Revista Científica Interdisciplinaria Investigación y Saberes
2024, Vol. 14, No. 1 e-ISSN: 1390-8146
Published by: Universidad Técnica Luis Vargas Torres
How to cite this article (APA):
Maridueña, M., Fernández, M. (2024) Digital teaching competencies
in the return to face-to-face teaching, Revista Científica Interdisciplinaria Investigación y Saberes,
14(1) 46-62
Digital teaching competencies in the return to face-to-face teaching
Las competencias digitales docentes en el retorno a la presencialidad
Mayra del Rocío Benavides Rodríguez
MSc. Docente Universidad de Guayaquil, mayra.benavidesrod@ug.edu.ec
https://orcid.org/0009-0007-3295-4123
Fernando Chuchuca Basantes
Mgtr. Docente Universidad de Guayaquil, fernando.chuchucab@ug.edu.ec
https://orcid.org/0009-0009-3643-4146
This research was conducted at the University of Guayaquil with the
purpose of knowing if the digital knowledge, skills and abilities
acquired by university teachers in the virtual modality during the
COVID 19 pandemic in the biennium from 2020 to 2022; digital
competencies that were consolidated in the four academic
quinquemestre and that are still in force in the current face-to-face
modality. To fulfill this research purpose, an approach to the teachers
of the disciplines selected for their academic development in the face-
to-face modality in the Early Childhood Education and Basic
Education Careers during the IC - 2023-2024 was foreseen, and to
collect qualitative data from this segment of teachers, which allows us
to know the truth beyond the evidence of their digital skills.
Keywords:
digital competences, face-to-face
Resumen
Esta investigación se realizó en la Universidad de Guayaquil con el
propósito de conocer si los conocimientos, habilidades y capacidades
digitales adquiridos por los docentes universitarios en la modalidad
virtual durante la pandemia del COVID 19 en el bienio del 2020 al
Abstract
Received 2023-07-19
Revised 2023-11-03
Published 2024-01-05
Corresponding Author
Mayra del Rocío Benavides Rodríguez
mayra.benavidesrod@ug.edu.ec
Pages: 46-62
https://creativecommons.org/licenses
/by-nc-sa/4.0/
Distributed under
Copyright: © The Author(s)
Digital teaching competencies in the return to face-to-face teaching
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47
2022; competencias digitales que se consolidaron en los cuatro
quinquemestre académicos y que siguen vigentes en la actual
modalidad presencial. Para cumplir con este propósito investigativo,
se previó un abordaje a los docentes de las disciplinas seleccionadas
para su desarrollo académico en la modalidad presencial en las
Carreras de Educación Inicial y Educación Básica durante el CI - 2023-
2024, y recoger datos cualitativos de este segmento de profesores,
que nos permita conocer la verdad más allá de las evidencias de sus
habilidades digitales.
Palabras clave:
competencias digitales, presencialidad
Introduction
This research originates from the importance of assessing the digital
competencies acquired by university teachers during the 2020-2022
biennium, in the social and educational isolation, adopted in the
higher education system, due to the fulminating and deadly
consequences of COVID 19 in that period, The health cause that
motivated to change the mode of study of the student population in
almost all countries of the world, and with this decision to abruptly
enter the virtual mode and continue the training processes of the
active population in the schooling levels of basic education, high
school, undergraduate and graduate.
To make this virtual training process feasible, educational institutions
carried out continuous training of their teachers and students,
although the latter proved to have closer links with technology due to
their millennial characteristics; these theoretical and practical
technological competencies were progressively consolidated as
transversal axes because they were used in the processes of
disciplinary, interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and
multidisciplinary learning and study modalities.
Competencies are defined as those skills, abilities and knowledge that
a person has to efficiently perform a certain task. Competencies are
the knowledge that accredits someone to perform a certain activity in
a certain field of knowledge, which not only include theoretical
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aptitudes, but also define thinking, character, values and the good
management of problematic situations. Retrieved from "Meaning of
Competencies". In: Significados.com. Available at:
https://www.significados.com/competencias/
This construct helps us to understand that a person who has learned
a knowledge or ability in a meaningful way, and who uses it to solve
some contextual problem related to that knowledge, can be said to
have acquired competence.
Digital competencies are a set of skills, knowledge and attitudes in
technological, informational, multimedia and communicative aspects,
which generate as a result a complex multiple digital literacy (Gisbert
& Esteve, 2011), Cited by Zavala D. et al., 2016.
Consequently, these digital competencies are generators of a series
of actions in the educational platforms of higher education
institutions, capabilities that were acquired by teachers in multimedia
training processes and that are visualized in the performance in the
virtual modality,
The Lisbon European Council defines digital competence as
"the ethical, critical and safe use of ICTs for personal, educational,
occupational and communicational purposes". Quoted by Perdomo,
B., et al. (2020).
