By Katerina Zourou, Director of Web2Learn and LangOER project manager.
The blended course on the topic of “OER and their pedagogical value” was held in Thessaloniki, Greece from May 15 to June 30 2015. Designed as a distance training course in combination with a 2-day intensive face-to-face workshop, it brought together 40 educators, 32 of whom completed all components of the course.
Prior to its start, the course was advertised widely, through the poster and announcement circulated through networks of teachers in Greece. The candidates were selected based on 1) their profile (educators working in the public sector), 2) their prior participation in level A (mandatory) and level B (optional) levels of certification on ICT by the Greek Ministry of Education and 3) their willingness to cover their travel and subsistence expenses to the 2-day workshop, as a prerequisite to complete the training cycle. Indeed, participation in the face-to-face workshop was crucial for team building, group work and collaborative learning tasks designed for the purposes of the whole course. The OpenLearning platform was used for the online component of the course, which is available here.
Elina Megalou presenting “Photodentro”, the Greek National OER repository
Thus the structure of the course was as follows:
May 15-30: [online] module 1: introduction
May 30 & 31: face-to-face workshop in Thessaloniki
June 1-7 [online] module 2: reuse and review
June 8-14 [online] module 3: remix
June 15-21 [online] module 4: redistribute
The structure of the online modules followed the structure commonly agreed among LangOER partners who run the same courses in several countries (Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, the Netherlands and Greece), effectively arranged and coordinated by Gosia Kurek, assisted by Ania Skowron. The content, elaborated by Gosia and Ania for a completely online course in English on the Open Learning platform, was customized for the needs of Greek educators by Ioannis Lefkos and myself.
The face-to-face component of the training was a success, thanks also to the very inspiring talks and presentations by Elina Megalou, Ph.D., Deputy Director of the “Strategy and Digital Educational Content Directorate” at the Computer Technology Institute & Press – Diophantus (CTI)and Sofia Papadimitriou, Ph.D., working at the Educational Television Department of the Greek Ministry of Education. Both presented and ran activities on the Greek repositories of OER (Photodendro), as the planned group work worked very well. The agenda of the face-to-face meeting is available here (in Greek).
Group activities on day 1
Group work activities were very well received, thanks to the prior preparation by Ioannis, Sofia and myself. One of the most successful activities was inspired by Catherine Cronin’s activity presented here It consisted of small group tasks in which participants were asked to map their open practices on a scale from Low to High, using a colour code (green, blue, yellow and red). The group discussions were vivid and the visualization on paper helped the whole group to better approach the practices developed by other colleagues – I would call it an ice-breaking activity built on OEP!
The trainers (from left to right): Katerina Zourou, Elina Megalou, Sofia Papadimitriou and Ioannis Lefkos
Many thanks to the active and engaged group of Greek educators and special thanks to Ioannis, Elina and Sofia for their invaluable help!