Every blog and every article we read these days seems to follow what has become a familiar thread; the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has caused untold damage and we have had, according to your point of view, either unnecessarily or justifiably harsh restrictions placed upon what we can do, where we can go and who we can meet. And, yes, it is true that there are things that we cannot do at the moment in the normal manner. Meeting our global colleagues in the Erasmus+ family is just one example. However, using communication, cooperation, and collaboration, the three pillars of building success in the Pro-VET consortium, we have found a way around the problem and made sure that our adventure continues to move forward towards our collective goals.
Online courses for teacher educators
As we have now entered the second half of the project, our focus is firmly on developing online courses with our partners in Russia and Serbia. These courses, as you might remember, are aimed at developing teacher educators’ professional skills in online pedagogy. Partners from Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Germany are mentoring our colleagues in the development of six online training resources (VOOCs); three in Russian, and three in Serbian. All this work is being conducted via two online platforms.
I have previously written that we use MS Teams as our PMS (project management system) and this has been a great success. Our continuing collaborative work is made possible by the Zoom VoIP platform. It is this latter resource that we recently employed to great effect to review the first iterations of each of the VOOCs. Each of the mentoring sessions were recorded in Zoom and subsequently uploaded into the project’s PMS for further reference by the development teams.
Each development team presented their ‘work-in-progress’ and received valuable feedback from their lead mentors and other colleagues. The presentations provided excellent proof, if any were needed, that the development teams have been working very hard during the recent difficult times. Almost all of the courses are ready to undergo alpha testing (limited, in-house distribution in order to gather feedback for analysis) and those that are not quite there yet will be in a very short space of time. Well done team, great effort. Keep it up.
The period available for alpha testing of the VOOCs, including a review cycle of gathering and analysing feedback, and making all the necessary adjustments will last until March 2021. Once that phase has been completed the second iterations will be released ‘into the wild’ for beta testing (using a cohort of real student teacher educators) and the review cycle begins again. But more on that at a later date.
Graham Burns, project manager
Pro-VET project, JAMK University of Applied Sciences
Graham Burns, project manager
JAMK University of Applied Sciences, School of Professional Teacher Education
Kuvat: Graham Burns, Kyle Glenn / Unsplash