Nikolina Nikolova*, O. Firssova, Daniela Dureva, Eliza Stefanova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Article in proceedingAcademic


This paper reports a Group Concept Mapping (GCM) study conducted in the context of curriculum design of several new inter-university master level programs for teachers of mathematics and informatics in Bulgaria.
GCM methodology was used to create pre-requisites for joint curriculum and course design and support educational designers and university faculty staff in constructing a common understanding of the learning objectives and expected outcomes of an ambitious educational design project. GCM outcomes served to feed the conversations about curriculum and course construction and thus paved the way for the decision making on how to educate 21st century teachers of mathematics and informatics.
GCM is a consensus driven research approach that combines qualitative data collection with advanced quantitative data analysis techniques. It is used to support diverse stakeholders and problem owners in constructing joint understandings of an issue or problem and is structured as a sequence of activities performed in turns either by a small group of researchers in charge of the project or by a broader representation of problem stakeholders. These activities are supported by an online tool Groupwisdom.
In the reported study 16 curriculum designers and faculty members representing different disciplines and different universities generated ideas on the learning outcomes to be attained in the programs, and grouped them in meaningful clusters and then rated the ideas on a scale from 1 to 5 on dimensions of importance and feasibility.
As a result, seven groups of skills and competences were distinguished with three groups of skills which position design and teaching skills within domains of Mathematics, Multimedia and web design and Informatics (Teaching Maths, Teaching IT, Games and gamification in teaching) and four groups of more generic skills and competences related to teaching and designing education: Teaching and educational design skills, Formative assessment skills, Innovation skills and competences and Teacher skills that specifically point to 21st century skills development.
Three groups of skills scored highest on the dimension of importance: Innovation skills and competences, Formative assessment skills and Teaching maths. As for feasibility of achieving the targeted objectives, stakeholders seemed to be equally sure about domain specific learning goals like Teaching IT skills of Teaching maths and more generic teacher and designer skills. Games and gamification in teaching as a teacher skill was considered least important and least feasible.
The study outcomes helped curriculum designers to shape the contours of the new curricula with a focus on innovation and design and supported the choice for innovative design approaches, such as Design Thinking. The study provide useful insights for designers and decision makers at curriculum level. The outcomes of the study can be used in the quality assurance procedures, curriculum design and development and innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECERI2023 Proceedings
Subtitle of host publication16th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
EditorsLuis Gómez Chova, Chelo Gonzáles Martínez, Joanna Lees
Place of PublicationSpain
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-84-09-55942-8
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventInternational Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI) - Sevilla, Spain
Duration: 13 Nov 202315 Nov 2023
Conference number: 16th

Publication series

SeriesICERI Proceedings


ConferenceInternational Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI)
Abbreviated titleICERI 2023
Internet address


  • curriculum design
  • innovation
  • teaching mathematics
  • teaching IT
  • group concept mapping


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