Miscellaneous

Ethical Values

Ethical Values
Ethical Values were identified by a nonpartisan, nonsectarian (secular) group of youth development experts in 1992 as “core ethical values that transcend cultural, religious, and socioeconomic differences”. The Six Pillars of Character are: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship.
The past decade has seen a significant shift in ethical values and attitudes, driven by a number of factors including technological advancements, social and political movements, and global events. Consequently, some significant changes in ethical values and attitudes are visible, with some developments having a negative impact on society. In particular, there has been a rise in certain unethical behaviors and attitudes, such as hate speech, racism, bullying, and similar issues, that are facilitated by technology and the internet.

The EBI has launched a case study and asked five partners from Erasmus+ projects to share their impressions about their observations, especially in relation to their learners (and – of course – to their trainers). The results are made visible in the slide show (Data for the case study: 6 organisations, 18 trainers, and heads sent back the questionnaire).

Asked Questions

  1. Our trainers/we as an organisation/I as a person have noted various societal problems, such as hatred on the net, lack of togetherness, discrimination, and prejudice based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and similar.
  2. Our trainers/we as an organisation/I as a person have been observing an inevitable decline in values in society lately, like hatred on the net, lack of togetherness, discrimination, and prejudice based on race, gender, and sexual orientation, which worries them.
  3. Our trainers have recently observed a decline in moral principles among learners, like missing respect, lack of togetherness, discrimination, and prejudice based on race, or gender.
  4. Our organisation seeks to provide trainers with a uniform basic attitude toward ethics and morals.
  5. Our organisation aims to positively impact learners through a unified ethical stance and thus have some influence on the positive development of society.
  6. For our organisation, a uniform ethical attitude within the team is essential.
  7. In the future, our organisation wants to offer training and education on moral principles in specific areas (e.g., behaviour on the net, green values).

Findings and deeper-going interpretation (Ethical Values)

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about significant changes in many aspects of society, including ethical values. As one factor, the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted disparities and inequalities within society. The pandemic has exposed systemic issues such as income inequality, racial and ethnic discrimination, and inadequate healthcare systems. These disparities have raised ethical questions about the allocation of resources and the obligations of governments and corporations to address these issues.

Hate speech and cyberbullying

The anonymity and reach of the internet have created a platform for hate speech and cyberbullying, where individuals can attack and harass others with relative impunity. This has created a new set of ethical challenges, as people struggle to balance the right to free speech with the need to protect individuals from harm.

Racism and discrimination

The past decade has seen a resurgence of racist and discriminatory attitudes, with many people using the internet to spread hate and misinformation. This has raised ethical questions about the responsibility of tech companies and individuals to address and combat these harmful behaviors.

Online harassment and doxxing

The internet has also facilitated the rise of online harassment and doxing, where individuals use the web to threaten and intimidate others. This has led to a growing concern about the ethical implications of online behavior and the need for greater protection and accountability.

Intergenerational ethical approach

It’s not accurate to say that the intergenerational ethical approach has changed negatively in the last decade, but it can be argued that the challenges to achieving intergenerational ethics have increased. Despite increased awareness and a growing recognition of the need to prioritize intergenerational ethical considerations, many of the problems facing future generations have become more acute in recent years.

For example, climate change and environmental degradation have continued to worsen, and income inequality has increased in many parts of the world, making it more difficult to achieve a sustainable and equitable future for all. Additionally, technological advancements have brought new challenges, such as the rise of artificial intelligence and the potential for technological unemployment, that require careful consideration from an intergenerational ethical perspective.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while the past decade has seen many positive developments in ethical values, it has also brought new ethical challenges, particularly with regards to hate speech, racism, bullying, and similar issues that are facilitated by technology and the internet. Addressing these negative trends will require a collective effort to promote responsible and ethical behavior online and offline.

