The Intellectual Output 4 - Learning Materials Facilitating Inclusion into Online Education
Coordinator: Czech University Of Life Sciences Prague (CZU)
Since the transition to online education was a novelty for many university staff and students, such a situation also impacted the acceptance and possibility to use the new ways of education diverting from established practices. A sort of exclusion of those who were not skilled to utilise the new approaches or even the resistance to use them decreased the required transition. That is why the learning materials will be developed in order to make such a transition easier. They will target students and staff with disabilities (mostly senses such as sight) and also those who are feeling a kind of block in working with new technologies or being in the conditions limiting the use of electronic media. Since the materials will reflect the new situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, they will have to be new by their nature. They will be not established learning materials but innovative ones facilitating the acceptance of new forms of education. The impact of their use will support the acceptance of online education and will facilitate the inclusion of those who were potentially excluded to participate in online education due to their physical disabilities or socio-economic constraints. The materials will be free to utilise by other universities and bodies operating in higher education.
Each university participating in the project will have the task to develop its electronic learning and training toolkit enabling students and staff to adapt to online education (especially in the form of virtual reality). The work will start by mapping the problems encountered by students and staff of all participating universities when starting online education in the first half of 2020. The special (main) focus of the analysis will be to indicate what problems were related to the use of new educational practices and tools (indicating barriers to use online education among students and staff). Once the problems are identified within all participating universities, the problems will be cross-checked against already existing examples of good practices and scenarios of reactions to the pandemic to find out if there are already known practices addressing encountered problems. If such practices already exist, they will be turned into materials demonstrating how to proceed to facilitate the acceptance of online education and support disadvantaged groups in these educational activities. If such practices do not exist, the materials leading the staff and students to cope with the problems will be developed in cooperation with other partners to make them transferable. The materials will be in interactive electronic form but their initial modules might be in another form to increase the acceptance of electronic education. Each partner will develop the electronic learning training toolkit (altogether 9 such toolkits) which will reflect the problems identified within a particular university. These materials will be also adapted to virtual mobility. Finally, the toolkits will be exchanged among participating universities to test them in different conditions among the staff and teachers indicated in the analysis as those facing the obstacles in the acceptance of online education. Such exchange and tests will check the transferability of these materials.