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Philosophy of the ICT Profile

The ICT Profile for College Students is an Exit Profile: it aims at gradually develop informational, methodological and technological skills over the course of college studies and offers support up to the point of full autonomy. Because it is directed to higher education students, the ICT Profile stresses the importance of planning, making the right choices and developing autonomy, as well as working with rigour, professionalism, efficiency, quality, complexity, in-depth and ethics when using technology.

The ICT Profile focuses on knowledge, skills as well as social skills:

  • Knowledge: general and specific technology knowledge;
  • Skills: carry-out tasks with the help of technology;
  • Social skills: understand cultural, ethical, legal and social concerns bound with using information and technology, and to conform to ethical and legal demands - be a responsible user in a digital era.

The ICT Profile consists of five skills. Each skill has defined objectives that involve tasks to be accomplished. It therefore presents a three-level structure that can be compared with ministerial specifications. These skills and objectives are linked with the skills and elements of programs of study: it is thus easy to integrate them in learning activities. As for tasks, they are linked to performance criteria. Even though these are observable and measurable, the accuracy regarding the level to reach in their execution is left to the teachers and programs.

ICT Profile = Government Requirements. Skills = Competencies, Objectives = Competency elements and Tasks = Performance Criterions.

The ICT Profile presents a three-level structure that can be compared with competencies, competency elements and performance criterions.

Using technology must add value to any activity to be performed. In this respect, they offer an opportunity to put students at the heart of their learning process in a context of active pedagogy. Ideally and in order to ensure that students master and use all of the ICT Profile skills in different contexts, it is recommended to integrate them in a program approach. Moreover, teachers can easily, through their courses, create pedagogical activities based on the ICT Profile skills and thus support the development of a competency.

One cannot think about technology used in education without thinking about which tools to use. However, the ICT Profile does not impose any specific tool; it offers a flexibility that is necessary when choosing software applications and digital environments to use in order to master a skill. For example, several means of presenting information are available: word processing, slides (computer-assisted publication), video, blog (web publication), etc. It makes sense to promote diversity, as much for teaching as for learning, by giving a free choice of those means. Students with disabilities can thus choose tools that work best for them in accordance with the proposed approach.

Developing these skills, as much as the competencies linked to each program of study, is spread over several semesters. It can thus be seen as an iterative process, proceeding by successive refinement as students advance in their education. A college exit profile involves strengthening skills, it also involves that tasks become progressively more complex and, finally, that what is expected of students increases from one course to the next, and from one semester to another. To do so, teachers generally determine, in the first year, the right strategies and tools and also use several models and examples while offering closer supervision. Over the semesters, they bring students to regroup resources and to integrate their knowledge so that they reach a level of proficiency that will allow them to carry out, as much as possible on their own, and in different contexts, any ICT Profile tasks. Consult the "Integrating the ICT Profile for Students" section to learn more about the proposed approach.

Finally, there is a pedagogical and technological tool that is very useful for the development of ICT skills: the digital portfolio. On one hand, using a digital portfolio in a program of study is a structuring and unifying project for a team of teachers, which makes it a tool of choice that will promote consultation and dialogue on technologies. On the other hand, creating a digital portfolio implies regularly using technology and methods of working that promote the use of digital content. Finally, students who create their learning dossier on a digital medium will be able to revise what they have learned, their production and view their progression in ICT skills, over the whole length of their college studies.

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