More about the catalogue
This document presents the catalogue of initiatives prepared for the 2021 update of the MOOCs4Inclusion study, financed by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission. This third study is coordinated by Dr Charalambos Vrasidas and the CARDET team. The information provided online (www.moocs4inclusion.org) describes free digital learning (FDL) initiatives. This version, developed as part of the third study, updated on 26/07/2021 contains two types of initiatives:
- Initiatives updated and validated by their providers (Updated and Validated Initiatives)
- Initiatives which have not been updated or validated but whose links and contact information continue to function (Functioning Initiatives)
FDL initiatives listed in this Catalogue vary quite a bit in nature and magnitude. However, attempts have been made to categorise them according to ‘purpose’, the type of resource or technology they use, whether they are ‘blended’ approaches or only online/digital, and the extent to which they are ongoing or forthcoming (awaiting launch), and whether they provide information regarding the basic Europass specifications (title, organisation, location, thematic area, learning outcomes). These labels will be further described in the next section. Some fields have been left blank due to lack of public information on this aspect.
This version of the Catalogue also includes the list of additional resources relevant for migrant and refugee digital education identified in the previous study which are still functioning.
Initiatives have been sorted according to their intended purposes, namely:
- higher education (formal, with the intention to obtain a degree or credits)
- primary/secondary education
- social inclusion
- language learning
- teacher training
- support personnel
Most of these categories have been inspired by the indicators for measuring integration that have been agreed by the European Union in the Zaragoza Declaration. These indicators are social inclusion, education, and employment. For the sake of classifying FDL initiatives, all initiatives contributing towards a formal education degree have been put under ‘formal higher education’ or ‘primary/secondary education’. Initiatives (often in the form of Apps and online courses) that aim at providing instruction on civic integration, such as vocabulary for navigating health or social security systems, or courses related to democratic values, fall under ‘social inclusion’. FDL explicitly for language learning has been separated into the ‘language learning’ category, though this can also overlap with ‘social inclusion’. FDL initiatives that aim at teaching employability related skills fall under ‘employment’. A separate category has been created for ‘teacher training’ since there are a handful of initiatives that aim to train teachers that work with migrants or /refugees, via FDL. Additionally, another category that was added during the second study was ‘Infrastructure’ to document those initiatives that provide technical support and access to infrastructure. While updating the catalogue, we identified the need to add the new category “support personnel” with which we tag initiatives focusing on preparing personnel working with refugees and migrants (e.g. volunteers, lawyers, social workers, psychologists etc.).
Initiatives are split into either "ongoing" or "forthcoming" as viewed from the learners’ perspective. Although some projects may be completed, their resources are still on offer. Thus, they were labelled as "ongoing".
Type of resource/technology used
This is generally described according to the following categories:
- Online course
- Digital resources
- Electronic handbook
Some initiatives use various types of technology and resources. Specifications regarding the technology and/or pedagogy used can be found in the description of the initiative.
'Blended' versus 'Online (OL)'
This categorisation has been added so that users will be able to search for initiatives that may have a ‘blended’ approach, namely those that combine online/digital learning with some sort of face-to-face learning and support. Other FDL offers are purely online/digital. Some of the projects mentioned in the Catalogue piloted the online resource at hand through a blended approach (teaching users how to user it through workshops, for example), but now that the project is completed the FDL offer remains an online resource only. This categorisation is better visualized through ‘tagging’ on the MOOCs4inclusion website. In some instances, initiatives are double and triple tagged with they fall into several categories. This enhances the search functionality.
"The Commission has developed the Europass Learning Model to describe learning opportunities, qualifications, credentials and accreditations. The model aims to capture the results of any non-formal, informal and formal learning across Europe. It is designed to provide a single format to describe certificates of attendance, examination results, degrees and diplomas, diploma supplements, professional certifications, employer recommendations and any other kind of claims that are related to learning." Read more, here. The current updated Catalogue includes a field that describes whether initiatives include the basic Europass fields of title, organisation, location, thematic area, and learning outcomes.
Note on Costs
When the catalogue was initially created, all the initiatives were free as declared by their developers. In this follow-up version of the catalogue, the information was updated by the initiative developers which replied and validated their initiatives. For the remainder of the initiatives which did not reply to update and validate their initiative, but which have functioning materials, the research team tried to confirm whether the materials were free. In most cases, materials appear free. The research team also sent all initiatives a follow-up email asking for confirmation that their initiatives are completely free, asking them to specify whether there is any cost for any reason (e.g., for example related to extended participation or to obtain a certificate). Adjustments to the catalogue were made depending on the response we received from providers.