are essential, they are not sufficient for developing advanced levels of digital competencies outlined by the EU’s digital competence for educators (DigCompEdu) ( framework. It is necessary to have educators work on significant design problems and provide appropriate technological and pedagogical scaffolding to support their continuous professional development, especially given the rapidly changing nature of digital technologies.

Professional learning communities, which afford the co-construction of professional knowledge, are considered very important for professional development and growth. Online collaborative learning communities allow educators to focus on mutually significant professional problems and develop collaborative solutions irrespective of location and physical distance. More specifically, collaborative professional spaces can facilitate developing adaptive responses to the emerging educational needs in the COVID-19 and post-COVID era and developing digital competencies as a by-product of collaboration. However, it is essential to provide the necessary technological and pedagogical support to faculty to establish and sustain such collaborative communities. The primary PURPOSE of this project is to develop higher education faculty’s digital competencies by supporting the collaborative design of online courses (or course modules) utilizing and testing the Campus+ digital environment.

The project partners will recruit faculty as participants in their universities, inviting a range of disciplines. The project team will design and utilize the pedagogical and technological support necessary to create and sustain collaboration among faculty for collaborative course design and establishing professional networks. The pedagogical

support will be based on the EU DigCompEdu digital competence framework. The technological space that will allow collaboration and course management will be implemented as part of the Campus+, which is the digital university infrastructure of the European University of Brain and Technology Project ( The courses jointly created by the faculty will be offered to their students, whose learning is the ultimate goal for all educational projects. All the digital resources and course materials will become open educational resources at the end of the project and be translated into local languages for broader impact.

After the test-case of an integrated platform for collaboration, course design, and management, this project may open up new possibilities for offering joint classes or degrees among universities. Once cooperation agreements are made, as suggested by the European Commission, universities may begin to co-design whole study programs whose coursework is distributed across different nations’ HEIs. Thus, the Campus+ platform may support such courses’ content delivery and the collaboration among faculty that will result in new models for degree programs in the post-COVID era. And since the platform will be free to use, it can reach a wider audience even after the project is completed.


Project 2: “Exploring University Students' Learning Experiences during the Emergency Remote Teaching Period.”


Mutlu Şen-Akbulut (CET), Principle Investigator

Project Team: Diler Öner, Duygu Umutlu, Serkan Arıkan


The main purpose of the project was to explore undergraduate students' learning experiences in online courses during the emergency remote teaching (Hodges et al., 2020) period due to COVID-19. A mixed-method research study was conducted with undergraduate students from different disciplines at Boğaziçi university in the Covid-19 semester (Spring 2020). 745 students responded to the survey; 29% freshmen, 26% sophomore, 24% junior, and 21% senior. 49% of the students that responded to the survey were from the faculty of arts and sciences; 22% of the students were from the faculty of education; 20% of them were from economics and administrative sciences, and 9% of the students were from the school of applied sciences. Participants' age ranged from 18 to 22.

Research in the online learning field suggests that student engagement has proven to be one of the main reasons for student retention and satisfaction in online courses and the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework by Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2007) promised to provide a clear structure to identify student engagement. The findings of this study contributed to the literature since it was reported that students' perceptions of the learning experiences were different during this emergency remote teaching from regular online teaching and learning.

Based on the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework, previous studies show that teaching presence predicts cognitive and social presence in online or blended courses. Considering the unusual emergency remote teaching (ERT) circumstances during Spring 2020, the project team examined the extent teaching presence predicted cognitive and social presence in the Covid-19 semester and explored students' online learning experiences. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through the CoI survey and semi-structured interviews, respectively. While the quantitative data were analyzed through confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling, a thematic content analysis was conducted for the qualitative data. The quantitative results indicated that teaching presence predicted social and cognitive presence more significantly during the emergency remote teaching period than it did during regular online or blended teaching. The qualitative findings showed that when instructors provided feedback, kept communication with students constant, designed interactive lessons, and adjusted assessment tools to online teaching in a course, this course was perceived to reflect cognitive and social presence. Implications from this project may help faculties and instructional designers understand students' expectations in similar conditions and design effective, interactive, and engaging learning experiences in the future.  


