Learning Light is co-ordinating a pan-European project to enable ‘marginalised’ learners to develop their knowledge and skills via e-learning.
Learning Light, a company limited by guarantee which focuses on promoting the use of e-learning and learning technologies, is leading an EU-wide consortium of organisations developing effective ways to use e-learning to reach and engage ‘marginalised’ learners.
The 300,000 euro project, funded by the EU under the Leonardo Transfer of Innovation scheme, involves Learning Light, The Workshop Sheffield (TWS) and the learning development consultancy, VMRS (all based in Yorkshire), along with partner organisations in Italy, Greece, Romania and Poland.
The first phase of the project – recently completed – involved research in these four countries as well as the UK.
Learning Light’s David Patterson explained: “In the UK, we studied the Somali community living here. In Poland, we studied women who were returning to work and we looked at other groups in Italy, Greece and Romania.
“Having disseminated and explored the results of this research – at a conference in Poland in early May – we are moving on to use an open source learning management system (LMS), developed by our Greek partners as we launch a series of workshops to attract and engage the interest of people in these groups.
“We will then roll out this initiative across Europe, using the experience and expertise we’ve built up to identify and contact people who find it difficult to undertake formal learning,” he added. “The aim is then to engage these people in learning through more flexible learning delivery methods and technologies, including e-learning.”
Learning Light expects to continue its involvement with this project after the initial two year period of EU funding.
Patterson commented: “Dissemination and sustainability are the key issues of this project. In recent years, Sheffield has become the headquarters of a number of innovative e-learning companies. This project is allowing us to export some of the e-learning expertise we’ve developed here – and allow other European Union countries to model what the UK is doing.”