Erasmus+ Virtual Exchanges feasibility study - European Commission

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STUDY ON THE FEASIBILITY OF AN ERASMUS+ VIRTUAL EXCHANGE INITIATIVE Final Report

EUROPEAN COMMISSION Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture

European Commission B-1049 Brussels

© European Union, 2017

EUROPEAN COMMISSION

STUDY ON THE FEASIBILITY OF AN ERASMUS+ VIRTUAL EXCHANGE INITIATIVE Final Report

[edited by] PPMI Gedimino av. 50 LT-01110 Vilnius, Lithuania www.ppmi.lt DEMOKRATIE & DIALOG YOUTH POLICY LABS Scharnhorststr. 28/29 D-10115 Berlin, Germany www.youthpolicy.org

This document has been prepared for the European Commission; however, it reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein

Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture 2017

Erasmus+ Virtual Exchanges

EN

Table of Contents List of tables, figures and boxes ......................................................................... 8 Abstract ............................................................................................................ 11 Executive summary ........................................................................................... 11 An online community that is safe and funny, positive and sincere ........................... 11 Using intercultural dialogue as a starting point for political discourse and education .. 12 Using technology for a variety of engagement and exchange modes and formats ..... 12 Virtual youth exchanges: a new format and a new arena ....................................... 12 Key success factor: skilful facilitation .................................................................. 13 Key success factor: clever marketing .................................................................. 13 Key success factor: effective monitoring .............................................................. 14 Key success factor: meaningful recognition .......................................................... 14 Key success factor: engaging technology ............................................................. 14 A role model with the power, and responsibility, to take the youth sector forward .... 14 RÉSUMÉ ............................................................................................................ 15 RÉSUMÉ ANALYTIQUE ....................................................................................... 15 Une communauté en ligne sécurisée et ludique, positive et sincère ......................... 15 Utiliser le dialogue interculturel comme point de départ du discours politique et de l’éducation ...................................................................................................................... 16 Utiliser la technologie pour différentes formes d’engagement, modes et formats d’échange 16 Les échanges virtuels de jeunes : un nouveau format et une nouvelle arène ............ 17 Facteur clé de succès : une facilitation expérimentée ............................................ 17 Facteur clef de succès : un marketing intelligent .................................................. 18 Facteur clef de succès : un suivi efficace ............................................................. 18 Facteur clef de succès : une reconnaissance significative ....................................... 18 Facteur clef de succès : une technologie attirante ................................................. 19 Un modèle avec le pouvoir et la responsabilité de faire avancer le secteur de la jeunesse

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Introduction ..................................................................................................... 20 1.

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO VIRTUAL EXCHANGES .................................... 20 1.1 Setting the context ..................................................................................... 21 1.2 History of virtual exchange initiatives ............................................................ 24 1.3 Definition of virtual exchange ....................................................................... 26 1.4 Impact....................................................................................................... 28 1.5 Benefits and risks ....................................................................................... 29 1.6 Context of the Erasmus+ programme ............................................................ 30

2. The Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange (EVE) initiative ........................................... 35 2.1 EVE as a platform vs EVE as a hub ................................................................ 36 1

2.2 EVE’s value added: ensuring complementarities and filling gaps ........................ 38 2.3 Preconditions for success and key risks .......................................................... 40 2.5 EVE timeline ............................................................................................... 43 3. Participants .................................................................................................. 45 3.1 The purpose and approach of this chapter ...................................................... 45 What do we want to achieve? ......................................................................... 45 What are the key challenges? ......................................................................... 45 How will we achieve it? .................................................................................. 45 3.2 The first encounter with the platform ............................................................. 46 How should we shape the first impression of the platform? ................................. 46 How can we convince platform visitors to register on EVE? ................................. 47 How should participants register? .................................................................... 48 What are the risks at registration?................................................................... 48 What distinction should EVE make between individual users and group users? ...... 49 Which best registration practices are recommended for EVE? .............................. 49 3.3 The first actions of newly registered users on the platform ............................... 50 Should EVE offer low-threshold activities to newly registered users? .................... 50 How are digital natives using and learning on the internet? ................................ 50 How are different types of young people acting and engaging online? .................. 51 How can gamification be used to increase engagement? .................................... 52 Which types of low-threshold activities should EVE offer? ................................... 52 How could a thematic focus look like and work? ................................................ 53 3.4 Using the platform to participate in virtual exchanges ...................................... 53 Which introductory exchanges should EVE offer? ............................................... 53 How shall participants be able to search through exchange opportunities? ............ 53 How will communication with other platform users look like? .............................. 53 How will participants interact with the platform’s facilitators? .............................. 54 How will participants be able to share their ideas for new virtual exchanges? ........ 54 How will participants find collaborators for an exchange idea? ............................. 54 How will participants co-create a virtual exchange? ........................................... 54 What will be the outcomes and insights from an exchange? ................................ 54 How can users relate their own insights to those of others? ................................ 54 What will be the final moments on/with the platform? ........................................ 55 3.5 Summary ................................................................................................... 55 4. Content of exchanges ................................................................................... 56 4.1 The purpose and approach of this chapter ...................................................... 56 What do we want to achieve? ......................................................................... 56 What are the key challenges? ......................................................................... 56 How will we achieve it? .................................................................................. 56 4.2 The potential of thematic priorities ................................................................ 56 Can thematic priorities address one of EVE’s main dilemmas? ............................. 56 4.3 Showcasing thematic priorities: a case study of music ..................................... 57 Rationale for music as a thematic priority ......................................................... 57 2

Content and formats of exchanges .................................................................. 57 Marketing ..................................................................................................... 59 Diplomacy .................................................................................................... 60 Partnerships ................................................................................................. 60 Recognition .................................................................................................. 61 4.4 Choosing thematic priorities ......................................................................... 61 4.5 Youth exchanges in action ............................................................................ 61 Introductory exchanges ................................................................................. 62 Short thematic exchanges .............................................................................. 62 Long thematic exchanges ............................................................................... 62 4.6 Summary ................................................................................................... 63 5.2 The EVE Facilitation Approach (EFA) .............................................................. 64 6. Marketing the initiative ................................................................................. 77 6.1 The purpose of the Marketing Strategy .......................................................... 77 What do we want to achieve? ......................................................................... 77 How will we achieve it? .................................................................................. 77 What are the key challenges? ......................................................................... 77 What does it mean to attract 200,000 users to EVE? ......................................... 78 6.2 Group Segmentation ................................................................................... 78 Why segment the target population? ............................................................... 78 How to segment the target population? ............................................................ 79 Reaching out to people at risk and those already excluded from the mainstream society? .................................................................................................................. 80 6.3 Channel Identification .................................................................................. 82 What marketing channels could be used for EVE purposes? ................................ 82 What institutional partnerships could be formed for EVE marketing purposes? ...... 84 6.4 Motivation .................................................................................................. 85 What are the main motivations to join EVE? ..................................................... 85 6.5 Developing Messages .................................................................................. 87 What do we communicate? ............................................................................. 87 What differentiates EVE from other platforms? .................................................. 87 How do we communicate the EVE’s message? ................................................... 88 6.6 What are the key marketing risks? ................................................................ 88 6.7 Development and implementation of marketing strategy .................................. 89 How do we organise EVE marketing? ............................................................... 89 How do we monitor the effectiveness of EVE marketing? .................................... 89 6.8 Summary ................................................................................................... 89 7. Recognising learning .................................................................................... 91 7.1 The purpose and approach of this chapter ...................................................... 91 What do we want to achieve? ......................................................................... 91 Why is it important? ...................................................................................... 91 What are the key challenges? ......................................................................... 91 How will we achieve it? .................................................................................. 91 3

7.2 Non-formal and informal recognition ............................................................. 91 7.3.1 Systemic recognition tools for non-formal and informal learning ..................... 92 Why are systemic recognition tools relevant for EVE? ........................................ 92 Which systemic recognition tools are the most relevant for EVE? ......................... 92 How should EVE use these systemic recognition tools? ....................................... 93 7.3.2 Platform-specific recognition tools for non-formal and informal learning .......... 93 Why are platform-specific recognition tools relevant for EVE? ............................. 93 Which platform-specific recognition tools are the most relevant for EVE? .............. 93 How should EVE use platform-specific recognition tools? .................................... 94 7.3.3 Motivational recognition tools for non-formal and informal learning ................ 94 Why are motivational recognition tools relevant for EVE? ................................... 94 Which systemic motivational tools are the most relevant for EVE? ....................... 94 Which platform-specific motivational tools are interesting for EVE? ...................... 94 How should EVE use motivational recognition tools? .......................................... 94 7.4 The role of formal recognition ....................................................................... 96 What are the most relevant formal recognition frameworks? ............................... 96 How could EVE contribute to formal recognition? ............................................... 97 7.5 Key risks .................................................................................................... 98 7.6 Summary ................................................................................................... 98 8. Support materials ........................................................................................ 99 8.1 The purpose and approach of this chapter ...................................................... 99 What do we want to achieve? ......................................................................... 99 What are the key challenges? ......................................................................... 99 How will we achieve it? .................................................................................. 99 8.2 General approach to support materials .......................................................... 99 How will thematic priorities shape support materials? ........................................ 99 How will the flipped classroom model shape support materials? .........................100 How will support materials deal with multiple languages? ..................................100 8.3 Support materials on facilitation ..................................................................100 What facilitation support materials are needed for the core group of facilitators? ...100 What facilitation support materials are needed for EVE Facilitation Network? .........101 What facilitation support materials are needed for EVE users? ...............................102 8.4 Technology support materials ......................................................................102 What technology support materials are needed for the core group of facilitators? .....102 What technology support materials are needed for the EVE Facilitation Network? .....102 What technology support materials are needed for EVE users? ...............................103 8.5 Summary ..................................................................................................103 9. Ensuring quality .......................................................................................... 103 9.1 The purpose and approach of this chapter .....................................................103 What do we want to achieve? ........................................................................103 What are the key challenges? ........................................................................103 How will we achieve it? .................................................................................104 4

9.2 Quality in non-formal education ...................................................................104 How is quality in non-formal education defined? ...............................................104 9.3 Quality in intercultural education..................................................................106 How is quality in intercultural education defined? .............................................106 9.4 Quality in e-learning ...................................................................................107 How is quality in e-learning defined? ..............................................................107 9.5 Quality assurance guidelines for EVE ............................................................107 Which quality guidelines should EVE adhere to? ...............................................107 9.5.1 Governance and management of EVE .....................................................108 9.5.2

Recruitment and selection of facilitators .............................................108

9.5.3

Registration and exclusion of users ...................................................108

9.5.4

Contents and methods of exchanges .................................................108

9.5.5

Recognition of learning during exchanges ..........................................109

9.5.6 Technology and security of the platform .................................................109 9.5.7

Marketing, public relations and diplomacy ..........................................109

9.5.8

Monitoring and evaluation ................................................................109

9.6 Summary ..................................................................................................109 10. Monitoring and evaluation ........................................................................ 110 10.1 The purpose of monitoring and evaluation ...................................................110 What do we want to achieve? ........................................................................110 What are the main challenges? ......................................................................110 The key building blocks .................................................................................110 10.2 Finalising the rationale of EVE ....................................................................110 What is EVE about? ......................................................................................110 10.3 Intervention logic of the EVE initiative.........................................................111 10.4 Measuring outputs and results ...................................................................114 How do we measure the quantity of outputs of the initiative? ............................114 How do we measure the quantity of results of the EVE initiative? .......................114 How do we measure the quality of outputs and results? ....................................115 10.5 Measuring outcomes .................................................................................116 How do we measure change in cultural attitudes? ............................................117 How do we measure changing skills? ..............................................................120 Which of these methods are best suitable for EVE? ...........................................123 What should the cycle of outcome measurement look like? ................................123 10.6 Evaluation synthesising the data on outputs, results and impacts ...................124 10.7 Institutional responsibilities .......................................................................124 Who will be in charge of monitoring and evaluation? .........................................124 Who are the stakeholders or users of monitoring and evaluation? ......................124 10.8 Summary ................................................................................................125 11. Technology ............................................................................................... 126 11.1 The purpose and approach of this chapter ...................................................126 What do we want to achieve? ........................................................................126 What are the key challenges? ........................................................................126 5

How will we achieve it? .................................................................................126 11.2 The technology of EVE: main premises........................................................126 11.3 Key Challenge 1: An excellent video solution ...............................................128 Looking beyond what’s available today ...........................................................128 How well does WebRTC work today? ...............................................................129 11.4 Key Challenge 2: Scaling the video solution .................................................132 How can WebRTC be scaled for EVE’s usage scenario? ......................................132 11.5 Key Challenge 3: Automated translation of real-time video ............................135 11.6 EVE’s technological base: comparing open-source platforms ..........................136 Which platform is the best starting point for EVE? ............................................136 11.7 A separate solution for the pilot phase? .......................................................138 11.8 Summary ................................................................................................138 12. Diplomatic issues ...................................................................................... 139 12.1 The purpose of EVE’s public diplomacy ........................................................139 What do we want to achieve? ........................................................................139 Why is it important? .....................................................................................139 What are the key challenges? ........................................................................139 How will we achieve it? .................................................................................139 12.2 Level of individuals ...................................................................................139 What are the principles of selecting themes and facilitators? ..............................139 Registering participants and following a code of conduct ...................................140 12.3 Systemic level .........................................................................................141 How could EVE become a successful tool of EU’s soft power? .............................141 Partnerships are at the core of public diplomacy...............................................142 What is the potential regional scope of EVE? ....................................................142 Examples of sensitive issues in the Eastern European region .............................143 Examples of sensitive issues in Western Balkan region ......................................143 Examples of sensitive issues in the South Mediterranean and Middle East ...........144 What common themes/ topics could engage young people from different regions?145 12.4 Key risks .................................................................................................145 12.5 Summary ................................................................................................145 13. Costs of the EVE initiative and physical Youth exchanges ......................... 147 13.1 Estimated costs of the EVE initiative ...........................................................147 What do we want to achieve? ........................................................................147 What are the estimated overall costs for EVE? .................................................147 How do the costs of EVE compare to other platforms of virtual exchanges? .........147 How have we calculated the costs for the facilitation of EVE? .............................148 How have we calculated the costs for the marketing of EVE? .............................149 How have we calculated the costs for the support of EVE? .................................149 How have we calculated the costs for the technology of EVE? ............................150 13.2 Costs of physical Youth Exchanges .............................................................151 What do we want to achieve? ........................................................................151 6

What are the key features of the physical Youth Exchanges? .............................151 How are costs of physical Youth Exchanges calculated? .....................................151 Potential costs of physical Youth Exchanges: six scenarios ................................153 13.3 Comparison between estimated costs of virtual and physical youth exchanges .155 Annexes .......................................................................................................... 164 Annex 1. List of interviewees ............................................................................164 Annex 2. Sample interview questions .................................................................168 Annex 3. List of the platforms reviewed ..............................................................174 Annex 4. Selected sources ................................................................................176 POLICY DOCUMENTS ....................................................................................176 RESEARCH DOCUMENTS ...............................................................................176 Annex 5. List of potential partners operating in EVE countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region) ........................................................................................184 Annex 6. Youth population size in countries likely to participate (including youth in Secondary or Tertiary education) ......................................................................................192 Annex 7. Foreign-born immigrants in youth populations in Member States and other Erasmus+ countries .........................................................................................196 Annex 8. People with disability in youth populations in Member States and other Erasmus+ countries ........................................................................................................198 Annex 9. Early leavers from education and training in youth populations in Member States and other Erasmus+ countries ................................................................................200 Annex 10. Percentage of youth not in employment, education or training (NEET) in selected Member States and other Erasmus+ countries ....................................................201 Annex 11. Youth populations living in rural areas in Member States .......................203 Annex 12. Platforms reviewed ...........................................................................204 HIGHER EDUCATION SETTINGS .....................................................................204 ADULT LEARNING.........................................................................................223 SCHOOL SETTINGS ......................................................................................228 YOUTH ........................................................................................................253 LANGUAGE LEARNING ..................................................................................257 COMMERCIAL PLATFORMS .............................................................................267 Annex 13. Potential costs of the physical Youth Exchanges: six scenarios ...............273

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List of tables, figures and boxes Tables TABLE 1. BENEFITS AND RISKS OF VIRTUAL EXCHANGES ................................................................. 29 TABLE 2. RELEVANT PERFORMANCE INDICATORS OF THE ERASMUS+ PROGRAMME .................................... 31 TABLE 3. BENEFITS AND RISKS OF THE PLATFORM AND THE HUB MODEL ............................................... 36 TABLE 4. KEY VALUE-ADDED ELEMENTS OF EVE ........................................................................... 38 TABLE 5. POTENTIAL POLITICAL, ETHICAL AND SOCIETAL TOPICS ....................................................... 57 TABLE 6. SAMPLE MUSIC SPECIFIC EXCHANGES TOPICS................................................................... 58 TABLE 7. YOUTH POPULATION IN SECONDARY OR TERTIARY EDUCATION ............................................... 78 TABLE 8. KEY CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SEVEN CLUSTERS............................................................... 79 TABLE 9. KEY BARRIERS TO JOINING EVE FOR PEOPLE AT RISK AND THOSE ALREADY EXCLUDED FROM THE MAINSTREAM SOCIETY ................................................................................................... 81 TABLE 10. USER MOTIVATIONS TO PARTICIPATE ON EVE VIRTUAL EXCHANGES ....................................... 86 TABLE 11. MARKETING RISKS AND ACTIONS TO ADDRESS THEM ........................................................ 88 TABLE 12. E-LEARNING QUALITY INDICATORS ............................................................................ 107 TABLE 13. COMPARISON OF IMPACT MEASUREMENT METHODS .......................................................... 123 TABLE 14. COMPARISON OF EXISTING OPEN SOURCE SOCIAL PLATFORMS............................................. 136 TABLE 15. THE OVERALL ESTIMATED COSTS FOR EVE IN THE YEARS 2017-2020 .................................. 147 TABLE 16. FACILITATION-RELATED COSTS UNDER THREE SCENARIOS ................................................. 148 TABLE 17. MARKETING COST BREAKDOWN ................................................................................ 149 TABLE 18. SUPPORT COSTS BREAKDOWN .................................................................................. 149 TABLE 19. TECHNOLOGY COSTS BREAKDOWN ............................................................................. 150 TABLE 20. FUNDING RULES OF THE PHYSICAL YOUTH EXCHANGES ..................................................... 152 TABLE 21. HYPOTHETICAL YOUTH EXCHANGES AND THEIR COSTS ..................................................... 153 TABLE 22. KEY NUMBERS OF THE PHYSICAL YOUTH EXCHANGES IN 2014 ............................................ 155 TABLE 23. COST OF VIRTUAL EXCHANGES (PER EXCHANGE) ............................................................ 156 TABLE 24. SUMMARY TABLE COMPARING ESTIMATED COSTS OF VIRTUAL AND PHYSICAL YOUTH EXCHANGES ..... 157 TABLE 25. THE OVERALL ESTIMATED COSTS FOR EVE IN THE YEARS 2017 - 2020 ................................ 163

Figures FIGURE 1. A TIMELINE OF VIRTUAL EXCHANGES ........................................................................... 26 FIGURE 2. VISUALISATION OF VE DEFINITION BY THE VIRTUAL EXCHANGE COALITION .............................. 26 FIGURE 3. STRUCTURE OF PREDECESSOR PROGRAMMES AND THE ERASMUS+ PROGRAMME ......................... 31 FIGURE 4. INITIAL GEOGRAPHIC SCOPE OF THE EVE INITIATIVE ........................................................ 35 FIGURE 5. STAGES OF EVE'S DEVELOPMENT ............................................................................... 44 FIGURE 6. BADGES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA IN DAVIS...................................................... 94 FIGURE 7. BADGES USED BY RWA, A TRAINING CONSULTANCY IN THE FINANCE SECTOR ............................ 95 FIGURE 8. BADGES USED BY MOZILLA FOR THEIR WEBMAKER PROJECT ................................................ 95 8

FIGURE 9. INTERVENTION LOGIC OF THE EVE INITIATIVE ............................................................... 112 FIGURE 10. OPERATIONALISATION OF CULTURAL ATTITUDES ........................................................... 118 FIGURE 11. IN-BROWSER VIDEO CHAT (SIMILAR TO MICROSOFT SKYPE, GOOGLE HANGOUTS) ................... 129 FIGURE 12. PEER-2-PEER VIDEO CONFERENCE WITH 2 PARTIES: NO PLUGINS NEEDED, WORKS IN STANDARD BROWSER ................................................................................................................ 130 FIGURE 13. PEER-2-PEER VIDEO CONFERENCE WITH THREE PARTIES: NO PLUGINS NEEDED, WORKS IN STANDARD BROWSER ................................................................................................................ 131 FIGURE 14. OPEN SOURCE KURENTO MEDIA SERVER: ADVANCED MEDIA PROCESSING OF MEDIA SERVERS ..... 132 FIGURE 15. NUBOMEDIA'S SOFTWARE ARCHITECTURE ................................................................... 133 FIGURE 16. GEOGRAPHIC SCOPE OF THE EASTERN EUROPEAN REGION................................................ 143 FIGURE 17. GEOGRAPHIC SCOPE OF THE WESTERN BALKAN REGION .................................................. 143 FIGURE 18. GEOGRAPHIC SCOPE OF THE SOUTH MEDITERRANEAN AND MIDDLE EAST REGIONS .................. 144

Boxes BOX 1. EXAMPLES OF WEB SURVEY QUESTIONS TO MEASURE CHANGES IN PARTICIPANT’S TRANSVERSAL SKILLS 121

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List of abbreviations D&D

Demokratie & Dialog e.V. / Youthpolicy.org

DG EAC

Directorate-General for Education and Culture

EACEA

Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency

ECRI

European Commission against Racism and Intolerance

EEAS

European External Action Service

EFN

EVE Facilitation Network

EHEA

European Higher Education Area

EPALE

ePlatform for Adult Learning in Europe

EU

European Union

EVE

Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange

EVS

European Voluntary Service

ICT

Information and communications technology

iEARN

International Education and Resource Network

IT

Information technology

JRC

Joint Research Centre

LLP

Lifelong Learning Programme

MENA

Middle East and North Africa

NGO

Non-governmental organisation

OLS

Online Linguistic Support

PPMI

Public Policy and Management Institute

QMS

Quality Management System

VE

Virtual Exchange

WCAG

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

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Abstract The European Commission has tasked the Public Policy and Management Institute and Youth Policy Labs with exploring the feasibility of Erasmus+ virtual youth exchanges. Virtual exchanges complement physical exchange programmes by offering young people online access to some of the same benefits. These include developing cultural awareness, soft skills, and contributing to a more inclusive climate in Europe and beyond. In this feasibility study, our research team examines conditions for success and central risk factors, and looks at key aspects of virtual youth exchanges, from marketing and facilitation to diplomacy and technology. The feasibility study demonstrates that with the right tools, choices and resources, virtual youth exchanges can become a resounding success. Erasmus+ Virtual Exchanges will create an engaging and safe online community at eve.org, where young people can participate in facilitated discussions that increase their intercultural awareness and extend their intercultural competences through non-formal learning. The extension of international exchanges from the physical to the virtual world has the potential to significantly increase the number of young people who can participate in and benefit from them.

Executive summary EVE (Erasmus+ Virtual Exchanges) platform will benefit from starting at a point in time when virtual exchanges are no longer an entirely novel format. Online engagement of young people is at an all-time high and projected to grow, and the geopolitical situation in many countries increasingly constrains access to physical exchange opportunities in particular for young people outside of Europe. Making virtual youth exchanges successful through EVE will depend on the consortium selected for its implementation as well as the Commission’s operational management. Ideally, the tenderers selected will be firmly embedded in the youth sector, technologically innovative, and close to young people’s online and offline cultures. These factors highlight the importance of reaching out and working together with young and agile organisations: social start-ups, think tanks and non-profits. New partnerships must be forged, and a culture established of cooperation on an equal footing between partners that are not used to working with one another. The EU commitment to provide sufficient resources and to chart new paths for managing implementation of the EVE platform is a recurring theme throughout this report. It reflects the reaction we have often encountered in interviews and discussions, and which is underpinned by the meticulous work presented in this report: a mixture of profound enthusiasm for the idea, and a lurking doubt as to whether an institutional environment is the best framework for this idea to succeed. We hope that our report captures equally the fascination for EVE and the need for committed institutional leadership and agile management to implement the programme. We are confident that this study contains the necessary analyses and tools to do so, and look forward to seeing virtual youth exchanges become a success across and beyond Europe.

An online community that is safe and funny, positive and sincere EVE aims to create a safe and fun online community at eve.org, where young people will participate in facilitated discussions designed to increase their intercultural awareness and extend their intercultural competences through non-formal learning. The platform will involve young people aged 13-30 from all parts of society, paying particular attention to the involvement of those at a greater risk of exclusion. Participants will come from all Erasmus+ programme countries; the European Union’s neighbouring regions (Eastern Europe, Western Balkans, South Mediterranean); and the Middle East. EVE will draw on thematic priorities to debate and shape each and every topic and question that young people wish to explore. We use the example of music throughout this study to illustrate 11

how thematic priorities should play out, and we suggest using music as the theme for EVE’s pilot phase, with subsequent priority themes to be chosen by EVE users.

Using intercultural dialogue as a starting point for political discourse and education Music, film, sports or food could easily be mistaken for shallow topics, and a thematic approach could be dismissed as curtailing the discussion of controversial themes. However, we recommend using each theme as a common starting point for discussions, and a shared reference throughout a year. While not every virtual youth exchange is expected to address an overtly political question, diving into young Spanish rap becomes political just as quickly as exploring female Arabic hip-hop. The politics of music (or film, sports, food) will ensure that the intercultural dialogue at eve.org addresses the big questions of our time. EVE’s ambition is to enable this without forcing everyone to use these questions as their individual point of departure or arrival. Paired with the explicit wish to encourage political dialogue is the ambition to explore and appreciate the beauty and diversity of Europe and its neighbouring regions, beyond the political. Working with thematic priorities means that EVE can explore the work of young musicians, filmmakers, athletes, cooks or writers. Each thematic priority will become a tour of discovery. EVE will provide not only an opportunity to engage with youth from around the world, but also a platform for emerging young voices to be heard.

Using technology for a variety of engagement and exchange modes and formats The Commission’s initiative to launch virtual youth exchanges arrives not only at a time of need, but also of technological opportunity. We are on the cusp of video technology that can be viewed without plugins, using any browser. This promises to make virtual youth exchanges easy, accessible, and fun. These exciting technical opportunities are complemented by an explorative online culture and mindset. To invite inquisitive users to explore the world of virtual youth exchanges, EVE will be able to offer an array of gradual engagement options, rather than imposing a single way of doing so. We suggest building a viable video solution using WebRTC, short for ‘Web Real-Time Communication’, a set of definitions, protocols, and tools for browser-to-browser applications, including video calling, without the need for internal or external plugins. The WebRTC framework already supports most major browsers and platforms, mobile as well as traditional. The missing WebKit/Safari adaptation is under active development and expected to be finalised in 2017. WebRTC has the potential to deliver everything the Tender Specifications require, relating in particular to the ease of use and the ease of load. It also adheres to principles that are important for the youth sector’s approach to online learning and digital youth work, in particular in relation to open source and privacy protection.

Virtual youth exchanges: a new format and a new arena EVE exchanges for individual young people as well as youth groups will bring a new format to youth exchanges and virtual exchanges alike. Without predetermining the ways in which this new format would be populated, or come to be defined over time, this feasibility study needed to capture the essentials of the initiative. For this purpose, we have developed the following working definition to inform our research:

“Virtual youth exchanges are participatory, voluntary, intentional, technology-driven, non-formal learning programmes”. More specifically, virtual youth exchanges should be:   12

Participatory: fostering learner-centred and learner-driven approaches and methods Voluntary: building on and sustained by the inherent motivation of exchange participants

 

Intentional: based on learning objectives, structured, facilitated, supported, and recognised Technology-driven: enabled, and pushed forward by, increasing technical possibilities

The working definition, and this feasibility study more generally, builds on the experiences of the youth sector in conducting physical youth exchanges, as well as the virtual exchange community in conducting online exchanges.

