First consortium and training meeting, 22-23 January, 2015, Matera, Italy

First matera

The Meeting starts at 10,00 o'clock of the 22nd january 2015. Prof. Giovanni Schiuma, the project coordinator, addresses the welcome on behalf of Prof. Aurelia Sole, the Rector, of the hosting Institution, and Coordinator of the Project, University of Basilicata. Prof. Aurelia Sole, due to unforeseen impediments, doesn't address the welcome and send her apologizes to all the Partners attending the Meeting.

At 10,20 o'clock, the Meeting goes into the main issues and topics. First of all an update and a representation of the state-of-art of the Project. One by one, in numerical order, all the Work Packages of the project Baektel, are presented by the Work Package's Leader, and discussed by the whole Assemble. Each Partner outlines the 'state of art' of the WP it is leading, highlighting strategic and operative issues. Prof. Roberto Linzalone, takes the word as Moderator of the session, introducing the presentations, and promoting analysis, discussion, comments after each presentation. Prof. Linzalone informs that the Partner University of Tuzla does not attend the Meeting; the Partner, namely the contact person Prof. Adila Nurić, informed the Coordinator and Hosting institution via email, some days before. Prof. Linzalone communicates, on behalf of Tuzla's contact person Prof. Nurić, that University of Tuzla apologizes for not being, and agrees to the decision taken by the Project Management Board.

Prof. Linzalone introduces the presentations of the first slot, "Results and conclusions of WPs 1 and 2". Invites University of Ljubljana, as leading partners of the WP1, to report on the results, problems encountered during realization and how they were resolved. Prof. Vulić takes the word, and reports on "WP1, Analysis and review of OER principles and practice". Prof. Vulić firstly summarizes activities and aims expected by the WP1, according to project proposal. Then he reports how actually they have been performed; some minor modification occurred in the organization, that resulted in a participation of the partners in some DEVs production.

Prof. Vulić concludes that " The common goal of higher education in Europe should be to improve the awareness of the OER benefits and to disseminate initiatives for identifying the opportunities of making the link between OER and students’ virtual mobility." Also he states that " for an effective OER development, good strategic choices have to be accompanied by reviews of institutional policies. First and foremost, institutions will need to review their policies related to intellectual property and guarantee that they support open licensing models. They will also need to review their policies concerning staff payment and incentives, ensuring that their time spent on course designing and developing as well as other related activities is suitably rewarded".

After his presentation Prof. Linzalone invites colleagues from Ljubljana to share strategic insights emerged from the WP1 package. Prof. Vizintin stresses the aspect of technology and the one of legal conditions as important for the Project finalization. He also highlight the importance of involving students and awaking colleagues from other Institutions around OER and Baektel. Around 10,45 the moderator introduces the presentation of the WP 2. WP2 is almost done, since its progress is about 90%; the moderator invites University of Banja Luka, as leading partners of the WP2, to report on the state-of-art, results, problems encountered during realization. Dr. Maja Ilić reports then on the WP2, "Establishing a framework for OER development in WB PC".

About "DEV 2.1 Setting Procedures and Guidelines for publishing OER in WB PC", she says that a version for editing is uploaded on SharePoint, waiting for suggestions from other partners; the deadline is 31.01. The end of this activity has been anticipated to the : 15.02.2015. She provides an overview of the Activities, and a list of types of OERs. She focuses on video format, since it combines audio and video media, which has the highest possible retention rate by students. On the other hand, they are hardly adoptable (editable), which is one of the key features of OER. Very insightful benchmarks for the Dev. 2.1 are other MOOCs like edX, Coursera, Udacity About "DEV 2.2 Workshops for regulations for publishing OER in WB", Dr. Ilic remind that WP's outcome is a Training activity. Under this WP, and to this aim, a training plan has been developed whose title is “Workshops to facilitate adoption of common regulations for publishing OER content, especially within individual universities in WB”. Final version of report is uploaded on SharePoint and website, and available for Partners.

