Methodology and lessons plan for training course ‘M-Easy’

Different open and innovative practices in the digital era became essential to adult education. Open Education Resources (OERs) have become the main means for adult learning.

Open educational resources (OERs) are digital materials that can be re-used for teaching, learning, research and more, made available free through open licenses, which allow uses of the materials that would not be easily permitted under copyright alone. OERs include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.

Training course M-Easy is developed as an Open Educational Resource and offers a combined learning in two digital media: one part as an application on Android mobile devices (Mobile Apps M-Easy) and the other part is accessible online in the website-based virtual learning environment The M-Easy training course consists of the following OERs:

This online methodical material has three main aims:

  • to introduce adult educator with reversed training methodology and flipped learning method in order to ensure the participatory approach of the low-skilled learners;
  • to develop adult educator competence on being facilitators for improving mathematic skills of the low-skilled adults;
  • to define the content and structure of the training sessions, their durations and type (on-line, class-room-based) using the reverse training/flipped learning method.

By the end of self-learning on this Module, adult educators will improve the following competences:

  • Competence on being facilitators for developing skills for mathematic competence of the low-skilled learners;
  • Competence on using reversed training methodology and flipped learning method to ensure the participatory approach for the low-skilled learners;
  • Competence in effective applying experiential training of mathematical skills based on problem-oriented learning and reflections in accordance with the Lesson Plan.

The pedagogical strategy of this M-Easy training course is based on the blended learning approach: combination of traditional and virtual learning via developed e-learning platform as Open educational resources with the possibility to perform self-study at convenient time and place.

Blended learning is an education program (formal or informal) that combines online digital media with traditional classroom methods. It requires the physical presence of both teacher and student, with some elements of student control over time, place, path, or pace.

The course is innovative as it is built on ICT-based reversed training methodology using Open Educational Recourses (OERs) presented as Mobile Apps and online web-based applications.

A reversed training methodology means that an educator has the role of a facilitator and guides trainees/learners to make an initial analysis of the on-line training materials presented as OERs by themselves. After fulfilling their independent learning tasks, the trainees discuss the results with the facilitator in face-to-face meetings. It means that trainees use the flipped learning method to improve their skills and competences.

Source of the picture:

Deepening knowledge for each of 27 math skills is ensured by the possibility to use the learning materials which are developed as OERs on mobile devices and e-learning platform. The e-learning is very important learning part of this training course, which contains 28 academic hours in total.

In order to increase the motivation of the learner to learn as well as to make the whole training course on 27 skills more learner-friendly and attractive, the following Lessons plan is suggested for facilitator.

The Lessons plan is developed to help to organize M-EASY training for low-skilled adults.  This plan gives a step-by-step overview of the blended learning process using reversed training methodology defined in the Part 4. The training course is planned for 28 a. hours with 5 sessions, 3 –face-to-face sessions and 2 online sessions for self-learning. However, the adult educator-facilitator could adapt the lessons plan to the needs of the learners and to re-arrange the Lessons plan (with more or less training sessions).

No Method Duration (*a. h) Content/Topics
1 Face-to-face 4
  • Getting to know each other.
  • Expectation of the learners.
  • Short presentation of M-EASY  training course
  • Introduction to Learners guide
  • Introduction of the Self-Assessment tool
  • Self-assessment of learners’ math skills – using online Assessment tool. Printing/downloading the results of Self-Assessment for each learner. Fill in the Evaluation of the impact sheet (Annex 1)
  • Developing individual plans for each learner on the basis of the self-assessment results  on how to improve their math skills via self-learning via e-Directory in English and national languages using the Matrix**
  • Setting tasks for individual on-line session on e-Directory of maths Apps
  • Fulfilment of at least one App from e-Directory together in the class
  • Registration of the learners for the Support corner in Facebook
2 Online session

e-learning via platform

  • The detailed studying of  the Learner’s Guide
  • Self-learning via e-Directory of mobile Apps on maths skills
  • Filling in the “Personal feedback sheet” on the results of performing Apps” (Annex 2)
  • Consultations with the facilitator via Learner‘s Support Corner (according to the learner’s need)
3 Face-to-face 4
  • Group work with discussions of performed Apps on e-Directory on the basis of learner’s Personal sheets.
  • Introduction of the Set of Mobile Apps for learners.
  • Fulfilment of at least one App together in the class and filling the “Personal feedback sheet” for this App.
  • Developing individual plans for each learner on how to improve their math skills through the Set of Mobile Apps in national languages on the basis of the Self-Assessment results and Matrix ** for Set of Apps
  • Setting tasks for individual on-line session using Set of Mobile  Apps
4 Online session 8
  • Self-learning using the Set of Mobile Apps “M-EASY” in Android
  • Filling in the “Personal feedback sheet” on the results of performing Apps” (Annex 2)
  • Consultations with the facilitator via Learner‘s Support Corner (according to the learner’s need)
5 Face-to-face 4 Final session:
  • Work group with discussions of performed Apps using “Personal feedback sheet”
  • Post-assessment of math skills using Assessment tool. Fill in the Evaluation of the impact sheet (Annex 1). Define the impact of the training course.
  • Feedback of the learners on training course, discussions. Evaluation of the course (Annex 3).
  • Awards – certificates (Annex 4).
TOTAL 28  

*Note: 1 academic hour = 45 minutes

** Matrixes for mobile Apps for covering the math skills in e-Directory and Set of Mobile Apps are presented in the Module III “Guide on how to work with the mobile Apps on developing the math skills”.