Key success factor: skilful facilitation Recruiting sufficient numbers of well-trained, motivated and capable facilitators is fundamental to the success of this initiative. We recommend establishing the EVE Facilitation Network (EFN) to organise, optimise, and oversee the work of the facilitators on the platform. To be successful, EVE requires an active online community of dedicated facilitators. Across all exchange formats and durations, which range from introductory teaser sessions to full-fledged multi-session exchanges, EVE will need to mobilise a total of around 400,000 facilitation hours by 2020. We have compared three scenarios for covering these 400,000 hours. After careful consideration and discussions with the feasibility study Steering Committee, we recommend initiating the EVE Facilitation Network with 500 facilitators, 350 of whom would work as freelancers and be paid in line with European youth sector standards. The additional 150 would be volunteers remunerated with an annual stipend. We suggest the process begins by assembling a core group of 50 facilitation professionals through an open call. These will become the guardians of the EVE Facilitation Network, training new facilitators, overseeing all facilitation, mediating conflicts and ensuring consistency, quality and coherence. The core group itself needs to be trained and, as a group, needs to develop online facilitation approaches, draft codes of conduct including responses to hate speech. It must also design training modules for online facilitators, agree on responsibilities for selection procedures, and much more, for which we have foreseen the necessary human and financial resources. We consider it crucial that the training model for the entire facilitation network finds a balance between the intensity of the initial training (the longer the training, the better prepared facilitators will be) and the appeal of EVE’s Facilitation Network (the longer the training, the higher the hurdle to join). With this in mind, we suggest that each facilitator should undergo an initial training of 16 hours. We have developed and described a model for facilitator training that relies on a learner-centred methodology, very much in accordance with the principles of nonformal education.

Key success factor: clever marketing EVE’s ambitious goal is to attract over 200,000 young people by the end of 2019. Developing a creative marketing strategy is an essential step in achieving this. By analysing segments, channels, motivations and risks, the feasibility study presents a marketing framework that can easily be adapted to each thematic priority. We recommend communicating two major sets of participation benefits to target users: developing 21 st century employment skills, and discussing matters that are important to youth in local and global arenas. The focus of the EVE initiative on developing 21st century employment skills, including linguistic flexibility, digital competencies, openness to new ideas, creativity, and the ability to communicate and collaborate with people from diverse cultural backgrounds, is perceived as valuable both in Europe and in regions beyond. Many motivations to use EVE, such as meeting new people from different cultures, developing creativity, teamwork and other skills valued at the 21st century workplaces, are covered by this set of participation benefits. EVE’s commitment to enabling youth to discuss matters that are important to them, both in local and global arenas, suggests EVE could also be presented as a platform striving for societal change. It also offers an opportunity to discuss serious matters in a facilitated global virtual environment. This set of benefits is well-aligned with user motivations to engage in a dialogue about Europe, its future, and its relation to, and position in the world. It also engages users’ willingness to improve 13

the world they live in. However, contribution to change might be part of EVE’s rationale in Europe, but has to be approached with great care in countries beyond the EU.

Key success factor: effective monitoring The initiative should be monitored regularly, and assessed on three levels: outputs, results and outcomes. We recommend measuring direct outputs, such as functionalities of EVE’s online platform, number of facilitators recruited, or exchange materials prepared, as well as the immediate effects of an intervention, such as exchanges attended and numbers of participants involved. For the outcome measures, we suggest focusing on two major questions: how participants’ attitudes and skills change, and whether there is a causal relationship between EVE intervention and this change. We review existing methods for measuring attitudinal changes, such as surveys, psycho-physiological tests and implicit attitude tests. In addition to the regular measurement of EVE’s outputs, results and outcomes, we recommend conducting synthetic evaluations (e.g. interim, final) of EVE’s intervention as a whole. This will include data on all outputs, results and outcomes, and will assess them in relation to the intervention’s objectives, inputs and activities.

Key success factor: meaningful recognition Although EVE will not itself offer a formally accredited educational programme, it will provide various learning recognition options. To this end, this feasibility study explores non-formal and informal recognition tools as well as recognition tools for formal education. We recommend that Youthpass be integrated into the EVE platform and customised for EVE users. We also advise designing a set of Open Badges to further motivate EVE users. Lastly, we suggest that a recognition handbook be developed for facilitators with standard templates for learning agreements, and standard formulas for calculating the workload of exchanges. This would support the transfer of learning achievements into formal education accreditation systems.

Key success factor: engaging technology Any community needs a space with which its various members can identify. It makes little difference whether the community exists exclusively online, exclusively offline, or uses both onand offline spaces. From the local youth club to the global Wikipedia movement, successful communities have a place they call home. For EVE, we envisage that an attractive digital online home should include:    

A simple and memorable web domain, preferably eve.org Appealing web design, tailored to the target audience An inviting online platform that members look forward to returning to An unobtrusive platform that operates proficiently in the background

A role model with the power, and responsibility, to take the youth sector forward To be successful, at scale, in advancing intercultural dialogue, improving young people’s skillsets, and contributing to a more inclusive climate in Europe and beyond, EVE must be absolutely remarkable. In achieving this, it has the chance – and the responsibility – to take a leading role in guiding the entire youth sector forward. In particular, we recommend pursuing this role in areas where infrastructure is currently weak, and where with little additional investment, the entire youth sector could benefit enormously. This is particularly relevant to the area of learning recognition. Here, we recommend that EVE takes on the role of a badge issuer and backpack service provider. In the area of exchange technology, we recommend that EVE releases all software developed for its purpose and contributes to the open source community. In the area of exchange facilitation, where we recommend that all support material is made available with Creative Commons licenses. 14

Implemented correctly, EVE has the potential not only to become the leading platform for virtual youth exchanges in Europe and its neighbouring regions, but also a global pioneer in both the youth sector and the virtual exchange scene.

RÉSUMÉ La Commission Européenne a confié au Public Policy and Management Institute et à Youth Policy Labs une étude de faisabilité concernant les échanges virtuels de jeunes Erasmus+. Les échanges virtuels complètent les programmes d’échanges physiques en offrant aux jeunes un accès en ligne à certains des mêmes avantages. Ceux-ci incluent le développement de la conscience culturelle et des compétences relationnelles et la contribution à un climat plus inclusif en Europe et au-delà. Dans l’étude de faisabilité, notre équipe de recherche examine les conditions de succès et les facteurs de risques principaux et met en évidence les aspects clef des échanges virtuels de jeunes comme le marketing et la facilitation, la diplomatie et la technologie. L’étude de faisabilité démontre qu’avec les bons outils, choix et ressources, les échanges virtuels de jeunes peuvent avoir un succès retentissant. Erasmus+ Virtual Exchanges créera une communauté en ligne attrayante et sûre sur eve.org, où les jeunes pourront participer à des discussions facilitées leur permettant d’accroître et d’élargir leur conscience et leurs compétences interculturelles par un apprentissage non formel. L’extension des échanges internationaux du monde physique au monde virtuel a le potentiel d’augmenter significativement le nombre de jeunes pouvant y participer et en tirer profit.

RÉSUMÉ ANALYTIQUE La plateforme Erasmus+ Virtual Exchanges (EVE) bénéficiera du fait de démarrer à une époque où les échanges virtuels ne sont plus un format complètement nouveau. L’engagement des jeunes en ligne est à un niveau record et devrait continuer de croître, alors que la situation géopolitique dans de nombreux pays limite de plus en plus l’accès aux opportunités d’échanges physiques, en particulier pour les jeunes en dehors de l’Europe. Le succès des échanges virtuels de jeunes à travers EVE dépendra du consortium sélectionné pour sa mise en œuvre ainsi que de la gestion opérationnelle de la Commission européenne. Dans un contexte idéal, les soumissionnaires sélectionnés seront solidement implantés dans le secteur de la jeunesse, innovants au niveau technologique et proches des cultures en ligne et hors ligne des jeunes. Ces facteurs mettent en évidence l’importance de tendre la main et de travailler avec des organisations jeunes et dynamiques : des nouvelles entreprises sociales, groupes de réflexion et entreprises à but non lucratif. De nouveaux partenariats doivent être mis en place, ainsi qu’une culture de coopération établie sur un pied d’égalité entre des partenaires n’ayant pas l’habitude de travailler ensemble. L’engagement de l’UE de fournir suffisamment de ressources et de planifier de nouveaux moyens pour gérer la mise en œuvre de la plateforme EVE est un sujet récurrent tout au long de ce rapport. Il reflète la réaction que nous avons souvent rencontrée lors d’entretiens et de discussions, et qui est étayée par le travail méticuleux présenté dans ce rapport : un mélange d’enthousiasme profond autour du projet, ainsi qu’un doute latent que l’environnement institutionnel présente la meilleure trame pour conduire au succès de cette idée. Nous espérons que notre rapport mettra aussi bien en évidence la fascination pour EVE que la nécessité de l’engagement d’une direction institutionnelle et d’une gestion dynamique pour la mise en place du programme. Nous sommes certains que cette étude contient les analyses et outils nécessaires, et sommes impatients de constater le succès des échanges virtuels de jeunes en Europe et au-delà.

Une communauté en ligne sécurisée et ludique, positive et sincère EVE vise la mise en place d’une communauté en ligne sécurisée et ludique sur eve.org, où les jeunes pourront participer à des discussions animées étudiées pour augmenter et élargir leur conscience et leurs compétences interculturelles par un apprentissage non formel. 15

La plateforme s’adressera à des jeunes de 13 à 30 ans issus de toutes catégories sociales, tout en portant une attention particulière à la contribution de ceux courant le plus grand risque d’exclusion. Les participants seront ressortissants de tous les pays participant au programme Erasmus+ ; des régions voisines de l’UE (Europe de l’Est, Balkans occidentaux, pays du sud de la Méditerranée) ; et du Moyen-Orient. EVE s’appuiera sur des priorités thématiques pour organiser le débat et donner une forme à chacun des sujets et à toutes les questions que les jeunes souhaitent aborder. Dans la présente étude, nous prenons l’exemple de la musique pour illustrer le rôle des priorités thématiques. Nous suggérons l’utilisation de la musique comme thème principal pour la phase pilote d’EVE. Les thèmes prioritaires suivants pourront être choisis par les utilisateurs d’EVE.

Utiliser le dialogue interculturel comme point de départ du discours politique et de l’éducation La musique, le cinéma, le sport ou l’alimentation pourraient facilement être considérés comme sujets superficiels, et une approche thématique pourrait être rejetée comme limitant la discussion sur des sujets controversés. Cependant, nous recommandons l’utilisation de chaque thème comme point de départ général pour les discussions, et comme référence partagée tout au long de l’année. Alors que l’on ne saurait attendre d’un échange virtuel de jeunes qu’il concerne ouvertement une question politique, se plonger dans le rap espagnol devient rapidement aussi politique qu’explorer le hip hop arabe féminin. A travers le dialogue interculturel, eve.org traitera des grandes questions politiques de notre temps liées à la musique, au cinéma, au sport, ou à l’alimentation. L’ambition d’EVE est de permettre cela sans obliger chacun à utiliser ces questions comme point de départ ou d’arrivée personnel. L’ambition d’explorer et d’apprécier la beauté et la diversité de l’Europe et de ses régions voisines au-delà de l’aspect politique va de pair avec le souhait explicite d’encourager le dialogue politique. Travailler avec des priorités thématiques signifie qu’EVE peut explorer le travail de jeunes musiciens, cinéastes, athlètes, cuisiniers ou écrivains. Chaque priorité thématique deviendra un voyage de découvertes. EVE fournira non seulement une opportunité d’engager le dialogue avec des jeunes des quatre coins du monde, mais aussi une plate-forme permettant d’entendre de jeunes voix émergeantes.

Utiliser la technologie pour différentes formes d’engagement, modes et formats d’échange L’initiative de la Commission de lancer une plateforme d’échanges virtuels de jeunes intervient non seulement à un moment où ces échanges deviennent nécessaires mais aussi où l’opportunité technologique existe. Nous sommes à l’aube de l’émergence d’une technologie vidéo pouvant être utilisée sans plugin et avec n’importe quel navigateur. Cela promet de rendre les échanges virtuels de jeunes faciles, accessibles et ludiques. Ces opportunités techniques passionnantes sont complétées par une culture et un état d’esprit d’explorateur en ligne. Pour inviter les utilisateurs curieux à explorer le monde des échanges virtuels de jeunes, EVE sera en mesure d’offrir une gamme progressive d’options d’engagement, plutôt que d’imposer un seul mode de fonctionnement. Nous suggérons la mise en place d’une solution vidéo viable en utilisant la technologie WebRTC, abréviation de « Web Real-Time Communication ». WebRTC est un ensemble de définitions, protocoles et outils pour applications de navigateur à navigateur, incluant les appels vidéo, sans nécessité de plugin interne ou externe. Le cadre WebRTC est déjà compatible avec la majorité des principaux navigateurs et plates-formes, mobiles comme traditionnels. L’adaptation manquante pour WebKit/Safari est en cours actif de développement et devra être finalisée en 2017. WebRTC a le potentiel de fournir tout ce que requiert le cahier des charges, surtout en ce qui concerne la facilité d’utilisation et de chargement. Il adhère aussi à des principes importants pour l’approche du secteur des jeunes de l’apprentissage en ligne et du travail numérique, en particulier en ce qui concerne l’open source et la protection de la vie privée.

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Les échanges virtuels de jeunes : un nouveau format et une nouvelle arène Les échanges EVE, concernant à la fois des jeunes de façon individuelle comme en groupe, apporteront un nouveau format aux échanges de jeunes aussi bien qu’aux échanges virtuels. Sans prédéterminer les façons selon lesquelles ce nouveau format sera rempli ou défini avec le temps, cette étude de faisabilité avait besoin de présenter l’essentiel de l’initiative. Dans ce but, nous avons développé la définition de travail suivante pour guider notre recherche :

« Les échanges virtuels de jeunes constituent des programmes d’apprentissage participatifs, volontaires, intentionnels, axés sur la technologie, et non formels. » Plus spécifiquement, les échanges virtuels de jeunes devraient être :    

Participatifs : approches et méthodes encourageantes centrées sur et dirigées par l’apprenant Volontaires : appuyés et soutenus par la motivation inhérente des participants à l’échange Intentionnels : basés sur des objectifs d’apprentissage, structurés, facilités, soutenus et reconnus Axés sur la technologie : rendus possibles et poussés par les possibilités techniques grandissantes

Cette définition de travail, comme cette étude de faisabilité, se basent sur les expériences du secteur de la jeunesse dans le cadre d’échanges physiques de jeunes ainsi que de la communauté d’échange virtuel à travers des échanges en ligne.

Facteur clé de succès : une facilitation expérimentée Recruter un nombre suffisant de facilitateurs bien formés, motivés et capables, est fondamental pour le succès de cette initiative. Nous recommandons d’établir un « Réseau de facilitation EVE » (EVE Facilitation Network EFN) pour organiser, optimiser et superviser le travail des facilitateurs sur la plateforme. Pour avoir du succès, EVE nécessite une communauté en ligne active de facilitateurs dédiés. Au travers de tous les formats et de toutes les durées d’échange qui vont de sessions introductives de lancement à des sessions multiples complètes, EVE devra mobiliser un total d’environ 400 000 heures de facilitation d’ici à 2020. Nous avons comparé trois scénarios pour couvrir ces 400 000 heures. Après considération attentive et discussions avec le comité de pilotage de l’étude de faisabilité, nous recommandons d’initier le Réseau de facilitation EVE avec 500 facilitateurs, dont 350 travailleraient en freelance et seraient rémunérés en fonction des standards dans le secteur de la jeunesse en Europe. Les 150 facilitateurs supplémentaires seraient des volontaires rémunérés grâce à une bourse annuelle. Nous suggérons que le processus commence par la création d’un groupe d’experts formés de 50 professionnels en matière de facilitation, recrutés grâce à un appel d’offres ouvert. Ils deviendront les « cadres » du Réseau de facilitation EVE, formant de nouveaux facilitateurs, supervisant toutes les facilitations, faisant office de médiateurs en cas de conflits, et assurant la consistance, la qualité et la cohérence du projet. Le groupe d’expert lui-même a besoin d’être formé et en tant que groupe, de développer une approche de facilitation en ligne, des ébauches de codes de conduite, incluant une réponse au discours d’incitation à la haine. Il doit aussi concevoir des modules de formation pour les facilitateurs en ligne, approuver les responsabilités des procédures de sélection et plus encore, pour lesquelles nous avons prévu les ressources humaines et financières nécessaires. Il est crucial que le modèle de formation pour le réseau entier de facilitation trouve un équilibre entre l’intensité de la formation initiale (plus la formation est longue, meilleure sera la préparation des facilitateurs) et l’attrait du Réseau de facilitation EVE (plus la formation est longue, plus la barre est élevée pour participer). Sur la base de cette idée, nous suggérons que chaque facilitateur participe à une formation initiale de 16 heures. Nous avons développé et décrit un modèle de formation de facilitateurs qui se base sur une méthodologie centrée sur l’apprenant, conformément aux principes de l’éducation non formelle. 17

Facteur clef de succès : un marketing intelligent L’objectif ambitieux d’EVE est d’attirer plus de 200 000 jeunes d’ici à 2020. Développer une stratégie marketing créative est une étape essentielle pour réaliser cet objectif. En analysant les segments, canaux, motivations et risques, l’étude de faisabilité présente un cadre marketing pouvant facilement être adapté à chaque priorité thématique. Nous recommandons de communiquer deux ensembles majeurs d’avantages de participation pour cibler les utilisateurs : développer les compétences pour l’emploi du 21ème siècle, et discuter des sujets importants pour la jeunesse au niveau local et global. L’objectif de l’initiative EVE de développer les compétences pour l’emploi du 21ème siècle, incluant la flexibilité linguistique, les compétences numériques, l’ouverture d’esprit, la créativité et la capacité de communiquer et de collaborer avec des personnes de différentes origines culturelles est perçue comme précieuse aussi bien en Europe que dans le reste du monde. De nombreuses motivations pour utiliser EVE, comme rencontrer de nouvelles personnes de différentes cultures, développer la créativité, le travail d’équipe et d’autres compétences appréciées sur le marché du travail du 21ème siècle, sont couvertes par cet ensemble d’avantages liés à la participation à la plateforme EVE. L’engagement d’EVE de permettre à la jeunesse de discuter de sujets qu’ils considèrent comme importants, aussi bien au niveau local que global, suggère qu’EVE puisse être présentée comme une plateforme aspirant au changement sociétal. Elle offre également l’opportunité de discuter de sujets sérieux dans un environnement virtuel global facilité. Cet ensemble d’avantages est bien aligné sur les motivations des utilisateurs de s’engager dans un dialogue sur l’Europe, son futur, et sur sa relation avec le reste du monde. Il met aussi en œuvre la volonté des utilisateurs d’améliorer le monde dans lequel ils vivent. La contribution au changement pourrait faire partie de la raison d’être d’EVE en Europe, mais cet objective devrait être abordé avec beaucoup de précaution dans le reste du monde.

Facteur clef de succès : un suivi efficace L’initiative devrait être suivie de manière régulière et évaluée sur trois niveaux : produits, résultats et effets escomptés. Nous recommandons de mesurer directement les produits comme les fonctionnalités de la plateforme en ligne d’EVE, le nombre de facilitateurs recrutés ou de supports d’échange préparés, ainsi que les effets immédiats d’une intervention, comme le nombre d’échanges et de participants concernés. Pour la mesure des résultats, nous suggérons de se concentrer sur deux questions majeures : de quelle manière l’attitude et les compétences des participants évoluent, et s’il y a une relation de cause à effet entre l’intervention d’EVE et ces changements. Nous renouvelons les méthodes existantes de mesures des changements d’attitude comme les sondages, tests psychophysiologiques et tests implicites d’attitude. En plus des mesures permanentes des produits, résultats et effets escomptés d’EVE, nous recommandons de construire une évaluation synthétique (par exemple d’abord intérimaire, puis finale) des interventions d’EVE dans son ensemble. Cela permettra d’inclure des données sur tous les produits, résultats et effets escomptés, et les abordera en relation avec les objectifs, apports et activités de l’intervention.

Facteur clef de succès : une reconnaissance significative Bien qu’EVE ne propose pas elle-même de programme éducationnel formellement accrédité, elle fournira différentes options de reconnaissance des apprentissages. À la fin, cette étude de faisabilité explore les outils non formels et informels de reconnaissance aussi bien que les outils de reconnaissance pour l’éducation formelle. Nous recommandons que le « Youthpass » (passeport jeunesse) soit intégré à la plate-forme EVE et adapté pour les utilisateurs d’EVE. Nous conseillons également de concevoir un ensemble de badges numériques ouverts (« Open Badges ») pour motiver davantage les utilisateurs d’EVE. Enfin, nous suggérons qu’un manuel de reconnaissance soit développé pour les facilitateurs avec des modèles standard pour les accords de formation et des formules standard pour calculer la charge de travail des échanges. Cela faciliterait le transfert des résultats d’apprentissage dans les systèmes formels de certification de l’éducation.

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Facteur clef de succès : une technologie attirante Toute communauté a besoin d’un espace avec lequel ses différents membres peuvent s’identifier. Cela importe peu si la communauté existe uniquement en ligne, hors ligne ou utilise les deux espaces. Du club de jeune local au mouvement mondial Wikipédia, les communautés à succès ont toutes un lieu où elles se considèrent chez elles. Pour EVE, nous envisageons qu’un « domicile virtuel » attirant devrait inclure :    

Un nom de domaine Internet simple et facile à retenir, de préférence eve.org Un design attrayant, adapté à l’audience ciblée Une plateforme Internet accueillante où les membres se réjouissent de revenir Une plateforme discrète fonctionnant efficacement en arrière-plan

Un modèle avec le pouvoir et la responsabilité de faire avancer le secteur de la jeunesse Pour avoir du succès en faisant avancer le dialogue interculturel, améliorant les compétences des jeunes et en contribuant à un climat plus inclusif en Europe et au-delà, EVE doit être absolument remarquable. En réalisant cela, elle a la chance – et la responsabilité – de jouer un rôle de premier plan pour faire avancer l’ensemble du secteur de la jeunesse. En particulier, nous recommandons de poursuivre ce rôle dans les régions où l’infrastructure est actuellement faible, et où avec peu d’investissement supplémentaire, le secteur de la jeunesse pourrait énormément en profiter. Cela est particulièrement vrai dans le domaine de la reconnaissance des apprentissages. Nous recommandons qu’EVE endosse le rôle d’émetteur de badges numériques et de fournisseur de services d’équipement mobile (« backpack service »). Dans le domaine de la technologie d’échange, nous recommandons qu’EVE publie librement tous les logiciels développés pour remplir sa tâche et contribue à la communauté open source – dans le domaine de la facilitation des échanges, où nous recommandons que tout le matériel de soutien soit mis à disposition avec des licences Creative Commons. Mise en place correctement, EVE a le potentiel de non seulement devenir la principale plateforme d’échanges virtuels de jeunes en Europe et dans les régions voisines, mais aussi un pionnier mondial dans les secteurs de la jeunesse et des échanges virtuels.

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Introduction With this document, we present the Final Report of the Study on Feasibility of an Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange Initiative (EVE). The initiative aims to increase awareness and appreciation of different cultures and societies among young people as well as to enhance their soft skills (such as foreign language and teamwork skills). It is expected that in the longer term this may contribute to the development of a more inclusive climate among cultures, which would lead to fewer young people being drawn to violent extremism. Building on and complementary to the institutional aims for introducing virtual exchanges, the initiative seeks to invite and entice young people to explore the diversity of culture within and beyond Europe, all the way from the smallest aspects of daily life to the largest questions of power and change, through web-based, non-formal, intercultural learning. Against this backdrop, the main objective of the feasibility study is to provide DG EAC with options and recommendations on how to develop, pilot, roll-out, and manage all pedagogical, technical, political and practical aspects of the EVE initiative, along with estimates of the financial costs and human resources required to do so. The results of the study demonstrate that, with incisive efforts and adequate resources, the ambitions for EVE can be fulfilled. Across 12 thematic chapters the study aids the Commission to put in place detailed plans for the realisation of EVE, and allocate the resources necessary to make it happen. The study sets out to analyse a number of elements of the EVE initiative, as requested in the Technical Specifications:         

Participants Content of exchanges and session support materials Facilitators Marketing the initiative Recognising learning Ensuring quality Monitoring and evaluation Technology Diplomatic issues

We start the report with a contextual analysis of virtual exchanges and situate EVE among existing VE initiatives. We also present a definition of the virtual exchange. We then proceed with specific chapters, discussing each element of EVE, providing evidence, options and suggestions of our team. Finally, we present our estimates of the costs of the EVE initiative and compare these to the costs of physical exchanges. In the annexes we present the list of interviewees, the list of reviewed VE platforms, and a list of partners in neighbouring regions. We also provide a list of literature that we consulted for the purposes of the study.

1. A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO VIRTUAL EXCHANGES In this section we present the context of the feasibility study of the Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange Initiative. We first look at the societal context and the specifics of virtual exchanges as compared to physical ones. Second, we summarise the current state of virtual exchanges in Europe and elsewhere, including policy-level developments. Third, we discuss the definition of virtual exchanges and virtual exchange initiatives. Then we provide an overview of the impacts, benefits and risks of virtual exchanges. Finally, we present the context of Erasmus+, referring to the ways on how virtual exchanges could benefit to or complement the programme.

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1.1 Setting the context In Europe and elsewhere, the lives of young people have been marked by complex trends, which may have far-reaching consequences in the longer term. Two of them are especially important regarding the contextual background of virtual international exchange initiatives. First, youth unemployment rates are in general much higher than unemployment rates for all ages, making the number of jobless young people disturbingly large. In the EU alone there are more than 4.5 million unemployed young people (aged 15-24 years)1, while the long-term youth unemployment is also very high2. Over 15% of European young people aged 15-34 are neither in employment nor in education and training3. Prolonged spells of unemployment and unqualified jobs lead to depreciating human capital, lower probability of future employment, and lower wages4. High youth unemployment co-exists with increased difficulties in filling vacancies, which points to the existence of labour market mismatches due to inadequate skills. Second, we can observe increasing tensions related to the lack of cultural awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity within the European countries and beyond. Often, such tensions translate into a lack of dialogue and missed opportunities for collaboration between members of diverse cultural backgrounds. This situation, in turn, contributes to or even leads to racism, xenophobia, and radicalism. As demonstrated by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) annual reports, deadly terrorist attacks, a climate of Islamophobia across the continent, hostile attitudes towards migrants and refugees coming into Europe all make combatting extremism a transversal concern5. In the context of an increasingly global interdependency, solutions to these issues require multi-lateral, cross-cultural cooperation, and structured dialogue. Intercultural, international, and global competencies play a crucial role in today’s knowledge society. They facilitate adaptation in the labour market, increase personal fulfilment, social inclusion, and active citizenship. In today’s labour market, formal competences need to go hand in hand with horizontal skills and attitudes such as creativity, social and civic responsibility, cultural awareness,

EPRS Strategy, ‘Measures To Tackle Youth Unemployment, Are They Enough?’, European Parliamentary Research Service Blog, 2016. Available at: https://epthinktank.eu/2016/01/13/measures-to-tackle-youth-unemployment-are-they-enough/. 1

2

Eurostat,

Long-term

unemployment

rate.

Available

beyond/quality-of-life/long-term-unemployment-rate.

at:

http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/gdp-and-

Eurostat, NEET rates. Available http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=edat_lfse_20&lang=en. 3

at

Banerji, A., Saksonovs, S., Huidan Lin, H. and Blavy, R., Youth Unemployment in Advanced Economies in Europe: Searching for Solutions, Staff Discussion Notes No. 14/11, International Monetary Fund, 2014. 4

European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), Annual report on ECRI’s activities, Strasbourg, 2016. Available at: https://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/ecri/activities/Annual_Reports/Annual%20report%202015.pdf . 5

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problem-solving, and critical thinking6. Furthermore, intercultural dialogue is essential for developing respect for cultural diversity and improving coexistence in today’s diverse societies7. At a time of rising concerns over radicalisation and violent extremism, intercultural dialogue plays a crucial role in promoting respect for diversity, pluralism, and human rights8. Physical exchanges and study abroad programmes are among the best means to foster intercultural dialogue, as well as to prepare young people for the world of increasing interdependence9. They have proved to be among the best means to develop horizontal skills and competences such as adaptability, foreign language proficiency, and communication skills. As shown by the recent Erasmus+ impact study, studying or training abroad enhances knowledge of other countries, ability to interact and work with individuals from different cultures, adaptability, foreign language proficiency, communication skills, problem-solving, and entrepreneurship. Around 90% of Erasmus+ exchange participants reported an improvement in these and other soft skills upon their return. The study also indicated that young people participating in international exchanges enjoy better labour market and career development prospects. Studies conducted by the Erasmus+ National Agencies report similar trends. In this way youth mobility contributes to combatting youth unemployment, an objective which features prominently in the Europe 2020 strategy for growth and jobs (2010)10 as well as in Juncker Political Guidelines (2014) 11. Additionally, research shows that physical exchanges have a significant positive impact on the participants’ understanding of the complex cultural dynamics, tolerance, and willingness to work globally12. By promoting social cohesion and the development of open and fair societies, exchange programmes equip young people with social, civic, and intercultural skills, the importance of which was stressed in

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, Draft 2015 Joint Report of the Council and the Commission on the implementation of the Strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET2020), Brussels, 26.8.2015 COM(2015) 408 final, p. 3. Also see: http://ec.europa.eu/education/policy/school/competences_en.htm. 6

The European Year of Intercultural content/EN/TXT/?uri=URISERV:l29017. 7

8

Dialogue

(2008),

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/ATAG/2015/571315/EPRS_ATA(2015)571315_EN.pdf

European Commission, The European Union support for student and staff exchanges and university cooperation in 2013-2014, Erasmus Facts, Figures & Trends, 2015. 9

The Commission Communication ‘An Agenda for new skills and jobs: A European contribution towards full employment’, COM(2010) 682, 23.22.2010. 10

Jean-Claude Juncker, A New Start for Europe: My Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change, Political Guidelines for the next European Commission, Strasbourg, 2014. 11

E.g., Kokko, Raija. ‘Future nurses’ cultural competencies: what are their learning experiences during exchange and studies abroad? A systematic literature review.’ Journal of Nursing Management 19, no. 5 (2011): 673-682. 12

Crowne, Kerri Anne. ‘What leads to cultural intelligence?.’ Business Horizons 51, no. 5 (2008): 391-399. 22

the 2015 Paris Copenhagen13.

