Training Meeting Ljubljana, 9-11 of November 2016 Ljubljana

Ljubljanaa oktobar 2016

Within the section 3.4 »Training of persons responsible for preparation of OER content within academic and entrepreneurial institutions«, a training meeting was held from 10 to 11 November 2016 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

After the initial greeting from Dr. Goran Vižintin on behalf of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, Dr. Roberto Linzalone presented the current state and progress of the BAEKTEL project. He stressed that even though the prolongation of the project has been accepted, we must remember that equipment is not an eligible cost during this extension. Based on the overall progress, we are currently more or less in line with the project budget, however, he advised us to be more efficient in updating and uploading project documentation.

Travelling costs were discussed in detail. Dr. Linzalone reported that 29 travels (included Ljubljana's) out of 42 have been done. Also he reported that, thanks to a coupling of meetings, 5 meetings have been jointed to some other 5, so the meetings held to date equal 34 in total, out of 42. UB partner informed us that it is running out of budget in "Travel&Stay", and some other partners may soon be in the same situation. They proposed to explore the possibility of transferring any “unspent budget” from other partners to their budget. This would avoid unspent budget at the end, and simultaneously allow another partner to participate in the last meetings. Dr. Linzalone argued that the overall aim that emerged from UB's proposal, was to use the entire budget for the project. Dr. Linzalone informed us that USB has also run out of budget in "Staff".

The partners acknowledged the need of making a projection of expenses until the end of the project. This will allow us to verify if any of the budget will not be spent, and explore the feasibility of transferring this 'unspent budget' among partners. The coordinator takes the responsibility to collect the partners' data, and report them into a project expenditure projection table. The partners agree to draw and communicate to the coordinator, the expenses each partner is going to incur until the end of the project. This, of course, will be done in light of the meeting/travel plan, that will be reviewed and defined later on. Dr. Linzalone also informed the partners to stick to the travel plan as defined in the project as much as possible, in order to avoid uneligibility of the travels. With this regard the potential redistribution of the 'unspent budget' among partners (mentioned above) also should serve the partner to cover just the eligible travels and activities. Dr. Linzalone also mentioned the Industrial Partners (AMP, UNI) and their budget on travels; they also requested some enhancement of the budget for meetings/travels, but unfortunately, they are only planned as attendees in 4 meetings across the whole project. Any extra budget in their favour, although useful, would result as uneligible, given that they have no other meetings to attend, with exception of the dissemination event.

Regarding eligibility one important issue arose. Are all partners that are calculating their daily rates as the maximum allowed daily rate really entitled to them? Each partner should check whether this really is in line with their regular daily rate, for the position they cover, in their Institution. Dr. Andjela Jakšić (UNIM) stated that in Montenegro there is now a new rule about daily rates, so we should all be careful and check both the salary slips and also the administrative gross salary.

After the coffee break Dr. Linzalone continued with the topic regarding our past and future meetings. As some previous meetings are not entitled exactly according to the project proposal, we agreed that a subtitle stating the part of the project should be added to agendas of all past meetings. The Partners agree that, according to the project's travels plan, some lettering will be overprinted on the Agendas and Attendance list of the previous meetings, quoting the exact "title" and "WP n°" of the meeting.

Still on the meetings, all three consortium meetings that were planned in the project proposal have already been carried out (Belgrade's kick-off + 2 Consortium Meetings held in Matera). Dr. Linzalone asked if the consortium should hold another one at the end of the project. The partners agreed that due to the fact that there are two more dissemination events planned, where almost all partners will be present, a 4th consortium and plenary meeting will not be needed. The travel plan should, however, be rectified since in the participation of the dissemination event, UBL is not foreseen to attend either of them. Therefore, in one of the dissemination meetings, UBL should attend instead of UNTZ (the latter appears as a "participant" in both events). The two dissemination events will be held in Belgrade and Podgorica, close to the project ending. Hosting Institutions (UB, UNIM) should start designing the event, booking speakers as well as assuring media coverage. The partners then agree not to confirm the 3rd Consortium meeting, as it would be actually the 4th plenary meeting (according to the project, only 3 plenary meeting are foreseen). They agree on the crucial importance of deliveing the two dissemination events, and to integrate the participation of UBL into one of them.

