Developing Synergies #2

As ECCOE continues to develop synergies with other projects and initiatives, I’m delighted to report on a series of significant events which took place in June. First of all, ECCOE was honoured to be invited to the European Commission’s MicroCredentials Working Group meeting on June 15th. KIC, DHBW and EDEN have attended these meetings in the past, representing flagship projects such as MicroHE, but now – with MicroHE nearing its completion – ECCOE is developing as the key initiative to build on this legacy. To have the opportunity to inform the EC first hand about the latest developments in micro-credential issuing and recognition, both in research and practice, is proof of the quality of our achievements so far and will enable ECCOE to have a much greater impact than we initially foresaw.

Ildiko Mazar and myself also represented ECCOE in the Synergy session at the online EDEN Annual Conference (June 22nd-24th). As always, this was a great opportunity not only to give a short overview of ECCOE, but also to get to know what other projects are doing and to identify ways in which we can engage in mutually beneficial collaboration.

A concrete example of this is ongoing work with eLene4Life, another project AUNEGe is coordinating and which was also presented in the EDEN Synergy session. The soft skills courses and initiatives collected by eLene4Life are perfectly within the scope of what we’re covering in ECCOE, from the point of view of both Learning Opportunities and the actual (digital) credentials these lead to. So a selection of the eLene4Life soft skills courses is currently being run through the ECCOE evaluation process (alongside over 100 other courses, MOOCs and modules!) to establish whether these meet the requirements for our future Online Catalogue of Learning Opportunities.

Among the other projects presented in the Synergy session were RE-SERVES (REsearch at the SERVice of Educational fragilitieS) which aims at deepening understandings of the relations between fragility, vulnerability and education, through analyses and problematisation of existing educational practices in a variety of contexts.

Both eLene4Life and RE-SERVES are producing MOOCs as part of their project outcomes, so these are also possible candidates for the future ECCOE Online Catalogue of Learning Opportunities.

Sometimes the synergies were not directly related to ECCOE, but between the other projects. As eLene4Life focuses on active learning methods for soft skills development, the COLED project (Collaborative Learning Environment for Engineering Education) could contribute a scenario for the eLene4Life Dynamic Toolkit and the NEXUS project on civic engagement for migrants (coordinated by UNED, a partner in ECCOE) was invited to contribute to a forthcoming eLene4Life blog post on service learning.

We also learned about ERICENA, a Horizon2020 project aiming at the establishment of the European Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence in China.

Finally, ECCOE can contribute to several of the areas which the University of the Future Network is focusing on in order to define models for integrative, boundary-crossing and collaborative institutions. Here, the development of trustworthy solutions for the recognition of credentials, including those relating to prior learning, will be vital to the success of this initiative, in the same way that we hope to support the whole community of European Universities.

As the identification and take-up of synergies is part of our DNA in ECCOE, you can expect to find more accounts of how we’re working with other projects and initiatives as part of this blog series. In the meantime, we invite you to delve deeper into ECCOE work and that of the other projects mentioned here, and to develop your own synergies, with us and with others! Let us know in the comments below if what you’re working on could be interesting for us, or if you want to know more about how our work could be useful for you.

Watch the session recording by clicking here.

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