NANO-MOOCs to train university professors in digital competences
Rapid changes in technology force Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to generate policies and permanent digital adaptations in their exercise of forming professionals through university professors. HEIs -in their permanent desire to qualify teaching faculty and graduate high-level professionals-develop continuous training events to strengthen and update techno-pedagogical skills that allow giving concrete responses to the needs of a globalized society during a human-educational crisis that arises from the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aims at analyzing whether nano-MOOCs improve digital teaching competences in university professors since in the scientific literature, this topic does not show with certainty the effectiveness of these types of courses in teacher training. By conducting a quantitative descriptive-inferential, comparative quasi-experimental research (pre-test and post-test) and with a sample made up of 297 faculty members from Universidad Técnica del Norte (UTN, Ibarra-Ecuador) belonging to the five academic units that compose it, it was identified that the teaching staff has limitations in two of the areas of competence that are articulated by INTEF Common Framework: creation of digital content and security; nevertheless, they did show optimal skills in the areas of information and information literacy, communication and collaboration, and problem solving. The findings also determined that online training based on a nano-MOOC format becomes a successful alternative for university faculty training, 83.84% of the participants under study improved their level of digital competence. These results show that an efficient customizable training can be achieved in less time and adjusted to the needs and characteristics of the professors. The criteria of various authors in this field are ratified with this research, it is, therefore, relevant to evaluate the level of digital competence of teachers and, based on that, be able to plan a personalized training program.