Project 3: Strategies for Teaching in a Digital Era - STDE

Boğaziçi University Project Team:

Yasemin Bayyurt (FLED) (PI), Senem Yıldız (FLED), Şebnem Yalçın (FLED)


Dudley College of Technology, UK (Coordinator of the Whole Project)

Atempo mbH, Austria

Tink Schools, Turkey

The Karamürsel Provincial Directorate of National Education (KDNE), Turkey

Boğaziçi University, Turkey


Brief information about the project

STDE – Strategies for Teaching in a Digital Era” (2019-2022) is an Erasmus+ Project ( 2019-1-UK01-KA201-061668) is funded by the UK National Agency, under the coordination of the Dudley College of Technology, UK. The aim of tghe projectis to help teachers improve their digital teaching skills to a strategic level to cope with the unknown situations in the future and develop solutions to problems that may arise in the field o education.



Digital tools, social media and ICT are everywhere in the daily life of our students. Digital teaching is shaping the world heading into 2030, but how will teachers effectively use digital tools to provide future generations with digitally-critical thinking skills that help them meet the challenges of an unknown future? The teaching methods used by teachers may not be effective if they aren’t based on a solid pedagogical understanding, and so the STDE Project aims to ensure the best use of technology in teaching, based on a solid understanding of pedagogy and careful consideration of changing demands, devised through a carefully designed methodology and teacher training programme. The vast majority of students are digital natives, while most of their parents and teachers are digital immigrants, although 35% of educators believe they are good role models for the use of technology. However, there is a gap between the current use of ICT in the classroom and the expectations of students and other digital natives. Therefore, the overall objective of Strategies for Teaching in a Digital Era (STDE) is to contribute towards tackling the socio-economic changes that face Europe and to support the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy.

Our cross-sectoral partnership structure adds much value to the project. The partners consist of a regional Education Authority, University, and technology school (TR) an NGO (AU), and VET Colleges (UK, DK). Dudley College will manage project compliance, while the new STDE methodology will be developed by academicians at Boğaziçi University (BU), who will also produce a Guide Book as an intellectual output. ATEMPO (an NGO working in the field of adult education) will develop training modules to introduce the new methodology to 18 teachers from partner institutions, who will then become Digital Coaches (having been trained via 3 short term training activities to transfer the methodology to teachers from the six partners).These teachers will teach their students using the new methodology and prepare portfolios which will be uploaded on an online platform; academicians will then evaluate the results.

Digital methodological systems equip teachers/trainers with strategic digital teaching skills so that they equip their students with a wide range of life skills, enabling them to interact between digital and human/DIGIMEN culture and to cast a vision of a better living environment in the multicultural digital era. For the common future of European nations, common education strategies will be developed by this cross-sectoral strategic partnership, which creates synergy to support the 2020 Strategy of the Commission. This is necessary, as young students will go on to structure society around SOCIOTECHNOLOGICAL interaction with the internet of things or robotics with artificial intelligence; and have the ability to analyse big data, and to produce and consume virtual/augmented reality in various sectors. The project supports the Commission’s Improving and Modernising Education strategy. In addition to the planned sustainability activities, the project partners see the strategic partnership as an important opportunity to launch a network titled EducationRD’r BDA (Educational research and development for big data analysis), with activities aligning to the evolution of new technologies.


Project 4: R&D (Ar-Ge) School”

Esin Öztürk Işık (BME), Diler Öner (FLED), Yasemin Bayyurt (FLED), Haluk Bingöl (CmpE), Can Yücesoy (BME), Cengizhan Öztürk (BME)


This short presentation will provide an overview of an idea, called ‘R&D (Ar-Ge) School’, that will aim to train the new graduates in skills that will be relevant for the industry. The R&D (Ar-Ge) School will aim to collaborate with industrial partners, and the academic professors will train the trainers working at the industry, who will then deliver specialized concepts to the new graduates, so that the students will already be competent in several new technologies at the begining of their careers.




