Master in Educational Science in Digital Pedagogy (MES DP)

Background of the Program Master/PGD in Digital Pedagogy

Digital Nepal Framework (2019) includes digital integration as a core development agenda in education sector. Smart classrooms, online learning platform, educational management information system (EMIS), mobile learning centers in rural areas are the key priorities of the Digital Nepal Framework. Similarly, digitalization in education have received attention in Nepalese educational reforms as reflected in the policy and planning documents that include Open Education and Distance Learning Policy 2007, Directives on Distance Education/Open Learning Program 2007 with its third amendment (2014), Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Education Master Plan 2013-2017 (Government of Nepal, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology - MoEST) and Higher Education Policy Framework – 2018. Similarly, a recent Education Policy Document, 2020 has indicated the need for reforming the existing mode of education by strengthening the pedagogical experience and focusing on ICT and 21st century skills at all levels of education.

This indicates that the government has now given due focus on digitization and ICT integration across the disciplines. Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST) and their constituents have emphasized ICT integration, digitalization and use of digital tools and online resources in teaching and learning as integral parts of educational reforms.

Universities in Nepal including Tribhuvan University have also started dual mode of education (Face-to-Face mode and blended mode). However, the workforce required to effectively deliver these blended and online programs is scarce and existing mode of teacher education cannot address the emerging technological and pedagogical changes for 21st century teachers. In this context, the traditional mode of teacher education needs to be reviewed and/or new modes of teacher education need to be introduced with a focus on digitization, virtual learning, online resources and 21st century skills. Therefore, this program is developed to address this gap in teacher education. This teacher education program is developed in collaboration with the JAMK University of Applied Sciences, HAMK University of Applied Sciences, Finland, and NOU Nepal under the support of the HEI ICI program.

Introduction to the Master and Post-Graduate Diploma Program

Considering the recent focus on the widespread use of technology and digitalization efforts in schools and higher education in Nepal, this teacher education program on master’s in digital Pedagogy (or Post Graduate Diploma in Digital Pedagogy) is prepared to address the nation’s need to supply expert pedagogue having sound skills on integration of emerging technological and 21st century skills in their professional work through both regular full-time study and part time study plan.

Master of Educational Science in Digital Pedagogy (MESDP) is an advanced study program that is designed to support professional development of teachers who have already earned the Master’s Degree in any discipline and experience in teaching and training. MESDP is a blended and flexible program that intends to develop knowledge and skills required to apply methods and strategies of digital pedagogy including twenty-first century skills in classroom effectively. This is three-semester (18 months) fulltime course. Indeed, being a flexible master program, individuals can be enrolled in part-time program and can complete all prescribed course with a duration of six years.

A detailed baseline survey was carried out to identify the gaps in the existing teacher education programs to find out the status of teachers’ awareness and use of digital pedagogy 21st century skills in class. Based on it, this course was developed to address a group of competencies required for this program; and developing the implementation program with piloting for its refinement. Additionally, consultation was also made with the multi-sector stakeholders of education and te experts from the universities in Nepal and Finland along with the officials of the Ministry of Education in Nepal during the process.

The program follows competency-based teacher education model. Its principles are conceptualizing the teacher education as readiness for adopting the change, recognizing desired competencies for the future, identifying the gaps in the existing mode of educational delivery through research. The program includes courses on theories of education; curriculum and instruction; assessment and evaluation; learning management system, emerging innovations of ICTs in education; guidance and counseling; and research and practices using digital tools.

Rationale for the Program

The fundamental political change in Nepal shifted the country into the federal republic with a new constitution that has envisioned ensuring fundamental rights, equity, justice, and distribution of progress with equal share to people of Nepal. Rights to education for all is one of the major constitutional commitments. Education function now is distributed to the three tiers of the government and, thus, the responsibility of school education is handed over to the local government. This decentralization of education function at the state will facilitate to increase access of education and quality education to the disadvantage groups and regions. Therefore, re-engineered teacher education program to produce competent teachers to supply quality education are the fundamental elements to ensure access of quality education for all.

Teacher Education in Nepal has decades long history in preparation of teachers through pre-service education and in-service training program. Efforts have been made to adapt the teacher education programs relevant to changing societal contexts to produce quality teachers of the national needs. The driving forces of the teacher education program are the national education policy, national framework of sustainable development goals in education, intervention of information and communication technology in education. The education policy (2019) has indicated that students in teacher education programs will be graduates from different specialization areas and they will be provided competences on add. Similarly, Government of Nepal has approved National Qualification Framework (NQF) which has outlined major competencies based on the learning outcomes rising educational issues and necessary pedagogies in the relevant specializations.

