The Learn@Work Socrates-Minerva Research Project 2005–2007
What did it do and what happened with it since?
The Dublin e-package
Following extensive consultation with inner and outer circle experts, and considering the expertise of the project team, the Dublin pilots were eventually publicised in the first information brochure as:
Capacity Building (Induction) for computer-based learning skills, using ICTs, E-learning, Library Research and Academic Study Skills: pilot projects with worker-learners, apprentices and part-time students
The aim of the pilots was stated as testing the best way to use a combination of face-to-face, paper-based and computer-based e-learning activities for learners-at-work and part-time students to acquire the skills to succeed in a formal training course where computers and e-learning are required. Six small groups were initially invited to test the package of materials presented in three forms: a handbook, a CDRom, and an on-line, inter-active programme.
E-accompaniers from the circles of experts were nominated to work with each of the groups. The pilot participants were expected to give up to five hours each to test the materials, some as part of their structured work-based training (apprentices, workers with disabilities, and city park workers), others as volunteers. The e-accompanier worked with the group to decide the level and main content from the materials to be tested in the pilot, and to facilitate access to WebCT. The participants needed access to a computer, to the internet, time, and a sense of ‘adventure’. The model was open and flexible with no predetermined level of learning outcomes other than the overall goals of the project, no fees, no assessments, no credits and no accreditation.
The conceptual framework to inform good e-induction and support
The Dublin pilots shared a common pedagogical design framework and agreed principles with design features as follows:
- the design of the environment and tools should be participative and learner-oriented with both the immediate and future learning needs of the participants considered
- the product should be easy to use and should enhance autonomous learning
- the local socio-cultural context should be considered as well as global developments.