European partners from 11 countries working in the framework of the Blended Learning Institutions’ Cooperative (blinc) have been applying web-based, mixed learning methodologies for different learning groups and contexts in three different projects.
The INTEGRATION project deals with intercultural staff training for organisations working with multiethnic clients and beneficiaries. Nine partners from six nations have been developing audiovisual learning and training materials. This was done by using video-graphic approaches in intercultural training, analysing given situations of intercultural encounters in a critical incident approach, and producing and documenting “intercultural micro-communications” as short online films.
In the framework of the Joint Environmental Management (JEM!) project funded by Socrates, Joint Actions Programme partners from five countries applied an eCoaching System for the introduction of environmental management in European schools. The content of the system consists of fully-fledged courses, training materials and accompanying guidelines for teachers, trainers or consultants. The applied system used in JEM! was developed in the framework of a project entitled “IEM in hospitals”, which was recognised as one of the five best projects out of 2,500 since 1992.
In the framework of JEM!, the approach was transferred to European schools. Training and counselling is performed using blended learning approaches and the entire system can be accessed on the interactive project website.
Both projects are examples of how innovative, IT-aided learning concepts can be realised in various formal and informal learning environments with different learning groups, contents and objectives. They clearly showed that the success is, to a major extent, determined by the quality of the instructional design applied in the blended learning contexts.
That is why the Advanced Blended Learning and Didactics (A-B-C-D) project (Grundtvig 1.1, 2005-2007) is aiming at the development of a comprehensive training course for Blended Learning Designers. In May and September 2007, the courses will be held in Athens and Bordeaux, introduced by a preliminary e-learning phase. The course will also offer opportunities to develop individual blended learning projects using Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, WIKI, e-portfolios and synchronous web-communication instruments including online conferences or Skype.