Declaration

following

the

terrorist

attacks

in

Paris

and

Therefore, one of the key strands of the Erasmus+ programme and its predecessors has been the continued support for international physical youth exchanges aiming to promote greater appreciation for cultural differences and to develop new skills and competences. However, only a very small share of young people gets a chance to participate. While there are no experiences with virtual exchanges at scale in youth work, it has been is estimated that only about 7.5% of the total EU student population – which is considered to be the most mobile part of the youth cohort – is mobile (amounting to more than 1.4 million students)14. Even if the EU benchmark for 2020 of 20% is to be achieved15, this will still leave 80% of students with limited international, intercultural experiences as part of their university studies. International exchange opportunities for youth workers, school pupils, and other individuals are also very limited due to a variety of financial, socio-economic, and personal circumstances. This is where virtual exchanges come into play. It has been found that virtually shared classroom experiences can successfully facilitate international experiences for students 16. This makes virtual exchanges a feasible alternative for people unable to participate in physical exchanges, with the potential of filling-in the current policy gaps, and increasing the overall number of people participating in international exchanges. It is especially relevant to young people as they tend to have superior digital skills than the rest of the population 17. Meanwhile, technological advances, digital innovation, and rapidly increasing global internet coverage provide an opportunity for the development and spread of virtual exchange initiatives, as well as the introduction of new elements to the current physical exchange experiences. Large-scale virtual exchanges have never been as feasible as they are today. Further, virtual formats of exchanges offer several advantages complementary to physical exchanges. In particular, they can:

Informal meeting of European Union education ministers, Declaration on Promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education, Paris, 2015. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/education/news/ 2015/documents/citizenship-educationdeclaration_en.pdf. 13

Notably, Erasmus mobility increasingly takes the form of traineeships; in 2013 they amounted to 21% of the total mobility. European Commission, Education and Training Monitor 2015, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2015. 14

A benchmark defined within the framework of ET 2020 stipulates that at least 20% of higher education graduates should have had a period of higher education-related study or training (including work placement) abroad. More information available at: http://ec.europa.eu/education/policy/strategic-framework/index_en.htm. 15

Abrahamse, Augusta, Mathew Johnson, Nanette Levinson, Larry Medsker, Joshua M. Pearce, Carla Quiroga, and Ruth Scipione. ‘A Virtual Educational Exchange A North–South Virtually Shared Class on Sustainable Development.’ Journal of Studies in International Education 19, no. 2 (2015): 140-159. 16

Chambers, D., H. Wharrad, F. Todhunter, K. Chambers, D. Nencini, and J. McGarry. ‘Promoting cultural awareness in health care students with the use of virtual mobility, communication technologies and authentic case studies.’ ICERI2011 Proceedings (2011): 5589-5594. 17

Eurostat, Individuals' level of computer skills, 2014. Indicator code: isoc_sk_cskl_i. 23

       

Help to involve people unable to participate in physical exchanges Help to include countries/regions not participating in physical exchanges Provide useful contributions to physical exchange schemes and formal learning classes Provide a safe and diverse learning environment Help develop non-formal learning approaches Provide continuous facilitation for the on-going discussions Enhance participants’ digital competences Open possibilities for lowering the costs as compared to physical exchanges

Most importantly, similar to physical exchanges, virtual exchanges lead to improving soft skills and increasing awareness and appreciation of different cultures among the young people. In the long run, virtual exchanges can be expected to reduce violent extremism and contribute to a more inclusive climate in Europe and beyond. Therefore, the European Commission is looking at the possibility to launch the Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange Initiative (EVE)18. As put by Commissioner Tibor Navracsics in 12 July 2016: “I want to complement [Erasmus+] with virtual youth exchanges. These would allow young people from the EU and neighbourhood countries to learn about and understand cultural differences, while improving their soft skills, including foreign languages and teamwork. I want to involve 2,000 young people in this ‘Erasmus Virtual Exchange pilot project’ by the end of 2017, and 200,000 young people by the end of 201919”.

1.2 History of virtual exchange initiatives The need for virtual exchanges has come as part of two main policy areas: public diplomacy, which has long pursued the transformative potential of new technologies and people-to-people interactions; and education policy, which has long realised the importance of mobility and intercultural collaboration. Broadly speaking, virtual exchanges originate at the crossing point of these two policy areas. Most of the leading initiatives of the virtual exchange movement originated in the United States. They were the first to recognise that virtual exchange programmes have the potential to achieve the same outcomes as face-to-face interactions in terms of public diplomacy goals, namely attitude change and the creation of strong interpersonal bonds 20. Virtual exchange initiatives across the Atlantic predominantly connect American and European youth to the young people living in the troubled regions of the world, especially the Middle East, making them an important part of the public diplomacy efforts. The International Education and Resource Network (iEARN) was the first organisation to pioneer the practice. Since 1988, it has been using the newest available technology to link school teachers and students with their peers within and across countries. Other initiatives have followed the rapid emergence and development of new communication technologies. In May 2011, three leaders in the emerging field (Global Nomads Group, iEARN, and Soliya) formed the then-called Exchange 2.0 Coalition, which recognised virtual exchange as a distinctive field, critical to the modern and innovative approach to education. The network, currently under the name of Virtual Exchange Coalition, has quickly gained momentum,

The Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange initiative (EVE) is a working title which may be changed for the eventual implementation. 18

Tibor Navracsics, Engage – why we need to open up education more than ever, 3rd dialogue with Southern Mediterranean countries on Higher Education, Brussels, 2016. 19

Cavalli, Francesca. "Virtual Exchange Programs: Expanding the Public Diplomacy Agenda of the 21st Century." (2013). 20

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attracting initiatives from various parts of the world (e.g. Global Nomads Group has offices in the US and Jordan, while the Sharing Perspectives Foundation is based in the Netherlands) 21. In 2012, the US Senate Appropriations Committee’s report first promoted the use of virtual exchange22. In May 2013, at the Foreign Service Institute Overseas Security Seminar, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced the Obama Administration's plan to develop a publicprivate virtual exchange initiative intended to enable a larger number of young people to have a meaningful cross-cultural experience as part of their education. As a result, the Stevens Initiative was established in 2014, with an initial USD 31 million of support committed by the US, Morocco, Algeria, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates 23. It provides funding, through meritbased competitions, for organisations to administer virtual exchange programmes between youth in the US, the Middle East, and North Africa. Some of the first sets of schemes funded under the initiative have already been launched by 2016. In the EU, the benefits of virtual exchange programmes are becoming increasingly acknowledged, both the field of public diplomacy and education. As emphasised by the High Representative Federica Mogherini, cultural diplomacy, including intercultural dialogue, has to be 24 at the core of EU’s relationship with today's world . European Parliament's Culture and Education Committee, in turn, issued an opinion in 2014 briefly highlighting the potential of VEs to foster intercultural and inter-religious dialogue25. The Committee discussed how eTwinning and open educational resources provide “unprecedented opportunities to develop interaction with third and neighbourhood countries in the areas of culture and education”, urging the Foreign Affairs Committee to consider virtual exchange a priority. Two years later, the European Commission issued a Communication on ‘Delivering on the European Agenda on Security’ (2016) foreseeing the launch of “large-scale virtual exchange programmes with third countries to foster inter-cultural understanding among teachers, children and young people”, notably through the eTwinning programme and Erasmus+ 26. In 2011-2014, the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning programme co-funded a 30-month project INTENT (Integrating Telecollaborative Networks into Foreign Language Higher Education), led by the University of Leon in Spain. As part of the project activities, a UNI Collaboration platform was developed, aiming to support university educators and mobility coordinators in organising and running online intercultural exchanges for their students 27. Further, in 2014, the project also released a ‘Position Paper on Virtual Exchange’, which offered a vision of the role of virtual exchange in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and beyond. The paper holds that virtual exchanges are crucial in “fostering the development of 21st century skills, foreign language competence as well as intercultural awareness and

21

More information available at: http://virtualexchangecoalition.org/.

U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Bill, 2013. 22

23

Available at: http://stevensinitiative.org/.

European External Action Service, Mogherini and Commission aim to put culture at the heart of EU international relations, 8 June, 2016. 24

European Parliament (2014), OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education for the Committee on Foreign Affairs on the EU foreign policy in a world of cultural and religious differences (2013/2167(INI)) 25

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council and the Council Delivering on the European Agenda on Security to fight against terrorism and pave the way towards an effective and genuine Security Union (COM/2016/0230 final). 26

27

Available at: http://uni-collaboration.eu/. 25

critical thinking”, and that they can offer “greater equity in access to intercultural exchange than physical mobility, and reach a far greater number and diversity of the student population” 28. So far the two main European virtual exchange initiatives have been the eTwinning (launched in 2005) and the EPALE platforms (2015). eTwinning promotes school collaboration and networking by allowing classes from primary and secondary schools to collaborate on joint online projects with classes from other countries. The eTwinning Portal provides customisable online tools for teachers to find partners, share ideas, and exchange best practice. The ePlatform for Adult Learning in Europe (EPALE), also funded under the Erasmus+ programme, aims to become the main reference point for adult learning professionals in Europe 29. Being an interactive and multilingual online platform, it features a partner search facility, a Resource Centre, and virtual spaces to meet and discuss important adult learning topics. In 2016, European Commission also launched the School Education Gateway, an online platform for teachers, schools, experts and other stakeholders in the school education field. It is an interactive tool linked to eTwinning and presenting European education policy news, trends, expert articles, national initiatives, and areas for interaction and project partner search. Overleaf we present a timeline outlining the launches of the main VE schemes and initiatives.

Figure 1. A timeline of virtual exchanges

1.3 Definition of virtual exchange The Virtual Exchange Coalition has developed a definition of virtual exchanges, which is now used by numerous VE-related schemes, initiatives, and organisations (including the Stevens Initiative, Soliya, Sharing Perspectives Foundation, and Global Nomads Group among others): “Virtual exchanges programmes”30.

are

technology-enabled,

sustained,

people-to-people

education

Below we present a visualisation of all the components that can constitute a VE programme. Figure 2. Visualisation of VE definition by the Virtual Exchange Coalition Virtual exchanges are…

28

INTENT project, Position paper: Virtual Exchange in the European Higher Education Area, 2014. Available at:

http://uni-collaboration.eu/sites/default/files/Position%20paper_0.pdf. 29

Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/epale/lt/home-page.

30

Available at: http://virtualexchangecoalition.org/.

26

Digital Mobile Social

Partners Facilita Curricu Cross- Collabor Inclusi Action- Pedago Measur hips ted lar cultura ative ve Orient gical able l ed

Objectives Outcomes

Education programmes

Gender Age Disability Service Products Skill-building Practice Research Knowledgebuilding Goals

People-to-people

Educators Experts Alumni Standards Integrated Prodevelopment Communities Countries Religions Projects Products Action

Sustained

Videoconferenci ng Forums Texting Phones Tablets Laptops Backchannels Hashtags Comments Schools/Universi ties Foundations NGOs

Technology-enabled

Building on the definition, the ‘INTENT Position Paper on Virtual Exchange’ (2014) specifies that virtual exchanges entail the “engagement of groups of students in online intercultural exchange, interaction and collaboration with peers from partner classes in geographically distant locations, under the guidance of educators and/or expert facilitators”31. In practice, current virtual exchange schemes vastly differ in their scope, learning goals, and other features. Some of the main differences that we can identify among different platforms include: 

Scope: specific number of institutional partners/participants involved vs. open access, mass registration and participation; limited number of participating countries/regions vs. large geographic scope



Content: focused on collaborating with universities, to offer formal learning curricula vs. focused on non-formal learning and project activities; topic-specific vs. not focused on specific content



Language: monolingual vs. multilingual capacities



Facilitators: specially trained facilitators vs. one-off group moderators (e.g. teachers)



Technical capabilities: discussion boards, blogs, and chatrooms vs. videoconferencing and live-stream vs. virtual spaces for project collaboration; open source license vs. proprietary software Notably, the practice of virtual exchanges is also known as Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) and Globally Networked Learning (GNL). In foreign language education it is more commonly known as Tele-collaboration and Online Intercultural Exchange (OIE), and is employed to foster intercultural dialogue, development of digital literacy as well as foreign language skills. Virtual exchanges are also related to the concept of virtual mobility; the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Nevertheless, the term virtual mobility encompasses what would be defined as online education, distance

INTENT project, Position paper: Virtual Exchange in the European Higher Education Area, 2014. 31

27

learning, or Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs). This is different from virtual exchange as virtual mobility does not always focus on people-to-people interaction, crucial in virtual exchanges. Overall, there are a number of framing conditions as well as underpinning philosophies that distinguish youth work and non-formal education from language learning and formal education – the context against which the majority of current virtual exchanges have been developed. We suggest that virtual youth exchanges are defined as part of the initial training and development lab of the core group of facilitators. For the purpose of this feasibility study, we are using the following working definition: Virtual youth exchanges are participatory, voluntary, intentional, technology-driven, non-formal learning programmes. More specifically, based on widely accepted definitions of non-formal learning32 and youth work33, virtual youth exchanges should be:    

Participatory: fostering learner-centred and learner-driven approaches and methods Voluntary: building on and sustained by the inherent motivation of exchange participants Intentional: based on learning objectives, structured, facilitated, supported and recognised Technology-driven: enabled, and pushed forward by, increasing technical possibilities

1.4 Impact The research, although relatively fragmented, has shown that virtual exchange schemes do indeed have a substantial impact on their participants. A body of academic research on the topic has ascertained that there is a positive relationship between virtual mobility and cultural intelligence. For example, a study on virtual multicultural exchanges of management students revealed that cultural intelligence and global identity, but not local identity, significantly increased over time and that this effect lasted after the project had ended 34. Similarly, a study on virtual exchanges between young Korean and American teachers showed that after participating in the international virtual activities participants showed more consideration on multicultural/diversity aspects, and these activities continuously improved international relationships between the two countries35. Pieces of evidence of virtual exchange programmes’ impact are also presented in the reports of existing VE initiatives. For instance, by comparing virtual exchange participants and matched control groups, Saxelab Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at MIT (USA) evaluation on Soliya’s Connect Program demonstrated that virtual exchange programmes can increase participants’ empathy for other cultures and perspectives (towards Islamic faith and persons

32

http://pjp-eu.coe.int/en/web/youth-partnership/glossary/-/glossary/N#nonformal-learning

33

http://pjp-eu.coe.int/en/web/youth-partnership/glossary/-/glossary/Y#youth-work

Erez, Miriam, Alon Lisak, Raveh Harush, Ella Glikson, Rikki Nouri, and Efrat Shokef. ‘Going global: Developing management students' cultural intelligence and global identity in culturally diverse virtual teams.’ Academy of Management Learning & Education 12, no. 3 (2013): 330355. 34

Yoon, Jiyoon, and Insoon Han. ‘Virtual Activities to Promote Multiculturalism and Sustainability of International Partnerships.’ In Teacher Education: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications, pp. 1384-1401. IGI Global, 2016. 35

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with Muslim background in particular), develop their willingness to engage constructively with peers of diverse backgrounds and views, and provide participants with the experience of being heard and respected36. In addition, assessments performed on the Sharing Perspectives Foundation and the eTwinning platform provide evidence of improvements in soft skills. For instance, as shown by the ‘Study of the impact of eTwinning on participating pupils, teachers and schools’ (2013) 37, participation increases curiosity, openness to other European cultures, cultural awareness, social competences, language, and teamwork skills. Moreover, positive effect of participation in virtual exchanges is not limited to cultural views. The teachers survey identified five main benefits of eTwinning, including making new friends and networking across Europe (64%), new or improved ICT skills (60%), a positive impact on pupils’ skills or motivation to learn (55%), a sense of involvement in an international teaching community (55%), and improved foreign language skills (54%). By the same token, a survey of 6,000 eTwinning teachers in 2016 showed that eTwinning strongly impacts student motivation, with around 90% of teachers declaring that the project had a moderate or large impact in this area. Also, 91% of teachers reported that eTwinning improved their cross-curricular skills38. In general, as outlined in the INTENT project’s “Position Paper on Virtual Exchange” (2014), there is a remaining need for more research, development, and evaluation of new models of virtual exchange addressing current European and global issues. Nevertheless, existing evidence is sufficient to confirm that virtual exchange can serve as an effective option to address challenges related to cultural awareness, inter-cultural collaboration and transversal/soft skills – issues targeted by the EVE initiative.

1.5 Benefits and risks Virtual exchanges can offer novel solutions to current issues and tackle global challenges. Alongside physical exchanges, they may prove to be effective tools in fostering dialogue across cultures and promoting both formal and nonformal learning among youth. However, development, implementation, and maintenance of virtual exchange schemes can be exposed to a number of risks. These range from possible inter-cultural misunderstandings among the exchange participants to various technological issues that may occur in the process of platform development (see the table below for a list of potential benefits and risks). Table 1. Benefits and risks of virtual exchanges Benefits Lower costs as compared to physical exchanges

Reduced role of perceived differences, biases,

Risks Low participation due to core elements of physical exchange being absent (live interaction, traveling, extra-curriculum activities) Individual or cultural concerns regarding

MIT Saxelab Research Partnership, Educational impact of virtual exchange, Soliya’s Connect Program, 2015. 36

The impact study gathered data and evidence over 21 months through a literature review, data and document review, completion of 24 school case studies in 13 countries, and a general survey in 25 languages of 5956 registered eTwinners. Source: European Commission, Study of the impact of eTwinning on participating pupils, teachers and schools, Publications Office of the European Union, 2013. 37

38

More

information

available

at:

https://www.etwinning.net/en/pub/news/news/impact_of_etwinning_on_teache.htm.

29

and stereotypes that could inhibit or disrupt communication as compared to face-to-face interaction, when visual cues (i.e. race, religious dress, age, gender) may unconsciously activate biases Outreach to more young people from more diverse backgrounds (i.e. ethnic, socioeconomic) as compared to physical exchanges Outreach to the countries/regions not eligible to participate in physical exchanges Useful contribution to physical exchange schemes and/or to formal learning classes More versatile alternatives for interaction, more topics, options for cooperating on the most pressing issues Joint projects producing valuable outputs (i.e. reports, articles, videos) Development of soft skills (foreign languages, teamwork) that are recognised and valued in the labour market Enhanced digital competences of the participants Opportunity to gain formal qualifications and ECTS credits

privacy may mean that some people feel less comfortable participating

Difficulties in ensuring commitment/attendance of the exchange participants Only young people with high-quality devices/good access to the internet join in Low quality infrastructure, support materials, and skill assessment tools Unqualified and unprepared facilitators Inter-cultural misunderstandings and even conflicts between participants of youth exchanges Poor multilingual capacities of the platform, technical issues related to translation; only young people with good foreign language skills join in Unattractive, unclear and clumsy user interface Insufficient technological resources/IT support making the VE platform slow and prone to crashing

Better awareness and appreciation of different cultures among the young people

Issues with compliance with the EU data protection regulations

Options for teachers, lecturers to develop innovative learning methods increasing cooperation into their classes Cutting-edge technologies and continuous facilitation/moderation allowing for high-quality interaction

Young people sceptical/wary of any initiatives associated with ‘institutions’ such as the EU

Long-term benefits for public diplomacy and international relations Possibilities for the virtual exchange platforms to become hubs of civic engagement, cooperation around key issues and civic action

Only the youth from the more privileged backgrounds join in; the platform does not attract interest from people at risk of or in situation of social exclusion Difficulties in promoting and marketing the scheme, poor awareness of the initiative among the target groups Lack of other incentives: no formal qualifications/ECTS credits awarded

1.6 Context of the Erasmus+ programme The Erasmus+ Programme aims to support the EU’s role as a “catalyst to generate economic dynamism and political stability” as well as its ambition to become a “smart, sustainable and inclusive economy”39. The increased budget allocated to Erasmus+ in the current 2014-2020 programming period reflects its major political and socioeconomic relevance. It also highlights

European Commission. Erasmus+ Programme. Annual Report 2014. Directorate-General for Education and Culture, Brussels, 2015, p. 9. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/education/library/statistics/erasmus-plus-annual-report_en.pdf. 39

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the EU’s ambition to capitalise on the success of this widely recognised programme, which contributes to enhancing public attitudes towards the Union 40. Erasmus+ and its predecessor programmes have been major support sources for youth exchanges and youth mobility. Many of the key performance indicators of the current Programme (see the table below) are directly or indirectly related to youth exchange, nonformal learning, and inter-cultural communication, which reflect Programme’s intervention logic and its potential ties to the EVE initiative.

Table 2. Relevant performance indicators of the Erasmus+ programme General and specific objectives Mobility benchmark, in line with the Council conclusions on a benchmark for learning mobility

Relevant monitoring indicators

Percentage of higher education graduates who have had a period of higher education-related study or training (including work placements) abroad Percentage of 18-34 year-olds with an initial vocational education and training qualification who have had an initial vocational education and training-related study or training period (including work placements) abroad Education and Number of higher education students receiving support to study in a training partner country, as well as the number of students from a partner country coming to study in a Programme country Number of partner country higher education institutions involved in mobility and cooperation actions Percentage of participants who have received a certificate, diploma or other kind of formal recognition of their participation in the Programme Percentage of participants declaring that they have increased their key competences Percentage of participants in long-term mobility declaring that they have increased their language skills Youth Number of young people engaged in mobility actions supported by the Programme, by country, action and gender Number of youth organisations from both Programme countries and partner countries involved in international mobility and cooperation actions Percentage of participants who have received a certificate – for example a Youthpass – diploma or other kind of formal recognition of their participation in the Programme Percentage of participants declaring that they have increased their key competences The current Programme integrates all the previously existing EU programmes into a single framework, including Life Long Learning Programme (Grundtvig, Erasmus, Leonardo, Comenius), Youth in Action, and various international higher education programmes (see Figure 3). It has been re-organised into the three Key Actions (KA1: Mobility of individuals, KA2: Co-operation for innovation and exchange of good practices; KA3: Support for policy reform), the specific actions of Jean Monnet and Sport, as well as many specific activities.

Figure 3. Structure of predecessor programmes and the Erasmus+ Programme

Mitchell, K. (2012). ‘Student mobility and European identity: Erasmus Study as a civic experience?’ Journal of Contemporary European Research, Vol. 8, Issue 4, pp. 490-518. 40

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Key Action 1: Learning Mobility of Individuals (KA1), the largest action in Erasmus+, is the most relevant action to the proposed EVE initiative. KA1 supports mobility in the education, training, and youth sectors. At the individual level, KA1 primarily seeks to enhance the skills, employability, and inter-cultural awareness of its participants. In terms of mobility in the field of education and training, it encompasses school education staff mobility, VET mobility, higher education mobility (student mobility for a study abroad and/or traineeship), and adult education staff mobility. KA1 also supports mobility of youth. The previous Youth in Action programme (2007-2013; YiA), targeting young people aged 13 to 30, aimed to promote active citizenship, solidarity and tolerance among young Europeans, contribute to the development of quality support systems for youth activities and promote cooperation in the field of youth at the European level. Most of the YiA programme’s activities have been continued under the Erasmus+ Programme since 2014, including mobility of young people (Youth Exchanges, European Voluntary Service (EVS)), and youth workers (youth workers’ training and networking). Within the framework of KA1, Erasmus+ Online Linguistic Support (OLS) has been offering its participants in Erasmus+ long-term mobility activities the opportunity to assess their foreign language skills they will use to study, work or volunteer abroad, and to follow an online language course to improve their competence. The OLS language assessment has become compulsory since January 201541 while participants can follow the OLS language courses on a voluntary basis. The tool caters to the successful promotion of further youth exchanges across the world.

Key Action 2: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices (KA2) promotes cooperation for innovation and exchange of good practices in the fields of education, training, and youth. Current virtual platforms facilitating online exchanges (including eTwinning and EPALE) operate under KA2. Moreover, across the actions and activities, Erasmus+ has multiple cross-cutting features relevant to the EVE initiative: 



International dimension. For instance, KA1 supports mobility for young people and youth workers primarily via Youth Exchanges and the EVS, while KA2 supports Capacity Building and Strategic Partnerships in the field of Youth that has an impact on the development of high quality physical exchanges Multilingualism. Improving the teaching and learning of languages as well as the promotion of the EU’s linguistic diversity is one of the Programme’s specific objectives,

European Commission, Erasmus+ Programme. Annual Report 2014. Directorate-General for Education and Culture, Brussels, 2015, p. 23. 41

32

highlighted in a number of its tools and activities (e.g., OLS, Strategic Partnerships in the area of language teaching and learning under KA2);



Equity and inclusion. All of the Programme’s Actions and activities foresee the promotion of equity and inclusion by facilitating the access and participation of young people from a disadvantaged background. These include individuals marked by disabilities; educational difficulties; economic disadvantage; health problems; social and geographical obstacles; as well as individuals belonging to minority ethno-cultural groups (migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, ethnic minorities). For instance, building on the YiA programme, the Inclusion and Diversity Strategy in the field of Youth42 actively reaches out to disadvantaged groups in order to improve the number and quality of Erasmus+ inclusion and diversity projects.

Previous evaluations show that Erasmus+ and predecessor programmes can effectively facilitate successful youth exchanges and contribute to fostering inter-cultural competencies. In regard to youth activities and youth work, the interim evaluation of the previous Youth in Action programme (2011) found that the programme contributed to the young people's sense of belonging to the EU and participation in democratic life as well as their employability, personal development, mobility, and language skills43. The programme was found to create added value in opportunities for non-formal learning, possibilities to learn more about Europe, and in disadvantaged youth. For youth organisations and youth workers, the international exchange of experiences, intercultural, and international learning, cooperation, networking, and training opportunities were highlighted as especially beneficial. Over 90% of participants reported to get along with people from different cultural backgrounds – a much larger share that that in the control group. Also, participants developed competencies in communication in a foreign language (65%), interpersonal and social competencies (80%), intercultural competencies (73%), civic competencies (48%), and cultural awareness and expression (50%). Similar conclusions can be drawn regarding school or higher education. Comenius Regio Partnerships under the Lifelong Learning Programme brought positive changes to improving future employability of pupils. The partnerships helped to create more open learning environments, made learning more attractive, improved participants’ foreign language skills, and fostered positive attitudes towards mobility and exchange44. Meanwhile, Erasmus+ mobility activities in the field of higher education exhibited an increase in the quality and impact when compared to the previous programmes: for instance, 85% of Erasmus+ students reported that they received full recognition for their ECTS credits awarded abroad compared to 73% in 2013 under the LLP programme45. Overall, as demonstrated by the recent Erasmus impact study (2014), young people participating in international Erasmus exchanges enjoy better labour market and career development prospects; they

European Commission (2014). Erasmus+ Inclusion and Diversity Strategy – in the field of Youth. Brussels: Directorate General for Education and Culture. Available at: https://www.saltoyouth.net/downloads/4-17-3103/InclusionAndDiversityStrategy.pdf. 42

43

ECORYS, Youth in Action Interim Evaluation, February 2011.

PPMI, Study of the impact of Comenius Regio within the Lifelong Learning Programme in 200713, Final Report, 2014. 44

European Commission, Erasmus+ Programme. Annual Report 2014. Directorate-General for Education and Culture, Brussels, 2015, p. 20. 45

33

also gain enhanced knowledge of other countries, ability to interact and work with individuals from various cultures, adaptability, foreign language proficiency, and communication skills46. Nevertheless, a number of gaps/shortcomings with regards to the functioning of the Programme and its predecessors have been detected, especially in accessibility and acquisition of competencies. 