Inclusion in Training

Inclusion in Training

1 Our Approach to Inclusion

Inclusion in adult education refers to the practice of making educational opportunities and resources accessible to individuals regardless of their abilities, disabilities, socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, gender, language, or any other characteristic that might otherwise be a barrier to participation.
The goal of inclusion in adult education and training is to provide equal opportunities for learning and personal growth to all members of society. This involves creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment, offering flexible learning options, and addressing any barriers preventing individuals from accessing education.
With our measure, we follow the European Commission’s Guidelines.

Inclusive Measures EBI
Inclusive measures to enable all adults to participate at training

2 Measures of inclusion in Adult Education

There are various measures that can be taken to promote inclusion in adult education and training, including:

2.1 Accessible learning materials

Providing educational materials that are accessible to individuals with disabilities, such as audio or large print materials, Braille, or closed captioning.

This material must be usable by people with disabilities, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological disabilities. This includes materials such as textbooks, videos, audio recordings, online resources, and assessments.

Accessible learning materials should be designed with accessibility in mind, incorporating features such as alternative text (e.g. transcripts for videos) or descriptions for images, closed captioning for videos, and audio descriptions for visual content. The goal of accessible learning materials is to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to educational resources and can participate fully in the learning process.

2.2 Adaptive technologies

Incorporating assistive technologies such as screen readers, text-to-speech, and speech recognition software to help individuals with disabilities participate in the learning process.

2.3 Flexible learning options

This term addresses offering alternative delivery methods, such as online or self-paced learning, to accommodate individuals who may not be able to attend traditional classroom settings. This will include online learning, self-paced courses, evening and weekend classes, and distance education programs.

The goal of flexible learning options is to accommodate the diverse needs and schedules of adult learners, making education accessible to those who may not be able to attend traditional classroom-based programs.

Flexible learning options will provide opportunities for individuals who live in rural or remote areas, who are working full-time, or who have other responsibilities that prevent them from participating in traditional educational programs. By offering a variety of learning options, adult education programs can ensure that all individuals have access to educational opportunities and can participate in the learning process on their own terms.

2.4 Inclusive curriculum

Designing and delivering a curriculum that reflects the diversity of the adult learner population, including the experiences and perspectives of individuals from different backgrounds.

2.5 Support services

Providing support services, such as counseling, tutoring, and accommodations for individuals with disabilities, to ensure their success in the educational program.

Learning-Together-EBI
Learning together – enable to reach the expected learning success to all learners!

2.6 Cultural sensitivity training

Providing training for teachers and staff to increase their cultural competence and understanding of the experiences of individuals from diverse backgrounds. From our point of view, this means of inclusion in training supports the learning of citizens in a multicultural society.

3 Support for disadvantaged learners

We implement “Support for Disadvantaged Learners” as mentioned below:

  1. Counseling and advising
    Providing individualized support and guidance to adult learners to help them overcome any personal, educational, or financial barriers that may be preventing them from participating in the educational program.
    This is done by special educated assistants of different ages during onsite training (or in the Group Learning Space of Flipped Learning 3.0)
  2. Financial assistance
    This is done by offering scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid to help cover the cost of tuition and other educational expenses for adult learners who may not have the means to pay for these costs themselves.
    EBI offers regular training with scholarships for individuals.
  3. Tutoring and mentoring
    Providing one-on-one support and guidance from trained tutors and mentors is implemented to help adult learners build the skills and confidence they need to succeed in their educational program.
    This is done by specially educated assistants of different ages during onsite training (or in the Group Learning Space of Flipped Learning 3.0)

    assistance-in-learning-EBI
    One-on-one support and guidance from trained tutors and mentors
  4. Accommodations and Access to the training Venues
    For individuals with disabilities, we are providing reasonable accommodations and support services, such as assistive technology, to help individuals with disabilities participate fully in the learning process.
  5. Flexible scheduling
    We are offering alternative scheduling options, such as evening and weekend classes, to accommodate the needs of adult learners who may be working full-time or caring for family members. The offered date of courses follows the needs of the relevant target group.
  6. Basic skills development
    EBI is offering basic skills’ development programs, such as adult basic education, technical basic skills, access to Learning Platforms, and more. This helps adult learners to build the foundational skills they need to succeed in their educational program.

