The FAVOR project team had a skype meeting yesterday to update each other on what we have been doing – and it all sounds very inspiring and exciting!
Most of the part-time/hourly-paid tutors are on board now and a wonderful range of languages are represented: Finnish, Hungarian, Latvian, Serbian, Slovak, Estonian, Ukrainian, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Arabic, English as a Foreign Language, Persian, Spanish, Japanese, Swahili, Amharic, Somali and Tigrinya. Tutors have begun sharing their resources through the LanguageBox, and we currently have at least 46 uploads! All are keen to undertake our planned training and begin the next phase of the project which will see the creation of new OERs for prospective university applicants.
The group noted that it has been difficult to get tutors together as they work such varied hours and so many are engaging with the project ‘at distance’ and independently. However, when they have been able to meet, the experience of sharing practice, working collaboratively on a joint project and simply getting to know colleagues that they rarely see has been immensely rewarding.
Many tutors have indicated that one of the key drivers in taking part in the project is to develop a community of practice for their particular language and to raise the profile of their work. LLAS is going to look into how we can develop the group and forum functions on the LanguageBox to assist this process (e.g. by allowing a private members discussion area for the review and commenting of test resources) and make independent working easier for the tutors.
The next month will see more resources uploaded onto LanguageBox and training sessions at Newcastle and UCL on good practice in publishing OERs, and the use of online authoring tools like LOC and Hot Potatoes. The FAVOR project will also be represented by Marta Jenkala (UCL) and Jo Eastlake (SOAS) at the conference: ‘Sustaining a Global Society: Languages of the wider world‘, on 29-30 March, 2012, at SOAS.