The interim evaluation of the LLP (2011) found that the opportunities of potential beneficiaries to participate in the programme were uneven by country; limited by socio-economic status and special needs of individuals; and confined by the lack of experience/resources of participating institutions.47 Incentives for the participation of disadvantaged persons were not sufficient, and the contribution to the key EU targets of reducing early school leaving and ensuring key competences for all was restricted. Similar conclusions stem from the Erasmus impact study (2014), which showed that the main barriers to an experience abroad are a lack of financial resources to compensate for the additional costs exceeding the Erasmus grant. Furthermore, 14% of non-mobile individuals participating in the study did not go abroad because they were not selected by the Programme48. The synthesis of the National Reports in the LLP evaluation indicated that the benefits on individual participant careers and employability were modest due to limited involvement of enterprises and the inability of the labour market to absorb specific competences acquired (such as proficiency in less widely used and taught languages, European dimension of learning, etc.)49. As presented in the interim evaluation of the Youth in Action (2011), the participants and nonparticipants of the Programme argued that the Programme was not publicised enough.

Virtual exchanges could benefit the functioning of the Erasmus+ in terms of filling the gaps, strengthening the current effects of the Programme, and providing some complementary elements.

European Commission, The Erasmus impact study: Effects of mobility on the skills and employability of 46

students and the internationalisation of higher education institutions, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2014. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/education/library/study/2014/erasmus-impact_en.pdf. PPMI, Interim Evaluation of the Lifelong Learning Programme (2007-2013), Final Report, 2011. 47

48

European Commission, Erasmus Impact Study, 2014.

49

PPMI, Interim Evaluation of the Lifelong Learning Programme, 2011.

34

2. The Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange (EVE) initiative EVE aims to create a safe and fun online community in which young people participate in facilitated discussions that are designed to increase their inter-cultural awareness and other skills and competencies through non-formal learning approaches. For this purpose, webconferencing tools, social media, mobile applications, and other technologies will be used. The platform will involve young people aged 13-30 from all parts of society, paying a particular attention on the involvement of those who are at a greater risk of exclusion. The participants will initially come from the Erasmus+ programme countries, from the EU neighbourhood regions (Eastern Europe, Western Balkans, South Mediterranean), and from the Middle East (see Figure 4). Challenging targets have been set to involve around 2,000 young people in EVE pilot projects by the end of 2017, and some 200,000 young people by the end of 2019 50.

Figure 4. Initial geographic scope of the EVE initiative

The initiative will involve young people participating as individuals as well as collaboration between groups. The exchanges will take place within thematic priorities and focus on predefined topics as well as on topics developed by the participants themselves. Exchanges will combine synchronous and asynchronous activities. There will be short exchanges over one or two sessions, and long exchanges, up to 12 sessions or more. All exchanges will be facilitated. They may in addition involve mentoring roles for other professionals who excel at what they do and are willing to dedicate their time for young people. The platform will run in English during the piloting phase but gradually it will allow for exchanges in various languages, including French, German, Arabic, and others. Implementation of the initiative will be supported by regular monitoring and evaluation. In the rest of this chapter we address some of the general questions, and in particular: the choice of the model of implementation, the gaps that EVE aims to fill, as well as complementarities between EVE and Erasmus+ physical exchanges. We will also discuss partnerships, the key risks as well as stages of the initiative.

50

Ibid. 35

2.1 EVE as a platform vs EVE as a hub There are two models that EVE could pursue to achieve its aims, the platform model and the hub model. Operating EVE as a platform would mean that the Commission funds a virtual exchange platform eve.org that becomes one among other platforms already in operation (such as Soliya, iEARN, eTwinning, Global Nomads Group and others). The Commission would develop Tender Specifications and announce tenders for service provider(s) to develop technology, design and implement a marketing plan, create a facilitators’ network and other aspects. The Commission would establish a unit along the lines of what in eTwinning is called the Central Support Service (CSS) as well as a network of national or regional support services. Both the central and local services would be in charge of overseeing day-to-day operation of the platform, work to attract participants, implement marketing actions and build the facilitators’ network. The support services would reach out to potential partners and stakeholders, including governmental actors, NGOs, universities, youth workers, and technology platforms, both in the Erasmus+ countries and beyond. A Steering Committee would be created to set the strategic direction of the EVE initiative, involving the Commission and key stakeholders, including Erasmus+ and EVE alumni. Operating EVE as a hub would mean that the Commission promotes and funds virtual exchanges, building on the example of the Stevens Initiative. The funds could be provided by the Commission as well as by other entities, including governments, companies, and various organisations. The programme would offer grants to organisations and institutions. Among these could be various virtual exchange platforms, schools, universities, NGOs, and other organisations. eTwinning could become one of the project promoters offering exchanges to school students. The Commission would select a central service provider (an organisation) to arrange calls for proposals, review applications, disburse funding, and work with project promoters. These projects would come with their own technological platforms, marketing plans and networks of facilitators. Some projects may offer exchanges specifically for individual participants and others for groups of participants. Some projects may specialise in specific groups of people (e.g. people at risk), and others might focus on specific regions. Projects may also specialise in terms of topics/themes. The central service provider would be in charge of the overall publicity and partnership networks. It would provide assistance and advice to project promoters and cooperate with technology firms such as Facebook, Microsoft and others. A Steering Committee would be created, which would involve the Commission and key stakeholders, including some of the beneficiaries. The relative advantages and disadvantages of the two approaches are presented in the table below.

Table 3. Benefits and risks of the platform and the hub model Aspect

Branding/ identity

36

EVE platform vs benefits and risks

EVE

hub

model:

According to the Steering Committee, EVE will feature a European identity and will build on the Erasmus+ brand which is strong, positive and well-received. It might be easier for one platform to build a strong and unique identity with the branding effort focused on consolidating and communicating this identity. Meanwhile, the EVE hub will have to rely on the project promoters. However, the EVE hub brand might benefit from the diversity of experiences and approaches offered by project promoters. It will be up

Conclusion EVE platform Branding is easier in the platform model, but in the hub model the EVE brand could build on a more diverse range of experiences

++

EVE hub

+

Achieving the target number of participants

Privacy and security Experiment ation

Partnership s

Facilitators

to the central service provider to ensure that such diversity is harnessed in order to enrich Erasmus+/ EVE brand. The EVE.org platform will be easier to start, with 2,000 participants by 2017 being a plausible although difficult aim. The EVE hub is likely to take more time to launch as it needs more preparatory steps, including selection of and negotiation with multiple potential providers of virtual exchanges. However, once launched the EVE hub would probably be more flexible and easier to direct towards the 200,000 target. In the long-run, there is no particular advantage for either model: if well run, both approaches have the potential to attract large numbers of young people. Easier to ensure and control under the EVE platform scenario. In the EVE hub scenario guidelines will have to be developed for project promoters as well as a system of enforcement Virtual exchanges form part of a new and largely experimental field. Exchanges may vary in terms of the participants, length, themes, modes of participation, facilitation modes, and technology. The EVE hub model offers more leeway for flexibility and experimentation as project promoters may offer very different approaches. EVE.org will be more dependent on the initial choices and may be less adaptable. It means that agility will have to be engrained into the design of the EVE.org organisational model through measures such as ongoing monitoring, quick and non-bureaucratic decision-making, visionary Steering Committee. Both models will need to engage and reach out to potential partners who could help to promote virtual exchanges as well as potential participants, support marketing activities, share experiences, help to attract and support the network of facilitators, collaborate on technology development and even provide funding. The EVE hub approach would be more conducive to attracting funds from governmental and non-governmental organisations as they would be contributing to a fund rather than supporting a specific platform as in the case of EVE.org This will be a core condition of success

The platform model more likely to reach the short term target. The EVE hub scenario more likely to attract a larger number of participants in the mid-term. In the long run, either model, if well run, can attract large numbers of young people. Easier to enforce under EVE.org

++

++

++

o

One of the key advantages of the EVE hub model: it provides more space for experimentation with a relatively new format

+

++

Both models will be attractive to participants and will have to engage into outreach activities. Additional funding easier to attract under EVE hub

+

++

A

++

+

network

of

37

Cost

Technology

both to the EVE.org as well as the EVE hub. The EVE.org will have to develop its own network of facilitators, probably a combination of paid professionals and volunteers. Facilitators will have to be trained and accredited, some vetting procedure will also be necessary to ensure security. In the EVE hub each project promoter would take care of its facilitators, so there will be a greater diversity of approaches. Ideally, the central service provider will have to provide some support and coordination to project promoters. EVE hub is likely to be more expensive for the same number of participants. EVE.org is likely to be cheaper as one service provider would take care of technology, network of facilitators, monitoring. EVE hub would rely on a variety of technologies that project promoters would use, from unique proprietary platforms to technologies that are openly/freely available on the market. EVE.org would develop its own unique technology, in combination with open tools, such as WebRTC, as suggested in this study. EVE.org may also use/ share/rent technological platforms from organisations that have already invested in and developed their own capacities.

facilitators working under a common standard is easier to create under the EVE.org model; higher diversity of facilitators under the EVE hub

EVE.org likely to be comparatively cheaper

++

o

EVE.org may develop a platform that is highly customised to the needs of contemporary exchanges while EVE hub would offer a greater diversity of approaches

+

+

The platform scenario is comparatively more advantageous in terms of branding, ensuring privacy and security, developing a coherent network of facilitators and delivering the first wave of participants faster. It is likely to cost less per participant. On the other hand, the EVE hub model offers more opportunities for experimentation. More flexibility to adapt to diverse needs of potential target groups, and is more likely to attract co-funding partners. It is also likely to reach a larger number of participants in the medium-term. The Tender Specifications rely on the premise of the platform model, which was confirmed by discussions in the Steering Committee. In this study we present suggestions on how to make the platform model work. Nonetheless, many of these suggestions could be implemented under the EVE hub model; they would become part of requirements/approaches to project promoters and part of the conditions to receive funding grants.

2.2 EVE’s value added: ensuring complementarities and filling gaps EVE does not aim to replace physical exchanges under Erasmus+ but will be designed to draw on the advantages of multi-national communication, discussion, knowledge, exchange of ideas. EVE will become a VE platform alongside a number of existing platforms, such as Soliya, Global Nomads Group, Sharing Perspectives Foundation, eTwinning, iEARN and others. In the table below we present the key elements of EVE’s value-added, which comprise: filling gaps, strengthening effects and ensuring complementarities. Table 4. Key value-added elements of EVE EVE compared to Erasmus+ physical 38

Filling gaps

Strengthening the current effects

Complementari ties

exchanges

EVE comparted to other virtual exchange platforms

Virtual exchanges can provide for greater accessibility as not everyone can take part in physical exchanges. VE could be more affordable and require less organisational arrangements, reaching out to people from remote areas or from poor socioeconomic backgrounds. In particular, virtual exchanges may ensure outreach to the countries/regions not participating in physical exchanges under Erasmus+.

Most of the popular and successful virtual exchange schemes today are group exchanges (groups of school and university students, usually led by their teachers and lecturers), while under EVE individual exchanges will constitute an important part of the exchange.

Virtual exchanges can address topics in ways that physical exchanges cannot, both in terms of technology and contents. Having multiple sessions with time in between has the great bonus of being able to involve family, friends, colleagues, peers in between sessions. With video, audio, photo there are many exciting tools and options that will enrich exchanges. Virtual exchanges help participants to develop a sense of belonging and contribution to democratic life as well as improving their employability, personal development, appreciation of different cultures, and language skills. Virtual exchanges would also adhere to the cross-cutting features of the Erasmus+, namely its international outreach, multilingualism, and equity and inclusion. Youth mobility in non-formal education currently lacks a fully developed virtual dimension. EVE will contribute to developing that virtual dimension of youth exchanges. This is crucial as general ‘soft’ skills (e.g. teamwork, inter-cultural communication) obtained through non-formal learning can be very relevant in the labour market; these can also prove to be extremely important in fostering tolerant attitudes within Europe and beyond. Virtual exchanges may serve as preparation for physical exchanges (for example, EVE may feature courses on how to find and enrol into physical exchanges). VE tools may be used by teachers as part of their courses provided for (physical) exchange students. VE may also serve as a continuation of physical exchanges, helping mobile students to stay in touch or continue participating in joint international projects. Erasmus+ graduates facilitators.

may

become

EVE

Furthermore, most of the current schemes are US-based and aim for exchanges between US and non-US participants. EVE will promote exchanges under the European aegis. Last but not least, EVE will (partly) fill an increasing opportunity gap for young people from neighbouring regions, for whom it has become harder to participate in common activities with young people from Europe. Virtual exchanges form part of a new albeit fast-developing field. EVE could become a major player in helping to promote virtual exchanges while bringing in new ideas, approaches, languages and participants.

There are numerous complementarities between EVE and the existing virtual exchange platforms, such as themes covered, target groups addressed and regions covered. Regarding all these aspects, EVE is a complementary addition to the field. EVE can take advantage of the experience of the existing platforms in reaching out to potential participants, learn from their successes and mistakes (the study at hand draws on such information). EVE should partner up with the existing platforms to spread the idea of VE and assess the effects of such exchanges, for example by joining the Virtual Exchange Coalition. Finally, technology resources should become more accessible. All platforms struggle with one or several aspects of the technology needed to run virtual exchanges. The Commission could release its technical implementation as an open-source project that other initiatives could use, but also extend and enrich. 39

EVE might draw on support that Erasmus+ provides for participants at risk (special needs support or support to group leaders).

2.3 Preconditions for success and key risks In each chapter pertaining to an element of EVE, we will discuss the risks relating to those elements. In this section we outline the crucial risks and preconditions for success that must inform the platform’s management, and should be monitored from the launch of the EVE initiative. The biggest risk is that EVE may not attract the interest of young people and that they may not see many reasons to participate. This would be reflected by a failure to reach 2,000 participants by the end of 2017 and/or 200,000 by the end of 2019. Although many existing virtual exchange platforms show remarkable participation numbers, this is typically achieved over long periods of time. For instance, the cumulative figure of 1 million participants on the Global Nomads Group platform took 18 years to achieve. iEarn reported an impressive figure of around two million daily users, but its community was built over 28 years. TakingITGlobal took 10 years to attract 230,000 active individual participants. In order for EVE to achieve its ambitious goals and deliver on key aims, such as intercultural awareness, development of soft skills and reduced radicalisation, five major elements must be considered:     

EVE’s core purpose Participants’ engagement and commitment A strong network of facilitators Adaptation to the needs of local communities Enabling technology

The most important aspect of EVE, its core purpose, should be communicated in a clear and transparent way. Each participant should be able to understand exactly what EVE is trying to achieve on a global level (‘what’s in it for society?’) and its benefits on the individual level (‘what’s in it for me?’). This is especially relevant to regions beyond Europe, where European initiatives are often met with suspicion. Some examples of such mission are: “empowering young adults to establish more cooperative and compassionate relations between their societies” (Soliya51) or “interconnected, peaceful and just world” at iEARN52. To ensure target groups find out about EVE and its mission, a wide range of communication channels should be employed, including educational, youth-specific, and social media settings. Our suggestion is that EVE should focus its purpose on creating multi-cultural communities for the development 21st century skills, including linguistic flexibility, digital competencies, openness to new ideas, and the ability to communicate and collaborate with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. This is a goal that diverse countries, regions, and groups within society can agree on. Our study reveals a number of other options in regard to the potential mission of the EVE initiative, including greater multicultural awareness; contribution to change (political, economic, environmental, etc.); decreasing or preventing radicalisation of young people. In fact, multi-cultural awareness and preventing/ decreasing radicalisation is part of EVE’s rationale and intervention logic, as presented in the chapter on monitoring and evaluation. We expect that participation in youth exchanges will contribute to such goals in the medium to long term.

51

http://www.soliya.net/?q=why_we_do_it_vision_and_mission

52

http://us.iearn.org/about

40

However, these goals should be communicated in a very sensitive manner, with a clear awareness of regional and cultural contexts. There is a risk that EVE will be perceived as “just another European Union activity” – a boring institutional initiative filled with buzz words. To avoid this, it might be helpful to brand EVE as a platform striving for societal change and/ or to associate with the brand of Erasmus+, which is positively recognised in participating countries. However, contribution to change might be part of EVE’s rationale in Europe, but once again has to be approached with great care in countries beyond the EU. Another important challenge is user engagement and commitment. The majority of the existing virtual exchange platforms only offer participants the opportunity to join as a group, affiliated with partner schools or universities. When individuals join in groups as part of their school or university curricula, engagement is supported by the existing infrastructure (i.e. teacher evaluations, the need to receive course credits, peer pressure to complete projects). Yet, one of EVE’s unique selling points is that in addition to group exchanges, it will be open to individuals who would otherwise not be able to take part. Among others, this could include people at risk, such as school drop-outs, NEETs, and other groups. In such cases much attention must be given to maintaining user engagement and commitment, as individual participants are more likely to not show up or drop out. In small groups, one or more absentees may have a negative influence on the class dynamics. Several measures may mitigate this risk. First, it is essential to reduce user burden by ensuring the EVE platform is easy to register on and use. Second, there must be a support team or peers offering help at all times. Next, participant engagement should be maintained by offering diverse topics aligned with participants’ interests, and/or through the innovative use of gamification. Effective facilitation will have a crucial role. Lastly, appropriate recognition methods will have to be employed to encourage users to complete the exchanges. A strong and experienced network of facilitators will also serve as a major precondition for the success of EVE platform. Facilitators will not only ensure youth participation in exchanges that truly matter to them, but will also create and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment. Yet, there is a risk that an environment that is too supportive may yield a ‘false dialogue’ – a situation in which participants are so nice to each other that honest exchange never occurs, for fear of offending other participants. The role of facilitators is therefore essential in ensuring the balance between politeness and the honest expression of opinions in dialogue. Another existing risk related to facilitation is the high turnover among the volunteer facilitators. This is problematic as it takes a great deal of time and skill to attract, select, and train new facilitators. High turnover also prevents the formation of a cohesive and experienced facilitation network. Exchanges must touch on issues that are important to participants and their local communities. Engaging in open dialogue with the current and potential participants is the way to discover which exchange topics are likely to spark their interest. Partnerships must be established with local NGOs, educational institutions, youth organisations, community representatives. The platform also has to take advantage of research, such as that conducted by Anna Lindh Foundation, to better understand youth values and interests in the Mediterranean region. Capacities will need to be strengthened – not only those of the local partner organisations, but also organisations and institutions promoting and representing EVE. This is the key to ensuring that organisations cooperate in on open and trust-based manner rather than engaging in the uni-directional communication or public relations. Lastly, enabling technology is an essential precondition for the success of EVE platform for synchronous as well as asynchronous exchanges. Appropriate technological solutions directly tackle the risk of EVE being hard to use, inaccessible in countries with slower bandwidth, and not secure. Commitment to developing an easy-to-use, intuitive user interface and continuous usability testing both are crucial to ensuring EVE is a sustainable platform for youth exchanges irrespective of devices used for access (computer, tablet, and mobile). Data security is important from individual user perspective, granting participants a space in which they feel safe, and politically, because any abuse of the platform, for whichever purpose, would severely damage the reputation of EVE. 2.4 Developing partnerships 41

Forming partnerships is an important step in developing and maintaining EVE programme. Numerous expert institutions and organisations can support content and technological development. They can also help deliver a successful marketing campaign, attract and train facilitators, and assist in engaging and rewarding participants. From the perspective of partner organisations, partnership with EVE may prove useful for numerous reasons. First, such partnership could become part of their corporate social responsibility strategy, with a focus on investing into youth development, intercultural dialogue, and peacebuilding. Second, it could serve as a testbed for new products, ideas, or technological solutions. The main types of potential partners are listed below: Content partners will depend on selected thematic priorities. Partner organisations will provide recommendation and contribute to the development of exchange materials. Examples of partners include universities, researchers, and businesses. Technology partners will provide technological and software solutions for EVE on an ongoing basis. Such partners include technology giants, in particular those with larger initiatives EVE could fit into, such as Google’s Growth Engine for Digital Skills or Cisco’s Networking Academy. Some thematic priorities may require additional technical capacities. For instance, a cinema theme may require video editing tools. In such a case complementary technology partnerships should be pursued. Privacy partners could improve user privacy protection on EVE. Options include privacy-aware search engines such as DuckDuckGoGo and Qwant, online rights organisations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and the European Digital Rights Network (EDRi). Facilitation partners will provide support for facilitator attraction, selection, training, and support. Partner options include Salto Training and Cooperation Resource Centre, Soliya, UNI collaboration, IC Thinking group, and the Anna Lindh Foundation. Credibility partners will be individuals and organisations that strengthen EVE’s credibility. Potential partners could include a wide set of European and international institutions (i.e. OECD, United Nations), national ministries of education, investor forums, chambers of commerce, academic institutions, and technology giants. Marketing partners will be a mixture of on-going partnerships (marketing agencies, channel owners) and theme-specific partners, including channel owners and theme ambassadors, recognised experts or celebrities in the field contributing to the exchange through guest appearances, as co-authors of the resources, or as faces of the exchange. Reward partners will contribute to or provide rewards and benefits for participation and excellence. Reward partners will accredit certification, depending on what its thematic focus is. These partners should be credible and respected organisations that will increase the prestige of EVE certification. Rewards for excellence, such as trips to Brussels, participation in training or other youth events, and thematic-priority specific prizes will also be provided by reward partners. Essential reward infrastructure partnerships should be with Youthpass, Salto Training and Cooperation Resource Centre, and Mozilla Foundation. Evaluation partners will support EVE in designing a research framework for evaluating changes in participants’ attitudes and soft skills, in addition to collecting, analysing, and interpreting data appropriate for this purpose. Partnership with the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the Researching Youth in Action Network (RAY) may be complemented by the expertise of independent experts, universities, and research institutes. Regional partners will support EVE’s growth in regions beyond Europe and current Erasmus+ counties. Regional Salto Centres for the Caucasus, the Mediterranean and South-East Europe; the thematically relevant Salto Training and Cooperation Resource Centre, and the Anna Lindh Foundation. These partners will provide advice and support on a number of issues, such as cultural differences, region-appropriate topics and facilitation, marketing, and technology. For a list of potential partnership in the MENA region see Annex 5. 42

Funding partners. Initial funding for EVE will be provided by the European Commission. Later on EVE may benefit by attracting funds from alternative sources. Potential funding partnerships include the Stevens Initiative at the Aspen Institute; national governments; Qatar Foundation International; Open Society Foundation; Bezos Family Foundation; Alwaleed Philanthropies; the Anna Lindh Foundation, and others. Particular thematic priorities could also seek themeappropriate funding sources.

2.5 EVE timeline To achieve its target of 200,000 participants by 2019, the further development of EVE must proceed immediately after the feasibility study is completed. As illustrated by Figure 5, we foresee this process as taking place in four phases that divide the designing (conceptualisation and setting up) and operation (piloting and scaling up) of EVE until the end of 2019 into distinctive steps. The year 2017 is expected to be the busiest. The first stage, which is currently ongoing and expected to last until January 2017, is the conceptualising of EVE and its basic principles. This covers this feasibility study and consequent decisions on what EVE should look like overall, and how it should function. Once these tasks are completed, the developers of EVE should proceed to deciding more specific details, such as thematic priorities and contents of exchanges. Additional consultations may be required with representatives of target groups, other stakeholders and experts, in order to find out about the demand-side expectations from EVE. The conceptualisation phase will end with the drafting of technical specifications for EVE’s infrastructure and development services. Meanwhile, consultations and discussions on the specifics of EVE may continue in the second stage as well. As soon as possible – preferably also during the conceptualising phase – the developers of EVE should begin to create partnerships for different aspects of EVE. This process should continue throughout all the stages of EVE’s designing and operation. The second stage is setting up. This is expected to continue from January 2017 up until September 2017, and end with the launch of the initiative. The main task of this phase will be to fully prepare EVE for the public. This process will include developing IT infrastructure, exchange contents, monitoring design and marketing strategy. Some of these tasks will be based on the public procurement of services and infrastructure. Further, Marketing, and the recruitment and training of facilitators – essential preconditions for EVE’s functioning – should also begin in parallel to the tasks involved in EVE’s setup. These two processes will be ongoing throughout the succeeding stages. The third stage – piloting – is likely to begin in September 2017. It will last for a few months, approximately until January 2018. The pilot phase will mark the beginning of EVE’s operation and the continuous processes related to it: facilitation, regular monitoring, quality control, management and support services, fostering participant engagement, and improvements in technology and content. The end of the pilot phase will not interrupt these processes, but rather mark their initial evaluation and adjustment. Finally, the scaling up phase, which is expected to last from January 2018 until December 2019, will cover further actions aimed at achieving the target of 200,000 participants, mainly the continuous processes starting with the piloting phase. Each element of this flowchart is discussed in more detail in the chapters that follow.

43

Figure 5. Stages of EVE's development

44

3. Participants 3.1 The purpose and approach of this chapter What do we want to achieve?

Over 200,000 young people will have participated in an Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange by the end of 2019. This chapter seeks to explore EVE through their eyes, from the first interaction with the platform to the final moment of farewell, and draw key recommendations from and through this user-centric approach. What are the key challenges?

Among the key challenges that need to be resolved are:     

Presenting a visually appealing platform vs. convincing with credibility Offering an easy registration process vs. ensuring security and avoiding spam Offering engaging tasks/challenges vs. a very wide age and experience span Providing a safe space for users vs. keeping an eye on what happens Enthusiasm for a fascinating new idea vs. setting up an actual exchange

How will we achieve it?

The chapter will analyse the typical process of user engagement in the following steps:   

  

 



Welcome o The very first impression of the platform Registration o Creating a profile on the platform o Personalising the platform experience Initiation o Finding tasks and challenges to participate in o Sharing one’s contribution to a task/ challenge o Browsing the contribution of other platform users o Connecting with other users about their contributions Induction o Searching through exchange opportunities o Deciding which virtual exchange to join at first Interaction o Communicating with other platform users o Interacting with the platform’s facilitators Creation o Sharing ideas for new virtual exchanges o Finding collaborators for an exchange idea o Co-creating a basic virtual exchange Connection o Sharing products and insights from an exchange o Exploring the connections between users Expansion o Co-developing ideas for new exchanges o Finding new collaborators for an exchange idea o Co-creating an advanced virtual exchange Farewell o The final moment on/with the platform

3.2 The first encounter with the platform How should we shape the first impression of the platform? Users decide extremely rapidly about the visual appeal of a website: it takes less than 50 milliseconds for users to decide if they like a website53. It is therefore crucial that EVE is designed and coded extremely well, in a style appealing to the target group, rather than the visual design of its institutional stakeholders. A convoluted, unattractive website – somewhat platforms with many users and interactions can easily become – would be an absolute deal breaker, and our costings will reflect the need to work with leading web design agencies to ensure that EVE gets a design that convinces in 50 milliseconds. After these instantaneous initial moments, users are interested in swiftly understanding the purpose of a site. EVE needs to make it clear at first sight what it is doing and offering, rather than banning its vision to the ubiquitous ‘about’ section. Ideally, clarity about EVE’s vision is coupled with attractive audio-visual materials (illustrations, videos) and real-life examples of actions and interactions on the platform, so users can get an impression of what to expect and to look forward to. Lastly, users need to be able to evaluate the credibility of a website. The Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility continue to offer an excellent framework that EVE should rely on 54. The guidelines recommend ten steps to build the credibility of a website55: 1. Make it easy to verify the accuracy of the information on your site. You can build website credibility by providing third-party support (citations, references, source material) for information you present, especially if you link to this evidence. Even if people do not follow these links, you have shown confidence in your material. 2. Show that there is a real organisation behind your site. Showing that your web site is for a legitimate organisation will boost the site's credibility. The easiest way to do this is by listing a physical address. Other features can also help, such as posting a photo of your offices or listing a membership with the chamber of commerce. 3. Highlight the expertise in your organisation and in the content and services you provide. Do you have experts on your team? Are your contributors or service providers authorities? Be sure to give their credentials. Are you affiliated with a respected organisation? Make that clear. Conversely, do not link to outside sites that are not credible. Your site becomes less credible by association. 4. Show that honest and trustworthy people stand behind your site. The first part of this guideline is to show there are real people behind the site and in the organisation. Next, find a way to convey their trustworthiness through images or text. For example, some sites post employee biographies that tell about family or hobbies. 5. Make it easy to contact you. A simple way to boost your site's credibility is by making your contact information clear: phone number, physical address, and email address. 6. Design your site so it looks professional (or is appropriate for your purpose). We find that people quickly evaluate a site by visual design alone. When designing your site, pay attention to layout, typography, images, consistency issues, and more. Of course, not all sites gain credibility by looking like IBM.com. The visual design should match the site's purpose.

