- During this time, the partners have collaborated together to ensure tolerance and diversity in virtual classrooms
- DESTINE MOOC is the main outcome of the project, an open platform for VET learners and educators
The DESTINE project is winding up its activity after two years. The initiative closes a successful trajectory in which the partners have collaborated to preserve values such as tolerance, diversity and inclusion in virtual classroom spaces. This ambitious project comes to a close after the launch of the open online platform DESTINE MOOC, the spearhead of this transnational initiative.
Since the project was launched in 2021, DESTINE project’s main aim has been to address the challenge of raising the issues of inclusion, diversity and tolerance in the online and distance learning environment. The COVID-19 pandemic acted as a catalyst of many changes globally, taking the digital transition to the frontline. This transition has boosted other already ongoing processes such as shifts in global economic power, accelerating urbanization and demographic changes, and it has aligned to the process of strengthening of values such as inclusion and diversity at all levels.
Taking into account the confluence of all those phenomena, the project identified a spot to be fulfilled: the promotion of inclusion and diversity through the development of the skills and competences of vocational teachers applied to e-learning. Moreover, DESTINE also addresses vocational learners, and in particular learners with fewer opportunities, who need a diversity-friendly learning environment.
DESTINE MOOC, the spearhead of DESTINE
The work done during these two years has been crystallized through the creation of a platform with courses available in several languages: DESTINE MOOC. It is an online learning platform containing material focused on tolerance and diversity methods applied in traditional classrooms and its transition to online classroom environment. In addition, toolkits containing all the material developed in relation to diversity tolerance methods and techniques in the virtual classroom can also be found on the platform.
DESTINE MOOC is available in 6 languages (Spanish, French, English, German, Greek and Romanian) and divided into 7 e-modules. The modules are presented as a virtual classroom to upskill and empower vocational education professions (teachers, trainers, educators, other key-actors) to promote diversity, tolerance and therefore inclusiveness within an online and distance learning environment.
At the end of each e-module, there is available a quiz which can be completed to test your knowledge acquired after each module. For the teachers, quizzes can be shared with their students to test their knowledge of these topics, before introducing the blended learning activities in classrooms, to further develop students’ expertise and competences related to diversity and tolerance.
The first module consists on an introductory module on diversity, tolerance and equity and their importance in fostering a safe, inclusive, democratic society. The second one, “Diversity and tolerance in classroom” explains the various aspects of students’ diversity, highlighting the benefits of a tolerant and diverse learning environment. Then, the third module, called “Exploring ourselves and the others”, examines the perceptions of ourselves and the ways that we see “others” and others see us, focusing on the role of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination.
The fourth module, “The inclusive educator” outlines the characteristics and behaviour of teachers and educators considered to be inclusive, encouraging of students with diverse backgrounds reaching their personal best. After that, “Teaching and learning: from traditional to blended and online courses” examines the pros and cons of the proliferation of technology in (VET) education, helping tutors to see digital literacies, e-learning platforms, and digital tools as “friends”. Sixth lesson, “searching, presenting and sharing knowledge online”, outlines strategies and tools on digital content creation in a diversified classroom. And finally, last module named “Using digital tools to engage in learning and assess the results”, presents strategies for engaging students and assessing online courses, helping educators to critically reflect on evaluation processes in a diverse learning environment.
All the modules include a video focused on each one of them, all embeded in a Video Library also available in the platform. Moreover, DESTINE MOOC has a Student Activities Handbook, which presents the students activities that have been developed to be delivered in hybrid/blended or in-person teaching, to actively engage students in the process of learning about diversity and inclusion in education, and in supporting more inclusive and diverse educational environments.
DESTINE project (Osengo, Symplexis, AKMI, BK Consult, Future in perspective, Centrul pentru promovarea invitarii permanente & Fundación Finnova) close the project proud of the creation of this open platform that will allow to fulfill the objective of this Erasmus + project: the preservation of tolerance, diversity and inclusion in virtual classrooms.
About ERASMUS +
Erasmus+ 2021-2027 is the European Union’s renewed programme in the fields of education and training, youth and sport, offering opportunities for all people and in all education sectors (School Education, Professional Training, Higher Education and Adult Education). This new Erasmus+ is more international, more inclusive, more digital and greener, supporting digital transformation, inclusion and diversity, as well as the environment and the fight against climate change. With a budget of more than €28 billion, it will fund learning-related mobility and cross-border cooperation projects for 10 million people of all ages and from all backgrounds. “This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.”
The Erasmus + DESTINE (DivErSity and Tolerance IN E-Environment) project was born with the aim of promoting online professional training that ensures support for diversity, inclusion and tolerance, providing the necessary tools for all professionals and students to adapt to the e-learning methodology. DESTINE focuses especially on those vocational training students who need a learning environment adapted to their needs.