Summary of the project
During the pandemic of Covid-19, several trends were adopted within the institutions’ network in order to overcome the challenges faced by learning providers as they implemented new practices to address the learning process.
IDEAL – Improving Digital Education for All Learners is a 24-month project developed in response to the rapid changes that occurred in the education and skills sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.
IDEAL aims to research, evaluate, and disseminate national/international good practice in the context of Covid-19 and promote new approaches to online learning to deliver academic and technical qualifications, degrees and post-graduate programmes, and high and degree apprenticeship programmes. It will also focus primarily on Higher Education but as there is a similar problem facing Technical, Vocational Education, and Training (TVET) provision at lower qualification and skill levels, this will form a wider vocational learning context.
The project will be made by a consortium consisting of 9 partners, from 4 different countries. IDEAL is an EU partnership designed to develop academic and technical skills by embedding a new culture that places learning technologies at its centre.
The IDEAL project’s key objectives are:
- Identifying the scale of the problem
- Fostering capacity building of teachers and institutions
- Promoting effective use of technology practices
- Fostering inclusiveness in the virtual classroom, involving students with additional communication needs, such as those with physical or hearing impairments or learning disabilities, such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, and others.
- Developing pedagogy, online curriculum, delivery models, and learning materials
- Creating guidance in the form of institutional level roadmaps to deliver online infrastructure upgrades and training
The project is addressed to:
- Higher Education (HE)
- Vocational institutions
The project will create a detailed survey to identify what were both the challenges and the successes in making this transition to online learning. This will include identifying the impact on learners and identifying how learner groups that may be more affected by such a move, especially those with additional communication needs, are influenced. The survey will focus primarily on Higher Education but as there is a similar problem facing TVET provision, up to 20% of the sample may come from a wider vocational learning context.
IO2 aims at providing a competency framework for online delivery. This will include a short-term training event (C1) where tutors from each country will explore concepts of digital pedagogy and delivery and consider practical implementation. Where possible events and collaboration will themselves be virtually managed but given the timespan of the project some face-to-face activity will be included when this is viable. This IO will enable institutions to evaluate the competency of existing staff, identify training and continuing professional development and help prepare new staff for what in the longer term may at the least be a more blended delivery.
IO3 is a Toolkit focusing on Digital Pedagogy that will identify resources and tools that can be shared more widely. This toolkit will include flexible and adaptable resources, strategies, and policies that teaching users will be able to adapt to their context locally, sectorally, and with consideration of the needs of a range of learners not only in project countries but also in other European countries not involved in the project.
The main product of IO4 will be a report developed on how to deliver engaging, inclusive learning in a blended and online setting. Methodologies to achieve such learning online will be explored through focus groups, consultation, and testing. From this, guidance will be produced for tutors for use in lesson planning, resource allocation, and delivery. Inclusiveness also will be a key theme explored in the report.
This IO will advise on the key enabling infrastructure for becoming an online-ready institution according to current good practice examples, strategies, and technologies that can be shared and applied more widely. Additionally, the output will look at the management requirements from strategic lead to roll-out and implementation.
Cogito Development Projects – applicant, United Kingdom
Cogito (CDP) was founded in May 2003 and has managed numerous projects for different government agencies and clients. This has included; developing training resources and qualifications across a range of curriculum and vocational subjects, delivering enterprise and business development
training in both the UK and overseas, and supporting national support programmes. The portfolio includes a wide spread of projects from IT infrastructure, TVET qualifications, occupational standards, health innovation, apprenticeships, refugee integration, enterprise, and employability, supporting teaching and learning, and social enterprise development. Collaborating with partners CDP has worked across different sectors, created and piloted new learning and skills solutions, supported social enterprise development, trained new enterprises, and developed tools for enhancing employability.
KAINOTOMIA LLC2 – partner, Greece
KAINOTOMIA provides business consultancy to companies & supporting services and consulting support services to trainees to facilitate their (re)entrance into the labour market. KAINOTOMIA has participated in several national projects, offering a high degree of expertise regarding training in contemporary fields, matching them with those that have a high demand in the job market, in order to develop trainees’ knowledge, skills and attitudes towards their integration in the labour market. KAINOTOMIA has been participating in co-funded national projects under the name of “local development plans and entrepreneurship for unemployed based on specific local needs and growth potential”.
UNIVERSITY OF THESSALY – partner, Greece
The University of Thessaly, with 37 Departments and 8 schools, is a university with its own identity and with a prominent position in the national educational system. The University of Thessaly provides undergraduate and postgraduate programs and extra-curricular modules in specific research and business fields, for over 43000 students. The main mission of the University of Thessaly is the promotion of scientific knowledge through research and the contribution to the cultural and economic development of the local community and wider society. The members of the academic and research staff participate in European research networks and numerous innovative research projects in the EC.
ISTITUTO DEI SORDI DI TORINO – partner, Italy
The origin of the Istituto dei Sordi di Torino (Turin Institute for the Deaf) dates back to 1814 when the king of the noble House of Savoy established a no-profit foundation to offer basic care and services for deaf and blind people. The Institute’s activities are not limited to the blind, deaf, and hard-of-hearing students: as required by the Statute from the beginning, training courses, conferences, seminars, and publications are provided for teachers, educators, parents, and health workers. The core of the Institute’s activity has always relied on Education, particularly developing ad-hoc learning programmes for blind, deaf, and hard-of-hearing students, while at the same time training teachers to deal with these kinds of disabilities in their classrooms.
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI TORINO – partner, Italy
The University of Torino (UniTo) is one of the most ancient and prestigious Italian universities, that due to its numerous academic, administrative, and technical staff can be considered as “city-within-a-city”, promoting culture and producing research, innovation, training, and employment. It organizes courses in all disciplines, except for Engineering and Architecture, offering over 150 undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses and has a remarkable research tradition in traditional subjects such as history, philosophy, law, economics, and medicine but it is currently branching out into important modern sectors, such as food science, social politics, IT, performing arts and communication sciences.
NEVSEHIR HACI BEKTAS VELI UNIVERSITY – partner, Turkey
Founded on May 17th, 2007 as a public university, Nevsehir Haci Bektas Veli University has been developing rapidly to become one of the leading universities in Turkey. It is carrying out its scientific activities on 6 different campuses with 9 faculties, 9 vocational colleges, 2 colleges, 4 institutes, and 13 research and application centers. The University is in cooperation with more than 70 universities around Europe through the Erasmus+ Programme and this number is increasing rapidly every year. Besides, the university has 201 bilateral agreements in total at both national and international levels.
University Vocational Awards Council – partner, United Kingdom
The University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC) is a not-for-profit organisation set up in 1999 by the higher and further education sector in the UK. Its collective membership gives considerable reach into the higher education sector and mutual and unlimited access to expert and professional advice and guidance with regards to implementing higher vocational learning and skills. Its activities include: working with its members and others to influence the quality and value of higher vocational and professional learning; research, providing information and organising national level events to support membership aims; support the recognition of prior learning and the national application of credit and transfer between educational institutions and work with educational institutions, employers, governments and national agencies to enhance work-integrated skills developments and progression, including in higher and degree apprenticeships.
FE Sussex Ltd – partner, United Kingdom
Established over 20 years ago for the express purpose of educational project delivery, FE Sussex Ltd is the consortia company of 14 post-16 vocational and academic colleges in Sussex and Surrey, UK. Typical activities include peer-to-peer professional development for teachers, leading on initiatives to upskill the digital skills of teaching staff, driving quality improvement of teaching and learning, preparing colleges for government inspection, conducting research into various education initiatives and projects. In addition to the activities mentioned, FE Sussex has compiled an enviable portfolio of extensive experience in the delivery and implementation of a wide range of educational research, development, and evaluation projects.
The Include Project – partner, United Kingdom
Include.org is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation whose mission is to improve the lives of people with understanding and/or speaking difficulties (cognitive communication impairment)associated with developmental (e.g. learning disabilities, autism) or acquired (e.g. dementia, aphasia) conditions. It delivers creative community activities within a social model of disability framework (UPIAS 1975), believing that communication barriers in communities can be reduced through opportunities for inclusion and learning. Furthermore, Include.org also provides more traditional inclusive communication, speech, and language therapy, and mental capacity act training for health social care providers and is developing innovative e-learning packages which combine the traditional and musical approaches.
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The IDEAL: “Improving Digital Education for All Learners” is a project developed by the IDEAL Consortium, led by Cogito Development Projects, in response to the rapid changes that occurred in the education and skills sector during the COVID-19 pandemic project. The Kick-off Meeting of the project was successfully completed online on the 2nd of June […]