These concepts refer not only to technological knowledge per
se, but also to the broad and correct use of these multimedia
practices, due to this deontological link in the application of digital
knowledge.
We also refer that: with the term Information and Communication
Technologies, we define the set of resources, tools, equipment,
programs, computer applications, which allow the compilation,
processing, transmission of information, such as voice, data, text,
video and images. Its use in the educational field gives rise to digital
competencies, which is synthesized in the definition: "to have skills to
search, obtain, process and communicate information, and thus
transform it into knowledge" Perdomo, B.; González-Martínez, O.A.
& Barrutia Barreto, I. (2020).
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Digital skills, which were being incorporated into the profile of
educators through slowed training processes, are now being
vigorously resumed to mitigate the digital gap that separated us from
the first world countries, that historical distance was minimized by the
massive entry of teachers and students to the virtual contexts of the
higher education system, cyberspace and connectivity of educational
platforms, this access to technologies has grown exponentially for its
dynamism, connectivity, security, speed and versatility of its
applications.
The change from face-to-face education to the virtual classroom,
increased the consumption and urgent transmission of data, which
converge in the technological massification of the emerging virtuality
caused by the pandemic; today for university teachers of the XXI
century, this knowledge, capabilities and virtualized digital skills
linked to technology are no longer utopias, they are no longer
unattainable knowledge, and have become essential and daily
practices, because they permanently contribute to optimize the
quality of educational practice in university professional training.
Digital competencies lead a person to achieve relative autonomy in
information processing, to act responsibly, critically, reflectively and
efficiently when selecting, through the use of different technological
tools, the sources of knowledge that will nourish their educational
loop, with multiplying effectiveness when teachers are the ones who
seek and channel data for the ubiquitous, autonomous and
collaborative learning process of their students.
The aforementioned digital competencies are progressively
consolidated in the educational population in the return to face-to-
face teaching, the new public policies related to national and
institutional information and communication technologies guarantee
the development of new academic activities in a context of face-to-
face teaching with virtualization.
This aspiration, to provide the classrooms with technological
infrastructure and maintain the educational platforms and online
processes in force, will allow us to consolidate the digital and virtual
competencies of teachers and students, and is a magnificent
opportunity to improve the quality of the university educational
system, if this option is not possible, the road travelled will be diluted,
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and the effort made by the actors of the university system to
incorporate the new technological currents to the university culture,
will have been only a utopia.
In this section we are going to make visible some data related to the
educational policies at a planetary level, which directed the
virtualization of the levels of the educational system, including higher
education; to avoid contagions and to protect the health of the
educational community; this measure facilitated the teaching
participation in synchronous and asynchronous virtual classes through
educational platforms, for both andragogic activities, an investment
in technological and virtual training of university professors under the
responsibility of the Higher Education Institutions was required.
These continuing education processes that led university professors
to acquire several digital habits and new educational practices, which
were consolidated as digital competencies of teachers, among these
practices can be mentioned, navigation and permanent search for
information in digital databases, downloading digital information and
organization of multimedia teaching materials such as videos and pdf
files, access to the institutional virtual classroom, to upload individual
and team assignments, grade and download files, participate in
cooperative and collaborative work, online management meetings
and virtual tutorials, use digital applications, dynamic communication
with students, managers and directors, daily use of institutional mail
and/or wasap to send and receive academic information, among
others, which demand a consolidated habit to move through the
platforms and cyberspace. These arguments coincide with the
approach of Velásquez O. (2019), who considers that the role of the
virtual teacher is transformed into a subject of accompaniment,
facilitation, motivation, mediator of information and knowledge,
catalyst of learning, because he/she fulfills multiple roles and
performances.
To corroborate the above, we recover the following text from IESALC-
UNESCO, 2021, which states that: in order to favor pedagogical
continuity, universities did not propose a single methodology. The
majority recommended the use of the corresponding virtual
classroom, but virtualized synchronous classes were also encouraged.
About 78% of the universities participating in the study promoted this
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approach. The second option preferred by the universities is the use
of lectures delivered as videos, synchronously or asynchronously,
which is the case in 41% of the universities.
As can be seen in this quantitative data, the proposal of the university
system, in its two modalities summarized in previous paragraphs, had
a global acceptance by universities in 78% and 41% respectively,
modalities that demanded a digital learning and practice of their
teachers and students, to transit through the institutional platforms.
