Project workpackages

Workpackage No. Title Start date End date
WP.1 Analysis and review of Open Educational Resources (OER) principles and practice 12/01/2013 05/30/2014
WP.2 Establishing a framework for OER development in WB PC 01/01/2014 11/28/2014
WP.3 Development of BAEKTEL infrastructure 05/01/2013 10/31/2016
WP.4 Development of initial domain specific OER content repositories 03/02/2015 11/30/2016
WP.5 Quality control and monitoring 01/01/2014 11/30/2016
WP.6 Dissemination 12/01/2013 11/30/2016
WP.7 Sustainability 04/01/2014 11/30/2016
WP.8 Project management 12/01/2013 11/30/2016

WP description

The main goal of this WP is to lay down the foundations for the remaining project WPs. As universities within the WB region have little experience with Open Educational Resources (OER), an in-depth analysis of practice and principles related to development and implementation of OER at EU universities will take place. Special attention will be paid to relevance of existing OER to needs of major enterprises operating within the domain covered by the respective OER. A survey of policy level and other relevant documents, guidelines, and best practices addressing OER at EU universities will also be performed. Finally, in order to assess the preconditions for implementation of OER in WB PC, a thorough analysis of current legal and technological setting pertaining to OER in WB PC will be made.

These analyses will indicate weaknesses, deficiencies, and ambiguities, and define ways to improve the setup for implementation of OER in West Balkan partner countries (WB PC). WP1 will include suggestions for initiating and/or improvement of regulations at the institutional level at universities and enterprises, in order to enable establishment of OER nodes at each of the 6 involved WB universities. More specifically, WP1 will lay the foundation for the WP2 task of developing procedures and guidelines for publishing OER content by academic and entrepreneurial institutions in the WB region.

This WP will have three main outputs in form of reports provided in EN and SR. All project partners will take active roles in delivering these results. As the leading partner, the UL will be responsible for smooth and efficient work in WP1.

This WP is aimed at fulfilling the necessary methodological and technological preconditions for implementation of the OER concept in WB partner countries. First of all, based on the results of WP1, procedures and guidelines for development and publishing of OER content will be defined. They will describe in detail the steps to be taken by both HE institutions and enterprises to produce high quality learning material, as well as the ICT resources necessary needed for completion of this task. The necessary staff education for developing skills to assemble and evaluate existing and create new OER content will be defined, as well as institutional policies and practices for storing OER and facilitating access to these resources by students and employees.

In order to secure smooth and efficient adoption of the common regulations for publishing OER content, workshops will be organized, with special attention being paid to clarifying how universities should make best use of them in respect of every individual university in WB. At these workshops, the procedures and guidelines will not only be presented and explained, but also discussed and assessed, yielding possible suggestions for their refinement.

An important activity within this WP is the deployment of a conceptual model of the ICT solution for BAEKTEL OER network. The model will define all terms and concepts involved in the future software solution, their relationships and roles. It will also cover graphical representation and informational model of all the entities required to build the BAEKTEL OER software solution.

Finally, within this WP all institutions will be equipped with the necessary hardware, software and communication infrastructure to support implementation and evolvement of BAEKTEL OER platform. Specific instructions will be given to institutions on securing the necessary requirements for the ICT resources as well as recommendations how to plan, organize and acquire facilities in question.

In this WP the infrastructure for implementation of the BAEKTEL network will be set up. Every partner institution that is going to be involved in producing OER content will take the necessary steps to install the hardware and software equipment needed to support the acquiring, assembling and publishing of this content. In other words, each of these institution will set up its institutional node as a part of the OER network.

In order to secure the best possible conditions for providing access to OER content across the BAEKTEL network, a crucial activity within this WP is the development and deployment of a common BAEKTEL portal for indexing all available OER and other supporting TEL content within the network. That means that all audio, video and written text materials, from all partner institutions nodes, will be indexed thus providing searching capabilities for any type of published content within every partner institution.

As BAEKTEL is envisaged as a network featuring multilingual OER content, within this WP multilingual the necessary terminological resources for supporting this concept will be developed. They will basically consist of various types of dictionaries, but also of aligned bilingual texts, as well as services aimed at providing support to users of OER that are not in their mother tongue. Within this activity, functionalities for searching and browsing of these terminological resources will be provided, as well as functionalities enabling their usage for text annotation.

Finally, within this WP training for members of HE institutions and enterprises responsible for production of OER materials by qualified OER trainers will be organized. Several training options will be considered, both organized by EU partners and by WB PC institutions on the national level.

In this WP the activities for populating BAEKTEL network with OER content will be performed. Each partner institution will create, assemble and publish educational and expert materials for OER repositories in their area of expertise. These materials will be created following all the guidelines and best practices that were previously defined. Materials will include audio, video and written text content and will be published on each partner institution's node.

This will result in a fully functional BAEKTEL network, including hardware, software and communication resources, as well as published multilingual learning materials on every partner institution's node. In addition to that the available OER and other TEL content will be indexed within the common BAEKTEL portal and thus made available for searching and browsing by users within the entire network.

In order to evaluate and assess the initial production within BAEKTEL, each institution will select a representative learner group whose members will be students or junior employees. Members of these groups will be asked to enroll in specific courses provided by BAEKTEL and their accomplished results will be evaluated at the end of the training. At this point they will also be asked to fill evaluation questionnaires, and the results of the learner groups, jointly with completed questionnaires, will provide information about the value of published materials and the overall impression and experiences students got from attending this type of courses.

