As partners in the EKFI project and as research shows that in education many teaching materials are developed by the teachers themselves. Exchange of material is not so common. That is why we initiated the Erasmus+ project EKFI. This project aimed to create an Exchange platform, to facilitate exchange innovative learning and research material, to map the competence needs and match these needs with the suitable learning/research module(s). This EKFI platform (ekfi.eu) is built and the project has been completed on 31-12-2021. Many learning modules have now been uploaded since the putting into use in October 2021. A recent study by our Greek partner shows that existing authoring tools are not very efficient and supportive for authors and concludes that the lack of resources leads to the avoidance of collaborations for writing educational material. In discussions between the partners and with third parties like employers organizations and EGIN it emerged that the exchange of existing learning materials was a good start. But joint development of new learning materials within our sector (and specifically within the communication and media sector) is a necessity to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness in view of the developments that are facing the sector.
This project aims to improve the development of new innovative learning materials for education and training. The project will extend the existing EKFI platform and add features that will support the development of learning materials. In this way it contributes to strengthening international cooperation between teachers and the use of each other's competences rather than developing alone and focused on the own (school) situation: Innovation through cooperation. It also provides an opportunity to approach educators in Europe after the COVID-19 pandemic and invite them during this new project to use the EKFI platform and the outputs to be developed in this project. This offers the opportunity to improve the existing platform if necessary on the basis of greater use and thus more user experiences. The partners from the EKFI project are going to invest in this project but they can’t do it alone. The outputs to be developed are in principle focussed and accessible and usable for every school (certainly within the sector). The extended EKFI platform has been designed in such a way that it can also be used by users without or with few resources. Organizations with a lower innovation level also have access to the platform and are therefore able to make an innovation effort.
Objectives EKFI PLUS project Innovation through cooperation
The main objective of “Innovation through cooperation“ is to bring together educators, lecturers and teachers, scientists from various European countries that will work jointly in developing and authoring the learning material at a European/International level. Based on several studies mainly originating from the Graphic communication, Print and Media education, it is conducted that for the same topic there are several different versions of learning material, not only in different countries but also among education and training institutes at different schools in the same country. The actual learning material on specific subjects is produced individually by authors and lecturers. More corporation in the development process can be achieved with the extension of the existing EKFI Platform that will support authors to jointly develop learning material.
The extended platform will include innovative tools for enhancing and supporting the cooperation, so the teachers/authors will work together to develop the learning material. By organizing this development process learning material can be developed in groups which leads to an improvement in efficiency (saving time and money) and an increase in the quality and innovativeness of the teaching materials by using different competences of the participants. During the project we deliver four results in the workpackages, namely:
1. an educational model for teachers to work in an efficient way and with the latest didactic insights in developing learning material in an (international) team.
2. software as a new part of EKFI-platform (ICT tools) supporting search for pears and defining the request, developing learning material using the results of output 1, project management and social interaction between the participants in the development group
3. develop new technical/digital learning material supported by the output of 1 and 2 4. develop new entrepreneurial/management learning material with output 1 and 2 on Circular economy in creative industry.
The development of the learning material is in line with the need of schools for these educational materials. The development process is used to test, evaluate and improve the developed outputs before the completion of the project.
These results are linked with the priorities because this project enables VET and HE teachers, developers and others to find and involve like-minded peers with the appropriate competences in a development process to develop common learning resources that can respond to developments that require innovation and development of new or ask for changed competences. This development process will be made possible and supported by (educational) development process methods that are offered via an online platform with ICT tools to support the various elements of project and process management.