The impact of a professional upskilling training programme on developing teachers' digital competence

Author First name, Last name, Institution

Areej ElSayary, Zayed University

Document Type


Source of Publication

Journal of Computer Assisted Learning

Publication Date



Background: The emergence of remote teaching during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic caused several gaps due to teachers being unprepared to teach online. Teachers did not achieve many digital competencies, resulting in an inability to facilitate the students' learning by using technology creatively to overcome challenges. Accordingly, developing teachers' digital competencies to facilitate the teaching and learning process will: positively impact students' innovative use of digital technology in completing their tasks; consequently, develop their digital competencies; prepare them for jobs that do not yet exist; and support them for unexpected challenges they might face. Objectives: This study investigates the impact of the upskilling training programme on developing teachers' digital competence, where the aim is to investigate if the teachers' digital competence has improved from the expected intermediate level stated by the World Bank Report in 2021, where strategies for the Digital Skills Action Plan were mentioned. For instance, strategy 2 “Reform of Digital Skills programmes” stated that students must acquire at least intermediate level of general digital skills. Strategy 3 “Enhance use of technologies in teaching and learning” aims to advance teachers' digital competencies to be above the intermediate level. Accordingly, the above average level was used in the hypothesis as a benchmark of the teachers' levels after attending the upskilling training programme. The upskilling training programme of this study is a 10-week training session using blended learning approach with instructor leading. The training's long-term goals aim to construct a higher level of competency in a set of skills, attitudes as well as knowledge, which include digital citizenship; communication and collaboration; critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making; creativity and innovation; using technology as a tool. Methods: A sequential mixed-method approach using quantitative and qualitative data was used. An online survey with closed-ended items was adopted to collect quantitative data from teachers. The qualitative data was collected through teachers' focus group discussions using the Zoom conference meetings platform. The participants are K-12 teachers from a group of national charity schools in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Results and Conclusions: The study results revealed that the upskilling training programme efficiently developed teachers' digital competence where they construct knowledge and skills. Teachers exhibit a positive attitude towards using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity, consequently developing their digital competence. As a result, this will also lead to the development of the students' digital competencies, where they will be able to overcome challenges they might face in this changing world, especially after the pandemic of Covid-19, where there is reliance on the use of technology. Takeaways: These findings aid in understanding the impact of the upskilling training programme on the development of the teachers' digital competence. Educators need to provide teachers with suitable online and face-to-face training that meets the teachers' needs. However, understanding the difference between upskilling and reskilling training programmes is vital to delivering training that develops the teachers' capabilities.








digital competence, interactive technology, learners' engagement, upskilling training programme

Scopus ID


Indexed in Scopus


Open Access