By implementing these types of support measures for inclusion in training, our adult education programs help to ensure that all adult learners, regardless of their background or abilities, have the resources and support they need to succeed in the educational process.

 

What are Quality Enhancement Circles?

What are Quality Enhancement Circles?

The EBI is regularly involved in various projects, most of which are transnational projects in the frame of the Erasmus+ program. The products and results produced in the frame of these projects require quality control or sometimes a quality improvement (enhancement) process. For many years, the EBI/EIE worked on the development of easy-to-handle but successful methods. During the last years – in context with the COVID-19 crisis, face-to-face meetings were not possible in the necessary frequency. We started to work with “Quality Control Circles” (a common means in typical project management) and called them Quality Enhancement Circles.

What is a Quality Circle Process?

Quality enhancement circle
Source: Christoph Roser (at AllAboutLean.com), adapted by Peter Mazohl

Most quality circles will work through a set process with each meeting. In general, this will follow the Plan, Do, Check, Act process, which is ideal for continuous improvement projects. PDCA (plan–do–check–act or plan–do–check–adjust) is an iterative design and management method used in business for the control and continual improvement of processes and products.

The four steps are defined as1:

Plan
Establish objectives and processes required to deliver the desired results.

Do
Carry out the objectives from the previous step.

Check
During the check phase, the data and results gathered from the do phase are evaluated. Data is compared to the expected outcomes to see any similarities and differences. The testing process is also evaluated to see if there were any changes from the original test created during the planning phase. If the data is placed in a chart, it can make it easier to see any trends if the PDCA cycle is conducted multiple times. This helps to see what changes work better than others and if said changes can be improved as well.

Act
Also called “Adjust”, this act phase is where a process is improved. Records from the “do” and “check” phases help identify issues with the process. These issues may include problems, non-conformities, opportunities for improvement, inefficiencies, and other issues that result in outcomes that are evidently less-than-optimal. Root causes of such issues are investigated, found, and eliminated by modifying the process.

The Challenge for Project Results

In the common Erasmus+ projects, we did not have a quality circle (people from one organisation meeting regularly to check, discuss and decide about the quality of products). We had people in various European countries that met in virtual meetings (often performed via ZOOM) to discuss technical issues.

We developed a kind of quality enhancement circular process, where people from all partners could be involved to check the quality and to decide finally about the acceptance of the product.

How do we work on projects?

For each product, a partner is in charge to coordinate the production of the outcome. This partner is also responsible to monitor the production process, and other partners are involved in the creation and work on the expected product.

When the product is finished, the quality check is the next step. Here is a simple depiction of the process:

Quality Enhancement Circle
The PDCA circle enhanced and adapted for ERASMUS+ Project results (Source: Peter Mazohl, developed for the DigiComPass project).

The circle shows the Plan → Do → Check → Act structure, but in a linearized way. The circle was opened, and a cycle process is only leading from the check result back to the Do item. The reason is that from the planning (mostly done by Backward Design) the plan must not be adapted, corrected, or changed. This is a fixed starting point of the working process.

The “quality circle” (as a group of people) is replaced by a Virtual Team Meeting (with team members selected from all partners). These people check the expected result, compare it with the checklists (available from the milestone plan) and decide:

  • If the product fits, it is forwarded to the Steering Committee (or Steering Group of the project). The steering group will approve the result (but has the right to send it back into revision if necessary).
  • If the product does not fit, a description of necessary amendments is created, and the product is put into revision. The project partner in charge to develop the product can do the amendments and forward the product again to the Team VM group.

This simple process enables a minimized effort with maximum quality and enables to keep the production process of project outcomes simple.

