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Sloop2desc - Sharing Learning Objects in an Open Perspective to Develop European Skills and Competences

THE SLOOP2DESC COURSE


Francesca Berengo1, Mara Masseroni1, Luigi Petruzziello1, Monica Terenghi1, Pierfranco Ravotto2
1

ITSOS Marie Curie, Cernusco sul Naviglio 2 AICA, Milano

francesca.berengo@tes.mi.it, masseroni.mara@gmail.com, luigi.petruzziello@tes.mi.it, monica.terenghi@tes.mi.it p.ravotto@aicanet.it

ABSTRACT
This paper deals with This paper describes the online training course for teachers that has been designed and tested within the project SLOOP2desc and is now available in open format - so everyone can freely use, modify and distribute it - in 4 languages: Italian, English, Slovenian and Romanian. KEYWORDS: Teachers training, Competences, Online learning, Open educational resources, Moodle, Web 2.0, Collaborative tools, Creative Commons, training course, EQF, EUCIP, e-CF.

LABSTRACT
L'articolo presenta il corso di formazione in rete per docenti che stato progettato e sperimentato nellambito del progetto SLOOP e che adesso disponibile in formato aperto dunque liberamente utilizzabile, modificabile e distribuibile in 4 lingue: italiano, inglese, sloveno e rumeno. KEYWORDS: Formazione docenti, Competenze, Didattica in rete, Risorse educative aperte, Moodle, Web 2.0, Strumenti collaborativi, CreativeCommons, EQF, EUCIP, e-CF.

1. INTRODUCTION
At European level, the Bologna Process and the Lisbon Declaration stressed the importance of reorganising the education policies in the view of a community sense, adopting an approach based on learning outcomes and certification of competences attained. In 2008 the European Parliament and the European Council adopted a common reference framework of qualifications for lifelong learning (EQFEuropean Qualification Framework) with the aim to establish general criteria for comparing competence certification systems adopted in different European countries [1]. As more and more companies have been adopting the systems of competence certification based on the EQF for the selection of their staff, it is essential that teachers in schools and training operators mature awareness that access to the labour market of their students will increasingly depend on their ability to demonstrate the competences acquired during their schooling, and the fact that these competences are comparable at European level on the basis of unique and shared criteria. It is therefore crucial to adopt teaching strategies that achieve the goal of providing students with competences that can be certified and recognized at European level. One of the objectives of the SLOOP2desc project was precisely to increase teachers' knowledge on the new systems based on learning outcomes and competences acquired, providing them at the same time, the necessary technical and pedagogical tools to design/manage 1

materials and online educational courses that employ multi-media and the full potential of Web 2.0. In order to achieve this objective, the Sloop2desc project has devised online training for teachers in Italy, Romania and Slovenia. Two issues, closely intertwined, characterise the course: the use of online learning to complement face-to-face training to increase the effectiveness and attractiveness of training and the sharing of open digital resources to make the use of online education sustainable, the focus on competence-based learning, according to EQF, in particular in the informatics sector with reference to the EUCIP framework.

2. DESIGN AND TESTING OF THE COURSE


The Sloop2desc course has been designed starting from a successfully course experienced within the previous SLOOP project in Italy [2], Slovenia [3], Romania [4] and Spain [5]. And it has been similarly implemented on a Moodle platform. A first version of the course was tested in two pilot courses, one attended mainly by Sicilian teachers and the other one by Lombard teachers, both of them tutored by components of the project team. These pilot courses have helped, on the one hand, identify strengths and weaknesses of the course, on the other one find tutors for the following cascade in Italy. Based on the results obtained during the pilot courses and feedback from participants, the course has

Giovanni FULANTELLI, Lucian OPREA been partially modified producing the final version that has been used for 11 cascade courses in Italy and translated into Romanian and Slovenian for the two courses in these countries. Finally, the course has been translated into English and then the 4 versions, released under CC license Attribution-Share Alike represent the main product that the Sloop2desc project provides the community of teachers with.

The SLOOP2desc Course trainees are online, organized into classes (30-40 people with two tutors), which of them represent a separate "course". Activities are scheduled in a way that all trainees deal them at the same time. A strong interaction among students and between students and tutors (in forums and other tools such as email, chat, videoconference) is required, sometimes as a discussion and exchange of ideas, other times as a collaboration in carrying out activities (also in this case using tools such as wikis, GoogleDoc, MindMap, ...). The table below shows the structure of the course, which is organised in 5 modules, and its duration of 16 weeks.