About DEV 2.3 "Conceptual design of the ICT solution for BAEKTEL OER framework", Dr Ilic summarizes the results achieved, that is an analysis that suggests as optimal solution for publishing of OER content: an online learning platform, a digital asset management (DAM) platform for content indexing. After detailed analysis, UBL chose: edX (online learning platform) and ResourceSpace (DAM). About DEV 2.4 "Improving ICT infrastructure to support BAEKTEL", UBL's representative inform about the status of Equipment purchasing. The Tender procedure is completed by UB, UNI, UNIKG; some delay is occurring to UBL and UNTZ, because of administrative procedure and market conditions. The list of equipment is done by UBL, UNTZ, and the tender procedure should start in February. The end of the activities under this DEV is planned for 31.06.2015.

A discussion takes place after Ilić's presentation. Prof. Linzalone asks about the time management of the WP. Dr. Ilic states that the purchasing of equipment will be done by the end of may 2015, and that anyway they are making and producing courses even without the foreseen equipment. it will be replaced with the new one. It supports the fact that UBL is trying to saving time. Prof. Stanković then takes the word, to inform- regarding WP2 - that a document on the Training activities has been developed. It deals with all the training aspects, for the WP1, WP2, WP3. It describes the training for each WP, it is bilingual, it has also statistics on the training. At the moment it is uploaded on the SharePoint portal of Baektel. It is provided also with an excel File, with mastered elaborations. Prof. Stanković takes about 15 minutes to explain features and activities.

This late morning session of presentations, regards all work-in-progress WPs. So the moderator invites the leading partners to report on the status of the WP, activities and deliverable done, problems encountered, strategy for resolving the problems, agenda for the project's 2nd year.

Prof. Ranka Stanković, form University of Belgrade, leading partner of the WP3 "Development of BAEKTEL infrastructure", takes the word and reports on the mentioned WP. She outlines the activities of the WP, and then its working days. She presents the WP by Devs. About Dev 3.1. Individual BAEKTEL nodes in WB PC, she reminds the responsibilities and activities of WB Partners, and all Partners. Then about Dev 3.2. Common BAEKTEL portal for indexing all available OER and other supporting TEL content, Prof. Stankovic says that a BAEKTEL Metadata Portal (BMP) is available at, and talks about needed improvements: integration with language support services, LRMI implementation, integration with edX, support for other languages. She reminds that EU PI to provide UB with a list of OER terms for OER taxonomy (UB will send template) by the 01.04.2015.

Regarding dev.3.3. Multilingual terminological resources and services used for supporting OER multilinguality, activities are focused on developing new terminological resources and improving existing ones. Start and end date for DEV are: May 1, 2014 – Oct 10, 2016. Some tasks for the Partner are foreseen within this WP. All PIs have to send a List of terms for each field (to define domain for each PI): Term, Definition, Synonyms, Reference, Broader term (hypernym). For WB partners the languages will be: Serbian-English.

For EU Parters: ITalian-ENglish, SLOvenian-ENglish-SeRbian, ROmanian-ENglish. A Template on Baektel SharePoint portal, in WP3, Dev3.3 folder is available (prepared by AMP). Deadline is 01/05/2015. Another important task highlighted is, for all PI, to find and send (or upload on WP3, Dev3.3 folder) Language Resources, that is: Available electronic resources than can be used; Monolingual, bilingual, multilingual, Dictionaries, glossaries, taxonomies,…; Textual documents (i.e. textbooks for terminology extraction). This also by the 01/05/2015.

About Dev 3.4. Training of persons responsible for preparation of OER content within academic and entrepreneurial institutions, Prof. Stanković remind all the Partners toprepare a plan by the 15/03/2015, with: Training dates, Topics, Target learner population. Prof. Stankovic closes her presentation remarking that a couple of issues are still open, but need to be defined: 1) Missing category for dissemination (oral) : round tables, seminars,…; 2) Localisation for serbian language interface in edX (Yes/No) (online editing) and Resource Spase (local editing?). Follows the presentation of the WP4. The moderator reminds that this WP is not started, its start is foreseen in april 2015. So the WP4 Leader, University of Kragujevac, in the person of Prof. Danijela Milošević outlines the Activities to be developed under the WP4 "Development of initial domain specific OER content repositories".