Quintana (2000), developed a model that was proposed and
implemented in Spain with the objective of standardizing the levels of
ICT competency training of basic education teachers, digital
competence is the mastery of knowledge, skills and attitudes that
allow them to effectively use ICT as a support to their professional
training and resources that facilitate student learning. Cited by Zavala
D. et al., 2016.
This proposal, implemented to improve the professional performance
of Basic Education teachers in the field of Information and
Communication Technologies, was undoubtedly more than two
decades ahead of the pandemic, and managed to substantially
optimize the training quality of these professionals and their work
performance.
In studies conducted by Rangel (2015), he describes the new role of
the 21st century teacher as that of training teachers with a set of
resources, those that allow them to interact with information,
intellectually manage the different systems and codes, read and
decode not only in a linear way but also hypertextual and hypermedia
and evaluate the information discriminating the valid and useful for
their educational, communicative and action project. Cited by Zavala
D. et al., 2016.
This proposal also has technological features, since it approaches in a
linear and transversal way all the fields of knowledge and additionally
incorporates images, sounds, videos, audios and texts that are
resources of the hypermedia current, because the vertiginous
development of virtuality contributes systemically and significantly in
the experiential learning of students, when your main senses
participate simultaneously.
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This requires investments in digital literacy and infrastructure, in
addition to strengthening linkages between the formal and informal
sectors of education" (UN, 2020). Cited by Díaz D. et. al. 2021
This state investment in continuing education, digital literacy and
technological infrastructure should be channeled by governments
through their portfolios and state secretariats, complemented by the
governing bodies of the university system, to monitor compliance
with public policies for the development of technologies in the higher
education system and progressively in other educational systems.
In such a case, there is a need for digital literacy that links schools with
society, improving the acquisition of digital competencies for
collaborative learning, autonomy, effective communication, ethics
and digital citizenship (Días -Trindade, et al., 2020; Cited by Díaz D.
et. al. 2021
This quote establishes a general link between the educational system
and society, because the national educational system trains high
school graduates for the exercise of citizenship, when the young
person reaches the age of majority, and the university system trains
professionals for the labor activity in the national socioeconomic
system, since university education has a graduation profile with a high
digital component, labor insertion has greater possibilities.
At the same time, it suggests that education systems must urgently
move towards "(...) progressive systems that deliver quality education
for all as a pathway to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
This requires investments in digital literacy and infrastructure, in
addition to strengthening linkages between the formal and informal
sectors of education" (UN, 2020). Cited by Díaz D. et. al. 2021.
This social policy direction to improve the quality of education and
insert our university system in the international context, on a par with
developed countries, provides the opportunity to improve the social
conditions of future professionals and the population in general, and
consequently improve their quality of life.
As a result, we can conclude that the purpose of this research is to
know which are the digital competences of university teachers, many
of them acquired during the pandemic, and which of these
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technological abilities and skills they are using in the return to the
face-to-face modality, which could mean the optimal use of these
significant digital learning.
Coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, has been identified as a deadly
infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome, as
well as some types of the common cold. Due to its rapid spread and
the numerous deaths it has caused, a worldwide pandemic
emergency has been declared. As a result of this outbreak, the first
Movement Control Order (MCO) was issued, which involved an
Ecuadorian-wide containment.
This has had an impact on the education sector, as throughout the
pandemic crisis, schools had to close temporarily. As a result, the
Ecuadorian Ministry of Education opted for online education or e-
learning through technology or devices to facilitate communication
instead of face-to-face classroom learning.
In 1981, the Ministry of Education of Ecuador offered a course called
Instructional Systems Technology for the in-service teacher training
program in order to improve the educational system by focusing on
the teaching and learning process. Since then, many researchers have
conducted studies on the implementation of 21st century
technologies such as Virtual Reality, Gamification and Mobile Assisted
Language Learning (MALL) applications to develop and improve
students' English language learning.
In addition, online games have influenced the lifestyles of children,
teenagers and even adults around the world. Researchers believe that
the application of gamification in education would not only motivate
students, but also increase their focus on learning and their higher-
level thinking skills.
According to many researchers regarding the use of mobile
applications in language learning, this approach could also be
defined as constructive learning. For example, study results show that
the use of Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) in the
classroom benefits students by motivating their attitude towards
learning and enhancing their learning experience.
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The concept of Virtual Reality dates back to the mid-1960s, allowing
the user to perceive the virtual world as if it were real and to act
realistically in it. Hundreds of researchers have explored the effects
and applications of this technology over the past 20 years. According
to Singhal, Bagga, Goyal, and Saxena (2012), Virtual Reality
technology has attracted public attention because it allows users to
interact with real and virtual objects, providing experiential learning
and increasing user attention and motivation at the same time.
There is evidence showing that Virtual Reality application has been
adapted in various educational sectors, such as early childhood
education and elementary schools, to teach English language in other
countries. It was shown that exposure to Virtual Reality applications
helped to improve students' motivation and their more positive
attitudes towards English language learning.
However, when teaching with technology, there are advantages and
disadvantages. Although it improves students' motivation to learn,
teachers must also consider that students may be distracted by the
content and not grasp the main ideas of the context. In addition,
despite the advancement of technology, there are still students who
do not own high-tech devices.
Virtual Reality could be considered a unique method for teaching
English to students, but it could also pose problems. For example, it
could be expensive for some students who cannot afford it. In
addition, understanding the technology, such as digital innovations,
could be a problem for both teachers and students. Lack of learning
content was the main argument among teachers, as Virtual Reality was
designed mainly for entertainment purposes. It is considered a
challenge for teachers to acquire technical skills when incorporating
this into pedagogical planning. Therefore, cognitive overload when
using Virtual Reality applications can be considered a challenge for an
effective learning environment.
According to Becta (2004), the inaccessibility of ICT resources was
due not only to the unavailability of hardware and software or other
ICT materials, but also to several factors, such as poor organization of
resources, poor quality hardware, or inadequate software. Teachers
also need to provide multiple instructions for many different devices,
as each student may possess different types of ICT resources.
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Methodology
This qualitative cross-sectional study, framed in the descriptive,
phenomenological and hermeneutic methods, was announced to
know the digital competencies acquired by university teachers during
the pandemic, through continuing education processes planned by
the institution, and applied in the labor exercise of the virtual
modality, in the semesters from 2020 to 2022, highlighting the
pragmatic and multidisciplinary value of technological skills, because
these knowledge, skills and abilities, favor the dynamics of teaching
work, using the multiple formats provided by the multimedia
environment.
In order to gather empirical information, qualitative and subjective
data on the work practices of teachers of humanistic, pedagogical,
technological and specialization disciplines, of the Early Childhood
and Basic Education careers, morning and evening shifts, who worked
in the on-site modality during the IC 2023-2024, at the University of
Guayaquil, were requested.
The selected sample consisted of 16 teachers of both sexes, who
returned to the face-to-face modality, which is equivalent to 20% of
the total number of teachers in the initial education careers and 20%
of the basic education teachers, that is, 8 teachers per career, who,
during the pandemic worked in the virtual modality and during this
cycle that has been selected as the field of study, in the face-to-face
modality.
The survey technique was used with a questionnaire of 20 questions,
related to the two categories of analysis, with a rating scale of five
quantitative-qualitative alternatives, according to the Likert model, so
that the informant teachers could choose the option closest to their
reality, according to the following alternatives, 5 = Totally agree-
Always, 4 = Agree-Almost always, 3 = Partially agree-Neither almost
always nor almost never, 2 = Disagree-Almost never and 1 = Totally
disagree-Never.
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The survey was sent and received by institutional mail and by wasap,
the digital files were downloaded for tabulation, the qualitative data
obtained in this way were processed according to statistical
guidelines, to condense, describe and interpret the empirical
responses.
Results
The double-entry table that is presented with a single visual structure,
collects in a simplified way the quali-quantitative values that the
informants assigned in the different levels of the Likert scale to each
of the 20 questions that were asked in the survey technique, the
information that was requested was related to the categories in the
contexts of the virtual and face-to-face modalities. Therefore, we have
grouped all the questions and their answers into five levels, with the
purpose of facilitating the interpretation of these data.
Total, of informants 16
DOUBLE-ENTRY TABLE WITH INFORMANT RESPONSES
¿?
1
1
1
2
1
2
3
1
3
4
1
4
5
1
5
6
1
6
7
1
7
8
1
8
9
1
9
1
0
2
0
Likert
V
P
V
P
V
P
V
P
V
P
V
P
V
P
V
P
V
P
V
P
5
9
1
2
1
3
1
1
1
6
1
2
1
4
1
6
1
4
1
6
1
6
4
6
4
4
2
3
3
5
3
4
2
2
3
1
1
2
1
4
1
3
1
3
2
1
2
1
8
2
1
4
4
1
5
4
8
1
4
8
Total
1
6
1
6
1
6
1
6
1
6
1
6
1
6
1
6
1
6
1
6
1
6
1
6
1
6
1
6
1
6
1
6
1
6
1
6
1
6
1
6
Prepared by Mayra Benavides Rodríguez
Source: Research data
The answers to the questions posed from the categories of analysis
linked to the focused problem and to the modalities of university work
were processed, which made the following information possible:
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The first five questions ar