3. COURSE STRUCTURE
First it is necessary to clarify that the model of online training adopted is the virtual classroom in Moodle. The

Modules

Length

Units 1. Using Moodle as trainee

At the end of each module the trainee will be able to: 1. use Moodle as a trainee: how to register oneself, fill in ones own profile, insert ones own photo how to exchange messages with other registered trainees; how to enrol on a course and monitor ones own activities; how to take part in a forum; perform tutoring activities (as a teacher not as an editor): how to monitor trainees or groups of trainees activities; create or modify a course (as a teacher/editor): how to add resources to a course: label, link, text page, web page, folder; how to insert activities in a course: forum, online task, lesson, quiz, hot potatoes quiz, SCORMs, wiki, register; how to insert an embed code in a label or in a web page to reproduce resources existing in other sites such as Slide Share, YouTube, Scribd, ...; create a course: how to open ex-novo a new course or starting from a pre-existing course; how to assign and modify roles. To indicate the main characteristics of the role of the online tutor

1 3 weeks Using MOODLE as a trainee and as a teacher

2. Using Moodle as trainer

2.

3.

4.

2 3 weeks Being an online tutor and using web 2.0 tools

1. The online tutor

1.

2. To create, organize 2. To search and organize knowledge sources through and share resources on the web 2.0 tools: the Net list of references on the Web, social bookmarking (Delicious, ...); 3. E-cooperation 3. to cooperate online in synchronous and asynchronous way, through Web tools such as: Skype, Forum; 4. To use tools for collaborative knowledge production, such as: Googledoc wiki; 5. to promote role playing and simulations.

Sloop2desc - Sharing Learning Objects in an Open Perspective to Develop European Skills and Competences 3 3 weeks Using and developing open educational resources for an eLearning environment 1. Sharing and reusability philosophy 2. Web 2.0 tools for sharing 1. 2. 3. provide definitions of open educational resources or open learning objects; describe the several Creative Commons licences; share resources in web 2.0 environments (such as Slide Share, YouTube, Scribd, ) tagging them to make search easier; describe the SCORM model; describe the IEEE LOM metadata system; develop a SCORM by using software like eXeLearning search for educational resources within a repository describe the 8 key competences for lifelong learning; describe the aim of 'European Qualification Framework for Lifelong Learning - EQF and its level-based structure; describe the ECDL system and list the ECDL certifications; identify in the ECDL syllabuses the competences that can be of reference for their school or discipline. describe the aim and the structure of European eCompetence Framework, e-CF; describe the EUCIP model of informatics competences and professional profiles; list EUCIP certifications and related certification procedures; identify, within the EUCIP Syllabus, the competence units required for a specific professional profile; use EccoEucip tool to outline ones own proximity profile and analyse it. describe the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages; describe the CEFR six levels; identify the linguistic competence levels relevant to their ownf school. plan open educational resources; develop open educational resources using a wide range of tools; make the educational resources open providing them with a suitable licence, source accessibility, instructions how to use or modify them; upload the resources in FreeLOms; cooperate in planning and developing a course on Moodle; upload the course in Moodle ensuring it is really open.

3. The SCORM model 4. and tools for the 5. production of SCORM 6. compliant LOs 4. FreeLOms 4 2 weeks European Qualification Framework (EQF), eCompetence Framework (e-CF) and EUCIP standard 1. EQF 2. 8 key competences 7. 1. 2.

3a. Users digital competences and EUCIP syllabuses

3. 4.

3b. Informatics 3. professionals competences, e-CF and 4. EUCIP 5. 6. 7. 3c. Common European 3. Framework of Reference for 4. Languages 5. 5 6 weeks Collaborative development of educational resources based on a competences standard 1. Choosing the theme and defining workgroups 2. Planning and implementing digital resources and courses 3. Sharing resources and courses ensuring they are really open 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

6.

The modules are characterized by a common structure: a description of the module and its purpose (video or presentation), the definition of the learning outcomes, a discussion forum with some threads created by tutors and others opened up by trainees step by step, 3

the several units constituting the course, a competence self-assessment questionnaire that asks participants to indicate if and at which level, they believe to have achieved the expected results, a satisfaction questionnaire by the trainees concerning the proposed activities, instructional materials and tutoring provided.

