Project: Promoting Webinar-Based Youth Non-Formal Education in Southeast Europe

Project Background 

Distance learning presents tremendous opportunities for education providers and learners alike. These opportunities exist at all levels of education and across fields. They are equally available in formal and non-formal education. Recently, opportunities in distance learning have further expanded with the development of new technologies for online education, which allow “live” classes with direct, visual and verbal communication between the lecturer and the students, as well as among the students themselves. 
In addition, these technologies allow for an uninterrupted document presentation (for example a ppt presentation)and sharing (individual and group student exercises; tests, quizzes, etc.), simultaneously with lecture delivery. This allows the online classroom to come as close to the real classroom, as virtually possible. 
Importantly, many of these technologies are increasingly available for free or for a modest cost. 

Expected Project Results 
  • 4 webinar curricula for non-formal education on young people 
  • regional portal on e-learning 
  • a series of free webinars 

4 webinar curricula for non-formal education on young people 

The curricula will be developed in four broad thematic areas of particular relevance to non-formal education work with youth, including employment/employability, civic engagement and empowerment, intercultural education, and social entrepreneurship. The specific webinar themes will be developed collaboratively by the partners and based on assessment of themes and issues which are of particular interest to young people. Each curricula will consist of a series of short (40-60 minute) classes, which will combine lectures and discussions. To the extent possible (to be assessed) some curricula could be combined with in-between sessions individual assignments (homework). The intention however will be not to overburden participants with assignments given the generally low interest in education among young people. 

Regional portal on e-learning

The e-guide to organizing webinars and webinar methodology will provide hands-on help to education providers who want to organize e-learning processes. The guide will provide useful information on the available technology, platforms for e-learning, key challenges, as well as provide a step-by-step guidance to organizing a webinar. In addition, the guide will discuss particular issues related to e-learning methodology, such as difference between a physical and an online classroom, presentation tools, presentation length, style interaction, practical work, etc. 

Regional Portal on E-Learning 
The regional portal on e-learning will aim to serve as a central resource for education providers and learners who are interested in webinars and online courses. The portal has already been developed under the ProWebSee project. It will be further upgraded under this project. 

Webinars

The project partners will organize at least 36 webinars during the project. Each partner will be required to organize at least 12 webinars (6 per year).  The webinars will be an educational vehicle which will deliver the developed curricula to young learners across the region. In addition, the webinars will be a dissemination tool and they will promote the benefits of webinar-based teaching. Each partner will be responsible for broadly promoting its webinars, participant selection and registration, selection of presenters and discussants, and delivery of the webinar. The objectives of the webinars will be consistent and some of the core material will be common but the partners will have the autonomy to produce their own webinar. They could decide on selection of discussants, specific focus of their presentations, etc. The primary target of the webinars will be young learners from the partner countries and the  SEE region.  

 
Project: Promoting Webinar-Based Education in Southeast Europe


Project Background 

Distance learning presents tremendous opportunities for education providers and learners alike. These opportunities exist at all levels of education and across fields. They are equally available in formal and non-formal education. Recently, opportunities in distance learning have further expanded with the development of new technologies for online education, which allow  classes with direct communication between the lecturer and the students, as well as among the students themselves. 
The opportunities this  presents in terms  of access to education for diverse social groups and in particular the underprivileged, as well as in terms of pedagogical innovation,  intercultural communication, and also very importantly cost-effectiveness of the education process, are enormous. 
Webinars offer a huge potential benefit both for the formal and non-formal education providers, as well as for the learners in general. They can expand access to educational services, enrich the service offer, and drastically cut costs for providers and learners alike.  
To this end the project partners will engage in a regional effort to promote the use of educational webinars across sectors, helping to enhance both the supply and the demand for webinar-based e-learning in the region.

Expected Project Results 
 
  • research on e-learning in the SEE region 
  • e-guide to organizing webinars
  • regional portal on e-learning 
  • a series of free webinars 

Research on E-Learning in the SEE Region 

The research on e-learning will aim to provide an in-depth assessment of the availability of webinar and online course opportunities in the region, and the challenges related to the organization of such educational processes. The research will aim to identify common regional challenges and suggest possible ways to overcome them. 

E-Guide to Organizing Webinars 

The e-guide to organizing webinars and webinar methodology will provide hands-on help to education providers who want to organize e-learning processes. The guide will provide useful information on the available technology, platforms for e-learning, key challenges, as well as provide a step-by-step guidance to organizing a webinar. In addition, the guide will discuss particular issues related to e-learning methodology, such as difference between a physical and an online classroom, presentation tools, presentation length, style interaction, practical work, etc. 

Regional Portal on E-Learning 

The regional portal on e-learning will aim to serve as a  resource for education providers and learners who are interested in webinars and online courses. The portal will collect and disseminate information on available webinars in the broader region,  store resources on e-learning , feature articles and discussions on e-learning, provide technical advice,  etc. 

Webinars

The project partners will organize a series of  webinars during the project.  The webinars will be offered for free and they will be broadly promoted by the project partners. The webinars will be primarily offered to education providers and education professionals across sectors, but they will also aim to involve other relevant stakeholders in education with particular focus on non-formal education for young people and adults.  
A major strength of webinar-based education is that it promotes access for  persons who would otherwise have a difficulty being included in a process of education. The improved access to education involves a rather broad population including but not limited to persons with disability, persons living in remote areas, persons limited by costs of transportation or other costs related to education (living expenses, food), etc. In addition,  persons who are subject to discrimination on various grounds, and who on account of objective of subjective stigmatization (fear, self-marginalization) have limited access to traditional forms of education, can generally enjoy improved access to education through the use of e-learning. In this sense, the project team will make a particular effort to involve persons with limited access and their organizations, such as for example NGOs working with persons with special needs, Roma, etc.