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Seventh, Final Issue

Multiplier Events

Open professional collaboration around Europe


Auxilium’s second OpenPROF Multiplier Event took place on the 28th of June in Graz, Austria. Thereby, the focus was put on the newly developed curriculum of Diversity Management with its implemented OERs. Profiting from some participants also taking part in the pilot, discussion was centred on ICT enhanced, work-based learning, including supportive and efficient materials and tools for learners.

Universidade Aberta's second OpenPROF Multiplier event took place on the 23th of June in the city of Coimbra (Portugal), focusing on “Open Professional Collaboration for Innovation: the case of training modules of OpenPROF”. The workshop had great support of professionals in the center of Portugal linked to vocational training, teaching in basic and higher education institutions and technical training centers linked to management training. The themes in focus were results from the OpenPROF experience and were:
  1. Innovation and Sustainability in the Online Course Design for Open Training
  2. Training challenges and obstacles in the development of content for open online training and
  3. Open Teaching: models and online teaching practices in open training.

Further pilot results

Divided into six core topics, the Diversity Management course, developed by Auxilium, is targeted at VET, CVET and adult learners, with a focus on everyday working life reflection and implementation. The module comprises general information such as diversity and its dimensions, how stereotypes turn to discrimination and how diversity is represented. Furthermore, the topic of diversity in organisations and teams as well as their development and equal opportunities is given space. With many practical examples and stimulation to engage with a diversity focus in everyday working life, learners are confronted with an active involvement.
The Diversity Management module was piloted in German language in Austria, starting in June with 17 participants registered, interested in taking the course and willing to provide their feedback to the module. Pilot participants and learners expressed through their feedback how much they appreciated the course. To quote one remark: “The course is designed very interesting, well and clearly structured and provides the subject matter in well dosed portions”.
Over the course of July EDEN has successfully finished the piloting of "The mobility guide on-line - Planning and management with ICT support" course with 14 participants. Most participants tested all modules, but some were more interested in the project planning lessons only. About half of the participants formally evaluated the course. The overall feedback was positive, resulting in a "good" average score. The teacher contact appeared to be a bit weaker, most probably due to the quieter summer period, but even this aspect received "fair" scores in the evaluation. To demonstrate the learner satisfaction, one piloter commented that: "The course is very well developed, easy to follow and rich in useful information. Perhaps (simply as a bonus feature, not something that is essential or necessary) some written parts could have been converted into / replaced by / supplemented with short videos just to mix up the media used."
The main objective of the “Time management in online communities” module is to be more efficient in our daily lives and work. There is not much use of reading about the latest innovations and updates if you don't implement them. If you are overwhelmed with your regular tasks, you have two options: allow that black hole of anxiety drag you down or take action to overcome the pressure. With this course Fondo Formación Euskadi wanted to help their learners to become more productive, organised and efficient persons who are capable of managing themselves well.
Prioritise your tasks and learn not to procrastinate. Learn to discern between the essential and the irrelevant. Be capable of squeezing the most out of each hour of the day. Know and apply a method composed of strategies, techniques and abilities that can help you day to day. - This is what the first 15 Spanish piloters could learn from the “Time Management in online communities” course in July in Bilbao. As it is an online course they were free to progress with the course in their own pace, and check out the recommend extra readings.
The “Digital Storytelling for Training” module prepared by Universidade Aberta (Portugal) took place in July and was offered online in Portuguese. It was attended by 25 trainees, working in diverse professional areas, from Portugal and Brazil. 21 piloters have successfully completed the whole module, that is focused on know-how and digital skills for creating digital storytelling to support training and education.
The course is innovative and focuses on know-how skills and interaction. The module was divided into five themes that were addressed weekly in a format that the organisers called Boot camp:
  1. What is Digital Storytelling?
  2. Licenses Creative Commons
  3. Picture
  4. Script
  5. Tools for Digital Storytelling
The piloting students concluded the module with the development of a digital storytelling project for a training action, presenting their finished products at a face to face event dedicated to the theme in the presence of the trainers and an invited expert in the field.

Innovative curriculum for work-based learning

OpenPROF project partners started the work by raising the questions: “What are the challenges that education organisations meet in the context of diversification of learners and individualisation of curriculum for their target groups?”, as well as “What kind of curriculum is expected by work-based learners who form the majority of the target group in adult learning, higher education and VET nowadays?

The OpenPROF project addressed these questions by open consultations with their target group representatives in partner countries during dissemination and multiplier events and by developing and presenting to teachers and trainers OpenPROF training material on Innovative Curriculum Design for Work-based Learning. This training material incorporated the overview of the characteristics of innovative curriculum, the methods and the tools that should be taken into consideration and applied in modern work-based learning courses.

As a result of exploitation of this training material, partners developed innovative and online (as a must) curriculum - 6 online courses - working with diverse target groups. These materials are unique, because:
  • They are based on open professional collaboration approach (teachers and course designers embedded collaboratively designed learning material)
  • They integrate a wide range of OERs: newly developed, re-developed and adapted
  • They are completely online and created as a new service for individuals and companies willing to develop/ update their skills choosing their preferred learning mode.
The current results present substantial example of collaborative work of education organizations from different sectors of education from VET, adult learning and higher education. There is no doubt that OpenPROF contributed substantially to the development of teacher competences to plan, design and collaborate openly in the development of innovative work-based curriculum in partner countries.

Final report on results, impact, legacy

Over the past 24 months the OpenPROF partners have truly demonstrated open collaboration in practice by spending a considerable amount of time and effort developing, translating and adapting:
The project is officially ending on the 31st of August 2016, but the collaboration forged between the OpenPROF partners will live on, and expand, in the forms of continued joint research activities and study visits.

The rich collection of the above described results will remain available for free on the project web portal. We encourage you to explore them, learn from them and apply creativity to produce your own translations and adaptations for your own teaching/learning practices. Would you need peer assistance to get started or to discuss how to overcome difficulties and challenges, don’t hesitate to contact us.

On behalf of the entire project team let us say goodbye, hoping that you had a nice summer and wish you to have an inspired and productive start of the new term.

OpenPROF partners believe that the concept of open professional collaboration will be exploited along with the wonderful ideas of joint events and professional teams through project partners to future networking and collaboration.
Like our Facebook page and write a post with your experiences:
What is open collaboration for you?
This project (Prj No. 2014-1-LT01-KA202-000562) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This newsletter reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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