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Project duration: 2018 – 2020

Online learning environments are widely used by training institutions but those tend to be used as content delivery, therefore a huge capability of those environments and teaching method is missed. Also, a lot of practitioners are engaged with training activities not being educators (tutors, facilitators, coach, mentors, team leaders, human resources departments…). The necessary background of pedagogies and techniques is missed and theoretical manuals are not the best way to make that kind of people acquire the necessary skills. They need some effective and practical way to learn. They have a lot of experience and expertise teaching face-to-face, but when having to do online training, they miss the digital skills and affordance of the technological capabilities.

We do not aim to create a manual for trainers, as there are a lot of already existing ones. We want to create an online course, together with a student’s workbook to directly teach future online trainers. We will reduce the theories to a minimum while focus on exercises and practise so they will feel the online environment as a learner.

The title of the project “online training: the treasure within” makes reference of our target activity, that is “training”, and the treasure makes reference to all the benefits that can be obtained from online learning: (1) learning the subject course, (2), new learning methods based on net-society (3) applied ICT competences, including soft-skills and transversal digital competences.

Partners applying for [onTrain] project have already identified the needs and potentialities of an adequate online training in papers such as “Senior students in virtual spaces; the treasure within” (P.Escuder et al. in ICERI 2015 Seville), “Virtual online learning; the evolution and grow of Senior Citizens” (P.Escuder et al. INTED 2017 Valencia), In these researches we do not only show the capacities of online teaching environments that usually are missed, but also the competences, soft skills, attitudes and values that adult and senior learners acquire. The validation here becomes also crucial and we want to facilitate this process as stated in the research “Technology-enhanced transversal skills for lifelong learning: method, competences, validation” (A.Beltran, R.Esteller et Al.l. in ICERI 2016 Seville). P3-ULE has also demonstrated a need of the project as the new trainers lack the expertise necessary to use a virtual platform for teaching (focus groups research), currently, senior trainers, are the ones involved in this exchange of knowledge.

Besides the need and solution identified and published in previous conferences, there is also a European need. It can be observed from current policies: Action 68 of the “Digital Economy & Society” with the title “Member states to mainstream eLearning in national policies”, saying “Today eLearning is not sufficiently present in Member States’ education”, naming the benefits and supporting the effective use of ICT for learning.

The CEDEFOP survey “How do teachers, trainers and learners rate e-learning training?” states the need of a motivational environment, being this the main factor of success (p. 25) also states that the future of the e-learning is Collaborative (p.41) and embedded in the Lifelong learning and competence development process (p. 33).

On the “Key competences for lifelong learning” recommendation (Recommendation 2006/962/EC) considers 7 competences that are needed for citizens. Those competences describe some skills and attitudes, which the [onTrain] project targets: learning individually or in groups, organise one’s own learning, initiative, communicative skills and the confident and critical use of information society technology.

We aim to create a learners’ coursebook and an online course for trainers with low ICT skills and technological pedagogies so they can learn by themselves the application of technology enhanced education methods, techniques and tools, thus they acquire the necessary skills and competences to become successful online trainers (1st aim). We want to support them and facilitate the transferability of the skills and competences learnt to their own subject (2nd aim). Those skills include the use of technology for collaboration, creativity, problem solving, teamwork, etc. A tool will be made available (as online service), so they can use the lessons learnt in their own teaching activities (3rd aim) Main target of this project are the trainers and educators (tutors, facilitators, coach, mentors, team leaders, human resources departments…) that want to start offering their training using online platforms.

This project has to be carried out transnationally because it is necessary to take into consideration different kind of institutions and cultures; virtual education is an activity without frontiers and should be designed avoiding local restrictions or characteristics that would make methods and services we propose too much specific.

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The project is financed by Erasmus+ KA2: 2018-1-ES01-KA204-050702