Better-E applies e-Learning in Adult Education

Based on the partners’ experience on barriers to e-Learning, ‘Better e-Learning for All‘ (‘Better-E’) proposes a global approach to create better e-Learning.

Better-E logo-erasmus-plus

The Project’s name is already providing information about its objectives by demanding an upgrading on the quality of e-Learning practices and simultaneously an enhancement on the number and characteristics of the Organizations and people to involve in e-Learning.

Partners are aware of the common cross-border barriers to e-Learning in the context of Adult Education as these had been identified by the partners previously. These barriers had been divided into several categories:

– Accessibility: the physical and technological infrastructures in which the learning occurs and through which the material is presented.
– Availability: appropriate learning resources.
– Presentation: the social infrastructure in which the material is presented.
– Stakeholders: learners, trainers and organizations.
– Courses: course content and pedagogy.

Considering these barriers as an ensemble, ‘Better-E’ proposes tools and methodologies to diminish them, providing solutions both from technological and pedagogical perspectives. The solutions will be gained with due consideration of the fragile autonomy held by stakeholding learners, and the empowerment necessary for the changes to take place.

‘Education’ and ‘Training’ are not foreseen as the only key scopes for e-Learning practice as the ‘Better-E’ Project sets out to foster Social Inclusion and Cohesion as identified objectives achievable through an improved implementation of e-Learning practice. The enhancement of both the practice and the quality of e-Learning, the increasing of the number and type of e-Learning promoters and, above all, addressing significant social issues through better e-Learning practice are all being identified as significant if intangible results from the project.

The project Objectives are, among others:
– to propose, to test and to create a user-friendly and pedagogy-centered e-Learning Platform for course promotion;
– to introduce and to incorporate e-Learning into organizations (chiefly training-provider NGOs) usually not currently including e-Learning practices;
– to promote e-Learning as an inclusion device, in the context of traditional Education and Training being regularly considered to be a mechanism for social inclusion while e-Learning is not
– to use e-Learning to encourage active citizenship and entrepreneurship through initiatives fostering green skills, entrepreneurial mind-sets and appropriate skills.

The Project will directly target two main groups: (1) Training Provider NGOs, and (2) their targeted audiences. The philosophy sustaining it is the need to generate e-Learning best practices as close as possible to organizations providing Adult Education and Training Systems but usually without the application of e-Learning. Engaging them with e-Learning practice will consequently benefit their learner target-groups by engaging the learners in ways that will reduce the potential and risk of social exclusion.

The Project foresees the direct involvement of dozens of NGOs from the partner countries.
The scientific, pedagogical and technological scopes of the deliverables are prepared and will be applicable to the entire range of e-Learning stakeholders, including Schools, Universities, Private Training providers, among others.

Project promoters will engage in Preliminary Research to upgrade the State-of-the Art for the application of e-Learning with regard to a range of organisations, policies, countries and learner backgrounds. The partners will then conceive, test and launch the ‘Better-E Platform’, an online tool to fully conceive e-Learning courses, embedded with technological solutions while addressing important pedagogical concerns.

To test the Platform and engage final beneficiaries, the Partnership proposes the conception, testing and delivery of two e-Learning courses: (1) ‘Entrepreneurship’, promoting active citizenship through enterprise while applying innovations that can break the cycles that perpetuate social exclusion. (2) ‘Easily Moving from Learning to e-Learning’, an instruction course that includes in part a guide to the use of the ‘Better-E’ Platform.

The ‘Better-E’ title not only seeks to engender thoughts of better e-Learning, but also may identify ambitions for a ‘Better Europe’, by means of strong European Partnerships contributing for better common societies. It may also recall a common pronunciation with the word ‘Battery’, symbolising energy generated through partnership, aligning the project with the Erasmus+ global priorities and aims.

RENOVA – Health Management Training for Nursing Professionals

LogoRenova

From February 2011–January 2013, Searchlighter began played its part along with five other partners from across Europe in RENOVA, a two-year Transfer of Innovation project to enhance training facilities for nursing professionals.