Lindgarrd, G. (2006). “Attention web designers: You have 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression!” In: Behaviour and Information Technology, Vol. 25, Iss. 2, pp 115-126. Available online (pdf). 53

A good starting point to explore the context of the guidelines is the 2003 presentation of author B.J. Fogg, “What makes a website credible?”, available online at static.lukew.com/web_credibility_lecture.pdf. 54

55

http://credibility.stanford.edu/guidelines/

46

7. Make your site easy to use and useful. We are squeezing two guidelines into one here. Our research shows that sites win credibility points by being both easy to use and useful. Some site operators forget about users when they cater to their own company's ego or try to show the dazzling things they can do with web technology. 8. Update your site's content often (at least show it has been reviewed recently). People assign more credibility to sites that show that they have been recently updated or reviewed. 9. Use restraint with any promotional content (e.g., ads, offers). If possible, avoid having ads on your site. If you must have ads, clearly distinguish the sponsored content from your own. Avoid pop-up ads, unless you do not mind annoying users and losing credibility. As for writing style, try to be clear, direct, and sincere. 10. Avoid errors of all types, no matter how small they seem. Typographical errors and broken links hurt a site's credibility more than most people imagine. It is also important to keep your site up and running56. Translating these guidelines to 2016 and into EVE’s context – a virtual exchange platform for young people – this means that EVE should: 1. Have a standardised referencing system on the website, as well as one page that pulls all those references into one digital place for easy cross-reference 2. Introduce the central support structure and the rationale for them having been chosen, as well as the various stakeholders of the platform, in a transparent manner 3. Explain and exemplify the expertise of the central support structure, and showcase some of the various experts that will enrich youth exchange sessions 4. Have succinct biographies of all facilitators and core facilitators on the site, be clear who has the right to access which personal data of users, and make user rights explicit 5. Have a well-functioning contact form for and respond quickly to non-registered users; and make it possible for registered users to contact facilitators directly The remaining aspects (6 – 10) of the Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility are covered in Chapter 10 (Technology). How can we convince platform visitors to register on EVE? The main reasons for EVE’s institutional stakeholders to enforce registration (in particular the protection of minors and the prevention of online abuse) are, while absolutely legitimate, not suitable to convince young people to register. Users want and need to be convinced that signing up for EVE is useful not (only) for the hosts of the platform, but for themselves. Much research has been undertaken about why users do and do not sign up for websites 57, a question that continues to produce many opinion pieces58 and occasionally stir heated debates 59. Among the many voices and opinions, it is not always easy to determine actual best practice, but across most major social networks it currently is common:

Fogg, B.J. (2002). Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility. A Research Summary from the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab. Stanford University. http://credibility.stanford.edu/guidelines. 56

Recent examples include Sekiguchi, A., Sakaida, D. and Tsuda, K. (2015). “Study on effective user registration procedure in business to business using web analytics.” In: International Journal of Intelligent Systems Technologies and Applications (IJISTA), Vol. 14, No. 3/4, 2015 and Klun, M. et al. (2015): “I Agree”: The Effects of Embedding Terms of Service Key Points in Online User Registration Form. In Julio Abascal et al (eds): Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2015. Heidelberg: Springer Verlag. 57

Examples include “New approaches to designing log-in forms” (Link), “Online Registration is Harder Than You Think” (Link), “UX Flows: How to craft effective Sign-Ups” (Link) and “10 tips for a better login page and process” (Link). 58

While there is a widespread exhaustion about websites that force users to register needlessly—at least as experienced and felt by users—and plenty of tips for avoiding registration altogether ( example), there is a strong resistance against being forced to sign up with a specific service, such as Facebook, without alternatives (example). 59

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      

to to to to to to to

explain clearly why registration is not only necessary but valuable for users provide but not enforce the option to register through social media accounts never post anything through the social media accounts of registered users design registration flows using gradual engagement (as Twitter has done)60 keep things simple and refrain from implementing registration categories balance the need for user protection61 and the need for platform security always focus on the experience of the user and never use institutional logic

How should participants register? Two alternative options exist: potential users could either be prompted to fill out a registration form, or they could be provided with an option to sign up using an existing social media profile. Given that a significant proportion of youth use one of the social media platforms (1,712m of Facebook62, 313m of Twitter63 users worldwide in the 2nd quarter of 2016), using such a “oneclick” approach to signing up is likely to reduce the effort required to register and therefore yield a larger registered user pool. From social media profiles, EVE could get such user data as first and last names, e-mail address, and country of residence. If additional data is required, registered users could be prompted to fill out complementary fields whenever convenient to them. Nevertheless, many users prefer signing up with their e-mail address and this option should be made available. Including social media functionality not only facilitates the process of signing up, but also enables leveraging the social nature of the platform. As illustrated by a recent large-scale randomised controlled trial, people tend to do things that they see on social media other people do. In EVE’s context, once users register using their social media account, photos of their friends who are also registered on EVE could be displayed to increase participation. This is likely to encourage new users to explore the platform. If potential users are not willing to start their EVE experience by registering, they should be provided with an opportunity to explore the topics of exchanges and existing project database without registering and should only be prompted to register when ready to start contributing to the exchanges. What are the risks at registration? One potential risk in the sign-up process is provision of false identities. Providing false details could amplify risks, such as hate speech, fraud, or even attempts to radicalise youth. To reduce the likelihood of users registering with false identities, EVE should require them to upload a photo of themselves holding a valid photo ID. This relatively playful “selfie version” of identity proof has been applied by platforms such as Airbnb 64 and Holvi65 successfully. The identify proof should not be necessary to register, but it could be necessary to post anything, and should be to participate in exchanges. Once the identity proof has been checked and approved, the image files should be securely deleted from EVE’s servers, with only a paper copy being kept offline. The Yahoo! hacks 66 are but one recent example showcasing how fragile server security can be despite best intentions.

Source: http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?1128. For an introduction to gradual engagement, see Luke Wrobleski’s “Sign up forms must die” and “More on gradual engagement”. 60

61

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook_real-name_policy_controversy#LGBT_users

62

http://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/

63

https://www.statista.com/statistics/282087/number-of-monthly-active-twitter-users/

64

https://www.airbnb.com/

65

https://www.holvi.com/browserblock/

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/dec/14/yahoo-hack-security-of-one-billionaccounts-breached 66

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Users should have an option to hide their surname on their public profile, use a nickname instead of their first name if they so wish, and hide their public profile altogether and make it visible to other registered users only. Administrators should always be able to see the full names of registered users, but the precarious situation of many minorities, from religious belief to sexual orientation, commands the possibility for registered users with proven identities to limit the publicity of their profiles and to obscure their full name for their own protection. What distinction should EVE make between individual users and group users? We suggest to always consider a user as an individual first, and to allow users to have as many affiliations to groups as they would like, for several reasons: 



  

Social networks function almost exclusively at individual level, at least at the moment. Young people are used to having their own identity, which is perceived as something very personal and is often carefully curated, on each as well as across platforms 67. Young people’s engagement is less frequently bound to a specific organisation, and more frequently fluctuates between several interest groups, projects, initiatives and organisations. There is no bijective relation between a young person and one organisation anymore68. The first steps on the platform, which we outline later on in this chapter, follow the concept of gradual engagement and not only seek to familiarise users with the platform, but also to connect them, as individuals, to peers from across and beyond Europe. The majority of virtual learning platforms, with the exception of language learning communities, works through group processes. Starting from the perspective and role of individuals is one of EVE’s unique selling points that sets it apart from everyone else. Groups may not always behave as a unified body. A school student might be sick but could participate from their living room, a youth worker might be on a job shadowing mission but wants to participate from their host office; and so on.

The way we suggest to conceptualise and design EVE is therefore that users register as themselves, and can then, by own choice, identify and connect as members of multiple groups, organisations, initiatives. Which best registration practices are recommended for EVE? In summary, we recommend the following approach to registration:  EVE should allow users to get to know the platform without having to sign up, convincing them that the exchange platform is worth registering for  EVE should develop visual material to explain what the platform is great for (the story boards of Airbnb69 are a prominent example of such visuals)  EVE should allow but not enforce registration through several well-chosen social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, WordPress, and OpenID  EVE should start the email-based sign-up process asking for the absolute minimum from the registering person: name, date of birth, and email  EVE should break the registration process into logical steps that users can relate to, e.g. by separating key personal data (residence, nationality) from identifying a school or organisation the registering user might belong to or be involved in

See the work of Kate and Elliot Tilleczek on Young Cyborgs or the work of Manfred Zentner and Aga Trnka-Kwiecinski on online identity building, for example. The session “ Young Cyborgs: Interrogating Technology’s Paradox with, for and By Youth” at the World Forum of the International Sociological Association in July 2016 in Vienna is a very good starting point for recent research on the subject: https://isaconf.confex.com/isaconf/forum2016/webprogram/Session6717.html 67

The German Volunteering Survey is one of several larger studies confirming this longdiscussed trend with very recent data: https://www.dza.de/en/research/fws.html 68

https://www.fastcompany.com/3064456/most-creative-people/with-13th-ava-duvernay-decries-an-unequal-criminaljustice-system 69

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       



EVE should always use first names in public displays, and should provide the option to hide the surname on a user profile. Facilitators will always have their full names visible to all users, and can also always see the full name of all users EVE should always make clear, visually as well as technically, where a user currently is at (e.g. step 2 of 4). All steps that could be useful but are not strictly necessary, users should be able to skip EVE should only offer registration for individual accounts, but allow users to connect their account to an organisation, network, school etc. and allow users to dissolve the connection at any time EVE should, in each language, use lightweight interactions as well as lightweight language throughout the registration process (and the entire platform) EVE should always be clear why information is asked, and be always clear that the information is never going to be used anywhere else but on the platform EVE should not use captchas and instead rely on honeypot techniques70 and Google’s No Captcha71 approach to separate bots from humans EVE should use SSL encryption for the entire website, including the registration process, using the new free Let’s Encrypt certificate authority72 EVE should develop user-friendly and human-readable privacy policies (great example from StackExchange73), cookie policies (great example from lumosity 74) and codes of conduct (great example from Vox75) Lastly, EVE should never post any updates on user’s social media accounts and never sent emails or email newsletters unless users opted into that

3.3 The first actions of newly registered users on the platform Should EVE offer low-threshold activities to newly registered users? Going from registering on the platform straight to participating in an organised, facilitated virtual exchange would be a steep climb for all users of EVE, even the most experienced and active ones. Researchers identified key participations barriers young people experience. They quote a young person saying “They (the organizations) need to offer us […] some action that is easy to

handle. Mainly through social media and something that does not stress you out (Youth, 2015 interview).” and conclude that “to reach out to those less engaged, it is key to minimize the threshold and make it easy to participate76”. Extending the concept of gradual engagement beyond the registration process and providing meaningful low-threshold activities will therefore be crucial, in particular for involving young people who are less politically active and digitally confident. How are digital natives using and learning on the internet? For developing low-threshold activities, it is essential to consider user types beyond the lingering digital natives – digital immigrants dichotomy, stemming from Marc Prensky’s 2001

70

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeypot_(computing)

71

https://security.googleblog.com/2014/12/are-you-robot-introducing-no-captcha.html

Let’s Encrypt is an initiative that is spearheaded by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Mozilla Foundation, seeking to “give people the digital certificates they need in order to enable HTTPS (SSL/TLS) for websites, for free, in the most user-friendly way” (source); 72

https://letsencrypt.org/ 73

http://stackexchange.com/legal/privacy-policy

74

https://www.lumosity.com/legal/cookie_policy

75

http://code-of-conduct.voxmedia.com/

Brandtzæg, P. B., Haugstveit, I. M., Lüders, M. and Følstad, A. (2015). Participation Barriers to Youth Civic Engagement in Social Media. Proceedings of the Ninth International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media. Available online (pdf). 76

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article77. Prensky’s starting point, however, continues to be valid and is of particular interest to

EVE: “I have a vision for education […] My vision is bottom-up—it begins with the students—what they need and how we can give it to them78”. In a nutshell, Prensky argues that through their exposure to digital spheres from the start of their lives, young people’s ways of and approaches to learning have changed fundamentally – in ways that remain very poorly understood and that are too often, and wrongly, discredited. In his own words (original emphasis): “Closely observing young peoples’ game playing and other habits

convinced me that what is taking place in education is not a “dumbing down” of this generation but rather a huge, continuous change to new and different things becoming important. […] I see a great new educational day coming, from them, for them, and with them79”.

EVE should, as best as possible, accommodate new ways of learning as they are emerging, and refrain from adopting offline practices and methods of formal and non-formal education for the web. Instead, EVE should offer truly digital forms of engagement, learning and exchange to become a successful virtual platform. We will provide examples of such digital forms of engagement later on in the chapter. How are different types of young people acting and engaging online? For developing digital approaches adequate to newly emerging forms of learning, it’s useful to consider how young people typically engage online. While user profiles of adults80 and children81 have been substantively explored, the available research for user profiles of young people is relatively scarce. According to the classification based on European countries data 82, there are five major groups of internet users:     

Non-Users: people who do not use the Internet on a regular basis Sporadic Users: users who are characterized by occasional and infrequent use of Internet services, such as e-mail and some specific tasks Entertainment Users: users who use Internet radio or TV, download games or music and chat more often than people in other clusters Instrumental Users: users who tend to engage in goal-oriented activities such as searching for information about goods or services and utilising such services as internet banking and online shopping; approximately 50% of them connect to the internet daily Advanced Users: users characterised by a varied and broad set of Internet behaviours

77

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Available online (pdf).

78

Prensky, M. (2015). From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom. Page 1. Available online (pdf).

79

Ibid, p. 5 and p. 9.

See, for example, the work of the Pew Research Center on digital readiness gaps of adult Americans, clustering adult internet users into The Unprepared (14%), Traditional Learners (5%), The Reluctant (33%), Cautious Clickers (31%) and Digitally Ready (17%). (Source) 80

Most notably the work of Sonia Livingstone and colleagues, for example in Livingstone, S., Haddon, L. and Görzig, A. (eds) (2012). Children, risk and safety on the internet. Research and policy challenges in comparative perspective. Bristol: The Policy Press. In this edited volume, Uwe Hasebrink introduces six clusters of young internet users (9-16 years of age): low risk novices, young networkers, moderate users, risky explorers, intensive gamers, and experienced networkers (pp. 134 ff). 81

Typology based on a Eurostat data from 2004 – 2006, featuring 12,666 people living in Norway, Sweden, Spain, Austria, and the UK. Brandtzæg, Petter Bae, Jan Heim, and Amela Karahasanović. "Understanding the new digital divide—A typology of Internet users in Europe." International journal of human-computer studies 69, no. 3 (2011): 123-138. 82

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Regarding young people, researchers observed that the majority of young people become entertainment users first and evolve into advanced users as their media skills grow and their interests expand83. Crucially for EVE, many of its users will be a mix of entertainment and advanced user profiles, and the balance between using their laptops, tablets and phones as toys or tools shifts accordingly. EVE will consequently need to offer both user types meaningful activities: playful engagement options for entertainment users and sincere engagement options for advanced users. How can gamification be used to increase engagement?

Gamification, the concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals84, can play a significant role in user engagement. With estimated 1.2 billion people playing video games worldwide in 201385, there are a lot opportunities to apply game designs to EVE platform in order to increase user engagement. Recent survey revealed that almost 80% of learners think their productivity would increase if their education or work institutions were more game-like. Over 60% respondents thought game elements, such as leader boards or increased competition, would motivate them86. Gamification elements include, but are not limited to level system with opportunity to progress to more advanced levels, scoring, avatar use, and virtual currencies. Some of these elements were successfully implemented in e-learning platforms. For instance, a non-profit educational organisation Khan Academy, providing free e-learning materials, introduced a wide range of gamification elements. Users are assigned avatars that are updated in exchange for completed tasks or points earned, there are six levels of badges with hundreds of different badges in total and “energy points” are awarded for watching videos and solving exercises. Such gamified elements are likely to increase user engagement. As EVE is a social exchange platform, gamification can also contribute to the recreation of social aspects in student exchanges. For instance, a virtual exchange project aiming to achieve crossnational co-operation between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland introduced a “student café” in which students could communicate on a personal level and exchange personal profiles, whilst not working on the projects 87. For EVE purposes, gamified designs could contribute to the perceived “reality” of the social interactions taking place on EVE. Which types of low-threshold activities should EVE offer? Combining all of the above research findings, we recommend the following approach to lowthreshold activities on the platform:  EVE should have a thematic focus for a certain time-span to focus activities on. The time-span should be experimented with during the pilot phase; likely three or four months would work best  EVE should invite users to create and submit media on aspects of such a thematic focus. These could be images, videos, blog posts, podcasts, illustrations, sound recordings, and more  EVE has to offer an attractive and straightforward way to tag the contributions, to allow them to be searched, clustered, and categorised

83

Ibid, p. 134.

84

http://blogs.gartner.com/brian_burke/2014/04/04/gartner-redefines-gamification/

85http://auth-83051f68-ec6c-44e0-afe5-bd8902acff57.cdn.spilcloud.com/v1/archives/1384952861.25_

State_of_Gaming_2013_US_FINAL.pdf 86

http://www.talentlms.com/blog/gamification-survey-results/

Austin, Roger, Lesley Abbott, Aidan Mulkeen, and Nigel Metcalfe. "Dissolving boundaries: cross-national co-operation through technology in education. “Curriculum journal 14, no. 1 (2003): 55-84. 87

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    

EVE needs to provide an easy and appealing way to browse the contributions, and should offer ways to respond to them, both through likes and comments EVE should have several ways of rewarding users for their contributions, from highlighting them on the landing page to a like-based reputation system EVE should publish all contributions without exception under a creative commons license, allowing for mixing and remixing of the contributions EVE should be designed in a way that all contributions can be explored immersively, e.g. through an interactive map. Choosing a thematic focus and a media type, users might explore the soundscape of various regions EVE should make it easy and inviting to showcase contributions outside its own platform on social media, by providing quick import/export options, direct and full links to every item, and a #hashtag for each thematic focus

How could a thematic focus look like and work? We have suggested above that EVE should have a thematic focus for a certain time-span to focus activities on. We recommend such foci both for low-threshold engagement activities and full virtual exchanges. These priorities should be different from structured dialogue thematic priorities both in style and substance. We would recommend broad themes that provide some focus, but little limitation. In the contents chapter, we explore a case study to think through thematic priorities, using music as an example for a thematic priority. This could mean that low-threshold activities could be photos that document concerts, blog posts about the lyrics of one’s favourite song, or a short video with a cover version. Virtual exchanges would follow the thematic focus as well. They could be about working with disadvantaged youth trough music, about the meaning of music in revolutions, or about ideas how policy could strengthen the role of music in youth work.

3.4 Using the platform to participate in virtual exchanges Which introductory exchanges should EVE offer? EVE should offer a standard introductory exchange, a 2-hour module that randomly pools together 10-12 young people for a facilitated session to introduce the platform and its possibilities by way of a practical example. These introductory modules should be interactive, put the participating young people at the centre, and continue the lightweight approach both in terms of theme and facilitation. The modules should be offered frequently and in several languages. Crucially, these introductory modules should be forward-looking, and rather than introduce the basic feature set of EVE for individual users – which participants will have already explored and would be quickly bored by – but rather concentrate on the collaborative features of the platform: the exchanges. How shall participants be able to search through exchange opportunities? At eve.org/exchanges, the platform should showcase sample exchanges to inspire users interested in joining an exchange. There should be a list of all upcoming teaser modules, with information on dates, language of exchange, and availability. The search interface should neither be restrictive nor overwhelming. A keyword search should be as possible as a combination with Boolean operators (and, or, not). Users should be able to limit their search by language, geography, day, and time. To provide one example for illustration, relying again on our music case study: A user searches for hip-hop. The returned results she wants to filter, and chooses two geographic filters (Mediterranean and Southwest Europe), two language filters (Arabic and Spanish), three day filters (Monday, Thursday, Saturday), and two time filters (afternoon and evening). How will communication with other platform users look like? There should be public and private layers of communication with other platform users. 53

In public, it should be possible to indirectly communicate with other users through Likes (which should not look like hearts), and directly through posts and (threaded and nested) replies/ comments. For comments, we suggest using Civil Comments, a recently piloted approach to comments that has been described as “the online equivalent of taking ten deep breaths before picking a fight”88 and requires any user wishing to leave a comment to first review three other comments. A peer review engine combines the three reviews, and only publishes the comment if it has been deemed “civil enough” by the three reviewers. It’s a very efficient self-regulating mechanism that works well, saves human and financial resources, and improves the atmosphere on any platform considerably89. In private, users should be able to communicate through direct messages. We suggest that there should be a possibility to flag private messages as offensive, to prevent potential abuse of any kind on EVE. How will participants interact with the platform’s facilitators? Communication with the platform’s facilitators should always be easy and quick. It should be possible to ping and summon anyone from the facilitation team with a quick mention of @facilitators. For conversations about sensitive issues, users should also be able to write to a trusted facilitator of their choice directly. How will participants be able to share their ideas for new virtual exchanges? We suggest using a feature of software development platforms to share ideas for new virtual exchanges, where users can put forward feature requests that can then receive upvotes by other users. In EVE’s central online discussion arena, at eve.org/ discussions, a section of the discussion fora should be dedicated exclusively to ideas for new exchanges. Suggesting an exchange does not constitute an obligation to organise or participate in an exchange. Ideas for new exchanges will be regularly featured on social media networks and in the biweekly EVE newsletter. It should be easy to suggest ideas for new exchanges, and fun to discover them. How will participants find collaborators for an exchange idea? Another section of the online discussion arena of EVE should be dedicated to identifying cooperators. For both sections, there should be some guidance and support in formulating an idea or ask for support in ways that are appealing. Searches for collaborators will also be regularly featured in social media networks and the newsletter. How will participants co-create a virtual exchange? Every exchange session needs a basic frame: session aims and objectives, timeline, and methods. These session plans should be prepared a few days in advance, and for new facilitators should be approved by a peer facilitator. The session plans of a multi-session exchange should always appear together. What will be the outcomes and insights from an exchange? Ideally, every exchange has some sort of output, but even if that is not the case: there will be tweets, messages, likes – actions associated with that exchange. As much as possible, the database of EVE should be able to connect these things, and be able to display them connectedly. If exchange participants opt for that, a social media stream should be part of the videoconference screen. How can users relate their own insights to those of others? This aspect sounds trivial, but is hard to get right. A user with interest and participation in certain exchanges should be shown activities on the platform that are relevant and connected to

88

https://www.wired.com/2016/08/nextdoor-breaks-sacred-design-rule-end-racial-profiling/#attachment_2080952

89

https://www.civilcomments.com

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their interest. We have foreseen a fair amount of resources in our costing for this, but even giants like Amazon struggle with this feature. What will be the final moments on/with the platform? Young users in particular have a growing sense of impatience with platforms and providers who disturb them unwantedly – and increasingly rely on other means of communication than email anyway. EVE should respect that, and when users want to leave and delete their account, EVE should let them go, delete their account without further ado, and switch all public messages and comment over to a generic user profile.

3.5 Summary This chapter has explored EVE through the lens of its users. Considering the experience of young people on the platform, it has become clear that the platform must be   

visually appealing in ways that institutional websites normally are not, crystal clear about its purpose, intention and potential at first sight, and earnest in following the Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility

to ensure young potential users do not abandon the platform during the first seconds of their initial visit. Having survived the crucial first moment, the platform then must:   

allow visitors to get to know the platform without enforcing registration, apply the principles of gradual engagement to its registration process, and respect current best practices to avoid typical pitfalls of social platforms.

Following the successful registration, EVE then should offer new users:   

playful low-threshold actions to contribute to ongoing thematic discussions, easy and appealing ways to browse and engage with contribution of others, and rewards for contributing to discussions as well as engaging with other users.

Woven into these initial low-threshold activities, EVE should offer a facilitated introductory exchange module with a small group of young people who get to know each other, and through that process also get to know the platform, its possibilities and approaches – and its potential. After these first steps and the introductory exchange, users will need and want to find exchanges to participate in. We have introduced ways to explore existing exchanges, as well as ways of suggesting, and for the daring even creating, new exchanges. A theoretically crucial feature of the platform – suggesting related activities – is likely to suffer from the state of technology, which does not yet allow for artificial intelligence mechanisms good enough to make this always a powerful or even useful feature. To counterbalance the limiting technology, we have introduced a range of ideas to allow users to dive deeper into EVE and begin to discover its full richness and depth, for example through an interactive map. The key to success will be to ensure that EVE is simple, without being simplistic, to start with, and becomes complex, without being complicated, over time. Finally, we have made suggestions on how to handle users who wish to leave EVE. That is of course nothing we suggest to actively promote, but nonetheless something we suggest to handle gracefully.

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4. Content of exchanges 4.1 The purpose and approach of this chapter What do we want to achieve?

In this chapter, we explore ideas for the content and format of virtual youth exchanges. The learnercentred philosophy of non-formal education forbids becoming too prescriptive: it will have to be up to the facilitators and users of the platform to ultimately decide what they want to do, and how they want to go about it. The freedom and responsibility to frame and determine one’s own learning is one of the core principles of non-formal education and youth work. This chapter is therefore slightly different from the other chapters in this feasibility study. It is much more a proof of concept. We seek to demonstrate that an online virtual exchange platform can offer powerful themes and intriguing formats that can drive an exchange and motivate young people. What are the key challenges?

Among the key challenges that need to be resolved are:    

Finding themes that are explorable but not too trivial or mundane Finding themes that are debatable but not too controversial from the outset Allowing for a diversity of themes but make those easily navigable Allowing for a diversity of formats but make them easily approachable

How will we achieve it?

The chapter will analyse the content and format of EVE by looking at the potential of thematic priorities first, and then exploring one thematic priority to illustrate the concept. We conclude the chapter by summarising support materials required for each thematic priority. 4.2 The potential of thematic priorities Can thematic priorities address one of EVE’s main dilemmas? In our expert and stakeholder interviews we heard one question being asked over and over again: How will EVE fascinate young people? The widely shared impression has been that intercultural exchanges, while very powerful, are not in themselves a topic that can pull young people to an internet platform. Our recommendation is to employ thematic priorities, to select them through the lens of intercultural dialogue, and to use them with the spirit of non-formal education in mind. To be more precise, we suggest:  

Using music, film, books, sports, food, travel, theatre as thematic priorities: they span across all cultures and borders, they fascinate young people, and they have a positive connotation, and at the same time offer a political dimension Using these thematic priorities to explore them in relation with aspects of society: music and gender, film and politics, books and democracy, sports and education, food and migration - there are nearly endless opportunities

This is the only approach that has resonated strongly across stakeholders, and we indeed see no better way in which to operate EVE but through the (politically attuned) lens of culture. The main disadvantage of such approach is that EVE will never become self-perpetuating. Each new thematic priority will require rethinking some aspects of the platform, spanning across contents, partnerships, marketing, and diplomacy. But the main advantage of this approach is that EVE will always remain lively, can over time adjust easily to newly emerging topics because 56

it has been, from the outset, designed that way, and with each new priority develop something novel. One very beautiful aspect of working with thematic priorities is that EVE can for each of them explore what young musicians, filmmakers, writers, poets, chefs, actors currently do. Each thematic priority will become a discovery tour becoming a tool to give these emerging new young voices a platform to be heard, and an opportunity to engage with youth from around the world.

4.3 Showcasing thematic priorities: a case study of music Rationale for music as a thematic priority Music is a very appropriate topic for EVE as it is both attractive to many young people, and easily accessible due to its tangible character. Furthermore, music as a topic is neutral enough not to create immediate controversy, and broad enough to allow many discussions, including political, ethical, and societal issues. This thematic priority selection is also well aligned with the 90 strategy to put culture at the heart of EU international relations . Content and formats of exchanges Music is a phenomenon well embedded in numerous challenges of the contemporary world. From the future of democracy, impact of technology on the society as we know it, environmental challenges, and gender, music both contributes to and reflects change. Such serious matters in disguise can be discussed on EVE using music as a starting point and then gradually discovering how these challenges affect the countries and regions globally. Sample challenges and potential topics are outlined in Table 5.

Table 5. Potential political, ethical and societal topics Challenges and issues Music and democracy

Potential topics

Music and environment

Music and politics Music and education Music and health

The role of music in democratic movements, such as the Arab Spring, Singing Revolution in the Baltics; reflections of democratic ideas in music; use of music for non-democratic purposes, propaganda; peacebuilding91) Using music to raise environmental awareness (e.g. works and songs of Angelique Kidjo, U2) 92; carbon print and greening of the music industry; how urbanisation and industrialisation disrupts or even destroys tribal music The intertwined relationship between music and politics, political messages in songs, reflections of political reality in songs93, use of music in political campaigns Education through music as and innovative pedagogy94, importance of musical education Music therapy, health benefits of music95, relationship between music and alcohol and illicit drug use

European Commission Press release, 8 June 2016 “A new strategy to put culture at the heart of EU international relations”, retrieved from http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-2074_en.htm 90

91

About

the

West–Eastern

Divan

Orchestra,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West%E2%80%93Eastern_Divan_Orchestra

Wikipedia,

About Angelique Kidjo, United Nations Environment Programme development, retrieved from http://www.unep.org/music_env/about.asp and U2 92

93 94

retrieved environment

from for

Music and Politics, retrieved from http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/mp/ Education though music, retrieved from http://etmonline.org/# 57

Music and economy

Economics of music, role of the music industry in economy, cities evolving around music industry Music and technology The future of music (e.g. written by artificial intelligence programmes96) Music and religion Religious music, music as a language of faith expression Music and gender Music of female empowerment, music of queerfeminism and LGBTQI* artists (e.g. music of Lady Gaga, Beyoncé) Music and migration Cities where different cultures intersect; culture spread with migration (e.g. refugees showcasing their heritage in Europe) To attract people who are interested in music itself, there will be a selection of exchanges on particular music genre, music production process, and technologies. These exchanges will predominantly be bottom-up and may or may not overlap with the above-listed options (Table 6).

Table 6. Sample music specific exchanges topics Exchange topic type Music genre Music composing Music lyrics Music production

Examples Pop, classical, rock, blues, jazz, indie, hip-hop, rap, electronic, folk, country Song writing, composing, combining instruments, writing for voices, musical devices Texting, playing with words, rhetorical devices, writing to a melody Rehearsing, recording synchronously and asynchronously, mixing, levelling, editing, business models, sale strategies

Under each of these different themes there will be a selection of exchanges of durations, for both group and individual participants. They will take various including formal debates, music production sessions: everything should be possible Depending on the topic of interest, partnerships with universities, music schools, players, and experts in other fields will be sought.

various formats on EVE. industry

Alongside trained facilitation, exchange programmes will also benefit from ambassador involvement – recognised experts or celebrities in the field contributing to the exchange as guest appearances, co-authors of the resources, or faces of the exchange. For instance, electoral campaign strategist could join an exchange on music and politics, Staff of Spotify or SoundCloud could join an exchange on music and economy, music therapy experts could contribute to the exchange on the health benefits of music. We also foresee a larger group of expert and celebrities music professionals or enthusiasts to become more actively involved as mentors for young people on EVE. This role will be exceptionally important as a motivating factor for young people. They will also play an important role in EVE’s marketing strategy, emphasising the benefits and possibilities provided by joining EVE. Most importantly, exchanges will benefit from the ‘crowdsourced expertise’. For instance, when discussing the role of music in democracy, participants from the Arab countries will be able to share their perspective and explain how music shaped and reflected their frustrations and expectations. This will provide a good opportunity for the European participants to reflect on the role of music in their societies. EVE will also offer an opportunity for bottom-up development of exchanges. For example, under the provided sub-themes such as ‘music and politics’ or ‘hip-hop’, participants will be encouraged to develop their own specific question of interest. Facilitators will provide assistance

20

95

Surprising,

Science-Backed

Health

http://greatist.com/happiness/unexpected-health-benefits-music 96

Benefits

of

Music,

retrieved

from

BBC, Artificial music: The computers that create melodies, 8 August 2014, retrieved from

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140808-music-like-never-heard-before

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in developing a detailed exchange plan, identifying the main questions for the exchange, and forming appropriate partnerships. Excitingly, EVE will offer the chance to produce outputs during an exchange. A DJ set, songs in any flavour from hip-hop to a-capella, a music video – but also blogs, wikis, or podcasts about the role of music in democracy and society. And while all that is going on, tweets and posts on social media network will spread the word: #discovermusic. Finally, EVE will bring young artists to the virtual exchange stage: whether they rap in Estonian or sing opera in Arabic, EVE will find and involve them, enriching youth exchanges and giving young artists a stage at the same time in ways that physical exchanges never could. After having explored the diversity of political, societal, cultural and economic topics starting from music as a thematic priority, we now want to turn to some of the aspects that need to be reconsidered with each new thematic priority, again more as a proof of concept to showcase that it can be done. Marketing The most important participant characteristics for marketing segmentation will be their age and geographical area of residence. On the one hand, it is important to offer exchanges that would be appropriate and interesting for younger (aged 13 – 16) as well as older participants. Geographically, it is important to ensure that marketing, especially in countries beyond Europe, is not Eurocentric. Any form of communication should make it clear that exchanges are about sharing perspectives and fostering understanding between European, Middle Eastern, and North African participants. Participation in these exchanges will benefit users by allowing them to feel part of the global community and to develop cultural awareness. It will also advance their skills important in both education and employment, including but not limited to foreign language skills, teamwork, collaboration, and project management abilities. Participants will also be able to create meaningful relationships with people from around the world, which would otherwise not be possible, and engage in critical discussions, such as the future of democracy, environment, politics, education, health, economics, technology, religion, and gender. Depending on the budget, all communication channels outlined in the marketing channels should be adopted: education, youth-specific, entertainment, and virtual settings, as well as existing networks. Additionally, channels likely to reach music enthusiasts should be focused on. These may be in any of the settings listed: music schools in education settings, music clubs/societies in youth-specific settings, clubs, concert halls in entertainment settings, Spotify and SoundCloud in virtual settings, and music related forums and domains in existing networks, such as music-related projects on eTwinning. Variety of available exchanges should be communicated to target groups. Marketing messages should emphasise the wide selection of exchanges where everybody, including music enthusiasts, musicians, people who would like to but have no conditions to create music, people interested in cultural studies and how music is intertwined with political and societal issues, will find exchanges of interest. The involvement of ambassadors, recognised experts or celebrities in the field, should also 97 be taken advantage of. EU Neighbourhood Barometer surveys indicate that European culture is rather distant to the EVE target populations beyond the EU. Therefore, local ambassadors should represent the initiative in respective states and regions. This would ensure participants from diverse geographical areas feel welcome and appreciated.

97

EU

Neighbourhood

Barometer,

info.eu/library/simple_search?page=13&field_all_titles_value=barometer

retrieved

from

http://www.enpi-

59

Diplomacy Music as a topic is very suitable from the perspective of public diplomacy as well. First, celebrity campaigns against global issues is a viable diplomacy tool, as people find celebrities more credible and interesting than politicians, diplomats, and public institutions. EVE might open new possibilities for the so-called celebrity diplomacy (as part of cultural diplomacy): young people will not only hear and see famous people from different regions, but will also get a change to interact with them on the platform. This is especially well aligned with goals of EU’s Partnership Instrument and public diplomacy strategy, which acknowledges the need to target 98 youth by means of cultural diplomacy and people-to-people interaction . Second, music is not associated that much with European Union institutions, which are often 99 perceived as technocratic and boring and seen negatively by some of the neighbourhood 100 countries . Therefore, the strong association between EVE and the European Commission in the eyes of participants is not desirable. Marketing EVE as a complementary programme to the Erasmus+ physical exchanges and relying on celebrity endorsements may help creating a more positive view of the programme. Partnerships Partnerships will be a crucial element in making EVE thematic exchanges successful. Appropriate partnerships will be sought annually, depending on the theme selected. Several major types of partnerships were identified for the music theme:   

Technology partners: companies providing software to work with audio files, such as WavePad, as well as music-sharing platforms, such as SoundCloud Reward partners: providing rewards and benefits for participation and performance. Examples for this specific thematic priority include Spotify, Apple, SoundCloud, YouTube, individual musicians, as well as various private and public foundations providing funding Content partners: providing advice and contributing to the development of exchange materials; appropriate partnerships will largely depend on a particular thematic priority. For music, partnerships with music professionals, music education institutions, concert halls, and music technology companies could be sought

Exchanges focused on music itself will require music-specific partnerships, featuring the following groups of contributors:     

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Composing music: young composers for all types of music, from contemporary hiphop to post-modern pop and everything in between and beyond; recognised composers as well as emerging ones Writing music: young writers and authors of music lyrics in different languages and styles, covering all of Europe and neighbouring regions, particularly the MENA Region Producing music: young music producers of all genres, from young colleagues at larger labels to emerging and established independent production companies Publishing music: radio stations and music channels, traditional/ terrestrial and modern/ online, in particular youth-targeted ones; Youtubers with a music focus Mixing music: Young DJs (such as Disclosure, Garrix, Kung, Madeon, Martinez Brothers , Claudia Cazau, Juicy M, Krewella, Maya Jane Coles, and Samantha Ronson to name just a few)

Public

Diplomacy,

to

build

trust

and

mutual

understanding,

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/fpi/documents/20160620_fpi_publicdiplomacy_infographic_web.pdf

retrieved

from

Jørgensen, K. E., & Laatikainen, K. V. (2012). Routledge handbook on the European Union and international institutions: performance, policy, power. Routledge, p. 436. 99

100

EU

Neighbourhood

Barometer,

info.eu/library/simple_search?page=11&field_all_titles_value=barometer

60

retrieved

from

http://www.enpi-

   

Sharing music: Streaming services, including the major companies (Amazon Prime, Apple Music, Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube) and emerging independent ones (Electric Jukebox and others) Presenting music: Young concert organisers and venues; young and emerging bookers and agents from across and beyond Europe Playing music: young bands and singers, covering every genre, every style, every language and every geographic region; including signed and unsigned musicians Critiquing music: Music critiques from all forms of media (radio, TV, print, online), Youtubers and bloggers

This list shows the diversity of potential partners needed to ensure that every young person from every corner of Europe and its neighbouring regions has an aspect of the theme to relate to. This is particularly important as it provides a variety of entry points for users. The quicker and easier users, specifically those new to the platform and/or the theme, can find a virtual exchange they can relate to and are interested in, the better. Looking beyond the initiation period, it is equally crucial to maintain the quality of exchanges and cooperation within them across the entire year. Recognition Rewards are an effective way to encourage participation and ensure continuous user engagement. Depending on the topic, these could include certification and rewards for excellence. One type of recognition is certificates accredited by well-known musicians (i.e. bands, DJs, performers), concert halls, universities, music businesses (i.e. record studios, music technology companies), and other appropriate and respected institutions in the field. Another type of recognition is rewards for excellence as judged by EVE facilitators, partners, and ambassadors. Such rewards could include invitations to Brussels, tickets to music festivals and concerts, and scholarships for education and/or professional development in music field. It is important to ensure though that the prizes are not excluding or Eurocentric. For this reason, festivals and concerts beyond Europe should also be considered. The best exchange group of the year could also be invited to meet face to face and be treated to trip to a music-related site.

4.4 Choosing thematic priorities With the approach described in this chapter – thematic priorities through the lens of intercultural dialogue – there are some themes that come to mind immediately beyond music, our showcase theme, such as film or poetry, while others might take some time to surface, such as food, sports or theatre. All of these are excellent, and not the only, candidates for thematic priorities. In line with the learner-centred and participatory philosophy and methodology of non-formal education and youth work, we suggest that all thematic priorities are decided upon by the users of EVE in an online voting. An initial period with calls for suggestions should be followed by a period of online discussions, and ideally test runs of short thematic virtual exchanges exploring the most prominent proposals. Online voting should be open for a sufficient period of time for the majority of users to have a fair chance to participate. We recommend drawing on the showcase example of the feasibility study and use music as the thematic priority for the pilot period.

4.5 Youth exchanges in action The chapter on facilitation and facilitators introduces and summarises EVE Facilitation Approach (EFA), and argues that the language, style, and methodology of virtual youth exchanges should be developed through a discursive, iterative process that is coordinated by the core group of facilitators and involves the entire EVE Facilitation Network (EFN). Against this backdrop, it would be futile to develop a blueprint for all forms and formats of virtual youth exchanges. This section therefore seeks to illustrate, but not to prescribe, examples of virtual youth exchanges. 61

Introductory exchanges Introductory exchanges are two-hour-modules with ten young people and one facilitator, seeking to introduce users to the overall format as well as the technical possibilities of the platform. They will use the current thematic priority as an entry-point, and introduce users to one another and the platform by exploring the theme. The two hours could look as follows: 00:00 05:00 15:00 25:00 35:00

Facilitator welcomes everyone, introduces herself/himself, clarifies the aim of the session Participants introduce themselves one by one with name, city and citizenship Facilitator introduces the platform and its technical possibilities relevant for exchanges Session turns to music, facilitator introduces the theme with a song about youth Each participant introduces their city with one song, explains lyrics, why they chose it, with time for other participants to ask questions and respond to the lyrics and songs 100:00 Facilitator recaps the songs and choices and weaves them together cleverly 115:00 Facilitator thanks everyone, points out what participants could do next, wraps up Short thematic exchanges Short thematic exchanges consist of 2-5 modules of two hours each, with 10-12 young people and 2 facilitators. They explore an aspect of the overall theme, span several weeks, and seek to dive into particular aspects of the theme in more detail. A possible sequence of a virtual youth exchange on unsigned music – songs that have not yet been published by a label – could look as follows: Session Session Session Session Session today?

1 2 3 4 5

Introduction to unsigned music, with a young band with first-hand experience Unsigned music in Spain: 5 bands and 5 songs from 5 unsigned Spanish bands Unsigned music in England: 5 bands and 5 songs from 5 unsigned English bands Unsigned music in Greece: 5 bands and 5 songs from 5 unsigned Greek bands Comparisons: commonalities and differences. What does young music express

Depending on the choices and interests of participants, the sessions could explore music in a variety of ways, among them thematically (exploring and comparing the lyrics and their meaning) and musically (diving into and contrasting rhythm and composition). Other avenues of exploration are equally imaginable, including how young musicians in different countries can become and stay successful. Long thematic exchanges Long thematic exchanges consist of 10 or more modules of two hours each, with 10-12 young people and 2 facilitators. They explore an aspect of the overall theme in depth and from several angles, span several months, and seek to critically examine chosen aspects of the theme with rigour. A possible sequence of the first 10 sessions of a virtual youth exchange on music of the Arab spring could look as follows: Session 01 Session 02 and Session 03 differences Session 04 Session 05 Session 06 not? Session 07 voices? Session 08 Session 09 spring? Session 10

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Introduction to the music of the Arab spring and its variety across the region Music of the Arab spring in the Southern Mediterranean (1): which songs exist, why? Music in the Southern Mediterranean (2): discovering commonalities and Music of the Arab spring in the Gulf region (1): which songs exist, and why? Music in the Gulf region (2): discovering commonalities and differences Diving into analysis: which aspects of the Arab spring are covered, and which are Looking at lyrics: which approaches are successful in expressing dissenting Exploring minorities: which voices are absent, or hard to discover, and why? Experimenting: which lyrics would participants chose to write about the Arab Experimenting: which music would participants chose for their own lyrics?

4.6 Summary We recommend introducing thematic priorities on EVE. Doing so resolves a couple of dilemmas at once: EVE gains attractiveness, diplomatic stumbling blocks are addressed, and rejuvenation becomes automated. Working with thematic priorities has a number of consequences, all of which are very worthwhile when taking the benefits into account. The chapter uses music as a showcase theme to exemplify how thematic priorities could work and which consequences that approach entails for key implementation areas. Importantly, and the chapter seeks to illustrate that, thematic priorities are not an approach to stifle political debates, on the contrary. Whether through the lens of music, sports or media: young people will be welcome to discuss topics they wish to explore, even if these are potentially conflictual or sensitive. A well-trained pool of facilitators will aid these discussions and ensure they are constructive, productive, respectful and fair.

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5. Facilitators 5.1 The purpose and approach of this chapter What do we want to achieve? At least 20,000 exchanges of young people will have taken place on the Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange (EVE) platform by the end of 2019. As per Technical Specifications of the request for services, “every EVE exchange (whether multilateral/individual or bilateral/ collective) will be supported by a trained facilitator”. This chapter seeks to analyse the key aspects of facilitation, from a facilitation approach to finding and training facilitators, supporting them and recognising their work. What are the key challenges? Among the key challenges that need to be resolved are:      

Attracting sufficient numbers of facilitators to facilitate every exchange Reflecting the aspired diversity of participants in the pool of facilitators Training high numbers of facilitators on virtual exchange facilitation Finding the right balance between steering and dominating discussions Finding the right balance between open discussions and extreme opinions Maintaining the motivation of facilitators beyond the initial exchanges

How will we achieve it? The chapter will analyse the facilitation of EVE by looking at:    

The The The The

role of facilitators on EVE EVE Facilitation Approach EVE Facilitation Network Core Group of Facilitators

and then, sequentially, for the entire facilitation network:    

Application and selection procedure Initial assessment, training, and support Ongoing assessment, training, and support Facilitators’ motivations and benefits

The chapter concludes by introducing the Virtual Exchange Summit, an annual conference that serves as the physical training and discussion hub of the EVE Facilitation Network.

5.2 The EVE Facilitation Approach (EFA) How should EVE be facilitated? The European Commission has positioned EVE firmly in the domain of non-formal education: “The EVE initiative will create a safe online community through which young people can participate […] in facilitated discussions designed to increasing their intercultural awareness […] through non-formal learning approaches“. Against that backdrop, the Technical Specifications ask which non-formal education methods should be used by EVE to achieve the required outcomes. The EVE facilitation approach should consider and acknowledge that there is currently no area of non-formal education and youth work in which the internet, social media, and social networks are used coherently across Europe. Most areas of youth work struggle with integrating digital modes of learning and engaging into well-established practices of non-formal education. The National Youth Council of Ireland published a research report as part of the Screenagers research project, Using ICT, digital and social media in youth work (2016) 101, which states that

101

The

research

report

is

http://www.youth.ie/sites/youth.ie/files/International%20report%20final.pdf .

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available

at

most youth workers do use social media at this point, but to varying degrees. The most common purposes are communication and information, and the most frequent channels are email and texts, followed by Facebook. Guidance, counselling, and other online support to young people remain an exception, and youth workers continue to struggle with the terminology and the reality of emerging and disappearing social networks. A fundamental constraint to improving the usage of the internet in youth work remains access to funding for adequate equipment. Support structures such as Verke, the Finnish National Development Centre for Digital Youth Work, remain an exception across Europe. Most importantly for the EVE Facilitation Approach (EFA), one dilemma has been consistently overlooked by youth work practice and research: when moving online, youth workers – whether in the role of educators, facilitators or mentors – no longer control the territory of youth work. Youth clubs, to use one of the most widely distributed spaces of youth work as an example, are owned by governmental or non-governmental youth work providers, and though youth work seeks to operate on equal level, it is ultimately the youth worker who has the authority to apply, ignore, or adjust the rules of the house. In online communities, this power relation is reversed. Young people construct their networked publics, and they protect and defend them when necessary. Dealing with that reverse power relation and learning how to negotiate principles of online engagement between young people as the hosts and youth workers as the guests, is a crucial and so far overlooked competence of educators, facilitators, and trainers. EVE is designed in ways that resemble a youth club, an institutional environment, hosted by youth workers, trainers, and facilitators, but young people are used to not being treated as guests when they are online. While there is no method or approach in non-formal education that could not be adapted to an online context under those conditions, it is important that EVE does not simply transplant offline non-formal educational practices into an online environment without appropriate adaptation. Online spaces for, with, and by young people are distinctly different from offline spaces in their philosophy and practice. However, they are, spaces equally fit to accommodate non-formal education, in a nutshell understood as learning that is intentional, voluntary, participatory, and learner-centred. In other words: non-formal education and online spaces can be a perfect match. To this date, however, educational practice in youth work has not been very skilled at exploiting that potentially powerful combination. For the facilitation of EVE to be successful, this has to change. Online learning generally, and virtual youth exchanges more specifically, has to find its own language, style and methodology under the roof of non-formal education – similar to open youth work or intercultural education, to name but two examples. The development of such language, style, and methodology cannot be anticipated: it requires a discursive, iterative process that is rooted in educational practice as well as an (online) learning theory. Our entire approach to EVE and its facilitation reflects that, from initial trainings strengthening digital competences of facilitators to annual virtual youth exchange summits. Over time, all these processes will help to formulate and consolidate the EVE Facilitation Approach (EFA). 5.3 The EVE Facilitation Network (EFN) How should EVE’s facilitators be organised? According to Technical Specifications “having sufficient numbers of well-trained, motivated and capable facilitators is anticipated to be one of the factors that will be fundamental to the success of this initiative.” We suggest establishing the EVE Facilitation Network (EFN) to organise, optimise, and oversee the work of the facilitators on the platform. To be successful, EVE needs an active online community of dedicated facilitators. How many facilitators will be needed? The technical specifications prescribe that:   

2,000 young people will have participated in an exchange by the end of 2017 200,000 young people will have participated in an exchange by the end of 2019 10 young people will be part of any virtual exchange on average 65

For our calculations, we are assuming that 50% of the 200,000 EVE users will start with an introductory teaser session, while the other half would skip the teaser session and take part in a multiple session exchange right away. We further assume that 70% of those who attended an introductory exchange will take part in at least one longer exchange. We also assume that longer exchanges of various durations will be offered 102, with a slight tendency to longer formats, based on the experience of existing virtual exchange platforms. 103 In sum, given that each session consists of (single or multiple) modules with a standard length of two hours, the facilitation hours would be:  



Introductory sessions (teasers), singular (2 h), 100,000 participants in total o 10,000 exchanges singular (2 h) = 20,000 hours Standard exchange sessions, plural, 170.000 participants in total o 3,000 exchanges plural ( 4 h) = 12,000 hours o 3,000 exchanges plural ( 8 h) = 24,000 hours o 3,000 exchanges plural (12 h) = 36,000 hours o 3,000 exchanges plural (16 h) = 48,000 hours o 3,000 exchanges plural (20 h) = 60,000 hours Long-term exchange sessions, plural

2,000 exchanges plural (∅ 30 hours) = 60,000 hours 

Subtotal of facilitation hours across formats o 27,000 exchange sessions with 260,000 facilitation hours

We further assume that all teaser sessions will be facilitated by one facilitator, and that 60% of all standard exchange sessions, independent of their length, will be facilitated by two facilitators, allowing them to address complex topics professionally as well as provide room for training and support of new facilitators. This increases the facilitation hours across all exchange formats and durations from 260,000 hours to (rounded off) 400,000 hours. In sum, EVE will require a total of 400,000 facilitation hours by the end of 2019. Then, assuming EVE will capture the fascination of young people across Europe enough to make volunteering for its facilitation attractive: On average, across Europe, young people rarely volunteer more than 10 hours per week for the same cause – and only if they really love what they do 104. Assuming EVE will fare in the middle, which means that on average volunteer facilitators would provide six hours per week. Over two years (2018 and 2019), with all other factors (holidays, stress, disillusionment, sickness…) reduced to a flat-rate 33% reduction, this would provide roughly 400 hours per volunteer (200 hours per year). Therefore, to cover 400,000 facilitation hours in 2018 and 2019, EVE would need, at the very least, 1,000 facilitation volunteers. Alternatively, the 400,000 facilitation hours could also be covered by a smaller network of paid facilitators. Assuming that, with the prevalent freelance model of the youth sector, a facilitator

“EVE should be flexible in allowing an exchange to happen over the course of multiple sessions or just one session, depending on the nature of the participants. For instance, one bilateral exchange may consist of a single session, whilst another exchange may have five or six sessions scheduled over a number of weeks or months.” – Technical specifications, p. 6. 102

In our scenario, the tendency is less pronounced than for existing virtual exchange platforms, because the majority of these work exclusively with organised groups (school classes, student cohorts), whereas EVE will also allow individual young people to participate. In our assessment it is easier with structured groups to achieve and maintain a commitment to longer exchange formats. 103

GHK (2010). Volunteering in the European Union. Brussels: Educational, Audiovisual & Culture Executive Agency and Directorate General Education and Culture. 104

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would probably be involved for not more than 15 hours per week, and again reducing all outage factors (holidays, stress, sickness etc.) to 33%, every paid facilitator would provide roughly 1,000 hours. EVE would therefore need, at the very least, 400 paid facilitators. Throughout the chapter, we focus on attracting, selecting, and training 1,000 volunteer facilitators, drawing from the experience of existing virtual exchange programmes. How can a network of 1,000 facilitators be organised? We suggest starting with assembling a core group of facilitation professionals from the youth field through an open call. They will become the guardians of the EVE Facilitation Network, including training new facilitators, overseeing all facilitation, mediating conflicts and ensuring consistency, quality, and coherence. Drawing from best practices in non-formal education, each core facilitator should not be responsible for more than 20 facilitators at a time, which means we would need a core group of approximately 50 facilitation experts. They need to be trained and, as a group, develop online facilitation approaches, draft codes of conduct including responses to hate speech, design training modules for online facilitators, agree on responsibilities for selection procedures, and much more. We would also suggest that this core group facilitates the 200 exchanges in 2017, which amount to 2,000 facilitation hours, a realistic average of 40 hours per person. We further suggest that this core group should   

be selected to the highest standards be contracted as freelancers, as is common in the sector be paid in line with European youth sector standards 105

receive advanced training during the development lab106 What should the profile of a member of the core group look like? We suggest that members of the core group of facilitators should:     

be competent in designing, implementing and evaluating training formats for facilitators and moderators based on the principles of non-formal learning be experienced in designing, delivering and evaluating exchange formats for young people in non-formal settings, preferably including online components have extensive experience working in intercultural teams of trainers, moderators and facilitators, ideally including neighbouring regions of Europe have extensive experience encompassing digital tools and spaces holistically and creatively in their training, moderation and facilitation work understand themselves, be perceived and act as role models for and within their communities of practice

Candidates must be between 18 and 40 years old, have experience as a project leader/organiser of youth exchanges (ideally within Erasmus+), and be able to work in English and ideally one other major language (Arabic, French, German, Russian, Spanish). We believe it is crucial that the core group already reflects the diversity we not only wish the EVE Facilitation Network to have, but also and especially would like to see among the virtual exchange participants. The core group should therefore include facilitators active with/in various communities and contexts of young people that are often structurally excluded and have little or

The standards are laid out by the Salto Resource Centre Network at https://www.saltoyouth.net/tools/ toy/help/trainerfees/. The daily fee at the time of writing this study was set to 280 105

Euro per day and person. We suggest to involve actors such as Soliya, eTwinning and Uni Collaboration for specific training modules during the development lab and draw on their experience in training facilitators for virtual exchanges. 106

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no access to physical exchanges and should include facilitators from Europe as well as neighbouring regions. How and when should a call for the core group be published? We suggest that the call for the core group should be published as early as possible in 2017. Ambitions for EVE are remarkable, and time is short. The call should be distributed to/in the youth sector in Europe and its neighbouring regions. The distribution channels of the SALTO Centres 107 and the European Youth Forum will be helpful, as well as youthpolicy.org and its social media presence. Where Erasmus+ Alumni have a network, such as former EVS volunteers, these should be drawn upon. Particular attention should be paid and effort be made to distribute the call to communities of disenfranchised/disadvantaged young people and those working with/for them. We expect the call to be an attractive offer, educationally as well as financially, that should result in 250-300 applications. We are, however, aware that such a profile remains rare in the youth sector, and expect that while the core group will, collectively, match the profile in full, not every individual member will do so, at least not from the start. Training the core group is therefore an essential component of our concept. How should the core group be trained? We suggest that the core group meets face-to-face at least once in the first half of 2017, ideally for at least a full week, for an extended training and development laboratory. The laboratory would seek to:      

shape the identity and atmosphere of the core group of facilitators, aiming to create a tightly-knit professional community – the guardians of EVE train all members of the core group on the main aspects of EVE, including online facilitation, exchange moderation, and usage of the available technology develop a shared approach to online facilitation, including strategies for engagement, conflict prevention, and conflict mitigation finalise draft codes of conduct and user rights charters for the core group, the EVE Facilitation network, and the EVE platform and its users develop initial and advanced training modules, to be run by the core group for all members of the EVE Facilitation Network agree on communication and feedback strategies, both within and for the core group and the wider EVE Facilitation Network

We suggest a public call for tender for the organisation of the training and development laboratory for the core group. None of the stakeholders – whether they are rooted in the youth sector or in the virtual exchange scene – has, on their own, enough substantive experience at the junction of youth work and virtual exchanges and the intersection of intercultural learning and non-formal education to justify an exclusive partnership108. In other words, there is no existing actor who has sufficient knowledge of European youth work, a historically rooted and pedagogically grounded approach to intercultural learning, and at the same time, sufficient

In particular SALTO Training & Cooperation – along with the regional centres covering the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe & Caucasus, and South East Europe. 107