Before starting M-Easy training course, the trainer has to be ready to fulfil the tasks not only as a teacher but also as a facilitator. It means, that “the facilitator’s role is to support everyone to do their best thinking and practice“. To do this, the facilitator encourages full participation, promotes mutual understanding and cultivates shared responsibility. By supporting learners to do their best thinking, a facilitator enables learners to search for inclusive solutions and build sustainable agreements” (Sam Kaner, 2007). Working as facilitator, a trainer has to know the main principles of working with learners from which the success depends.

The main principles to be good facilitators in M-EASY project are defined below:

  • Ensure that learner contributes to the teaching/learning process with his/her experience in using math skills in everyday situations. This is the basic of effective learning.

During the first and other face-to-face sessions (conversations, discussions, and practical assignments) carefully evaluate each learner’s life experience coherent with the using of the maths skills. Explain to learners, that improvement of basic maths skills is based on real-life problem solving tasks in order to respond appropriately in the situations and solve problems in a real-life context. Show that you caring and interested in learner’s life experiences, problems and achievements. Try to motivate the learners to show their experience to use maths skills in the different situations, help them analyse it, compare and share with others.

  • Ensure that your teaching subject will be useful and adaptive to the learner’s life

Put your efforts to explain that maths skills obtained by learners could be immediately used in their daily activities for work or personal life. Inadequate level of these basic maths skills can negatively affect an individual’s ability get a job and feel engaged and valued in society, especially those from the disadvantaged groups.

At the beginning of the training course the learners want to know what impact the learning will have on their professional life, how their life quality will be improved and how they will be able to implement their knowledge in reality. Thus, clearly introduce training /learning program objectives, content, duration, access to learning resources and the flexibility of the time and the place for learning. Try to speak in a clear, understandable language. Introduce the interactive learning material (M-Easy tools) and instruct how to use them as well as let them to try at least one Mobile App. Do not forget to get the feedback after every face-to-face session, summarize the results and focus on the learners’ initiatives, motivation and achievements. Discuss the feedback at the beginning of the next face-to-face session in order to make necessary improvements in the teaching/learning process.

  • Ensure the monitoring of the achievement

Motivate learners to assess their mathematical skills before the training course and after the training course, so, they can see the progress of their learning.

  • Ensure an appropriate learning environment which meets the learners’ needs, expectations and is oriented to further self-learning

It is very important to create the right learning environment in which the learners feel safe, positively evaluated, feel free to discuss different topics and ready to acquire new experience. In this case, they are motivated to watch themselves from aside, see the own and others‘ best experience. Introduce the learners a new learning approach „flipped/reversed“, which will be used in their learning process, and show its benefits and advantages (that encourages the learner to take greater responsibility for their own learning, problems self-solving, making decisions, etc.). Try to establish friendly relationships, share information about your way of life, work experience, hobbies, leisure time etc. The learners like that and that will help them to trust the trainer better.

The institution, which plans to organise the M-EASY training course for low-skilled adults, should ensure a convenient learning environment, technical equipment and tools, necessary for innovative teaching and learning process based on the blended learning approach, thus, has to ensure the following facilities:

  • classroom with Internet , multimedia projector and a computer in order to show the M-EASY web-site with the e-learning platform;
  • access to the set of the personal computers with the internet connection to Open Education Resources and learning platform of M-Easy project in order to check the Learner’s Guide and other training materials for learners
  • during the face-to-face sessions;
  • if learners do not have their own computers at home for online sessions, the organisation has to provide them with the possibility to use the computer at their premises;
  • mobile Android devices for face-to-face sessions to tray mobile Apps as well as for self-learning during online sessions; if learners do not have their mobile device at home, the organisation has to provide them with the possibility to use the mobile device at their premises
  • other organizational tools for face-to-face meetings (board, handouts, paper and etc.).

The trainers of the M-Easy training course should be prepared for teaching process respectively. They should:

  • have printed in advance a table with 27 math skills, and both Matrixes (for e-Directory and Set of Apps) in order to help learners to find an Apps corresponding to the needed math skills;
  • create a psychologically friendly learning environment;
  • be acquainted with the background of the audience and be aware of their needs and expectations;
  • have experience on how to work with low-skilled adults;
  • have the knowledge and skills to organize e-learning sessions;
  • have a good knowledge of the teaching content (set of the apps for developing math skills) and good understanding of all 27 maths skills which will be developed within the M-Easy training course.
  • have essential personal characteristics: have good communication skills, tolerant, able to motivate learners and poses of positive self, evaluation skills;
  • be a good facilitator.
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Annex 1. Evaluation of the impact of the training course (pre-assessment and post-assessment)
Excel PDF

Annex 2. Personal feedback sheet for learning via math APPs
Word PDF

Annex 3. Evaluation questionnaire of the quality of the training course (to be filled in by the participants at the end of the training course)
Word PDF

Annex 4. Template for the Certificate
Word PDF

NB! Don’t forget to insert the logo of your organization and the change the name of the head of your organization.