Background

The professional role of nurses is changing throughout the EU: there is more demand for qualifications that go beyond the traditional medical skills, as more nurses are required to play managerial roles at medical institutions. RENOVA proposes that the provision of an adequate educational framework for this professional group would enhance its labour mobility and raise the profile for related educational institutions.

Objective

RENOVA carries the subtitle A knowledge transfer and framework construction for nursing staff across Europe to develop professional skills as Managers. The aim of this Transfer of Innovation (TOI) Action is to support improvements in both quality and innovation in Vocational and Educational Training (VET) systems and practices, and to enhance the mobility of staff for the benefit of health organisations and their personnel. To this end, the project supports experienced nursing staff in acquiring skills and qualifications natural to their professional development into health management.

Approach

RENOVA is looking to develop materials for project-based learning where students make things collectively, tackling real problems under the guidance of experienced practitioners, sharing ideas and working in teams, where tutoring helps students to reflect on their objectives and assumptions, where lecturing felicitously completes learning by giving students the knowledge they need to perform the core activities of their work or interests.

Jobs and Growth

Allowing nursing professionals to develop as managers through the project addresses the need to invest in the right skills and improve the matching of jobs with these skills in the EU. RENOVA is committed to develop professional skills among nursing staff accordingly to labour market needs as set out in the ‘New Skills for New Jobs‘ directive. Especially in new-entrant countries, nursing professionals are in an ideal position to benefit from the aims of the directive with its focus on labour-market development, one that guides RENOVA.

Equal Opportunities

The choice to focus on a profession where there is a preponderance of women allows the project to address issues concerning equality between men and women in their access to professions with authority and status, confronting sexual discrimination that hinders women making progress in their line of work. Management positions offer a challenge to disempowerment, and the partners consider that can be increased effectiveness in the provision of accessible management training for nurses.

Partnership

The consortium gathers partners from four different EU countries – Romania, Poland, UK and France – bringing different economic and cultural experiences that balance the RENOVA objectives. The British and French partners have access to a professional management training culture that has to an extent enabled women while the Polish and Romanian partners have access to nursing professionals that are in an ideal position to benefit from this project-based learning for their development. Partners bring complementary experience to the project, ranging from education and training, health, research and communications, technical training and software development skills for effective VET, being bound together by their collective understanding of the social issues the project is addressing.

Work Programme

TOI projects are commissioned to improve the quality and attractiveness of VET in participating countries by transferring innovations to new legal, systemic, sector, linguistic, socio-cultural and geographic environments. This is achieved by working with transnational partners to generate synergies through the exploitation of current VET innovations. RENOVA is based within the Leonardo da Vinci sub-programme for vocational education and training as a part of the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme.

European Competence Network for applying Accredited Prior Learning

Searchlighter was one of nine partners making an application in February 2011 to develop a project to improve the application of Accreditation of Prior Learning at a European level.

The consortia’s proposal came from a belief among the nine partners that Accredited Prior Learning (APL) within Lifelong Learning systems is not being utilised effectively almost entirely as a result of ineffective valorisation of the research completed. APL not only helps to stimulate Lifelong Learning but is also seen as an important tool in human resources, stimulating employability, mobility and career development. This can be applied especially for disadvantaged groups like migrants, drop-outs and others who may have problems in proving competencies in their professional background.

This application was made to the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme under a designated Action for the Dissemination and Exploitation of Results. The prime objective for a Multilateral Project such as this is to help create a framework for the effective exploitation of the results of Europe’s Lifelong Learning Programme and previous related programmes at sectoral, regional, national and European levels. Priority is given to projects that can identify barriers to dissemination and exploitation, develop robust models for successful dissemination and exploitation of results, assess the impact of results, and assess the impact of dissemination and exploitation actions.

Transnational projects have already shown that APL can take different forms and can have different added value in different countries. However, projects have consistently proved that in almost every case it is of great value for the participants. The case made by the consortia  is that a common, flexible accreditation system that can be offered with the help of Recognising Prior Learning procedures is a first step for the accreditation of skills and competencies for EU citizens travelling across national boundaries in Europe, and especially for migrants from outside Europe.

With partners from Belgium, Germany, Italy, Poland, France, Spain and Romania as well as the UK, we hope to hear the result of this in June 2011.