About dissemination events 1 and 2, Dr. Linzalone supported the importance to plan the final dissemination event soon. He suggested to design the event structure, typology and venue soon, in order to book the speakers, the facilities, the key participants as soon as possible. Still on meetings, the coordinator focussed on some other issues, that lead to the following agreements among the partners:

  • to confirm the dates proposed from TUIASI on next "Training meeting for responsible of preparation on OER" (19 and 20 jan. 2017, in Iasi);
  • to confirm the following Internal quality assurance meetings (in compliance with the Project Meeting plan):
    1. UB+UNI to UNIKG;
    2. UB+UNIKG to UNI;
    3. UNIKG+UNI to UB

Dr. Linzalone focussed on "External quality assurance" meetings. They have not been carried out yet. Dr. Ivan Obradović suggested that the external quality assurance of OER materials by EU partners could be performed off-line using some sort of questionnaires, rather than meeting face-to-face. The activity was carefully analysed and discussed by the attendees. Finally, the partners agreed with Prof. Obradović on the advantages of delivering this activity via internet and in back-office, rather then travelling and meeting. The questionnaires, once filled by the EU Partners, could then be sent to WB partners by e-mail, in order to suggest directions and actions of improvement. All partners agreed to start as soon as possible.

    Thus, the following external quality assurance meetings:
  2. UL to UBL;
  4. USB to UNIM

are replaced with on-line and offline coordination meetings and activities (Skype meetings and quality assurance tools administration).

Regarding the final Financial Statement (FS), partners' administrative persons will receive the template, which should be filled out and then sent back to USB. It was agreed that all partners have to upload their financial statements by the end of the year, 31.12.2016. Then continue to update and transfer it periodically. The Final Report (FR) will be written the same way as the intermediate report. Each partner will receive sections of the report to fill out. It was agreed that drafts should be made by the end of the year, 31.12.2016. Each partner has to fill the sections of FR, regarding its activities (and responsibilities, results, outcomes, equipment and infrastructures, etc). The description has to be effective and not wordy; it has to provide insightful info, in respect to the LFM. At this point Dr. Linzalone announced that we will orient the focus of the next meeting towards the LFM, that is the matrix of results, outcomes and impacts, we are called to pursue and generate. He invites all the partners to upload new supporting documents on the portal in order to track project parameters.

    Some final deadlines and duties are also fixed by the WB partners, about OERs. In particular:
  • by the 5/12 - each partners has to check and report (to UB) whether they fullfill reviewers suggestions;
  • by the 10/12 - report about terminology: a) N° of terms, grouped by status of terms; b) integration with OER: how many;
  • by the 5/12 - UNIM translation of reviewer template and external evaluation starts just after 5/12

A new session started just after. Nikola Vulović presented some new features available on a new version of the resource space. In addition to multilingual meta-data there is now also a meta portal, where a “comment” section has been added.

On the second day of the meeting a workshop entitled “Presentation skills in English” was held. Since most OER are designed in the form of pre-recorded lectures, which typically offer a very low level of interactivity, effective delivery of the subject matter is of vital importance. The aim of this training session was to improve the participants’ presentation skills in English. The course was prepared in English by Dr. Martina Zajc, translator specializing in scientific discourse and lecturer in courses of English for Academic and Specific Purposes at the University of Primorska, and Dr. Marjana Zajc, both holders of the British Council Certificate in Academic Teaching Excellence. We covered the

    following topics:
  • preparing texts for video lectures;
  • using discourse markers and signposting phrases which guide the listener through the material covered;
  • using chunking and sentence stress to highlight important information in the text/lecture and thus improve clarity;
  • using learner-friendly language (choosing verbal over nominal phrases and nominalizations);
  • using effective visual aids;
  • enhancing interactivity: