OWL

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The OWL project - Open Web-based Learning Space for Professional Development for Adult Educators

Preliminary Remark

In 2015 one of the winners of the my-VITA was the German project KELLE, which was a kind of feasibility study for the follow-up project EULE (OWL). The approaches that will be further developed in the framework of this project are to a large extend connected to scientific studies, concepts and instruments that have been developed by REVEAL partners, e.g. the PROVIDE project, the study of Key Competences for Adult Educators and competence level systems as basis for planning and validation.

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OWL at a Glance

OWL is a large scale project carried out by the German Institute for Adult Education in Bonn (www.die-bonn.de).

It will provide an open learning space on which educational personnel working in and for AE institutions access:

  • continuing professional development via a competence oriented learning approach,
  • problem based situative learning pathways to tackle challenges in their educational practice,
  • state of the art educational information and materials as OER (open educational resources) and
  • a growing AE community.

OWL will make use of a completely new approach to e-learning and blended learning which operates so called “individual learning pathways” as tailor-made professional development instrument.

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Background

In Germany, there are approximately 530.000 people that engage as lecturers, course instructors, counsellors or trainers in all areas of activity of further and adult education. Only a few of these hold a pedagogical degree, as adult education is a popular field for career changers. However, pedagogical expertise is a key competence to offer high quality continuing education.

The project OWL aims to provide a web-based learning environment and innovative learning technologies and tailor-made blended learning approaches for Adult Educators.

The OWL concept is based on a forerunner project (KELLE 2015) in which needs driven and competence oriented learning approaches for educational professionals were designed and piloted. The approaches based on requirement analysis (RA) with more than 1.000 representatives of the target group from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. All conceptualisations as well as pilot materials were discussed and evaluated in expert workshops, focus groups and interviews with representatives of the target group and institutions that provide train-the-trainer seminars.

In April 2016, the project team started implementing this concept within the project OWL. The project has a run-time of three years and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany.

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Innovation

As far as learning technologies are concerned OWL aims to interconnect existing information and learning technologies (e.g. CMS, LMS, e-Portfolios) to make use of state-of-the-art technology and up-to-date learning content (without re-inventing the wheel.

These systems will be interconnected with a web-based competence management system which also works with reference systems and relates to professional educational competences of the trainers and teaching staff.

Learning objects will be aggregated to learning fields and individual learning pathways will be proposed by an innovative recommendation system.

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The OWL and my-VITA

Following the PROVIDE project, which came to an end in 2015, the “OWL takes off” and over the my-VITA part related to continuing professional development of Adult Educators.

OWL is heading towards a huge community and covers one whole educational sector and brings together a large scientific and practical expert community.

The OWL-Team would be happy to receive your innovative projects and approaches for competence oriented learning and validation in connection with professional continuing education for educational staff.

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my-VITA award

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