The open information and educational environment, whose priority is person-centered learning, is based on a combination of the competence-based, activity-based and person-centered approaches. The higher education digitalization educational process should ensure the development of researched competence on the basis of scientificity, consistency, accessibility, unity of theory and practice, individualization of learning, ensuring creative activity and independence, etc. as well as andragogic principles. Digitization of education depends on the objective conditions and modern trends in the development of the information society, the main of which are the development of artificial intelligence, “machine learning”, ensuring the mobility of users’ information and communication activities in the information space, further development of mobile-oriented means and ICT access to electronic data; communication between subjects of educational activity. The higher education informatization process is determined by the students’ information and communication competence level. Therefore, the application of new information technologies is a primary task for future specialists training. The scientific research theoretically substantiates the students’ information and communication competence development process by means of digital learning tools, and provides the results of experimental verification of its implementation in the higher education system. Scientific sources on the researched problem have been analyzed, the notion of “information and communication competence” has been clarified. The experimental method of forming students’ information and communication competence has been successfully tested and a toolkit for determining its levels of formation has been developed. Forms and methods of using digital learning tools have been improved. The main task of the experiment was to implement an individual program of choice for the students’ information and communication competence development. The task was aimed at providing the respondents with theoretical knowledge regarding the understanding of the ICT role in education and their use; development of ICT, abilities and skills for use in educational and research activities as well as use of monitoring studies. The importance of using a differentiated approach in the students training has been outlined. It involves taking into account the individual data of students, their subjective experience as well as the course and level of training in Ukrainian universities in order to create optimal conditions for the digital education principles implementation. The organization of free access to the educational content of students, formation of readiness for educational activities by means of digital learning tools as well as orienting the content of educational activities to the informational and communicative educational needs and requests of students have proved the stimulation of creative, research and team work in a computer oriented educational environment. A students’ information and communication competence development model as well as its formation diagnosing tools have been developed. The basis for achieving educational goals was the use of interactive forms and methods of educational activity (seminars, trainings, lectures, individual and group consultations; independent work; individual and joint work in the LMS Moodle distance learning system), the use of information assessment tools with feedback; assessment of knowledge, abilities and skills using testing and questionnaires. It was established that the development of students’ information and communication competence involves ensuring the quality of higher education system based on effective management and a productive educational process; creating a computer-oriented educational environment of a higher education institution, providing it with high-quality content (development of pedagogical workers’ skills and abilities to correctly and creatively use data in order to solve problems and jointly create educational content). The cognitive, operational and research criteria in the students’ information and communication competence development structure have been identified. Therefore, the experimental verification of the program by choice proved its effectiveness and contributed to the higher education institution informational and educational environment design.
Keywords: higher education, information and communication competence, information environment, innovative technologies, interactive tools, Internet resources, educational tools.