Online Transnational Meeting, May 15th 2020

Very unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the TM that was to take place May 14th-15th in Kaunas, Lithuania had to be cancelled and transformed into an online Transnational Meeting. It was set to take place at the same dates to make attendance easier and to respect the scheduled meeting. Representatives of all partners attended the TM.

Status and progress of the project

The status and progress of the project was discussed. Being at a little more than half the project life time, the results are overall satisfactory:

  • The INDIeAuthor IO1 was satisfactorily delivered end of September 2019, and the current version of INDIeAuthor is 1.3. It incorporates many bug fixes and improvements that users have been reporting or requiring in the last months.
  • The INDIeOpen repository (IO4) is under development. It is scheduled for release September 2020.
  • It is six months since the short term staff training event took place in Cartagena, and INDieUnits are being produced by a range of authors. Concretely 159 units have been elaborated and published using INDIeAuthor, by a total of 50 authors. Not all authors are members of the INDIe project, since, after actions of dissemination and meeting with stakeholders, users from outside the partnership were trained and added to the INDIeAuthor community. It is worth noting that out of the 156 units, 93 were open published, which means that there are Open Educational Resources (OER)

How is the COVID-19 crisis affecting INDIe?

Some time was spent discussing the impact of COVID-19 on INDIe.

The COVID-19 has deeply affected all aspects of the education sector throughout the world and has required an extraordinary amount of work to schools, universities, staff and teachers to adapt to a remote learning scenario.

All INDie partners have had to make great efforts in the last two months to be able to teach remotely: teachers have had to learn new digital tools, schools have had to learn new ways of communicating and organising their staff, universities have had to develop platforms and provide training to their teachers. This had to be done, moreover, in a context of great uncertainty.

As a result, for several partners, the work devoted to INDIe had to be put on hold, or at least reduced significantly. At the same time, all partners share the view that INDIe has a huge potential as a tool to help for remote learning, and that INDIeAuthor has reached a state of maturity where it can contribute in the scenario that opens for the next years. It is therefore also an opportunity for INDIe to make a contribution to the COVID-19 challenges for education.

Much uncertainty remains about how will the next months look like: will the lockdown be relieved? Will INDIe members be able to meet? What will be the work load of the teachers for the next academic years?

Presentations of the partners

All partners made a presentation of their work in the last months. The UPCT presented the current state of development of INDIeOpen, which will allow to share units (two kind of CC licences depending on whether derivative work is allows or not) which are then OER, or to publish units for LTI linking from a LMS. The eight units that that were created using INDIeAuthor by the INDIe group at the Business School, UPCT were shown to the consortium. They are meant to help students prepare the Business exam at EBAU, which is the Spanish University Access Exam. Dissemination is being carried out to all high schools in the region of Murcia.

The schools and universities also made a quick summary of the units they have produced so far, of the difficulties that were to be overcome as well as of the dissemination actions. Some of the authors have used the units within their classroom, with good reactions from the students.

Final discussions

The midterm report was presented and discussed, as it was positive the second financial transfer was sent by the National Agency and received by the UPCT.

The consortium discussed the perspectives of face to face meetings after summer. Naturally, there is a major uncertainty due to the current lockdown and restriction. We all agree that, even if online meetings allow for collaboration and help monitor the progresses, they cannot substitute face to face teams meetings where the INDIe community strengthens and ideas generate in informal contexts, like visits or meals.

As a result, we strongly hope that we will be able to hold our next transnational meeting next fall in Kaunas.