About the Speakers:

Yasemin Bayyurt is the Dean of the Faculty of Education and professor of Applied Linguistics at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey. She holds a PhD degree in English Linguistics from Lancaster University, UK. Her current research on English and English language teaching/learning focuses on ELF-aware pre-/in-service teacher education; ELF-awareness in English language teaching/learning; EMI in higher education; and CLIL in K12 schools. She also carries out research projects on blended/mobile learning in higher education programs (engineering, education, ...); and EAP/ESP in ELF contexts from an interdisciplinary perspective. Her publications include articles in various indexed journals (World Englishes, Language Culture and Curriculum, Journal of English for Academic Purposes…); edited books and book chapters published by national/international publishers. She co-edited a book entitled “Current Perspectives on Pedagogy for English as a Lingua Franca” (2015), published by De Gruyter; and edited one of the volumes of Bloomsbury World Englishes series entitled “Bloomsbury World Englishes Volume 3: Pedagogies” (2021), published by Bloomsbury.


Diler Öner is the director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and professor at the Department of Computer Education and Educational Technology at Bogazici

University in Istanbul. She received her MSc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the USA, at the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the area of educational technology. She has been the principal investigator of several research projects focusing on designing, developing, and implementing web-based tools to support learning. Previously, she developed a web-based portfolio system to improve preservice teachers' reflective thinking skills. Prof. Öner was a 2013-2014 Fulbright scholar studying one of the largest Internet-based learning community projects, Math Forum @ Drexel's Virtual Math Teams. She developed an online virtual internship for preservice teachers collaborating with the Epistemic Analytics Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin, USA. She is a member of the International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS).

Esin Öztürk Işık graduated from Middle East Technical University in 1999 with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering. She received her Master’s degree from the Biomedical Engineering program of University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2002. Thereafter, Dr. Öztürk Işık was admitted to the joint Bioengineering program between the University of California at Berkeley and University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Öztürk Işık completed her Ph.D. studies in 2007 and continued her research as a postdoctoral fellow in the Radiology and Biomedical Imaging department of University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Öztürk Işık has been working as a faculty member at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering of Boğaziçi University since Fall 2014. Her current research interests include developing novel molecular magnetic resonance imaging techniques to allow for a better understanding of underlying disease mechanisms in patients with brain tumors and Parkinson’s disease with the overarching goal of translating this knowledge into clinical support tools to improve patient quality of life. The technical projects at her laboratory have focused on designing new algorithms for advanced MR imaging data acquisition, post-processing and quantitation. Her laboratory has also worked on developing computational methods based on machine learning for MR image analysis to understand disease mechanisms.

Mutlu Şen-Akbulut is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Education and Educational Technology at Boğaziçi University. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Georgia, USA, in the area of Learning, Design, and Technology. Her current research interests include the design and development of technology-enhanced learning environments, 21-st century skills and technology integration, and constructivist pedagogies for teacher education. She teaches several courses at Boğaziçi University, including Instructional Design, Instructional Technologies and Material Development, and Courseware Design, Development, and Evaluation. 


Senem Yıldız is an associate professor in the Foreign Language Education Department at Boğaziçi University in Turkey where she teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses on materials design and development, use of technology in language education and research and study skills. She received her doctorate from Indiana University in the United States. She has taught online graduate courses on computer assisted language learning and English for Specific courses at Indiana University. Her research interests include technology enhanced language teaching, blended and distance learning, materials design and evaluation in English for general and specific purposes and she has publications in international journals. She has also worked as an academic consultant in the foreign language education departments of private K-12 schools in Istanbul.