First of all Prof. Milošević reminds the start date of the activity that is 01/03/2015.She outlines the DEV 4.1 Preparation of educational and expert materials for OER repositories through cooperation between A&EI, month 16-35. About DEV 4.1 Learning resources development, she analyses the specific topics of the partners involved in preparation of OER, then addresses some guidelines and principles to apply. In particular she highlights the "ADDIE" Instructional design model. She also outlines Strategies of adopting materials, in Providing Course Materials, and addresses Benefits and Challenges for 3 different strategies: adoption, adapting, creation of materials. She also reports on: develop training material, the process of training design.

About dev.4.2 Integration of prepared OER materials within BAEKTEL nodes and its indexing within BAEKTEL portal, starting from October 2015., and lasting from the month 22nd to 35th, a responsibility chart is shown by the speaker. Also regarding DEV 4.3 Recruitment of a representative group of students and employees from enterprises, a responsibility matrix and main issues related to the DEV. are presented. Particularly stressed by Prof. Milošević is the issue of Evaluation, that has two main dimensions: materials, courses. Then DEV 4.4 Further improvement of OER content to increase the usage of BAEKTEL thus fostering virtual mobility, is analyzed. Responsibility matrix and general lines on how to develop it are shared with the participants.

It is now the turn of the WP 5 "Quality control and monitoring". Prof. Silvia Curteanu, from Technical University of Iasi, presents the state of art of the WP, she is leading. She firstly addresses the main requirements in project quality assurance (QA), and a summary of what has been done. She reminds also the quality dimensions identified according to a literature and practices review. Prof. Curteanu also shows a task assignment matrix, that reveals the contribution of each partner to the development of the Baektel's Quality Assurance plan. Some of the contributions/tasks have been delivered by partners, namely: 4c - Quality assurance procedures identifications (TUIASI); 5 - Students judge (UNIKG); 8 - Web design and web usability (TUIASI); 10 - Online assessment and assignment methodologies (UNIKG). Prof. Stankovic remarks that also the contribution from Unversity of Belgrade has been delivered via email; Prof. Linzalone confirmed because he was notified of the email, in copy.

Prof. Curteanu then outlines the structure for the QA report, that is: general aspects, Quality assurance activities, specific Baektel's Quality Issues, Outputs and Outcomes, application to the project. She addresses as critical challenges/issues: Indicators to be measured, Questionnaires and check lists, Evaluation tools and methods, Analysis of the results and formulation of the useful and relevant conclusions. As eexample of questionnaire, check list and evaluation tool, a tool provided by UNIKG is presented. Still as example a questionnaire assessing "Web design and web usability" developed by Technical University of Iasi is also shown. Prof. Curteanu points then, before concluding her presentation, to: What to do in the near future (first QA report), Problems to be discussed. About the first issue she states: establishing the structure of the QA report, setting exact deadline for each activity (intermediate reports generated by the partners, final QA report) - Time diagram, finishing the reports associated with each QA activity, identifying the most appropriate indicators, questionnaires and evaluation tools for each QA activity.

After the presentation the moderator, Prof. Linzalone, remarks the importance of respecting the deadlines for the deliverables, stating that it is a duty of the WP leader also to make pressure on the Partners in order to have the requested contributions by the duly deadlines. The last presentation of the morning session is the one addressed by Prof. Snežana Sćepanović, of the University Mediterranean, that leads the WP6 "Dissemination".

Prof. Sćepanović firstly reminds the four DEVs foreseen under this WP, and then analyses their status one by one. DEV 6.1. - Interactive project website. Under this dev. Project web site and Social media (Twitter, Facebook) have been actively used, while You tube channel and Google+ accounts have been just created. About DEV 6.2. - Round tables and special sessions, and DEV 6.3. - Student information days, About DEV 6.4. - Media coverage, conferences and journal articles, 7 conference papers have been Presented at national conferences in: Montenegro, Serbia and Italy; 3 journal articles have been Published by: Baden Newsletter, Most and the Weekly magazine "Čačanski glas".