Giovanni FULANTELLI, Lucian OPREA For each of the units the following elements are provided: the list of activities to be carried out, sometimes individually, sometimes in groups, a learning resources area with learning materials in a variety of forms: video, presentations, PDFs, web pages, SCORM objects. These are materials in many cases already existing on the net or specifically developed for the course, an area of in-depth resources not listed as mandatory but optional, a link to a working environment (a trial course where to exercise Moodle, a wiki where to work collaboratively, the freeLOms, Moodle courses to be implemented for their students). Beyond an accurate illustration of the type of resources made available in the course, we want to emphasize that the choice of this material has been consciously implemented in the light of the cultural context of reference of the entire project, namely the notion of use, reuse, change and adaptability of resources [6]. Therefore there are various types of resources in the course: some fully developed from scratch, others found in the net and inserted into the course directly, others built, modified, adapted to the learning context. This is also in the view of transferability of the course in different linguistic contexts; various resources (such as tutorials, demonstrations, ) did not in fact need any translation because similar resources exist in the web into various languages, thus requiring an adaptation only in terms of description of activities and related tasks.

The SLOOP2desc Course specifically on Freeloms, a repository developed first in the Sloop project and revamped in Slop2desc. Module 4 is detached from the former three modules as it addresses the issue of competences. In the most recent version of the course this module is structured in three teaching units. The first concerns the EQF framework, the second the 8 core competences of citizenship while the third deals with 4 different competence frameworks meeting the teachers' specific professional fields: digital competences and ECDL syllabus (for those who must teach the use of computers); IT professionals competences and EUCIP and e-CF frameworks (for teachers of computer science); language competences and the framework of the European languages (for foreign language teachers), competences in the maritime sector and the IMO system (only in Romanian for teachers in that sector). A strong value of the course lies in the constant presence of a collaborative dimension achieved through the forums created for each module, through the collaborative use of tools for producing and sharing content and through collaborative opportunities of synchronous and asynchronous communication.

5. CONCLUSIONS
No serious reform of educational policies can be successful without the direct involvement of teachers. To quote Pajer [6] "any school reform, before being retouching of structures or updating of programs or replacing of methods, is essentially a reform of teachers, i.e. conversion or reconfiguration of their professional profile, reorganization and expansion of their powers, enhancement of their social role ... " [7]. The increasing difficulties of adapting education to a society in continual and rapid change require a major effort of updating by teachers. It is not only a matter of acquiring specific skills, but also of starting a process of collaborative reflection on the current meaning of the teaching profession. With this course we intended to provide teachers both with "technical" tools to reprogram their teaching and an environment that could promote discussion and stimulate collaborative activities.

4. TEACHING METHODOLOGY
The methodology of the course is learning by doing. The trainees learn to become online teachers attending an online course and get familiar with competence-based education attending a course based on competence-based learning (see, for this the previous chapter 3). But, more importantly, they learn by designing and building materials, open educational resources for their students. The heart of the course is Module 5, one dedicated precisely to the production of resources, where by this term we mean both single objects - a presentation, a video, a quiz, ... - and an entire Moodle course. No coincidence that this is the longest module: 6 weeks. The other modules are somewhat preliminary. Module 1 is focused on learning how to use Moodle. In Module 2, the trainees experience the Web 2.0 tools for collaboration - such GoogleDoc, Skype, Delicious, ... - tools to be used in Module 5 collaboratively to produce the resources, but also to use in the future with students. Module 3 focuses on the production and sharing of open educational resources: therefore, firstly, the focus is on the concept of sharing, on the legal characteristics (license) and techniques (e.g. access to the source) that a resource must have to be open, on the sharing environments (such as Slideshare, YouTube, Scribd ...) and finally on the tools to produce resources (eXeLearning, HotPotatoes, ...) and last but not least on repositories where to share the resources developed, 4

REFERENCES
[1] European Commission Education & Training, EQF, European Qualification Framework for Lifelong Learning. [2] Ravotto P., Berengo F., Masseroni. M. & others, Learning environment and learning objects: a successful synergy, in Sharing Learning Objects in an open perspective,, ISBN 978-88-903115-0-5, pag. 85. [3] Vrtacnick M. e Cemazar R., e-learning in Chemistry: to use it or not to use it?, in Sharing Learning Objects in an open perspective,, ISBN 978-88-903115-0-5, pag. 94. [4] Oprea L., Rusu C. & others, Sloop project impact on Dunarea de Jos University virtual community, in Sharing Learning Objects in an open perspective,, ISBN 978-88-903115-0-5, pag. 69.

Sloop2desc - Sharing Learning Objects in an Open Perspective to Develop European Skills and Competences
[5] Fernandez P., Sangr A., Gurdia L., Learning how to create learning objects: an opportunity for the teaching community, in Sharing Learning Objects in an open perspective,, ISBN 978-88-903115-0-5, pag. 112. [6] Ravotto P., Masseroni M. & others, Principi ecologici per leLearning, Atti Didamatica, 2009. [7] Pajer F., La formazione degli insegnanti, Convegno internazionale di studi - Le Universit di tendenza per l'Europa, 2004.