Analysis of Nordic educational projects designed to meet challenges in society: Defining the Success Factors

Anne Liveng, Jyri Manninen, Hróbjartur Àrnason, Ingegerd Green

    Research output: Book/ReportReportResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    This is a study of educational projects, deemed to be successful by a consortium of experts in each of the Nordic countries. 21 examples of educational projects and programmes were analysed based on information delivered by the institutions responsible for the projects. The focus of the study was the question: "What made these projects successful?" The result is a list of 8 "success factors".
    It is quite common that individuals, groups and even whole societies turn to learning and education to cope with crisis and other challenges. Governments and other agencies who distribute tax money often encourage learning providers, trade unions and other agencies supporting human development to create learning inter-ventions to address specific crisis, challenges or changes.
    In view of recent crises experienced by the Nordic countries The Education and Training Service Centre in Ice-land (www.frae.is) proposed in 2009 that a research project should be started to study "how education can help societies to meet challenges, make use of opportunities and create changes". The project received funding from NVL (Nordic Network for Adult Learning, www.nordvux.net).
    The aim of the project was to create a handbook with recommendations on how to prepare and carry out edu-cational projects designed to help individuals, groups or society to meet challenges. The project´s method de-veloped somewhat as it evolved: National expert consortiums chose examples of recent successful educational projects. Project descriptions, submitted on special forms created by the researchers, were analysed using qualitative methodology, where the cases studied were seen as exemplary, but not representative, examples of good practise. Success factors emerging from the data were classified, structured and interpreted. This hap-pened in three stages. A draft report was submitted to a midterm conference where participants in the example projects and other experts were invited to discuss and comment the preliminary findings. These comments were incorporated into this final report.
    The results are eight "Success Factors", which are elements of design, process or structure identified in the successful projects:
    1.Networking: Planning, implementation and development of the programme is based on networking of various - and even unexpected - organizations and players/participants.
    2.Process evaluation: Continuous project development, documentation and analysis of results is inte-grated in the project, using Process Evaluation or Action Research
    3.Flexibility: Programme offers flexible access and participation, individualized content or individualized study methods (ICT)
    4.Focus on needs: A programme focuses on authentic regional, sectorial or individual needs and prob-lems, which are recognized and systematically analysed providing tailor-made solutions.
    5.New role for institutions: The project includes innovative new roles for training organizations which have traditionally been working in different fields of education.
    6.Getting new groups involved: Programme motivates new groups of participants, who have usually been non-participants, or are a new target group for the training organization. Aiming at new groups fosters innovation in the training organisation.
    7.Community as pedagogical strategy: The pedagogical design of learning interventions aims at creating a sense of community between participants.
    8.Sustainable new structures and practices: The project has challenged organizations and participants to develop new structures and practices which continue to exist and further develop after the project has ended.
    These results are summarised in a list of recommendations, with the hope that they can help practitioners to design and implement successful educational projects in the future.
    Translated title of the contributionAnalyse af Nordiske læringsprojekter designet med henblik på at møde samfundsmæssige udfordringer: Definition af succesfaktorer
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherNordic Council of Ministers
    Number of pages53
    ISBN (Print)978-9979-72-142-0
    Commissioning bodyNordisk Netværk for Voksnes Læring
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    EventKan innovation læres?: Inspiration, ideer og erfaringsudveksling om motivation, redskaber, entreprenørskab i lokal udvikling. - UCC Bornholm Snorrebakken, Rønne, Denmark
    Duration: 3 Oct 20133 Oct 2013

    Conference

    ConferenceKan innovation læres?
    LocationUCC Bornholm Snorrebakken
    CountryDenmark
    CityRønne
    Period03/10/201303/10/2013

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