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Developing All -Round Education DARE +
Start date: Sep 1, 2014, End date: Feb 28, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Developing All -Round Education (DARE+) is an innovative project in the context of the European Higher Education Area and student-centred competence-based learning. It proposes the design and piloting of multiple instruments for the acquisition, evaluation and accreditation of six generic competences, grouped in two tracks: the education of cooperative citizens and communication, and designed to be used in both formal and non-formal contexts. The competences chosen for their centrality to personal development in higher education are the following: Track 1. The development of cooperative citizens, able to work collaboratively and to take an active part in the society they live in. In the early stages of the project, emphasis will be on team work and leadership (considered necessary in the higher levels of team-work development). Thereafter, this track will concentrate on project organization and management, and social entrepreneurship, in an attempt to develop the capacity to analyse with others societal problems, to offer solutions and plan and manage projects, with the ability to analyse the impacts. Track 2 deals with communication. During the early stages, the project will centre on communication, the capacity to listen and convey messages, to debate and to present a case. It will then move on to intercultural communication and conflict resolution. The aim is to strengthen the capacities of the students to be able to contribute in multicultural societies where conflicts of understanding and values are a significant obstacle to growth and development. The project will firstly identify and systematise the approaches to these generic competences already in place in the different partner universities; the team will then proceed to jointly design stronger pedagogical proposals for the development of each of the competences in different educational and national contexts. Methodologies and activities to complement the formal educational approach with an extra-curricular or non-formal approach will be explored. In particular, the role of halls of residence, which offer excellent opportunities for developing generic competences, will be incorporated. Some universities (notably including project partners) have been trying to complement in-class education with extra-curricular activities through residential activities for centuries; yet, the full potential of these environments has only rarely been exploited or even appreciated. The project will then address the assessment, certification and recognition of learning in extracurricular environments. The multiple instruments to be designed include: collection of best practices already in place; fine-tuned and detailed definition of competences and levels; joint trainer training seminars; a wide variety of blended learning instruments to be used locally in formal and non-formal contexts during the academic year; joint intensive summer study programmes; design of evaluation instruments. Accreditation of the levels reached in each competence during the project will be given by the International Tuning Academy. All instruments will be published and made fully available as open educational resources throughout and after the project. Dissemination and multiplier events will also be organised, notably through international university networks. The project has brought together a prestigious and complementary group of partners, including leading world experts in the fields covered.

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