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Approach

Project follows a design stage, a development stage, an implementation stage, supported by an on-going evaluation of its progress and interim results and continued valorisation activities aiming at the dissemination and exploitation of its products and results:
•    it begins by a design stage: specifications for the DL model, specifications for the methodology for identifying remote community educational needs, specifications for developing educational material and for adapting the DL model to school/adult education, specifications for the DL Services System to be developed, etc.
•    is followed by the development stage, producing systems, tools and materials, incrementally available for testing, as they are produced,
•    interrelated to the implementation stage in the application sites where the DL model is being applied for the 5 selected remote communities in Greece, Finland, Poland, Bulgaria and Cyprus (Figure 1).

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A preliminary analysis of educational needs in the application areas of the participating countries, (the Cyclades - Greece, Kula – Bulgaria, Fornetka – Poland, Ullava – Finland, and Palaichori - Cyprus) showed that local people would be very interested in courses in (indicatively):

 

English language learning, music, arts (for school and adult learners), science (for school learners), computer and Internet use and European policy for remote rural areas, organic agriculture, agrotourism and family guidance for abusive behaviour of children such as drugs, aggression, etc. (for adult learners).


Thus, after confirming/updating these needs, early in the course of the project, the partners responsible design, develop, adapt or localize into their language and needs a number of sample educational activities and e-courses and experimentally implement them.

 

Some educational activities are carried out jointly by the local application areas in more than one country.

The courses are implemented either by a “remote” instructor (synchronous mode) or by the learners themselves (asynchronous mode) with only the support of the local moderator (e.g. support to use ICT tools, facilitate communication in English language where needed in trans-national learning activities) or in a “blended” mode.

Through the above we achieve the separation of the processes of content development, course design and development and course delivery: Aiming at the sustainability of the model, the role of the domain expert (who is responsible for content development) is separated from that of the course developer (who will be able to create a course, given specific content and instructions) as well as from the role of the local or remote instructor (a local “advanced” person who will be able to deliver or support the course or a “remote” instructor).

The methodological approach allows target groups to:

  • Participate via video conferencing in a lesson delivered by a remote instructor, being able to interact through specific ICT tools, either with the instructor or with other learners (synchronous mode of distance learning)
  • Attend pre-recorded lessons as delivered by a remote instructor through a specific tool
  • Work on their own using appropriate educational material and software on the school’s computers (asynchronous mode of distance learning) and
  • Communicate, cooperate and create using the modern tools and communication spaces available, through well designed and structured educational activities, with their peers in other participating countries.

 

The adoption and utilization of e-Learning 2.0 tools by the proposed DL framework, enables the creation of user generated content during the implementation stage (e.g. user blog content, podcast recordings, etc.), which enriches the e-course initial content.

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