Equal eLearning (SEVERI)

Published on: 15/01/2009
Document

The main goal of the Equal e-Learning project, funded by the Leonardo Da Vinci, is to promote equality at eLearning and ICT, especially among vocational students with special needs. The project is based on an e-learning platform called Severi. Severi was created in a Finnish e-learning project as a tool for students with special needs and now it will be tested and further developed in European context.

One of the purposes of the project is to create and further e-learning methods for students and workers with special needs and/or learning difficulties. This way they have better possibilities to benefit from web based learning solutions and can participate the information society as equal members of it. The main goal of the project is to promote equality at eLearning and ICT, especially among vocational students with special needs.

Primary target groups are students, who have severe learning difficulties and students with minor education and/or ICT skills for example because of high age or underprivileged circumstances. We want to get people working with these groups to recognize the possibilities of e-learning by offering methods, tools and guidance. During the Equal eLearning project Severi will be translated to all project languages so partner organisations will be able to pilot it. In the beginning pilot teachers will be trained in a common gathering, but later trainings will be held nationally or regionally, also as a part of teacher education.

Essential part of the project is also the localized production of new tasks and materials for students with special needs, because no method or tool without contents can be piloted effectively. Piloting Severi both transfers the innovation and gives knowledge of it's applicability with different user groups and in different teaching/learning cultures.

Policy Context

Project funded by the Leonardo Da Vinci Program.

Description of target users and groups

The primary target groups are students, who have severe learning difficulties and students with minor education and/or ICT skills for example because of high age or underprivileged circumstances. We want to get people working with these groups to recognize the possibilities of e-learning by offering methods, tools and guidance. Project will offer new learning opportunities, e-learning tools and web materials suitable for its target groups because there has been quite limited amount of them available.

 

Technology solution

Severi is an easy-to-use eLearning environment for students who have difficulties with reading, writing and perceiving. The colours, symbols, pictures, speech and structure are all designed to make Severi and it's interface as useable as possible.

Severi is an easy and motivating tool for learning and communication and it gives new opportunities for those who don't benefit from using traditional eLearning solutions.

Severi is an online learning environment, which is designed as easy to use.

The students can use Severi on any computer with an Internet connection. The teacher will give to the students a username and a password. With Severi students you can send messages and discuss with their teacher and group. In Severi, the teacher can give different tasks, materials and links to the students. In Severi, the students have their own calendar and a learning diary. If they find writing hard, they can have a list of important words to support them.

 

Technology choice: Proprietary technology

Main results, benefits and impacts

Short term impact:

  • Target group(s): Special students and teacher trainees participating in the project will receive a new method and the associated skills.
  • Target sector(s): European co-development in the target sector will be initiated, and knowledge, awareness and skills associated with the use of ICT will grow.
  • Potential user(s): Different user groups may test and get acquainted with Severi in presentations and trainings etc.

 Long term impact:

  • Target group(s): Vocational students with learning difficulties will become more equal with so-called average students in applying ICT and web learning, which will directly benefit them in their lives and careers.
  • Target sector(s): Development and cooperation creates new innovations, the potential of ICT will be better acknowledged and it will be applied more actively. Training of teachers will evolve into better accommodating different students.
  • Potential user(s): Well-defined web solutions and good usability are more necessary than before, because the user audience of ICT is becoming more and more heterogeneous. The project will promote accommodation of different groups on a general level thus enhancing accessibility.

Vocational education training systems & practices:

  • Short term impact: ICT skills also for special education sector will be integrated as early as in teacher training. In the course of the project we will be able to monitor how this will succeed in the pilot phase and to create a model for practical application.
  • Long term impact: Teacher training will more broadly accommodate the individual needs of students and realise the potential and importance of ITC for those students who have traditionally had trouble using ICT.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Track record of sharing

2004 - Quality Award from the Education Ministry of Finland 2008 - Handinnov Europa 2008

Lessons learnt

During the Equal eLearning project Severi will be translated to all project languages so partner organisations will be able to pilot it.

Essential part of the project is also the localized production of new tasks and materials for students with special needs, because no method or tool without contents can be piloted effectively. Piloting Severi both transfers the innovation and gives knowledge of it's applicability with different user groups and in different teaching/learning cultures.

During the project teachers and instructors form their own network, in which they can share their experiences and give support to each others in different pedagogical and technical problems Project will generate new manners to exploit information- and communication technology at special needs education.

Our goal is that in the end of project all participating organizations and teachers have taken new teaching methods and materials as a part of their every day teaching programme and also distributed them to other institutions at their region. At the end of the project national networks are working in a way where new organizations can get help from the organizations already involved if they wish to start using Severi. After the project we have capability to translate Severi to any needed language with less trouble.

Scope: International