1 Description adapted from WikiPedia.

DigiComPass kick-off project meeting

DigiComPass kick-off project meeting
DigiComPass Logo (Kick-Off Meeting)
DigiComPass_Logo

The aim of the DigiComPass Project is to develop a modern accreditation model for digital competencies (based on the DigComp 2.1 Framework for Citizens). This needs a practical innovation and training boost for the trainers (as well as the training facilities). Therefore, this project develops staff competencies that lead to overall improvements in the provision, targeting, and effectiveness of adult education. This includes assessment of prior knowledge and skills of adult learners, better and more innovative teaching methods, and strengthening the adult education staff’s supporting role in motivating, guiding, and advising learners in challenging learning situations. The first DigiComPass meeting of partners took place in Wiener Neustadt, Austria.

The rationale of the project

Digital Competences (DigComp) are crucial for citizens today and in the future. In Europe, the average level in DigComp of well-educated citizens is approx. 56%. Several countries (Italy, Cyprus, Spain, and Greece) are below, and Austria is at the average (Source: DigComp Framework 2.0  P 19).
The COVID-19 situation showed that digital competencies are a must for all people, in all generations, and in all living conditions and situations.

The DigiComPass Kick-Off Meeting

The DigiComPass Kick-Off Meeting took place in Wiener Neustadt from January 16th to January 17th, 2023. Partners from BrainLog (DK), IFESCoop (ES), Europäische Bildungsinitiative (AT), Prometeo (IT), K.A.NE. (GR) and the coordination organisation, the University of Cyprus (CY) participated. Due to various issues, the FLGobal (USA) could not send a representative.

Objectives and concrete results of the DigiComPass Project

  • Pilot courses will be created (and evaluated) on the mentioned items, together with an appropriate recognition model for adults. These developments are summarized in an “Adult Education package” called DigiCompass.
  • The objectives are to create a recognition & course model for Digital Competences with
    • A pedagogical framework (based on Flipped Learning 3.0)
    • A quality-enhance framework for course creation, implementation, and evaluation
    • Pilot courses covering the items of the DigComp 2.1 Citizens framework (https://goo.gl/T8TpJ9)
    • A recognition model for Europe defining the curriculum, training environment, evaluation and grading, and consistent certification (which could be used internationally as well). The model fits perfectly with the Europass CV. This model should be practicable global as well.
    • Use of modern digital badges (open badges system) for the recognition model
  • A “floating guide” to define the way of adaptation for future developments
  • A transferability guide for School Education

Topics addressed in the DigiComPass  project meeting

The program-related keywords are: Digital skills and competencies – Creating new, innovative, or joint curricula or courses – Key competencies development

For the project, relevant keywords are: Digital Competencies Training, Flipped Learning 3.0, Multimedia and Interactive training content.

DigiComPass – a new challenge

The EBI is a partner of the DigiComPass Project. Digital Competencies (DigComp) are crucial for citizens today and in the future. In Europe, the average level in DigComp of well-educated citizens is approx. 56%. Several countries (Italy, Cyprus, Spain, and Greece) are below, and Austria is at the average (Source: DigComp Framework 2.0, P 19). The COVID-19 situation showed that digital competencies are a must for all people, in all generations, and in all living conditions and situations. Increasing the digital competencies of Citizens is a challenge.

DigiComPass-Digital-Skills
Development of digital skills within the last 7 years (Source: Eurostat – Data, visualization – Peter Mazohl)

The graphic shows the data of several European countries ordered by the percentage of digital skills from 2021. The distribution of countries shows partners with higher values (than the European average) and lower values. This enables to learn from each other and to develop optimized strategies to create and implement training courses for >European citizens.

Project priorities

The project focuses on two specific priorities of the Erasmus+ Project.

① Improving the competencies of educators and other adult education staff

The aim of the project is to develop a modern accreditation model for digital competencies (based on the DigComp 2.1 Framework for Citizens). This needs an effective Innovation and training boost for the trainers (as well as the training facilities).
Therefore, this project develops staff competencies that lead to overall improvements in the provision, targeting, and effectiveness of adult education. This includes assessment of prior knowledge and skills of adult learners, better and more innovative teaching methods, as well as strengthening the supporting role the adult education staff has in motivating, guiding, and advising learners in challenging learning situations.