Based on the analysis of results obtained from representative learning groups, the team responsible for OER creation will be able to improve the BAEKTEL network content and, if needed, also improve the BAEKTEL software solution platform to better address user needs and thus foster virtual mobility.

The goal of this WP is to provide project quality control and monitoring throughout the project duration resulting in project quality assurance (QA). QA will be implemented on two levels, internal and external.

A Regional Coordination Board (RCB) will be established at the beginning of the project, with the main task of managing internal QA. At the beginning of the project this board will create its workplan, and following this workplan it will monitor all activities within the project and generate internal QA reports. These reports will be submitted twice a year to the Project Management Board (PMB). The reports will indicate all the problems encountered, followed by suggestions how to overcome them, possible comments and suggestions by partner universities how to improve QA, as well as students' feedback obtained during project development and implementation.

External QA will be conducted by the EU universities participating to the project, the labor market partners and by an external auditor, by reviewing each project activity for QA, according to the professional experience they have with the topics covered by OER content. A workplan for carrying out external QA will be created by the PMB at the beginning of the project, and used to monitor the external QA activities. External QA reports will be generated once a year and reviewed by the PMB.

In both internal and external QA activities the focus will be on the quality of OER material and other TEL content as well as the quality of WB PC BAEKTEL nodes and the BAEKTEL portal content. The basic means of quality assessment will be questionnaires and peer reviewing.

In order to promote the project and to get external feedback, inter-project coaching will be organized with members of the most suitable new or running Tempus projects dealing with aspects of e-learning. National Tempus Offices will be also invited. Meetings will be organized once a year at one of the partner Universities.

This WP will start with the creation of a dissemination plan at the first coordination meeting, with the aim of promoting OER among various stakeholders in the WB region.

Dissemination activities will be carried throughout the entire duration of the project by means of:

An attractive and permanently updated interactive project Web site. The site will be constantly updated and will contain all relevant information about all current, past, and planned project activities as well as important links. All information concerning the BAEKTEL framework and OER materials will be available on the site. In addition, it will be permanently updated with intermediate and final project results throughout the project life-cycle. State-of-the-art Web technology will be used to ensure good communication among consortium members and to enable additional comments from third parties.

Publicity and advertizing. The BAEKTEL network will be presented to actual and prospective students, researchers and employees from WB. With the help of student organizations and training units at enterprises, leaflets/flyers and other advertising material will be created and distributed. The project results will be presented to the wider community, through papers and workshops at highly rated regional academic conferences and by organizing at least three open days at each university, but also through various media outlets, seminars for teachers, as well as meetings with students, public HE authorities, university management and enterprises.

Sustainability of the BAEKTEL network will depend on the dissemination activities as much as on successful implementation at partner universities. Although the BAEKTEL nodes may not become a "hit" the first time they are offered, carefully designed dissemination strategy and activities managed by the EU universities and carried out at the partner universities will ensure an increasing number of BAEKTEL users year after year.

In order to secure functioning and further development of the BAEKTEL network upon the completion of this project a sustainability strategy will be defined and employer/student support committees created within WP7. The main task of both the strategy and the committees will be to help sustain OER learner recruitment. Besides securing sustainable OER learner recruitment employer/student support committees will also be involved in ensuring continuous inflow of adequate OER. Although these activity will mainly be focused on partner universities, some form of agreement will also be signed with labor market partners, to secure the sustainability of academic-entrepreneurial cooperation and expert consultation. HE authorities will also be involved in promoting these activities.

A broader regional Balkan OER network – BOER would be a logical next step in the process of interconnecting and sharing of OER and best practices for its implementation and development with other Balkan countries and their universities. This would greatly contribute to promoting virtual mobility of students within the entire Balkan region. The start-up initiative for this network will be presented by all partner universities through seminars and conferences at a number of most important universities, which would ultimately result in further popularization of this initiative throughout the Balkan academic community.

Within WP 8 the applicant/coordinating organization (Università degli Studi della Basilicata, Italy, USB) will handle the whole project management and financial administration with the constant support of other beneficiary institutions. USB as the coordinator will take care of the overall project management, financial management, regular communication with all partners, and monitoring of project activities. It will also be responsible for reporting to TEMPUS and accounting.

In order to guarantee effective and efficient project management, two main bodies will be established:

  • Project Management Board (PMB), which will include contact persons from each consortium member institution
  • Regional Coordination Board (RCB), which it will include one representative from each beneficiary university from WB.

PMB will manage and monitor all project activities, organize coordination meetings, and evaluate project results. It will coordinate the work of RCB and will be responsible for continuous running of both internal and external QA activities. PMB will also be responsible for dealing with any risk, problem, and conflict that may arise in the course of the project.

Each WP leading institution will be responsible for managing the corresponding workpackage.

Kick-off meeting will be organized at the beginning of the project at the premises of the project applicant in order to establish project management procedures, quality assurance procedures and general sustainability and dissemination polices. The PBM and the RCB will also be established at this kick-off meeting. Three overall coordination meetings and 6 regional coordination meetings (WB partners only) will be organized during project lifetime.