When it comes to educational programme development, it is important to find out how the designed materials work in practice.
Within the Nordplus Adult project “Urban Garden Specialist” the partners have been working for almost two years developing nine modules of the programme.
On the 14th of March 2023, the partners met in Siauliai for their first transnational meeting. Before it, the collaboration was fully online. The partners discussed the content of each module, assigned the tasks, agreed on the structure of the syllabus, teacher support guides and educational videos. Each partner was responsible for creating educational presentations, methodological recommendations for implementation, and teacher support packages for each module.
The aim of the transnational meeting is to align the modules to make the lifelong learning programme cohesive enough for implementation. In addition to this, the transnational meeting will allow to organise approbation of the materials. Each partner will conduct a session with a group of volunteers at the Centre for Social Innovation in Siauliai. The participants of the approbation sessions will be adults who showed interest in gardening. Some of them come from unprivileged backgrounds.
The first day of the meeting fostered communication between partners. We were all filled with excitement when we saw each other in person for the first time. We managed to properly introduce ourselves and share our work experiences and sentiments about the project.
We had several workshops. They were devoted to reporting on the progress, creating the outline of the programme, as well as looking into the diversity of tasks and their quality.
The partners created a lesson observation sheet which will be used for quality assurance during the approbation sessions. Here are questions which will be answered during the lesson observation: Are the materials easy for students to understand? Do the questions and practical tasks help the learners to understand the subject matter? Do the methods aid students’ learning? How should the materials of the course be improved?
During the meeting the partners also created questions for the learners’ questionnaire, the so-called “session exit ticket”. We will ask each adult learner who will participate in the approbation to fill in the questionnaire. The answers will be used for improving the quality of the course materials.
We ended preparations for the upcoming approbation practising mutual cooperation between the lecturer and translator. Our students speak Lithuanian, so we must adapt to their needs. Our Lithuanian partners agreed to act as interpreters. This is the moment we can see the advantage of having the programme materials in all partners’ local languages. We will be using the slides in Lithuanian for the learners, and the English version for the educator. The educators will speak English, and their speech will be interpreted into Lithuanian. It will be a new experience for the partners. Let us wait and see what it will bring to us!