② Addressing digital transformation through the development of digital readiness, resilience, and capacity

The DigiComPass enables the participating training organizations to increase the capacity and readiness of institutions to manage an effective shift toward digital education. The project will implement the purposeful use of digital technologies in education and training for teaching, learning, assessment, and engagement. This will be done in the frame of the technical concept of the implemented Flipped Learning 3.0 Framework. This implementation of the framework is a base for the development of digital pedagogy and expertise in the use of digital tools for teachers and trainers, including accessible and assistive technologies and the creation and innovative use of digital education content.

Objectives and concrete results

The major objective is to create a course package for digital skills similar to the European Computer Driving License (ECDL), but with a specific focus on the DigComp framework 2.2 and free from licence fees. The offer of the modular DigiComPass courses enables digital transformation through the development of digital readiness, resilience, and capacity.

Since COVID-19 we know that these competencies are crucial. Social distancing is the best practice example of the importance of deeper going digital competencies, for example, to deal with authorities (eGovernment) or to be able to use the Digital Signature to access eGovernmental and other services. All these issues are described in the DigComp framework and will be part of the new training of DigiComPass.

DigiComPass-Adult-Active-Learning
Active learning in the Group Space. The implementation of the developed courses will use the Flipped Learning 3.0 Framework.

Major objectives and concrete results

Pilot courses will be created (and evaluated) on the mentioned items, together with an appropriate recognition model for adults. These developments are summarized in an “Adult Education package” called DigiComPass.

The objectives are to create a recognition & course model for Digital Competences with

  • A pedagogical framework (based on Flipped Learning 3.0)
  • A quality-enhance framework for course creation, implementation, and evaluation
  • Pilot courses covering the items of the DigComp 2.1 Citizens framework (https://goo.gl/T8TpJ9)
  • A recognition model for Europe defining the curriculum, training environment, evaluation and grading, and consistent certification (which could be used internationally as well). The model fits perfectly with the Europass CV. This model should be practicable globally as well.
  • Use of modern digital badges (open badges system) for the recognition model

A “floating guide” to define the way of adaptation for future developments

A transferability guide for School Education

 

 

CONNECT – results available

CONNECT – results available

Objectives of the Project

Objective 1: Develop an innovative multidisciplinary and cross-sectional curriculum for students from the computer and information, health, and social sciences background, with the main focus on cooperation between sectors for strengthening the existing knowledge, skills, and entrepreneurship, in the first ten months of the project, by an international team of eHealth informal and formal educational providers within partner institutions.

CONNECT-<Course
CONNECT Project: eLearning course module (Click on the image opens the course)

Objective 2: Provide one Intensive Study Programme (ISP) to 42 students from computer and information, healthcare, and social sciences backgrounds in mixed working groups in Cluj-Napoca, Romania in September 2022 in order to facilitate student’s challenge-based learning collaborations by having students develop eHealth applications in the form of a project with real implication in the field of eHealth.

Objective 3: Develop a transnational network of key actors from academia, industry, and NGOs to establish collaborations, exchange best practices and facilitate long-distance mentorship for students who graduated from the Intensive Study Programme through an online platform “eHealth Community of Practice” through the end of the project.

Further Information about the CONNECT Project

The sustainability of the project will be ensured firstly by integrating the open-source Curriculum that will be developed by the partners into the course of eHealth at the Department of Public Health, from BBU, as part of their educational program at the Bachelor’s and Masters’s level. Therefore, one of the intellectual outputs of the project will be transferred to them and other interested higher education institutions in order to create a long-term use for our product.

The “eHealth Community of Practice” online platform will be available for at least three years after the project completion period, constituting a transnational network of members from academia, industry, and healthcare and as a mentorship platform for future health innovators.

CONNECT-COP-Platform
CONNECT Project: CoP Platform

 

 


The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

DigiComPass – our new project!

DigiComPass – our new project!