At the end of presentation, Prof. Sćepanović invites the Partners to contribute to dissemination, via social networks (Twitter, Youtube, Facebook). The an open discussion follows. Prof. Linzalone highlights the importance of dissemination, since its impact is on Sustainability. He remarks that the project Officer addressed specifically a note to the Project coordinator concerning the dissemination, in which the PO invited to enlarge the dissemination to a wider target audience, particularly to industrial partners, that is: companies, Associations of companies, Chambers of Commerce in Montenegro. Given so Prof. Linzalone ponders the opportunity to use different communication channels, and considers to scan the participation to events and conferences mostly targeted on companies, rather than Academia.

At 14,30 the Meeting keeps following on, from the presentation of the WP7 "Sustainability". Prof. Nikolić, from the University of Niš, Leading partner, reports on the state-of-art. Firstly Prof. Nikolić addresses a definition of sustainability, and applies this definition to the Project Baektel. The he lists the planned activities, that are mostly aimed to create agreements with Institutions and, hopefully, with companies and Labor market players. Prof. Nikolić explains the Project sustainability process, highlighting: stages, inputs and outputs.

Critical factors in the Sustainability process are pointed and, as consequence, he identifies some factors that enable and ensure sustainability: project level (or internal) factors, external factors. Project level factors are: participation of target groups, leadership and management, resources for continuation, integration and dissemination of good practices. External factors are, instead: institutional support, other authorities' support. A snapshot of hindrances and criterion for sustainability is also provided. In particular, about criterion, he focuses on the concepts of diversity and intensity of activities. Then he outlines a strategy for sustainability, that should be based on: development of relationships, visibility, modification of project based on evaluation and feedback, share resources/expertise/successes. Which kind of sustainability results are then related to Baektel. According to Prof. Nikolić they are: funding by annual subscriptions, made by individuals, Universities, Companies that are interconnected in a knowledge network, that is the BOER (Balkan Open Education Resource) network. An involving discussion takes place on Sustainability, just at the end of Prof. Nikolić's speech. The moderator asked which kind of deliverable is expected to produce, in order to support and secure the sustainability of the Project. Prof. Nikolić supports the idea that now is too early to report or to produce operative tools. First we need to see dissemination (what to be changed or improved) and then be operative on sustainability (he estimates that at a progress of about 80% of the "dissemination" activity). Prof. Milosevic takes the word. She agrees with the systematic approach to Sustainability adopted by the Partner University of Nis. Prof. Linzalone also intervenes remarking the importance of codifying a strategy, with an easy but effective tool, in order to share and approve at a project level the goal.

After Prof. Nikolić, the presentation of the WP8, "Project management" take place. This WP is led by the Coordinator Institution, University of Basilicata; Prof. Linzalone, reports on activities, work done, tools developed, main results of the project. First of all he outlines the presentation, and reminds the main activities related to the WP: Project management, Financial administration, Communication, Monitoring, Reporting to tempus and accounting. Abut communication he reports on the activities performed by the Coordinator university of Basilicata, dividing them into: face-to-face, indirect. For the first he addresses the participation to almost all projects' meetings (also in virtual conference, whenever the physical participation was not granted); for the second he addresses the great amount of emails exchanged, that absorbs a very high rate of the time (just as indicator he reports the exchange of more than 300 emails just with one partner, in the first 'project' year).

About financial administration, Prof. Linzalone remarks the Production of Administrative documents (i.e. Cover Letters, Requests of change of contact p./Rectors, Partnership Agreement, Request of money transfer, traceability templates, …..) and the related processing. All of this both 'External' (to/from Partners and EACEA), and 'Internal' (to/from USB Administration office). About Project Management activity, he lists the work done, and presents the infrastructure created. This last is briefly presented, and consists basically in various spreadsheets, linked among them, and able to produce reports and elaboration on: WP progress, project progress, money spent (with several filters), work done by individuals, Institutions, Project, as well as cost incurred. In conclusion Prof. Linzalone reports some data of the project, updated at 30/12/2014, and according to the supporting documents provided by the Partners. As expected, according to the Agenda, it is the turn of the Industrial partners. They are invited by the moderator to provide a follow-up to the Academic Partners, in order to address advices, directions, to fulfill companies' needs and expectations. The Industrial Partners address strategic and operative issues to the Academic Partners/Project Developers, make the point after 1 year, propose for the next 1 year.

