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Belfast Institute Team Scores in European Premier League

Belfast Institute Team Scores in European Premier League

Start of term brought great news for a small tightly knit team based in ILT and Curriculum Development. It has secured major EU funding for a highly innovative Grundtvig Trans-national Project- GOAL - to develop e-training materials for the adult vocational sector.

The Project “Generating On –line Adult Learning”, was one of only 3 successful applications from UK educational providers. The GOAL partnership comprises Belfast Institute, Koning Willem 1 College in the Netherlands, Kodolanyi Janos University in Hungary, University of the Highlands and Islands in Scotland and Cavan and Monaghan Rural Development Co-operative in Ireland.

The GOAL Project aims to develop and deliver an entirely innovative approach to on-line learning. A “desktop” of templates and toolkits will be created to empower trainers with minimal technical skills, to produce their own high quality multimedia on-line learning resources.

It is a significant reflection of the expertise built up by the Belfast Institute in the field of e-learning, that it is readily accepted as manager of this team. It is even more significant that in a European wide competition, against major European players -research organisations, universities and consortia, Belfast Institute did it!

The successful projects were selected entirely in Brussels on their merit and innovation, this is not a local project, and it is in every sense European recognition for Belfast Institute.

Official kick off for the Project was the 1 st October 2004, the home side scoring in great style by hosting the Initial Partner Meeting.

One of the first objectives for the Team is to develop a pedagogic strategy around the delivery of on-line learning.

What will GOAL do?

  • Investigate the technologies and approaches to e-training within the formal, non-formal and informal sectors
  • Establish a model that creates and delivers an entirely new approach to e-training for adults
  • Open up this training and delivery opportunity to new markets within the adult training sector
  • Up-skill a new category of trainer who will not require the high-level skills associated with formal education and IT training
  • Create a portfolio of templates and a toolkit to underpin the production of accessible, interactive training materials
  • Determine the necessary virtual and face-to-face support required to ensure the success of e-training.
  • Pilot this e-training to groups of adults in each of the 5 partner countries on the themes of Active Citizenship; Basic Employment Skills; Language Skills for Non-Nationals; Catering Competences for local Tourism.
  • Monitor, Evaluate and Disseminate the outcomes and make these available as a commercial training programme within the EU

Target Groups

  • 5 cohorts of 20 trainers, each delivering to 20 trainees (total 2000) in 5 regions of 4 European countries in 4 languages
  • Adult trainees - migrants; refugees; asylum seekers; adults in rural areas; unemployed without basic computer competences
  • Potentially all European training organisations involved with adult community initiatives with motivation and capacity to deliver e-training programmes

Outputs

  • Research, development, production and delivery of e-training ‘model’
  • Create simple virtual classroom systems, materials, innovative training delivery methods
  • Cascade and integrate this training model into European adult training

Partnership Benefits

  • Provide impetus for staff to further develop expertise in ILT approaches, e-training and VLEs
  • Enable individuals to create high quality interactive e-learning materials easily
  • Simultaneously create a new type of training and then provide the delivery solution for these new market sectors
  • Form a partnership base across Europe, generate an EU networking ethos, provide a forum to cascade e-training expertise
  • Consolidate Belfast Institute’s position at the forefront of online vocational training

Blackboard’s Key Role

The project team is using a Blackboard site for all its inter-continental communication.  All the partners have access to this site.  The site is to be used for Project information, details on the Initial Partner Conference, discussion (at the moment – pedagogy), useful web sites and much, much more.  Along with Belfast Institute two of the partners have experience with Blackboard, and the others have been introduced to its workings, benefits and use of the system. Existing users and the new introductees have been delighted with how Blackboard can support the project, as well as appreciating its additional benefits to their organisations.

If you would like to be kept up to date with how the project is developing contact pmaccallum@belfastinstitute.ac.uk

Author: Patricia MacCallum

19 January 2005

VLE: Blackboard

 


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