The Project Group in Sigolda

Project „Improvement of professional skills in teaching natural science subjects based on finding the best practice and acquiring new methods in distance educations for adults”

 

Nordplus logos

 

We have received project funding from Nordplus Adult for the project: „Improvement of professional skills in teaching natural science subjects based on finding the best practice and acquiring new methods in distance educations for adults”.

 

Project coordinators: European Distance Education Secondary school – Latvia

National flags of Norway, Sweden and Latvia

Partners:

NooA – Nordic open online Academy – Norway

SE-Folkuniversitetet kursverksamheten vid Lunds Universitetet – Sweden

European Distance Education Secondary school – Latvia

 

Programme: Nordplus Adult

Call: Nordplus Adult 2017

Project ID: NPAD-2017/10140

Year of allocation: 2017

Period: October 2017 – June 2018

Project Status: Active

Allocation: 8220.00 EUR

 


Purpose

The aim of this project is to gain international experience in a study process management of distance education for adults in order to increase the qualification for teachers and administration.

Focus on natural science subjects are based on the reasons that many adult students are frightened to return to school because they find too many obstacles to obtain the necessary knowledge to complete subjects as physics, chemistry, biology or mathematics.

During the project partner institutions will exchange experience, information, used technology (digital) and research in natural science subjects to find the best practice to teach adult distance education students. Each partner will represent their legal education system to provide deeper insight of their methodological, technological and organizational approaches and methods.

The main focus will be on each partner study e-platform development and its pros and cons.

In every meeting, the country’s partner school will conduct workshops, brainstorms, discussions and presentations in order to discuss the pending matters in the distance education for adults.

 


 Activities

The project consists of the following activities:

  1. Workshop: Scheduled in Latvia on November 2017
  2. Workshop: Scheduled in Sweden on January 2018
  3. Workshop: Scheduled in Norway on April 2018

Themes

Key topics, ideas that will be discussed in the workshops and sharing with experiences:

  • To look over each partner school’s e-learning platform;
  • To exchange methods and approaches of teaching natural science subjects;
  • To search and discuss modern and practical tools that could help in natural science subject teaching for adult students;
  • To acquire the best practice for distance education from partner countries;
  • To gain experience in study process management for distance education.

The results of the workshops will be summarized in sub-reports that will be included in the project’s final report.

 

First meeting in Riga, November 6-10 2017

From 6th till 10th of November in Riga happened the first meeting of the Nordplus Adult 2017 project «Improvement of professional skills in teaching natural science subjects based on finding the best practices and acquiring new methods in distance education for adults» with project partners from Nordic open online academy (Norway) and SE-Folkuniversitetet kursverksamheten vid Lund Universitetet (Sweden).

Within the framework of the project, Norwegian and Swedish partners spent one week in Latvia.

On Monday, an introductory session took place, in which each school and representatives introduced themselves and their schools. From Folkuniversitetet (Sweden) the school was presented by Project Manager Åsa Hedlin Olsson and trainer and teacher Angela Berglund, but from NooA (Norway) – school founder Morten Flate Paulsen and biology distance teacher Hanna Josie Nordgård. Each countries representative presented their school to project partners, talking about school goals and curriculum for Natural Science subjects and the problem situations which they would like to address within the framework of this project. As the project took place in Riga, Aija Bārzdaine, Director of the European Distance Education Secondary school, with guide introduced Norwegian and Swedish partners with the Old Town and its magnificent history.

On Tuesday, during the cultural day, project representatives went to Sigulda to explore Latvia’s nature and hear more about the history of the country. At the beginning of the day Sigulda City Center was viewed and, with a guide’s help, the project partners went to Castle of Livonian Order in Sigulda. The famous Gutman’s cave was also explored and everyone were introduced to its famous history.

During the day, Turaida Museum Reserve most famous places were also viewed – the rock garden, the Turaida Medieval Castle, and the Turaida’s Roze Memorial. The Cultural Day ended with a Bobsleigh Luge Track Tour.

On Wednesday, within the framework of the project, Swedish and Norwegian project partners were also introduced to the teaching environment and work process of another distance education school – Riga Distance Education Secondary School. Distance learning colleagues discussed how their teachers compiled the content of science education and discussed the overall impressions of the distance learning process. During the day, colleagues showed the University of Latvia’s Center of Natural Sciences Academy and introduced foreign guests to the National Library of Latvia.

At the end of the week, the European Distance Education Secondary school introduced the project partners to the School of Economics and Culture, where they were warmly welcomed and were given a lecture about the university. All project partners were introduced to distance learning statistics in Europe and Latvia. After lunch, everyone had the opportunity to explore the premises of the Baltic International Academy and learn more about the educational institution.

The project ended with a summary of the weekly project in Latvia and discussions about teaching methods, teacher work and workload, and discussed the development of distance learning in Latvia, Norway and Sweden. Also, the project’s most important point – improving the teaching of natural sciences – was discussed between project representatives. One of the problem situations that the Latvian representatives expressed was the reorganization of the Latvian education system into a system similar to Sweden and Norway. It was discussed how the new reforms could be taught in distance education and how teachers and administration could prepare for it. All of the representatives shared their experiences and recommendations on how to make science subjects more interactive for distance learning students.

At the end of the meeting, each country’s partners came up with ideas how to improve their e-learning environment and help guide the project forward.

Lat day of project meeting i

Main topics discussed:

  • Methods each school uses in teaching Natural science subjects in distance education;
  • Is it interactive for students;
  • How teachers create the study material;
  • Ideas how to improve learning for adult students in distance education. How it can help Natural Science subjects;
  • What can the teachers and administration do to increase the quality of Natural Science subjects;
  • What the partners expect from the project.

Things that will be done and improved till next meeting:

  • For Latvia – To improve and get feedback from students, make a plan or template of ‘’thought sharing’’ space under each subject, where students can write their feedback on the subject material or ask questions.
  • For everyone – plan or already film a subject introduction video, to show the students what will be in the subject and what to expect.
  • Plan how to fix and discuss next meeting ‘’how to find broken links in study materials’’ – important for interactive material.
  • Look at interactive resources, simulations, to integrate in Natural Science subjects.

Second meeting in Kristianstad, January 13-19 2018

Third meeting in Norway