Main activities


EUROVERSITY is a three-year project co-funded by the EU Lifelong Learning Program, Key Activity 3 ICT. The project started in December 2011 and will finish in November 2014. Euroversity is a network of 18 partner from 10 European countries (the United Kingdom, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Portugal, Cyprus, Germany), and a third country partner from Israel. This network is made up of a collection of organisations that have had significant experience of the use of 2D/3D virtual worlds in learning and teaching contexts (in European projects such as AVALON, AVATAR, START, LANCELOT and NIFLAR), a smaller number of partners with limited experience who wish to apply the experiences of the network to the design and construction of new courses within virtual worlds in their own contexts, and other institutions who have no direct experience of virtual world education but who have a specific interest in education, media, and in the transformation of knowledge.

The project aims to impact on the following defined target groups:

- the individuals involved in the network and the learners on courses associated with the network;

- the other members of the organisations involved in the network.

- organisations (including learners) who are not initially involved in the network but have experience of working in virtual world environments.

- organisations (including learners) who have little to no experience of learning and teaching in virtual world environments, but are (or are not) interested in establishing courses in these environments.

Since the late 1980's and early 1990's, complex 2D and 3D virtual environments have been investigated to support learning and teaching scenarios in lower and higher educational contexts. Today's online 2D and 3D virtual platforms offer a wealth of opportunities for education that early examples did not, for example highly detailed 3D models, multi-platform delivery, and large communities. With these platforms now beginning to mature, the range of courses within them continuing to grow, and the availability of a vast range of research describing their use, there is now a need to bring experienced organisations and individuals together. So far, no advanced networking community exists with the express aim of helping organisations and individual lecturers in getting started with virtual worlds from a platform of good practice and identified support tools.

This network brings together for the first time, a range of public and private institutions from across Europe and in Israel, who have experience in the use and development of online virtual platforms for education across a range of disciplines (i.e. language education, cultural studies, literature, economics, religious studies, media studies, intercultural communication, digital design, computer science and software engineering, science including physics) and contexts (lower and higher education, educational and business).

The aim of the project is to engage enough of a critical mass of users of online 2D/3D virtual environments, so as to generate more users by transferring their newly acquired knowledge to their specific contexts. The duration of the network is such that there will be the possibility to initiate, train and follow-up new end users during the project. The community resource created by the project outlining the good practice framework and the experiential video data bank will provide content which will outlive the project's duration. The website and project content will remain live for a minimum of five years following project completion.

The following main activities will be carried out throughout the project:

Shared experiences and collective knowledge aimed at creating an opportunity for organisations throughout the network to share experiences of using online virtual platforms to support educational provision. This sharing of experiences will focus on items such as the successes and failures of previous projects, challenges faced, solutions found, learner experiences and the impact of online virtual platforms on learner performance.

Learning Lessons and Transferring Knowledge focused on the transformation of the experiential content into guidance on good practice. This guidance on good practice will be formulated in the development of a good practice framework for the creation, delivery and evaluation of learning experiences provided within online virtual platforms

Exploitation will look to take advantage of new and existing collective experiences and materials created within the consortium. Licensing strategies for consortium materials will be investigated and applied to enable materials to be more widely shared. Strategies for promoting sustainability and open sharing of resources will be published.

Measuring Impact has essentially two core elements: the first is the evaluation of the good practice framework produced from within the network; the second is quality planning and the evaluation of the EuroVersity project as a whole.

Dissemination is focused on managing the promotion and dissemination of the project. It will also provide the means for its maintenance at the end of the three years of funding.

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