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European Multimodal and Digital Education for Language Learning
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: Aug 31, 2019 PROJECT  ONGOING 

Context/background:Digital literacy and proficiency in English for international communication are essential requirements for graduates’ access to today’s European labour market. While the two are often held separate in higher education curricula, there is a strong need for designing courses that integrate abilities for the creation and critical interpretation of multimodal digital texts in English, such as weblogs, websites, CVs, corporate and user-generated videos, and video-based interactions. Objectives:The project aims to design, implement and test a transnational joint syllabus that integrates multimodal digital literacy and English for international communication. It will also produce data to develop a Common Framework of Reference for Digital Literacy (CFRDiL). Number and profile of participants6 higher education institutions: Università di Messina (Italy); University of Leeds (UK); Università di Firenze (Italy); Aarhus Universitet (Denmark); Università di Roma-Tor Vergata (Italy); LUH-Hannover (Germany). The 3 Italian participants have experience of an analogous pilot project within the Italian context; Aarhus and Leeds will trasfer the results of the pilot into an international context. LUH will contribute through the development of the EU-MADE4LL online learning platform. Roma-TOV will be in charge of dissemination. 1 job partner, ROCCA CTL, will offer an on-site workshop and hands-on training.Description of activities(1) Creation of an open access online environment for e-learning and for storing and sharing the learning materials and students’ anonymised assignments;(2) development and implementation of a joint syllabus that includes (a) a common set of core notions, readings and activities, (b) a series of workshops, each focused on a specific digital text type and carried out through teachers’ mobility among the participant organizations, (c) assignments that enable the assessment and peer-assessment of students’ learning outcomes, and (4) evaluation of the course effectiveness;(3) evaluation of the outcomes of the joint courses and refinement of the joint syllabus;(4) students’ mobility within the dissemination of the project’s results and at the job partner professionalising workshop;(5) development of a Common Framework of Reference for Digital Literacy (CFRDiL).Methodology:The online platform will be designed by LUH by drawing on the results from the pilot project. The joint syllabus will be implemented through courses in Messina, Aarhus, Florence, Leeds and Rome-Tor Vergata by combining home teacher’s core session and guest teachers’ workshops plus the participation of the web agency ROCCA CTL. Students’ assignments will consist in (1) the production of one digital text type, (2) the analysis of their design choices applying the notions of multimodal digital literacy, and (3) students’ peer-assessment. Criticalities in current peer-assessment methods (i.e. skewed results because students know their peers) will be overcome thanks to students’ anonymous peer-assessment. Assessment of the students’ assignments will involve all teaching scholars and the results of the peer-assessment. CFRDiL will be drawn through the combination of data and descriptors will be tested and validated empirically. Results:- students’ increased confidence and competence in international communication by means of digital technologies;- students’ experience of international teaching practices;- students’ enhanced motivation for language learning and digital literacy;- teachers’ increased experience in international and teaching and coordination of joint courses;- a tool for teaching, learning and assessing digital literacy (CFRDiL). Outcomes- An online platform for replication of the course by other higher education institutions;- A validated syllabus that fulfills contemporary requirements of the labour market in multimodal digital literacy and English for international communication, made available online and applicable internationally; - Reliable assessment and peer-assessment methods and tools;- An established European network of teaching staff working in standardized digital literacy by means of CFRDiL.Impact and longer term benefitsThe joint syllabus, together with CFRDiL, will be made available as open educational resource to EU and non-EU higher educational institutions. Its adoption at a broader European level will update students’ digital literacy for international communication, and consequently enhance their employability and will enrich their Youthpass and Europass. The dissemination of the project’s results will promote education and modernization by offering feasible methods for introducing transversal competences that combine digital literacy and language learning in HE curricula; it will prompt changes in the current European language education policies, to update them to the contemporary media for international communication.
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