Creating a new blended learning methodology with teachers, students and families

Creating a new blended learning methodology with teachers, students and families

A3Learning Erasmus+ project aims at reflecting on the new blended learning opportunities to co-design a methodology with teachers, students and families in secondary schools across Europe. 

 

Learning Anywhere, Anytime, from Anyone

A3Learning, which stands for Learning Anywhere, Anytime, from Anyone, is a new project kicked off in January 2023 coordinated by The European Projects & Management Agency (EPMA)

The project aims to introduce a blended learning approach to address the gap between students’ needs, learning attitudes and traditional methodologies used in European schools. The blended learning methodology can be applied to any school discipline and with the right mix of interaction between face-to-face and distance learning it ensures adaptability to all sectors of education. 

The proposed method promotes and stimulates the acquisition of skills such as problem solving, creative thinking, teamwork, self managed learning, responsibility and communication. 

The objective of the project is to create tools, methodologies and new teaching approaches to support blended learning according to the specific needs of secondary schools across Europe, specifically targeting students between 12 and 15 years old

In this way, teachers will be supported in developing both technical and digital skills, without excluding soft skills and human aspects. 

The main goal of A3Learning is to create a learning model that is highly flexible and adaptable to different social contexts, focusing on the potential of distance learning. For example, students and teachers from different countries can use distance learning technologies to create virtual classrooms where different didactic approaches and cultures are mixed to improve the quality of the learning process and contribute to build a culture of cooperation and conscious European citizenship.

 

How to create a new Blended Learning methodology

A3Learning will deliver a new blended learning methodology through four main steps: 

  1. A Competence Model: thanks to the experience of the partners involved in the project, a competence model will be created with specific competences for teachers and students needed to improve the new “Blended Learning” methodology. Involving teachers directly and actively in collecting needs, feedback and in sessions to co-design the model will help the consortium to select and review the specific needs for the implementation of the blended methodology. 
  2. Learning community: An intangible outcome of this project is the involvement of teachers, students and family, thus creating a learning community. The tangible side of this result can be considered as the set of participants involved in the training course and then in the pilot phase. The project aims to promote a heterogeneous and cohesive community where communication is not based on country or family, but students and teachers can interact with participants from other countries and study together or learn subjects from the other side of Europe. 
  3. Online platform: The schools involved in the project will be equipped with an online platform to connect students, families and teachers, implement the blended methodology and support the learning process. The requirements of the platform will be shaped by the teachers and students themselves and it will also be used as a repository for the procedures, tools and training materials developed during the implementation of the blended learning approach. 
  4. European Pilot study: the last output foreseen by the project is a pilot study, which will involve the target groups (teachers, students and families) and aims at testing in schools the methodology proposed by the project. Thus, the target group will participate from the beginning to the end of the project, playing an important role in all the outputs and the whole process.

 

The lessons learnt from Covid-19 pandemic

During Covid-19 pandemic, school closure was forced by Governmental Institutions all over Europe in order to contain disease spread. A common strategy – adopted by the majority of European Countries, aimed to assure students an adequate and continuous level of education – was the implementation of remote lessons, where students could attend live lessons at home using devices. 

Unfortunately, the roughly adopted policies did not allow to maintain the quality of lessons as compared to the situation before the pandemic. In fact, most teachers tried to carry out lessons adapting frontal F2F methodology to remote mode, thus revealing its limitations, leading to learning losses, and grievances among teachers, students and families. 

Some studies highlighted the negative outcomes of remote learning, suggesting that when returning to school, students show 32-37% less progress in reading (Kuhfeld, 2020), and “remote learning did not produce as much learning as in person schooling prior to the pandemic” (World Bank, 2021). However, strategies for carrying out effective remote learning do exist: competent  teachers, suitable technology, and engaged learners (World Bank; 2021). 

On the basis of these premises, A3Learning wants to address the problems faced during forced remote learning, outlining, developing and implementing, in European schools, a new learning methodology aimed to merge the advantages from both remote and F2F learning.

 

The european partnership and Deep Blue role

The Partnership consists of 5 organisations representing 4 EU countries (Bulgaria, Czechia, Italy and Portugal). Each partner contributes to enrich the project skillset and reinforce a quality work program, thus ensuring the successful and strategic transfer of knowledge and experience

European partners together to discuss blended learning new methodologies.

 

EPMA (CZ) has significant expertise in project management of commercial, research and development, V4 and EU projects concerning digital innovations and education

Consortio Ro.Ma (IT) has experience in the field of School Education with training activities for school teachers encouraging the innovation in teaching and promoting the inclusion of students at risk of marginalisation

Bulgarian Development Agency – BDA (BG) is experienced in developing blended learning courses as curricula and as technology (developing courses using various platforms like Moodle, eFront, and others). 

INOVA+ (PT) is a SME focusing on innovation for education and on the design of solutions fostering skills and knowledge development, targeting educational staff, adults and students and trainees, deliver outcomes in areas as innovation in learning, e-learning, social skills management, sustainable development, sciences and technology education, etc. 

DEEP BLUE, thanks to our experience in designing tailor-made training courses with  traditional or innovative training methods (e-learning, web-based training, blended learning, etc.), will support the co-design sessions implementation, analysis and evaluation of the surveys collecting needs from teachers, support the pilot implementation in Italy and is responsible for the Learning Community creation and sustainability. 

At the moment, eight schools in the four countries are participating in the project as associated partners.

 

Ongoing activities

In March, partners started a virtual and in person tour of presentations to meet the involved schools. This initial phase consists in collecting teachers’ needs and opinions about their personal digital skills, training received and overall self assessment about the implementation of digital tools and innovative teaching methods. Data will be collected, analysed and published in each country. In April, we will start the co-design sessions. 

If you are interested in joining our Learning Community and taking part in the pilot (teachers and students between 12 and 15 yo), we would be happy to welcome you! 

Contact our Consultant Mara Marzella (mara.marzella@dblue.it) for more information or to address any questions and join our Facebook Page

 

 

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