FELLOWS has developed a new-generation open distance learning (ODL) platform called the Fellows ODLP. All the technical developments have been carried out by CybEOsphere. The main components of the Fellows ODLP are the LMS (Learning Management System) and the LCMS (Learning Content Management System). The Fellows ODLP enables and facilitates online training processes, from training course design to tutoring, monitoring of trainees and course administration. Fellows ODLP has been designed for the requirements of training institutions and training departments of companies who offer tailored training programs (specific content, training services, administration rules). It provides a very powerful tool for training institutions that want to control the whole training process. The ODL platform has completely been specified and designed in co-operation with the pedagogical partners of the Fellows project. They have provided the pedagogical background and practical expertise on which all platforms training service models are based. On-line training must be simple to be efficient, which is even a more critical issue in the case of the Fellows target population. The HCI design and the global ergonomics of the platform have been developed in collaboration with the partners from the University of Leeds, who are experts in these areas. The Fellows ODLP’s main strength is to provide a solution adapted to the needs of pedagogical institutions dealing with trainees having low levels of education and specific learning needs. Currently, no complete e-learning packages for these user groups are available on the market. The Fellows ODLP’s added value include important characteristics such as: - Flexibility and modularity, - Authoring efficiency, - Online training activities diversity, - Autonomy, - Ergonomy. One of the key features of the Fellows ODLP is its user-friendliness. Trainees with very low IT skills can follow a course, and trainers can produce an on-line training programme without being an expert in information technology. The trainer can hence focus his/her attention on pedagogical aspects and the specific needs of his/her group(s) of trainees. The Fellows ODLP leaves a large field for creativity and innovation in cyber-training courses. Technology: The Fellows ODLP is a software suite that can be tailored (through customised configurations of the LMS and the LCMS) to the specific needs of any training institution due to innovative software architecture and a large set of APIs. The Fellows ODLP is Java Web based. The technologies involved: - Java EJB, - Java Servlet, - XHTML, XML, XSLT... - Flash MX full dynamic HCI (directly connected with the Java EJB using XML RPC communication protocol). More information on the FELLOWS project can be found at http://www.istproject.com/fellows/
Training packages have been designed by CWA, BFI, IB and INFREP in their respective local language to enable socially fragile groups to develop vocational skills, personal confidence and a commitment to lifelong learning. The courses are multimedia based and utilise the new features of the Fellows platform. The Web-based training courses are integrated in a larger training programme using a blended learning approach, which alternates traditional classroom training with on-line phases. Details of the courseware will be available via the Fellows public website. Due to the standards (SCORM) adhered to by the Fellows platform, the contents will be reusable on alternative learning platforms if necessary. The courses that have been developed include: - CWA, UK (courses in English): -- Introduction to Interior Design; -- Visual Basic. - BFI, Austria (courses in German): -- Application Coach; -- Job Compass; -- English for Computer Users; -- Basics of HTML; --Basic Knowledge of Internet Technology; -- First Aid; -- Our Viscera. - IB, Germany (courses in German): -- Perfect Application; -- Woodwork; -- Technical Communication; -- Lathe; -- Examining, Measuring and Gauging. - INFREP, France (courses in French): -- Care assistant; -- Hostelry; -- Communication; -- Discover the Internet; -- The European Union; -- How to find a Job; -- The Alphabetical Order. More information on the FELLOWS project can be found at http://www.istproject.com/fellows/
1) e-Learning trainer's training: Training sequences for becoming an e-tutor or/and e-producer have been developed by CWA, BFI, IB and INFREP. The pedagogical partners have integrated the trainers' training into their regular training offer and have provided it to their regional networks of training centres. These training sessions are tailored to the specific needs of tutors / producers in training institutions working mainly with socially fragile people and comprise the following contents: - E-tutor training module (about four training days): -- E-learning concepts; -- E-learning methodology and blended learning models; -- Example of a LMS: how to use the Fellows ODLP; -- Information-reception, Learning styles and types, Collaborative Learning; -- Communication in the virtual classroom; -- Coaching the learning process. - E-producer training module (about six training days): -- Planning, organising and assessing blended learning sessions; -- Information inquiry, Knowledge Management; -- Different learning scenarios, Methodical elements for successful blended learning; -- Training course design: Storyboard, How to create multimedia elements and interactive training sequences; -- Example of authoring software tool: Cybworkshop; -- Creation of small blended learning unit. 2) E-learning consultancy: Furthermore in the field of e-learning the following advisory services are offered by the Fellows partners: - Know-how concerning pedagogical and didactical e-learning concepts; - Technical implementation of the LMS; - Development of a customer tailored e-learning strategy using the following approach: -- Prospective user/customer analysis; -- Current situation analysis; -- Desired situation description; -- Set vision; -- State mission; -- Gap analysis; -- Conduct Force-Field and SWOT Analyses; -- Recommendations; -- Action Plan. More information on the FELLOWS project can be found at http://www.istproject.com/fellows/.
A set of user requirements for the Fellows Open Distance Learning (ODL) platform was identified by the researchers at the University of Leeds. These were then used as the basis of a set of design guidelines, which were also submitted to CybEOsphere. The requirements were developed following a methodology known as the RESPECT framework (Maguire, 1998). This method requires that user characteristics be identified, design ideas be produced and finally a set of requirements finalised. Therefore, the deliverable that was produced by following this framework provided a good deal of information regarding the Fellows target user groups and the results of some research into possible designs for the Fellows platform. The requirements were further developed using findings from the Human-Computer Interaction literature to formulate the design guidelines. The requirements and guidelines are complete. However, because they focused on providing information for the Fellows target users and included an evaluation of an earlier version of CybEO, they are specifically useful to CybEOsphere, and would be of limited use to a third party. Reference: Maguire, M. (1998). User-centred Requirements Handbook. Version 3.3. RESPECT consortium. More information on the FELLOWS project can be found at http://www.istproject.com/fellows/