Uni Collaboration and eTwinning have experience in training teachers, but not youth workers/leaders; Soliya takes an approach to facilitation that is very different from the typical role of a facilitator in non-formal education and is focused on US-MENA exchanges; Salto has extensive experience in training youth workers and trainers, but less so in training moderators, in particular with such a strong focus on online exchanges. A successful tender would need to connect and complement several of these stakeholders‘ experiences to provide the width and depth of experience required to train EVE’s core group of facilitators. 108

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experience with the pedagogy of virtual exchanges. A public tender should, if possible, therefore encourage joint bids – but in any case explicitly allow them. With the core group in place, trained and set to take care of the facilitation of the pilot phase in 2017, we can now turn to the 1,000 facilitators that will constitute the bulk of the EVE Facilitation Network. Who are we looking for to join the EVE Facilitation Network? We suggest that members of the EVE Facilitation Network should:    

have experience in designing and delivering exchange formats for young people in nonformal settings, preferably including online components have experience working in intercultural teams of facilitators, ideally including neighbouring regions of Europe have experience including digital tools and spaces creatively in their facilitation of exchanges be self-reflective and act as role models in their community of practice

Candidates should be between 16 and 35 years old, have solid experience with youth exchanges (ideally within Erasmus+), and be able to work in English and ideally one other language. We believe it is crucial that the EVE Facilitation Network reflects the diversity we would like to see among the virtual exchange participants. The network should therefore include facilitators active with/in various communities and contexts of young people that are often structurally excluded and have little or no access to physical exchanges. How and when should a call for facilitators be published? We suggest that the call for the EVE Facilitation Network should be published as widely as possible across and beyond the youth sector. The SALTO Centres could be one of the starting points for such a call. Volunteering networks, training networks, education networks, youth policy networks – all of these should be addressed to reach maximum spread of the call. The call should be designed in a convincing typography and print with clearly outlined benefits (recognition, rewards, remuneration) of facilitation. Preferably, a video is produced for the period in which the call for facilitators is live. For example as a sneak preview of EVE. Overall, no effort should be spared: this is one of the crucial moments for the success of EVE. Our costing and our timeline will both reflect that. 5.4 Application and selection procedure How should facilitators apply? We suggest that the application procedure for EVE reflects the innovative nature of the platform as much and as best as possible109. The application procedure should reflect that and skilfully appeal to both entertainment and advanced users. Ideally, applicants would not only need to fill in a well-designed application form, but also need to undertake one of the low-threshold activities that newly registered users are invited to do (such as produce and upload a short video, a podcast, a photo gallery on a specific theme). Applications should be made entirely and exclusively online. After the initial application wave, it should be possible to apply continually, as the turnover in a pool of 1,000 facilitators is expected to be noticeable. The core group would review applications

In the chapter on participants we have drawn on research by Petter Bae Brandtzæg, Jan Heim and Amela Karahasanović, who introduced five user types—non-users, sporadic users, entertainment users, instrumental users, and advanced users—arguing that young people are increasingly entertainment users, who evolve into advanced users when their interests diversify. Brandtzæg, P.B., Heim, J. and Karahasanović, A. (2011). “Understanding the new digital divide—A typology of internet users in Europe.” In International Journal of Human Computer Studies, Vol. 69, Issue 3, pp. 123-138. Available online. 109

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and select new facilitators on a regular basis. Such a rolling application procedure would allow the core team of facilitators to quickly fill open spots in the EVE Facilitation Network. How will successful candidates be identified and selected? We suggest that the selection procedure is handled online, as the application procedure itself. Our technology and costing chapters include appropriate solutions and resources. Applications should initially be assessed against a set of hard criteria by two members of the core team of facilitators, with a third opinion being requested in case of disagreements. – The criteria would include age, years of youth work experience, and years of digital experience. Such initial assessment would sort out ineligible applications, to arrive at a shortlist of eligible applications. The network should encompass the diversity of Europe and its neighbouring regions, and not only be balanced in terms of gender, geography and age, but also cover diversity in various ways (language, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, types of youth work, types of disenfranchisement, and so on). From that pool, we would suggest that the selection is made by an assessment team consisting of 45 people: 25 from the core group of facilitators, 10 from National Agencies of Erasmus+ Youth in Action, and 10 from European level (European Commission, European Youth Forum, and other stakeholders). Ideally, every application would be read by three persons, one from each of the three groups, meaning that every member of the assessment group would need to read 100 applications. The application form should be short and succinct and overall be a low hassle yet informative. Optional: We would recommend weighting criteria outlined above. Through such a weighting system more emphasis could be given to, providing just one example, the digital experience of applicants (with a weight of e.g. 1.2 compared to 1.0 for other criteria). Without self-confidence in using digital tools and owning digital spaces, the facilitators will be lost quickly on the EVE platform. How will candidates be screened before joining as facilitators? Before inviting successful applicants to join the EVE Facilitation Network, a security screening should take place. With trainers in the spheres of non-formal education and youth work this is less straightforward to organise than with teachers, owing to the lack of organisational structure (no degree registrations, no trade unions, no quality assurance networks). We therefore suggest that applicants are asked to provide, with their application:  

a link to a personal online presence (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat…) a referee who can vouch for their professional integrity

Both of these should be reviewed by the central administrative unit of the platform for coherence and consistency, in order of priority: if the online presence leaves doubt or is too minimal, the reference person should be contacted. If neither of these two provide sufficient clarity, the regional support team should recommend whether the application should be dropped, or a Skype call should be set up to speak to the applicant directly. 5.5 Initial assessment, training, and support How will the competences of facilitators be assessed initially? From our knowledge of the youth sector, we are convinced that the EFN pool of 1,000 facilitators will not have a comparatively homogenous skillset. We will rather see a relatively huge divergence, most probably at the intersection of youth exchange experience and digital competence. We therefore suggest that:

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a concise competence profile for EVE moderators is developed in 2017, with a coherent set of competence clusters in the areas crucial for virtual exchanges 110  

each new facilitator self-assesses their skill with the help of an online tool that covers the competence clusters, ideally with practical/relatable examples training modules are developed to address each competence cluster, such as mitigating conflicts online or working with multiple cameras in an exchange.

Of interest for EVE are the five typical youth worker profiles suggested by Tim Davies and Pete Cranston in one of the earliest substantive empirical studies on digital youth work, Youth Work and Social Networking (2008)111: Experienced youth workers, on the new media margins. These are youth workers who recognise the importance of digital engagement and new technologies but lack the experience, knowledge and confidence to understand how their youth work skills could translate to the digital sphere. Experienced youth workers, cautious converts. These are youth workers who are se-cure about their own skills, have experience of adapting to new situations and made an effort to keep in touch with new technology, often through a relationship with a child or family member. Emerging youth workers, active experimenters and progressive converts. These youth workers are among the most open, maybe active users of social networking sites themselves and are already experimenting with social media as important spaces in which to support and engage with young people. Emerging youth workers, uncritical networkers. These are youth workers who are themselves experienced digital users and are enthusiastic about using them in youth work, but partly unaware of and untrained to adequately address risks as well as opportunities. Experienced youth workers, ready responders. These youth workers are used to operating independently, are early adopters of new technology and can use their understanding of technology to identify solutions, challenges and opportunities. These profiles should be considered when developing a competence profile for the facilitators of EVE, as well as when designing their initial and ongoing training. Equally relevant is the Digital Competence Framework for Citizens (DigComp 2.0) 112, which has been renewed in a JRC Science for Policy Report in June 2016. With its five competence areas— 1. Information and data literacy; 2. Communication and collaboration; 3. Digital content creation; 4. Safety; 5. Problem-solving—it provides an excellent framework, in particular for designing training programmes for digital competences and new media literacy of EVE’s facilitators. How will facilitators be trained initially?

The work on competences of youth workers undertaken by Salto and on competences of telecollaborative teachers undertaken by Uni Collaboration (O'Dowd, Robert. "The competences of the telecollaborative teacher." The Language Learning Journal 43, no. 2 (2015): 194-207.) provide good starting points for such a competence profile. We recommend that the profile is developed by the core group of facilitators during their training and development laboratory. 110

111

See http://blog.practicalparticipation.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/fullYouth-Work-and-SocialNetworking-Final-Report.pdf 112

See https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication/eur-scientific-and-technical-research-reports/digcomp-20digital-competence-framework-citizens-update-phase-1-conceptual-reference-model

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In online facilitation many virtual platforms let moderation and facilitation emerge as the need arises, some even neglect it entirely113. Although there is a similarly high appreciation for the skills of great online facilitators, the training options remain scarcer. The various existing virtual exchange platforms, for example, have relatively disparate approaches to training: some train briefly, others much longer; some online, others face-to-face; some require facilitators to experience the platform as participants first, others do not. None of the existing training offers, whether in the domain of non-formal education or for a specific virtual exchange platform, satisfies the needs of EVE, a youth exchange platform drawing on youth work and non-formal education, for intercultural learning within Europe and with its neighbouring regions. Against that backdrop, we recommend that the trainings for new facilitators are planned and conducted by the core group of facilitators. The core group will bring together the best facilitators from (digital) youth work, non-formal education and (virtual) youth exchanges, and will comprise key facilitation practitioners and experts from many domains, spaces, and platforms. They will be best placed to conduct these trainings, and letting them do so has the added advantage of greatly contributing to the community spirit of EVE. Moreover, the resulting atmosphere is one of the preconditions for a facilitation style that can be authentically inclusive and create a sense of belonging. When considering the training model, it is crucial to find a balance between the intensity of the initial training (the longer the training, the better prepared facilitators will be) and the appeal of EVE’s Facilitation Network (the longer the training, the higher the hurdle to join). With this dichotomy in mind, we suggest that each facilitator should undergo an initial training of 16 hours. This would position EVE in the middle of existing virtual exchange platforms 114 and allow those interested in becoming a member of the EVE Facilitation Network to complete their initial training in two working days if they wish to do so. We suggest using the flipped classroom model for the training of facilitators, an approach that intentionally relies on a learner-centred methodology in accordance with the principles of nonformal education. The training material of existing virtual exchange platforms would be used as starting points whenever adequate. In a nutshell, this would require: 



Production of videos explaining the principles of online facilitation, the technical features of the platform, the codes of conduct, the user rights charter, the system of flagging and human response, the function of the ombudsmen and women (some videos to be used also for users of the platform later on) for asynchronous use Scheduling synchronous online sessions to explore cases and discuss possible responses to infiltration, conflicts, harassment, violence, non-eligible content, stalking, and other forms of unacceptable online behaviour.

After having completed two exchange sessions, bringing their overall hours of engagement with virtual youth exchanges to 20, facilitators should receive an accredited certificate recognising their training and practice, such as a European Certificate for Online Facilitation. How should facilitators be supported initially? In line with the Erasmus+ Inclusion and Diversity Strategy in the field of youth115, we think it will be necessary to offer support, including scholarships, for young people who could otherwise

Twitter is the most prominent example for a platform without moderation. Twitter is frequently criticised for not dealing with abuse on their platform. See for example: Warzel, Charlie (2016). “A Honeypot For Assholes”: Inside Twitter’s 10-Year Failure To Stop Harassment. Buzzfeed, online article (link). 113

Training approaches range from 10 online hours (Uni Collaboration) to 20 hours (Sharing Perspectives, Soliya, Suny Education Centre), but there are also platforms that do not train their facilitators at all. 114

115

https://www.salto-youth.net/downloads/4-17-3103/InclusionAndDiversityStrategy.pdf

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not join the EVE Facilitation Network, for example because their technological equipment or broadband access would not allow them to do so. Such a scholarship could entail a tablet and/or a flat rate for mobile internet access, but could also consist of a stipend. We have included both approaches in our costing. We further suggest pairing each facilitator with a colleague for peer support, in addition to having a dedicated coach/mentor among the core facilitators. 5.6 Ongoing assessment, training, and support How will the competences of facilitators be assessed continually? We suggest that each member of the EVE Facilitation Network should host at least five exchanges in a quarter, and take one additional training module every six months. In regular intervals, each facilitator should re-assess their own competences. For new facilitators it might make sense to initiate their first re-assessment six months after joining EFN: very often it is during the first weeks of doing something new that we realise what we miss to fulfil our tasks well. After that, the re-assessment schedule could relax somewhat and follow an annual pattern. How will facilitators be trained continually? We suggest that the core group develops a set of standard training modules, based on and adjusting to the self-assessment of facilitators as well as informed by ongoing monitoring and evaluation, to respond to the training needs of the EVE Facilitation Network. Such modules could cover:     

facilitation skills: asking good questions, inciting dialogue, promoting discussion mediation skills: preventing abuse, dealing with hate speech, construct inclusion digital skills: using social media platforms, understanding digital/social arenas media skills: producing photo essays, podcasts, videos, and mixing these formats technical skills: using the platform efficiently, resolving key technical issues

Moreover, the Virtual Youth Exchange Summits we are introducing below should contain a strong face-to-face training component. Facilitators will, as part of their training and the summits, but also continuously on eve.org, have the possibility to provide feedback on functions, processes and strategies of EVE, to ensure that the voices of those ‘running the show’ is heard. How should facilitators be supported continually? EVE must ensure an almost instant response system to facilitators who are in need of help. It can always happen that a moderator faces a situation they are unable to resolve on their own. In real life, there is always a colleague from the facilitation team in the same room, this is not the case in an online environment. The platform must therefore feature a way in which a facilitator can summon support, normally behind the scenes, but in extreme cases also by stepping in as a second facilitator for a running exchange session. The platform will also need a small group of young ombudsmen and ombudswomen who are neutral – meaning neither involved in the core facilitation group nor in the facilitation network – and can negotiate and mediate between members of the network as well as users and facilitators more generally. 5.7 Facilitators’ motivations and benefits How should EVE maintain the motivation of volunteer facilitators? We are convinced that EVE, through its array of intercultural exchanges and their richness and diversity, offers substantial motivation to all volunteer facilitators that can and should not be replaced. It can and should, however, be complemented by well-chosen measures for recognition, accreditation, rewards and remuneration, which we will outline in the next section. How can EVE recognise the role and contribution of the facilitators?

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We suggest to partner with Mozilla open badge system116 and develop badges117 dedicated to and recognising various levels of online facilitation skills as well as commitment to EVE (10 exchanges, 20 exchanges, 50 exchanges facilitated etc.). Furthering the open badge system, we suggest seeking accreditation for certain badges. This would be an area for partnerships with academic institutions (Open University-accredited badge for online conflict management) as well as businesses (Adobe-certified badge for podcast production). As is common in the youth sector, facilitators should receive a tailored/ personalised Youthpass Certificate. Additionally, they should be able to receive personal thematic certificates for completed training modules to allow their skills to be recognised e.g. during a recruitment procedure. It should be possible for facilitators, with increasing recognition of their skills and experience as virtual youth exchange facilitators, to progressively carry more responsibility. It should be possible, for example, to become a member of the core group of facilitators. What kind of rewards could EVE offer to its volunteer facilitators? In addition to the open badges and personal certificates, we would recommend considering additional rewards: 1. We assume that the stakeholders of EVE will organise regular events on virtual exchanges, from smaller workshops to larger conferences. For each and every event, one of the first considerations should be regarding the involvement of volunteer facilitators. 2. We believe that corporate partnerships could play out particularly well in this area. Sponsors are commonly able to provide a level of reward beyond the possibilities of institutional actors, and EVE should draw on that potential for its volunteer facilitators. 3. We suggest developing partnerships with academic institutions, so that facilitation training and practice would be recognised as part as university curriculum for student facilitators. How should facilitators be remunerated? We suggest introducing three levels of remuneration: 1. Base layer: facilitators are part of EFN as volunteers. Once they have completed 100 hours of facilitation, they receive a one-time stipend of EUR 1.000. 2. Medium layer: facilitators are part of EFN as facilitators. They are paid at a rate of 160 Euro per day and person (junior rate). 3. Top layer: facilitators are part of EFN as core facilitators. They are paid at a rate of 280 Euro per day and person (senior rate). Access to all three layers should be possible on a rolling basis – it is difficult to anticipate how quick and large the turnover will be, and we would therefore recommend operating with waiting lists to avoid having too few facilitators in any of the layers. How can a sense of community and belonging be created? A well-functioning and highly active platform will go a long way in producing a shared sense of community, but the EVE Facilitation Network will remain somewhat constrained by EVE’s pedagogical model, in which youth exchanges take place in small groups, with 1-2 facilitators supporting them. It can be hard, when working with only one additional colleague at a time, to stimulate and feel a shared sense of belonging.

116

https://openbadges.org/

For the potential of badges as a recognition system see Hauck, M. & MacKinnon T. (2016). “A new approach to assessing intercultural exchange. Soft certification of participation engagement.” In: Robert O’Downd & Tim Lewis (eds). Online Intercultural Exchange. New York: Routledge. 117

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We therefore suggest convening Virtual Youth Exchange Summits, for which all facilitators are encouraged to apply. In our view, one annual physical meeting will complement online activities in support of a sense of community perfectly. These summits should combine training modules with development phases and outreach work. 5.8 The Annual Virtual Youth Exchange Summit Virtual exchanges are a relatively young educational format, and almost entirely new in the youth sector within and beyond Europe. In this chapter we contend that the EVE Facilitation Network needs to develop a distinct facilitation approach – a unique combination of online learning and non-formal education – in a discursive, iterative process that is rooted in educational practice as well as online learning research. We also reason that a sense of community needs to be created and maintained, both among the core group of facilitators and the wider EVE Facilitation Network. One key instrument to accommodate both of these needs is an annual conference, the Virtual Youth Exchange Summit. While it is essential to bring the community of EVE stakeholders together once per year alone for the sense of community and the educational discourse, the Summit can and should, of course, serve other functions as well, including but not limited to:   

Monitoring and evaluation: the Summit should include the annual meeting of EVE stakeholders, where monitoring and evaluation findings are presented and discussed, as well as introduce the main findings to all attendees of the Summit; Marketing and public relations: the Summit should be used as an occasion to introduce the marketing campaigns for the next annual theme, and to raise awareness about virtual youth exchanges generally and EVE in particular; Ongoing and initial training: provide training for new and old members of the EVE Facilitation Network on non-formal pedagogy in virtual youth exchanges.

5.9 Summary In this chapter, we have explored the aspect of facilitation. We recommend that:    

a distinct facilitation approach is developed for virtual youth exchanges, rooted in best practices of non-formal (on- and offline) education and learning a small yet diverse core group of 50 freelance facilitators is recruited at the beginning of 2017 to help implement the pilot phase and shape EVE an EVE Facilitation Network (EFN) is formed to give an identity and a reference framework to the mix of volunteering and paid facilitators needed to run EVE a Virtual Youth Exchange Summit is organised as the annual get-together of the community of facilitators and stakeholders of EVE

We have then made numerous proposals on the profile of facilitators; the calls for applications for the core group and the network; the application, screening and selection procedures; the assessment, training and support of facilitators; and the recognition and remuneration of facilitators. 2017 as the year of development, testing, refining – also in facilitation 2017 is the pilot year of EVE, which will be carried heavily by the core group of facilitators. 2017 also needs to foresee the development of viable facilitation approaches, including regular feedback loops, and possibly an external evaluation. 2018 as the year of scaling To get from 200 exchanges by the end of 2017 to 20,000 exchanges by the end of 2019 (or in total numbers: from 2,000 young people by the end of 2017 to 200,000 young people by the end of 2019), 2018 will have to be the year of scaling by several magnitudes. Our costing will foresee a bigger EVE event in early 2018 that could serve as an internal evaluation event of the pilot phase as well as the public launch of EVE. 2019 as the year of success Ideally, in 2019 everything would simply be rolling along. Everything has been tested, everything works, and EVE scales smoothly. It could also be the year where all facilitators come 75

together for a large volunteering congress to give EVE a publicity boost, an option our costing will foresee.

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6. Marketing the initiative 6.1 The purpose of the Marketing Strategy What do we want to achieve? The Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange Initiative (EVE) has an ambitious goal to attract 2,000 young people by the end of 2017, and over 200,000 young people by the end of 2019. Developing a sound marketing strategy is an essential step to achieve this. Our key marketing aims consist of reaching a diverse target population, communicating the message, and attracting the target population to EVE. 

Reach o Engage a diverse target population o Reach people at risk and those already excluded from the mainstream society

Communicate o o

Differentiate EVE from other virtual exchange and social media platforms Communicate the unique selling proposition (EVE features and benefits)

o

Attract target population to register on EVE

Attract Prompt members of the target group to participate in EVE courses and/ or projects How will we achieve it? To achieve the above aims, the marketing strategy will consist of four building blocks:  

Group segmentation: identifying options for target group characteristics that could be used to segment population in order to achieve better reach Channel identification: reviewing marketing channel options, taking into account differences between segments, cultures, and geographical areas (e.g. Europe, Middle

East, North Africa)  

Exploring motivations and developing messages: designing content and presentation of the main marketing messages for each segment Mitigating risks: identifying marketing threats and developing actions to address them

Particulars of the marketing strategy will depend on the specific annual thematic priorities. Additional details and suggestions concerning the thematic priorities, including sample marketing channels and messages, are presented in Chapter 4. The chapter at hand introduces the overall framework and the key building blocks of the marketing strategy as well as how various marketing elements shall be implemented. What are the key challenges? EVE aims to attract a very diverse group of participants. Youth aged 13 – 30, includes school children, teenagers, university students, youth in VET, school drop-outs, NEETs, and young professionals among others. Therefore, the main marketing challenge is the sheer diversity of appropriate communication channels, motivations to register on EVE, and specific marketing messages, likely to be effective. Other key challenges that need to be resolved are:  

Presenting EVE as a programme with strong institutional support but avoiding an image of “just another EU activity” Segmenting target population in ways that capture the most important user characteristics from the marketing perspective, yet not overcomplicating it for practical purposes

Identifying appropriate marketing settings to reach all user segments, yet managing communication density to not overuse available channels 77

What does it mean to attract 200,000 users to EVE?

Attracting 200,000 participants by the end of 2019 may seem daunting, but considering the size of youth populations of countries in scope, it does not need to be so. Annex 6. Youth population size in countries likely to participate (including youth in Secondary or Tertiary education)present the size of target population in all countries, likely to participate on EVE. Because age intervals used by the international databases are not the same as EVE target group, age group 15-29 was chosen as the most appropriate. There are almost 90 million people aged 15 – 29 in the EU member states, 2,5 million more in the non-EU Western European Erasmus+ Programme and Partner countries. In Eastern Partnership countries, Western Balkan region, the South Mediterranean, and the Middle East regions there are almost 133 million young people aged 15 – 29. This indicates, that the overall aim to attract 200,000 participants translates into attracting 0.09% of the youth population from countries in scope. We assume that ideally, half (100,000) of participants would come from the EU Member States, with the remaining half joining from the three EU neighbourhood regions: Eastern Europe, Western Balkans, and South Mediterranean and Middle East. In this case, EVE would need to attract 0.11% of the youth population in the EU Member States and the non-EU Western European Erasmus+ Programme and Partner countries and 0.08% of the youth population in the Eastern Europe, Western Balkans, South Mediterranean and the Middle East. A large proportion of youth aged 15 – 29 is in secondary or tertiary education and can therefore be reached via educational settings (see summary Table 7). Table 7. Youth population in Secondary or Tertiary education Region

Estimated percentage of youth population (aged 15 – 29) in secondary education 20.9% 20.4%

Estimated percentage of youth population (aged 15 – 29) in tertiary education 32.6% 34.7%

EU Member States Non-EU Western European Erasmus+ Programme and Partner countries Eastern Partnership Countries 14.4% 28.2% Western Balkan region 19.4% 28.9% South Mediterranean and Middle East 22.9% 33.3% regions To reach youth in education as well as those not captured by marketing in education-settings, we will explore a variety of alternative marketing channels, paying specific attention to the motivations and barriers of people at risk or those already excluded from the mainstream society.

6.2 Group Segmentation Why segment the target population? The target population has to be segmented into clusters characterised by comparable sets of interests, expectations, and appropriate marketing channels. A number of key characteristics can be used for this purpose:      78

Geographical area of residence Age Socio-economic status (SES) Education Work experience



Internet user type

EVE participants will be drawn from diverse geographical areas: the Erasmus+ programme countries (the EU28 member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) as well as the non-Erasmus+ programme countries, in particular the Eastern European countries, the Balkans, the Southern Mediterranean, and the Middle East. The most appropriate and effective marketing messages and channels may differ remarkably in these areas. Considering the age of the target population, EVE initiative will target young people aged 1330 from all parts of society, with a particular emphasis on those young people at risk of, or already excluded from the mainstream society. The programme participants will come from various countries and will be very different in terms of their socio-economic status (SES), lifeexperiences, education, income, and other relevant characteristics. Naturally, some groups will be more likely to participate and easier to approach than others. It is anticipated that the programme will draw the attention of young persons from advantaged educational and economic backgrounds, who have good technical skills, are active on social media, have appropriate access to the internet, and enough time to pursue their interests. Yet, even in this segment, sub-segments of potential users with distinct interests exist. Market segmentation will have to reflect this to enable developing appropriate marketing messages and designing attractive exchange topics. People at risk or those already excluded from the mainstream society are arguably the most difficult to reach. Some of them may lack motivation to participate in EVE activities; others may lack adequate technical skills, access to the internet or other appropriate devices. Therefore, it is essential to develop means to reach this segment through channels accessible to them, paying extra attention to their particular situation. The contents of exchanges will have to be developed considering ways to offer something this segment could benefit from. It must be pointed out that segmentation should only be used to ensure that target populations are effectively reached and their needs are catered for. Segmentation should include careful consideration of any risk of discrimination, stigmatisation, and the risk of entrenching a particular social predicament rather than helping to overcome it. How to segment the target population? There are two key approaches to a priori market segmentation: variable-based segmentation and K-means clustering. Whereas the former refers to the formation of segments based on predetermined criteria, such as age, geographical area, or interests, K-means clustering uses data patterns and statistical methods to segment target groups. The latter method requires existing data on the actual usage of the EVE platform, which will only be available at later stages of EVE development. We suggest starting with pre-determined criteria segmentation. Firstly, demographic variables will be used, including age, education, and work experience. Although many other variables could be included, we recommend relying on a small number of observable characteristics, practical for identification of major marketing channels, likely to reach the largest number of people in scope. Other characteristics, such as internet user type and personal interests are very important in marketing message development and will be discussed alongside motivations for participation in EVE exchanges. Using age, education, and work experience in combination, we identified seven clusters (see the table below). Each cluster can be further segmented depending on the users’ geographical area of residence. Finally, people at risk and those already excluded from mainstream society are considered in a separate section below. Table 8. Key characteristics of the seven clusters Segment 1. Secondary school 2. Upper secondary school

Age 13 – 15 16 – 18

Education Secondary school

Work Experience No work experience

Upper secondary school

No or some casual work experience 79

3. VET 4. Starting university students 5. Post VET 6. Advanced university students 7. Professional career

16 18 18 21 19 24 22 24 25 30



VET



University students VET graduates

– – –

University students VET/ University graduates

No or some casual work experience or apprenticeships No work experience, part-time, or some casual work experience Apprenticeships or early stage of professional career Part-time, some casual work experience or early stage of professional career Early stage of professional career or several years of professional work experience

The EVE platform will have to develop specific messages (see 6.5 Developing Messages) and work with cluster-specific channels (see 6.3 Channel Identification) to reach each of these groups. Geographical area of residence is another important element in marketing, as local marketing channels are likely to be the most effective in reaching youth in scope. It is therefore essential to allow a certain degree of autonomy for the local marketing teams. Special consideration will be required to attract users from the MENA region, as communication channels and youth motivations for participation may be somewhat different to their European counterparts and technological as well as cultural barriers to participation may be higher in countries beyond Europe. Motivational specificities in the MENA region will be discussed in Section 6.4. It is also essential to consider various cultural sensitivities and norms when identifying marketing channels and developing messages for non-Erasmus+ regions (see also Chapters 4 and 11 on the contents of exchanges and diplomatic issues). Reaching out to people at risk and those already excluded from the mainstream society? One particular aim of the EVE programme is to include people at risk or those already excluded from the mainstream society. Erasmus+ Inclusion and Diversity Strategy 118 identified a set of situations that prevent young people from being employed, participating in formal and non-formal education, transnational mobility, democratic process, and the society at large: 

Disability (i.e. participants with special needs): young people with mental (intellectual, cognitive, learning), physical, sensory or other disabilities etc.

Health problems: young people with chronic health problems, severe illnesses or psychiatric conditions etc. 
 Educational difficulties: young people with learning difficulties, early school- leavers, lower qualified persons, young people with poor school performance etc. 
  