Digital Competences (DigComp) are crucial for citizens today and in the future. In Europe, the average level in DigComp of
well-educated citizens is approx. 56%. Several countries (Italy, Cyprus, Spain, and Greece) are below, and Austria is at the average (Source: DigComp Framework 2.0, P 19). To increase this percentage, the DigiComPass project has been brought to life.

bar chart Digital Skills
A bar chart showing the Digital Skill index by country in 2015. (Source: DigComp 2.0: The Digital Competence Framework for Citizens, JRC Publications)

The COVID-19 situation showed that digital competencies are a must for all people, in all generations, and in all living conditions and situations.
All involved adult education organizations are offering courses to increase the digital competencies of adults (of different ages, from 18 up to 70+, also at the university level). Consequently, all organizations agree that these digital skills are an absolute must in our society. If there is a lack of digital skills, in the worst case, people may be excluded from social or daily life. After a coherent concept for digital competencies (DigComp 2.1) existed, the project partners decided to develop a modular course offer tailored to adults using a modern training framework (Flipped Learning 3.0).

Identified needs

The project group identified general needs in digital competencies as well as the need to develop a modern course concept well-fitting to adults (of all ages). The modularity enables a selection of special content by the learners as well as to develop tailored courses.
Another need is a Europe-wide recognition method that fits modern requirements. This recognition method also corresponds to the typical learning behavior of adults, in order to cover the bandwidth from confirmation of participation to excellent participants.

Depiction DigComp for DigiComPass Project
Depiction of the addressed competencies (Source: DigComp at Work – Implementation Guide)

To implement the worldwide accepted and proven “Flipped Learning 3.0” Framework the developer of the framework, Jon Bergman and Errol Smith from “Flipped Learning Global” are members of the consortium.

Some facts

  • Applicant: UNIVERSITY OF CYPRUS
  • Partners
    • Europäische Bildungsinitiative (AT)
    • BrainLog (DK)
    • Cooperativa Sociale Prometeo onlus a Mutualità Prevalente (IT)
    • INICIATIVAS DE FUTURO PARA UNA EUROPA SOCIAL COOP (ES)
    • SOCIAL YOUTH DEVELOPMENT CIVIL NONPROFIT SOCIETY (GR)
    • FL WORLDWIDE, LLC
  • Project number:  2022-1-CY01-KA220-ADU-000085965
  • Project start: December 1st, 2022

E4ALL – EPALE Posting: Intergenerational Training

E4ALL – EPALE Posting: Intergenerational Training
E4ALL Project Logo

In the frame of the E4ALL project, we created a post dealing with intergenerational training and the training of digital competencies. The post refers to a specific pilot course hold in Wiener Neustadt with people of the 65+ generation.
Intergenerational issues are one of the topics in this project for exchange of best practice (the others are environment, games, language teaching, and Flipped Learning 3.0).
The post serves to further disseminate the project to the Adult Learner Community.

EPALE Blog Post
Screenshot: EPALE Blog Post (E4ALL Project, intergenerational training)

Post: Practical experience in an intergenerational training of digital competencies
Project: E4ALL

About the Article

The post refers to an empirical experience of an intergenerational training course dealing with digital competencies. In hardly any other area are the competencies as varied as in the field of digital competencies. While younger people are used to working and living in a digital world through their education and professional life, older adults in particular have little experience.

Why Intergenerational Trainings?

The major intention of the intergenerational approach was to energize older adults and to give a sense of purpose, especially when they’re sharing their experience and skills.

Consequently, another intention was to help younger generations understand aging and face their own generation more positively.

Findings

From the observations of the trainers and the evaluation of the learning outcomes, this intergenerational training worked excellent. It was clear from the beginning, that the trainers had a specific responsibility of monitoring and to keep in line the given intentions of the training.

Furthermore, the success of learning groups like described above depend on the composition of learners and their open approach to both the learning topics and the given group situation.

__________________________________
About the project: The project provided two Learning/Training/Teaching Activities during the project’s lifetime, one of them organized and implemented by the European Initiative for Education in Wiener Neustadt. Intergenerational training was one of the set focuses.