Snežana Lakićević, from NIS Petroleum Industry of Serbia, reports her company's perspective on the Baektel project. First of all Dr. Lakićević presents her company NIS Petroleum Industry of Serbia, and the goal of the company's involvement: promotion and positioning of the company. Their cooperation with education institutions takes place on three levels: schools, universities, individual programs. NIS supports and funds competition among students, learning of foreign languages (english, russian). She reports a program supported by AMP aimed at improving working conditions, acting on 28 classes in Serbia, and also reports of a cooperation with the Russian University in Moscow.

At this point Dr. Lakićević leaves the floor to her colleague Dr. Jesić. She reminds what is NIS doing in the Baektel Project. With this regards she lists the WPs in which NIS is involved; she also reminds that NIS recorded video materials, and suggests to translate in English and Russian that material. She also addresses the opportunity of publishing it on You Tube channel. For the 2015 year, she supports the idea of planning and organize workshops with students; to this aim NIS is available to support public relations, dissemination, promotion. She also raises the opportunity to organize a conference in NIS at the end of the 2nd project year. Then Dr. Irena Rajlić, from Arcelor Mittal Prijedor, provides feedbacks and perspective from her company. Dr. Rajlić introduces considering the related concepts of Business and Education today's context. Then addresses an open question related to the closeness of Universities and Enterprises about education. She presents the Company AM (ArcelorMittal), as world’s leading steel producer, and the AMP (ArcelorMittal Prijedor), as one of AM mining units. Important focuses of AM/AMP is the promotion of Education, Health, Constant development. AMP is committed in providing to the Baektel project: enrichment of the academic curricula with professional practice and experience (supporting it with industry background), materials (Case studies, expert presentations, practical guides, demonstration of software implementation). Dr. Rajlić then outlines the field of competences they will provide into the project, that is specialised OER skills. The model of cooperation with the University is then argued. With this regards, particularly important for AMP are: duly and clear instruction of what is expected, guidance (for 1st time partners in TEMPUS programme), constant and close cooperation, full insight into activities development and outcomes.

The administrative persons representing the partner institutions, meet up to discuss and clarify administrative issues, activities and practices. All, and only, administrative persons from partner institutions meet up to clarify and discuss administrative issues. The 2nd day of the Consortium Meeting starts at 10,00 o'clock in the morning, of the 23rd of January 2015. The first session of the Agenda is Assessment and discussion on the state of art of BAEKTEL. A Plenary and open discussion on the state-of-art of the project takes place; everyone is invited by the moderator, Prof. Ivan Obradović, University of Belgrade, to share ideas, and reflections for the Project development and improvement.

At 14,30 the Consortium Meeting take place again, with the final slot of the agenda "1st BAEKTEL Consortium meeting closing up". The speakers, Prof. Ivan Obradović, University of Belgrade, and Prof. Giovanni Schiuma, University of Basilicata, summarize and remark the main issues of the Meeting and the overall state-of-art of the Project Baektel. Prof. Obradovic, firstly share his opinion about the general progress of the project, that is good. He reminds and inform all the participants about the agreed intent of re-budget the 'mobility' of the project's partners, in favour of Industrial Partners. He stresses the importance of completing a representative set of demo-OER to support dissemination acitivities. Prof. Schiuma, then take the floor. He expresses appreciation for the job done so far to the whole Partnership. He underlines the importance of the engagement of each Partner, as key factor for a successful Project. He addresses also 3 other key points for the success: produce the right results/outputs, responsibility of each partner respect to the WP, financial compliance and responsibility.

Photo gallery is available on official facebook page [link].