However, the existing teacher education programs of different universities in Nepal mostly focus on the subject specific contents and generic pedagogy. This program focuses on the preparation of subject specific educators with generic, digital, subject specific pedagogical competencies. Moreover, research on effectiveness of teacher training has given some implications pointing out the strengths and weakness inherent in the existing teacher training program suggesting areas of necessary reform particularly on pedagogical aspects including the updated content knowledge required in teacher education to meet the changing needs of the teachers for the 21st century schools and colleges.

Growing level of technological intervention in different service sectors including education in the world and its consequential intervention in Nepalese society is unavoidable. It is, therefore, necessary to rethink on teacher education in the light of the constitutional provision, information communication technologies intervention in education, government's national and international commitments of ensuring quality education for all, education and ICT policy framework including the present issues of teacher education in Nepal.

Sustainable Development Goals 4 (SDG4) has emphasized inclusive quality education for all; introduction of information and communication technologies in education sectors as tools for administration and pedagogies; and discipline specific ICTs programs at schools and higher education. Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST) has disseminated a comprehensive education policy for school to higher education that has emphasized the use of ICTs, focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) education and 21st century skills. In addition, the policy has enforced on reform in the existing teacher education program in a different framework focusing on teacher education program on pedagogy, educational studies, and research in educational issues (Education Policy, 2019).

In this context, this Master/PGD in Digital Pedagogy program is conceptualized rethinking the existing teacher education program in the perspectives of ICT and 21st century skills integration and digitalization in educational delivery and addressing the national policies that education must take into consideration. Linking to the concerns, knowledge, skills, and attitude in teacher’s professional work are the focused aspects in this program.

Objectives of the Program

The objectives of the Master/PGD in Digital Pedagogy program are as follows.

  1. Introduce a pedagogical skill focusing on ICT and 21st century skills integration to generic pedagogical and content knowledge to prepare competent teachers in Nepal.
  2. Enhance university teacher educators/facilitators’ digital pedagogical and digitization competencies to run the program in university system and cascade it to prepare pedagogically qualified teachers around the country in collaboration with the education units of the provincial and local governments.
  3. Support to institutionalize education program in the university systems in flexible mode of employing both conventional and online mode of delivery.

Core Values of the Program

The program will embed some core values as cross-cutting themes in its design and implementation. Firstly, the program encompasses digital literacy and 21st century skills as the common core elements in all the courses. This means, course participants are expected to be using digital tools and practice 21st century skills in all the courses. Secondly, the program will ensure the participation of all teachers irrespective of gender, ethnicity, geographical areas, and remoteness. Thirdly, the program will be based on experiential learning mode along with the ethical principles. In brief, the program will include following core values:

                                      a)      Digital literacy and 21st century skills

                                      b)      Inclusion and equity

                                       c)      Experiential learning and ethics

Competency Areas of the Program

The Master/PGD in Digital Pedagogy program graduates encompasses the following competency areas.

a)      Digital Pedagogy and Didactics: The course participant has knowledge and understanding of learning, which refers to teacher’s awareness of the research- based theoretical and practical starting points pertaining to learning. They can apply appropriate pedagogical theory/theories in their work as a teacher; and plan, implement and assess teaching and learning using digital tools.

b)      21st Century Skills: The course participant uses critical thinking skills to better understand the world rather than taking things for granted. They view world realities from multiple perspectives and draw the meaning of the world based on their analytical and evaluation skills.

c)      Communication and Interaction: The course participant can effectively communicate with students on all matters concerning learning; as well as motivate and inspire them to learn. They can encourage students not only to participate actively in the learning process but also to contribute to the discussion for mutual learning and sharing.

d)      Professional Development: The course participant takes proactive initiation for their continuous professional development (CPD) and explore the network of their community of practice for further enhancement. They are motivated to share their professional practices and learn from the people in their disciplines.

e)      Guidance, Learning Support and Assessment: The course participant has the knowledge and skills to understand their learners in terms of identifying their strengths and the areas for development, guidance, counselling, and support for better learning experience.


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Details of the program

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