118

80

Cultural differences: immigrants, refugees or descendants from immigrant or refugee families, young people belonging to a national or ethnic minority, young people with linguistic adaptation and cultural inclusion difficulties etc. Economic obstacles: young people with a low standard of living, low income, dependence on social welfare system, young people in long-term unemployment or poverty, young people who are homeless, in debt or with financial problems etc. 
 Social obstacles: young people facing discrimination because of gender, age, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, etc., young people with limited social skills or antisocial or high-risk behaviours, young people in a precarious situation, (ex-)offenders, (ex-)drug or alcohol abusers, young and/or single parents, orphans etc.

http://ec.europa.eu/youth/library/reports/inclusion-diversity-strategy_en.pdf



Geographical obstacles: young people from remote or rural areas, young people living on small islands or in peripheral regions, young people from urban problem zones, young people from less serviced areas (limited public transport, poor facilities) etc.

We suggest adopting the same definition for EVE purposes, as it is part of Erasmus+ programme and shares its objectives. The key barriers to this group of people are presented in the table below. Although some overlap with the barriers, relevant to whole target population, recommended responses for people at risk and those already excluded from the mainstream society may differ. Table 9. Key barriers to joining EVE for people at risk and those already excluded from the mainstream society Potential barrier

Response

Inability to use EVE platform due to complexity of the platform Inability to focus and concentrate

Ensure design complexity is minimised; conduct user-testing to ensure simplicity

Inability to type/speak (due to disability) Lack of interest in courses and/or projects offered

Bias against “EU activities”

Feeling of not belonging

Inability to speak foreign languages used on EVE

Have not platform

heard

of

Lack of time No access to internet

the

Relevant section of the EVE initiative Participants

Ensure exchange topics are attractive and interesting Offer mobile access in addition to computer to ensure users can switch to different modalities when unable to focus Additional functionality to enable this group to leverage alternative means of communication (e.g. audio-/videocommunications for those unable to type) Ensure exchange topics cater for a wide set of interests and are easy to find; establish a participative, bottom-up culture allowing and encouraging participants to design their own sessions and shape the platform; consider conducting focus groups to identify sets of topics of interest Focus on the content and uniqueness of the platform in marketing communication; market EVE as a complementary programme to the Erasmus+ physical exchanges Ensure EVE community is inclusive via engaging facilitation sensitive to forms of discrimination

Content exchanges; Technology

Ensure key content is available in languages of participating countries, consider employing automated translation software Ensure marketing strategy employs a diverse set of marketing channels, encouraging participants to take a role as multiplier of EVE by sharing their experiences on social platforms Wide selection of exchanges of various durations Ensure there is an infrastructure of publicly accessible internet facilities (e.g. in libraries, schools, community centres)

Technology

of

Technology

Content exchanges

Marketing Initiative

of

the

Facilitators

Marketing

Content exchanges Other existing new initiatives

of or

81

No smart device/computer

Low technical device requirements to be suitable for participation in EVE; ensure there is an infrastructure of publicly accessible computer facilities

Other existing new initiatives

or

Youth at risk or those already excluded from the mainstream society may benefit from additional support. Erasmus+ Inclusion and Diversity Strategy 119 outlines a number of funding options available for Erasmus+ purposes, which could be translated into appropriate equivalents within virtual settings. For instance, existing Advance Planning Visits, in which trust and understanding are built, and additional group leaders for participants from vulnerable groups may both translate into extra attention being paid by the facilitators to the most vulnerable group members. Such attention could either take the form of mentoring or basic support in the case of linguistic or technological difficulties. In Erasmus+, participants from vulnerable groups can also apply for additional funding or access to online support for linguistic training – an opportunity which could also be introduced on EVE, especially for participation in exchanges of longer duration. Furthermore, Erasmus+ has two complementary budget items for young people from disadvantaged groups: special needs support due to disability or health and exceptional costs due to other exclusion factors. Although it is not likely that every interested participant from a disadvantaged background will be provided with a tablet or another smart device, partnerships with institutions working with groups at risk could be formed, potentially contributing to the development of infrastructure within such institutions to enable young people to participate in EVE.

6.3 Channel Identification What marketing channels could be used for EVE purposes? A number of distinct marketing channels could be identified for EVE purposes.     

Education settings Youth-specific settings Entertainment settings Virtual settings Existing networks

The formal and non-formal education settings include but are not limited to schools, universities, VET, and libraries. Especially relevant are youth clubs and societies, youth organisations, and sports clubs, separately identified as youth-specific settings. These include but are not limited to youth-run channels, such as Café Babel, famous YouTube channels, student magazines, and blogs. Methods, such as leaflets, placards, and presentations could be used in physical settings to introduce target groups to EVE and its benefits as well as provide an overview of selected thematic topics. In virtual settings (i.e. youth organisation websites, youth blogs) short video advertisements and textual information could be included. As to the entertainment settings, video advertisements could be shown before cinema films, whereas leaflets could be distributed in cafes. In particular, EVE could be marketed in cinemas, funded by the Creative Europe programme, formerly known as the Media Programme of the EU. This channel is especially relevant because disseminating EVE-related information in entertainment settings is likely to prompt association between EVE and free time, rather than prompt users to consider EVE an extension to their education. Celebrity endorsements for the EVE programme could be one of the methods used to attract attention of the target population.

119

82

http://ec.europa.eu/youth/library/reports/inclusion-diversity-strategy_en.pdf

Social media networks serve as another channel for information dissemination. In 2013, 89% of young adults aged 18–29 reported using social networking sites120. Platforms, such as Facebook (1,712 million users), Twitter (313 million users), Snapchat (150 million daily users)121, Instagram (500 million users)122, have the capacity to reach youth with a diverse set of interests. It is also important not to neglect local social media platforms, such as vk.com (Russia’s leading social network with 46 million daily users) 123. In the Arab region countries a similar view emerges with 87% of youth using Facebook, 32% using Twitter, 34% using Instagram, and 39% subscribed to YouTube 124. For instance, eTwinning accumulated 14,871 followers on Facebook and 5,974 more on Twitter125. The platform uses this follower base to increase user engagement: from 2015, they have organised over 4,000 live events on Facebook attracting thousands of school educators. Social media networks are not only great tools for sharing information but also for information dissemination at scale. Word-of-mouth is extremely relevant method given the social nature of the EVE itself. Potential users are more likely to register if members of their network are already registered. Seeing friends on Facebook follow EVE webpage is likely to prompt individuals to explore EVE themselves. EVE could also introduce a referral system, inspired by sharing platforms, such as Airbnb and Uber. In this approach, any registered user can “invite” their personal acquaintances to join the platform for a small personal gain. Uber and Airbnb use financial rewards that can be exchanged to services of these companies, however, the reward could also be non-monetary and count towards users’ certification of participation in EVE. Lastly, EVE could be marketed through existing VE networks, such as eTwinning, Virtual Exchange Coalition, Stevens Initiative, and others. For instance, eTwinning could be employed to spread information about EVE to users aged 13-18 in its network of around 50% of secondary schools in Europe. This practice is frequently employed within the EC: School Education Gateway relies on EPALE to promote its more important events and uses existing Erasmus+ channels, including its website and social media profiles, for information dissemination. The channels as presented above should not be considered distinct alternatives, but are to be used in combination for the greatest effect. Some channels will be more important than others, depending on specific sets of group characteristics. For this purpose bellow, we indicate 3-4 key settings in which user segments should be targeted: 



Secondary school segment o Schools, including teacher presentations and placards o Youth-specific settings, such as school clubs and societies, sports clubs o Existing networks (i.e. eTwinning, iEARN) Upper secondary school segment o Schools including teacher presentations and placards o Entertainment settings, including cinemas, cafés, restaurants, radio

Luchman, Joseph N., Jennifer Bergstrom, and Caitlin Krulikowski. "A motives framework of social media website use: A survey of young Americans." Computers in Human Behavior 38 (2014): 136-141. 120

121

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-02/snapchat-passes-twitter-in-daily-usage

http://www.businessinsider.de/snapchat-on-target-for-217-million-users-by-end-of-2017-20168?r=US&IR=T 122

http://blog.instagram.com/post/146255204757/160621-news

123

http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/russian-social-media-stats-yandex-vkontakte/

124

TNS for the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit 2015. Arab Social Media Report.

125

As of October 12, 2016 83













o Virtual settings, especially focusing on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram o Youth-specific settings, such as school clubs and societies, sports clubs VET segment o VET settings o Entertainment settings, including cinemas, cafés, restaurants, radio o Virtual settings (including Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter) o Youth-specific settings, such as clubs and societies, sports clubs Starting university students segment o University settings (including libraries) o Student clubs and societies, sports clubs o Entertainment settings, including cinemas, cafés, restaurants, radio o Virtual settings (including Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter) o Existing networks (i.e. Erasmus+) Post VET segment o Entertainment settings, including cinemas, cafés, restaurants, radio o Virtual settings (including Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter) o Youth-specific settings, such as clubs and societies, sports clubs Advanced university students segment o University settings (including libraries) o Student clubs and societies, sports clubs o Entertainment settings, including cinemas, cafés, restaurants, radio o Virtual settings (including LinkedIn, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter) o Existing networks (i.e. Erasmus+) Professional career segment o Virtual settings (including LinkedIn, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter) o Entertainment settings, including cinemas, cafés, restaurants, radio o Youth-specific settings, such as clubs and societies, sports clubs Groups at risk segment o Social support organisations and schemes, including but not limited to youth employment centres, mentoring schemes, social care centres o Entertainment settings, including cinemas, cafés, restaurants, radio o Virtual settings (including Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter)

Although each segment could be reached through each of the channels, some channels are likely to be more practical and cost-effective than others. For instance, most of secondary school students (except for school drop-outs, who are in the at risk segment) attend classes in secondary schools, and so educational settings are very appropriate for this segment. Nevertheless, they are active elsewhere too, so social media platforms and youth-specific settings should not be neglected as means to reach this group. What institutional partnerships could be formed for EVE marketing purposes? Specific channels to reach youth at risk and those already excluded from the mainstream society should be considered. Appropriate channels are likely to reflect the diversity of the segment itself. Therefore, we recommend pursuing an approach in which local organisations, working with youth at risk, are reached out to complement efforts to engage the young people themselves. Participants from the most disconnected groups likely to benefit from EVE the most are also the least likely to join as individuals. Forming partnerships with organisations, that work with such vulnerable groups, allows attracting them to EVE and engaging in the discussions. For instance, Sharing Perspectives Foundation launched a VE programme for university students and refugees. Refugees were reached by forming partnership with Kiron online university known for their work with refugees, the UAF Netherlands, and national refugee councils. Another VE programme, Soliya, attracts participants from groups at risk via partnerships with youth groups, community centres, job resource centres, and other institutions, working with young people at risk.

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This approach is well-aligned with the Erasmus+ Inclusion and Diversity Strategy126 and ensures that a diverse sample of people at risk is reached without the need to target them via multiple existing channels already aiming to attract youth to EVE. Identifying specific channels for youth at risk will allow sending a specific message to the most vulnerable groups explaining how perceived barriers to participation could be overcome – a communication element not relevant to other seven segments. Complementing individual persuasion with institutional partnerships could also be used to attract participants from the other seven segments. Many existing platforms, including the SUNY Education Centre, UNI Collaboration, and Sharing Perspectives Foundation, market their programmes via existing partnerships. Mainly relying on networking with school and university educators and presenting at appropriate conferences, these platforms were able to gain traction without direct marketing to participants. In the regions beyond Europe, it may be easier to enter the market with institutional support in place. Ideally, EVE would secure a statement from the Ministry of Education encouraging participation in the programme. This would send an unambiguous of message of governmental support for the programme. Relying on institutional support also has an advantage of providing a strong backbone structure for the ongoing participation. In the past Soliya aimed to attract individuals and faced challenges ensuring continuous engagement. Incorporating exchanges into existing institutional infrastructure ensures maintenance of the user base. Nonetheless, whilst large proportion of the target groups can be covered by institutional partnerships, some, for example university/VET graduates are likely to not be affiliated with any institutions. To attract them, direct marketing will be essential.

6.4 Motivation What are the main motivations to join EVE? Identifying major motivations to join EVE is crucial for the development of messages and understanding better what functionality should be included into the EVE platform. In Table 10 we list major potential motivations, based on the literature review, interviews, and the Tender Specifications. Although these key user motivations apply to each target segment, the emphasis may differ depending on a segment. For instance, whereas school students may be more interested in advancing foreign language skills for conversational purposes, young professionals may look to develop their professional linguistic abilities. Depending on their age, users may also be interested in different forms of recognition. University credits may serve as a strong incentive for university students, but it is an unlikely motivator for young professionals. Likewise, professional certifications may be more relevant to young professionals than school or university students. Beyond Europe, motivations to participate are likely to mainly include developing soft skills, increasing employability, and creating deep meaningful connections with people from very distinct geographical regions. According to our interviewees, education ministries in the Middle East and North Africa are positive with regard to additional opportunities for youth to develop their English language skills and to learn working with people from different cultural backgrounds. North Africa is more focused on English language acquisition, whereas the Middle East is more interested in technical skills, mathematics, and science. Internet and social media user types may also shape motivation for participation. In one of the most comprehensive accounts of motivation to use social media 127, researchers found that the five major motives include:

126

http://ec.europa.eu/youth/library/reports/inclusion-diversity-strategy_en.pdf

Brandtzæg, Petter Bae, and Jan Heim. "Why people use social networking sites." In International Conference on Online Communities and Social Computing, pp. 143-152. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2009. 127

85

    

Making new friends Connecting with old friends Socialising, often in terms of sharing ongoing updates Obtaining information from others Debating with others about specific topics

According to the classification based on European countries data128, there are five major groups of internet users:     

Non-Users: people who do not use the Internet on a regular basis Sporadic Users: users who are characterised by occasional and infrequent use of Internet services, such as e-mail and some specific tasks Entertainment Users: users who use Internet radio or TV, download games or music and chat more often than people in other clusters Instrumental Users: users who tend to engage in goal-oriented activities such as searching for information about goods or services and utilising such services as internet banking and online shopping; approximately 50% of them connect to the internet daily Advanced Users: users characterised by a varied and broad set of Internet behaviours

According to this research, youth aged 16–24 tend to be mostly either entertainment or sporadic users. With age, entertainment use decreases and those aged 25–34 become a mix of non-users, sporadic, instrumental, and advanced users. For EVE purposes, it is important to recognise the challenge of engaging sporadic users. This underlines the importance of marketing EVE as an entertaining initiative featuring multimedia resources and live video chat functionalities.

Table 10. User motivations to participate on EVE virtual exchanges User motivations Feeling part of the community (integrating or re-integrating, depending on individual circumstances), making new friends, socialising in virtual settings Feeling of being seen primarily as a human being, not a minority and/or vulnerable group Obtaining new interesting information Developing cultural awareness, getting to know other cultures Learning with people from other cultures, rather than only learning about the cultures Developing skills, important for employability, including foreign language skills, teamwork and collaboration skills, project management skills Using the skills above to pursue further education Drawing on the skills and certificates obtained to find employment or improve career prospects Receiving experience comparable to travelling, when physical travelling is not optional

Especially relevant to Disconnected European youth, especially from the deeply rural and suburban areas, at risk segment At risk segment

Everyone Everyone, especially those with little travel experience Everyone, especially those with little travel experience Youth from counties beyond Europe (including the Middle East and North Africa), at risk segment Everyone, especially the at risk segment Everyone, especially the at risk segment

At risk segment

Typology based on a Eurostat data from 2004 – 2006, featuring 12,666 people living in Norway, Sweden, Spain, Austria, and the UK. Brandtzæg, Petter Bae, Jan Heim, and Amela Karahasanović. "Understanding the new digital divide—A typology of Internet users in Europe." International journal of human-computer studies 69, no. 3 (2011): 123-138. 128

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Debating with others about specific topics of interest Wishing to engage in dialogue about Europe, its future, relation to, and position in the world Enjoying multicultural dialogue and encounters Opportunity to interact with known experts and celebrities in exchanges featuring guest facilitators Seeking to improve the world we live in and looking for partners for such engagement Improving digital literacy Being able to participate in youth exchanges irrespective of financial circumstances Feeling and being judged based on individual contributions rather than group prejudices, labels, and appearances Receiving recognition for the skills acquired or developed

Everyone Frustrated European youth, aiming to trigger change in Europe Everyone Everyone Everyone At risk segment At risk segment At risk segment

Youth from counties beyond Europe (including the Middle East and North Africa), at risk segment Two major groups of motivations emerge: developing 21st century employment skills and exploring issues that are important to participants and their local communities. EVE’s focus on developing 21st century employment skills, including linguistic flexibility, digital competencies, openness to new ideas, creativity, and the ability to communicate and collaborate with people from diverse cultural backgrounds, was chosen due to its perceived value both in Europe and in the regions beyond. Many motivations to use EVE, such as meeting new people from different cultures, developing creativity, teamwork and other skills valued at the 21st century workplaces are covered by this set of benefits. EVE’s commitment to enabling youth to discuss matters that are important to them, both in local and global arenas, suggests EVE could also be presented as a platform striving for societal change and offering an opportunity to discuss serious matters in a facilitated global virtual environment. This set of benefits is well-aligned with user motivations to engage in dialogue about Europe, its future, relation to, and position in the world as well as their willingness to improve the world they live in. However, contribution to change might be part of EVE’s rationale in Europe, but has to be approached with great care in countries beyond the EU.

6.5 Developing Messages What do we communicate? To attract the target groups to the EVE platform, the marketing strategy has to formulate a unique selling proposition (USP). It draws on:  

User motivations to join the EVE initiative Features of EVE’s that makes it different from and/ or better than other existing platforms

What differentiates EVE from other platforms? In addition to the motivations discussed above, below we outline characteristics of EVE that truly differentiate it from currently existing platforms. These are:    

An opportunity to discuss topics within the scope of thematic priority from many different angles with young people from all over the world Facilitation to ensure quality, effectiveness, and safety Advanced audio-visual/media facilities, easily accessible without having to download additional software Experiencing exchange diversity, ensured by the participation of other young people from a variety of geographies 87

     

Safe online community, ensured by facilitation and support Settings to have a critical discussion about Europe and the world, its directions, and visions No need to be part of a group to participate in an exchange A bottom-up approach in developing themes and sessions by participants The chance to discuss political issues, but no obligation to do so No participation cost

How do we communicate the EVE’s message? There is a diverse set of behavioural science informed methods to increase the effectiveness of communication. These include personalisation of messages and capitalising on social norms. Personalisation, customising any form of communication with potential customer base, aims to attract the attention of potential users by designing the content to meet individuals’ personal requirements. One of most prevalent forms of personalisation in communication is including individual’s name as the title of the message. Experiments in psychology suggest this to be a highly efficient way of attracting attention 129. Another powerful phenomenon to leverage is social norms. This technique relies on human tendency to follow others and has been used for marketing purposes130. An example of a relevant message for the EVE initiative is: “By 2020, one in five Europeans will have taken part in of youth exchange 131”. Many other existing techniques could be adopted, depending on what works best for the target population. The effectiveness of each marketing method could be evaluated using monitoring data, such as new platform views and newly registered users.

6.6 What are the key marketing risks? The table below provides the summary of key risks and suggests mitigation actions. Table 11. Marketing risks and actions to address them Marketing risk Irrelevant marketing content Bias against “EU activities”

Inconsistent and/or contradicting marketing messages Marketing does not reach individuals

Mitigation options Develop detailed planning and strategy to ensure marketing content corresponds to segment motivations and answers any questions people may have; consider focus-groups Marketing strategy should be careful not to market EVE as a EC initiative but a complementary programme to the Erasmus+ physical exchanges and a valuable opportunity for young people to get access to unique content Detailed planning with a responsible person assigned to ensuring marketing messages are channel- and segment-appropriate, monitoring to avoid inconsistencies and contradictions Ensure marketing strategy employs a diverse set of marketing channels, taking into account segment characteristics

Tacikowski, Pawel, and Anna Nowicka. "Allocation of attention to self-name and self-face: An ERP study." Biological psychology 84, no. 2 (2010): 318-324; Insights, Behavioural. "EAST: Four Simple Ways to Apply Behavioural Insights." London: Behavioural Insights (2014). Sanders, Michael. "Social Influences on Charitable Giving in the Workplace. “Journal of Behavioural and Experimental Economics (2016). 129

Asch, Solomon E. "The doctrine of suggestion, prestige and imitation in social psychology." Psychological review 55, no. 5 (1948): 250; M. Hallsworth, J. A. List, and R. D. Metcalfe, “The Behaviouralist as Tax Collector: Using Natural Field Experiments to Enhance Tax Compliance,” NBER Work. Pap. Ser., pp. 1–44, 2014. Joana Sousa Lourenço, Emanuele Ciriolo, Sara Rafael Almeida, and Xavier Troussard; Behavioural insights applied to policy: European Report 2016. 130

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/repository/education/library/statistics/ay-1213/facts-figures_en.pdf 131

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Making the impression EVE serves as an inferior substitute for physical exchanges

Ensure marketing strategy differentiates EVE from existing physical exchanges, emphasising its unique benefits, including but not limited to participants from a variety of countries, unique projects and courses; branding EVE as a complementary programme to Erasmus+ rather than a substitute for it

It is recommended to consider marketing-related risks in the context of other steps in designing, building, and testing the EVE platform. This way holistic risk mitigation strategy can be developed.

6.7 Development and implementation of marketing strategy How do we organise EVE marketing?

To develop and implement a marketing strategy appropriate for the thematic priority selected, we suggest releasing two public calls for tender immediately after the thematic priority for 2017 is selected. The first one would be to run the core marketing campaign, including developing a thematic priority-specific marketing strategy, designing EVE brand, assuming responsibility for marketing on the pan-European level, and coordinating local marketing efforts. The second would be for local supporting marketing activities. This would include forming marketing partnerships with local players, ensuring local channels are appropriate, reaching out to local organisations working with youth at risk, and ensuring marketing messages correspond with the local interests and motivations for participation. A series of youth competitions could be launched locally, for young people to design EVE advertising, from film to print design, really making EVE a young platform for young people. How do we monitor the effectiveness of EVE marketing?

Two major aspects of marketing effectiveness shoud be monitored: the extent to which marketing messages reach the target groups and the effectiveness of marketing channels in prompting youth to register on EVE. Reach should be measured on the overall level, as well as per channel. Sample reach metrics are the following: 

Number of followers on social media pages



Number of YouTube/TV video advertisement views



Number of leaflets distributed



Number of events organised



Number of attendees at school/university presentations Measuring the effectiveness of social media channels could be done by tracking where registering individuals come from (i.e. YouTube, Facebook), as this will reveal the effectiveness of marketing via specific virtual channels.

6.8 Summary To fulfil key EVE goals, four important steps in marketing strategy are identified. Each step will have to be customised depending on the selected thematic priority. The steps are the following: A priori predetermined criteria segmentation is recommended, using five variables: user age, education, work experience, geographic area of residence, and technology use sophistication 89

Appropriate educational, youth-specific, entertainment, virtual, and existing network settings are identified as the main marketing channels; 3-4 priority channels are recommended for each user segment Marketing messages should communicate key EVE benefits from the user-perspective and relate to users’ motivations. They should distinguish EVE from existing social and virtual exchange platforms, attract young people to get curious, be a part of an innovative experience, and draw on its key features and benefits Lastly, the key marketing-specific risks to be addressed include: irrelevant marketing contents, ineffective, inconsistent, or contradictory marketing, bias against “EU activities”, and perception of EVE as substitute for physical exchanges

90

7. Recognising learning 7.1 The purpose and approach of this chapter What do we want to achieve? The purpose of learning recognition is twofold: (1) developing ways to acknowledge the efforts of participants on the platform, and (2) providing possibilities for participants to showcase newly acquired skills and knowledge. To this end, this chapter seeks to develop a system for the recognition of participants’ efforts, skills, and knowledge. Why is it important? Recognition is first and foremost related to the motivation of participants. If completing an exchange is likely to strengthen learners’ role on the platform, foster their prospects in the labour market, or help bolster their education credits, it will attract and motivate participants. This is confirmed by a number of academic studies132. What are the key challenges? Drawing on previous research and interviews conducted for this feasibility study, the most relevant challenges from the perspective of the EVE initiative are:     

Lack of integration of virtual learning within existing recognition mechanisms Perceived lower value of virtual learning and online assessments Issues related to the affordability of recognition tools Inadaptability of higher education institutions Little guidance for learners on potential recognition options133

How will we achieve it? EVE is a youth exchange platform and by itself will not offer a formally accredited educational programme, though it will offer various ways for learning recognition. Beyond that, it should allow participants to draw on elements of the platform and get their learning accredited so that it can be used to complement their formal education. Against that backdrop, we will first explore non-formal and informal recognition tools, and then turn to recognition tools for formal education.

7.2 Non-formal and informal recognition As defined by Cedefop, informal learning results from daily activities related to work, family or leisure. It is not organised or structured in terms of objectives, time or learning support. Informal learning is in most cases unintentional from the learner’s perspective and even referred to as experiential or incidental/ random learning. Meanwhile non-formal learning, generally described as situated between formal and informal learning 134, is by its definition

Teixeira, António, Branca Miranda, and Ana Dias. ‘Virtual Mobility and the EQF: using elearning to widen access and enhance quality higher education across Europe.’ In World Conference on Educational Media and Technology 2011. T. Bastiaens & M. Ebner (Eds.) (2011), 3; Tsai, Hsien-Tung, and Peiyu Pai. ‘Explaining members' proactive participation in virtual communities.’ International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. 71, no. 4 (2013), 475-491. 132

Witthaus, Gabi, Andreia Inamorato dos Santos, Mark Childs, Anne-Christin TannhÃ, Grainne Conole, Bernard Nkuyubwatsi, and Yves Punie. Validation of Non-formal MOOC-based Learning: An Analysis of Assessment and Recognition Practices in Europe (OpenCred). No. JRC96968. Institute for Prospective and Technological Studies, Joint Research Centre (2016), 70-72. 133

134

Witthaus et al, 11. 91

intentional from the learner’s point of view although not explicitly designated as formal learning135. Youth exchanges typically encompass both types of learning. Participants attend a youth exchange with the motivation and interest to learn something – it may not be their only or prime interest, but there is an intention. The actual learning during youth exchanges often goes beyond what participants may have imagined, and informal learning takes place as well as nonformal learning.

7.3.1 Systemic recognition tools for non-formal and informal learning Why are systemic recognition tools relevant for EVE? One of the most important documents discussing this particular type of recognition is ‘European guidelines for validating non-formal and informal learning’, prepared by Cedefop136. Following the recommendation of the Council of the EU 137, Cedefop stressed the importance of assuring synergies “between validation arrangements and credit systems applicable in the formal education and training system, such as ECTS and ECVET” 138. The other recommendation concerns promotion of “the use of Union transparency tools, such as the Europass framework and Youthpass in order to facilitate the documentation of learning outcomes” 139. Which systemic recognition tools are the most relevant for EVE?

Europass is a Community framework with the aim to increase transparency and comparability of qualifications and competences acquired by European citizens. Europass has introduced a number of tools to this end140: 1. Freely accessible documents:  Curriculum Vitae: a document for effective and clear presentation of a person’s skills and qualifications, including formally, non-formally, and informally acquired competences141  Language Passport: a self-assessment tool for language skills142  Digital Skills Framework: a self-assessment tool for digital skills143  Entrepreneurial Skills Pass: a self-assessment tool for entrepreneurship abilities144 2. Documents issued by education and training authorities with the aim of:

Terminology of European education and training policy, 93,133 and Glossary of the Youth Partnership: http://pjp-eu.coe.int/en/web/youth-partnership/glossary/-/glossary/N#nonformal-education 135

European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training. European Guidelines for Validating Non-formal and Informal Learning. Office for Official Publications of the European Union, 2009. 136

Council Recommendation of 20 December 2012 on the validation of non-formal and informal learning [http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32012H1222(01)]. 137

138

Ibid, point 3j.

139

Ibid, point 3i.

140

http://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/about

141

http://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/documents/curriculum-vitae

http://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/documents/european-skills-passport/language-passport. The language passport uses the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and it’s six levels of language proficiency: A1 and A2, B1 and B2, C1 and C2. It is used not only in Europe but also increasingly in other continents and is now available in 40 languages. See http://www.coe.int/portfolio. 142

143

http://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/resources/digital-competences

144

92

http://www.entrepreneurialskillspass.eu/about.html

  

Europass Mobility: record the knowledge and skills acquired in another European country Certificate Supplement: describe the knowledge and skills acquired by holders of vocational education and training certificates Diploma Supplement: describe the knowledge and skills acquired by holders of higher education degrees

Youthpass forms part of the European Commission’s strategy to foster the recognition of nonformal learning. As a tool to document and recognise learning outcomes on a personalised certificate, it puts policy into practice by:    

Supporting the reflection upon one’s personal learning process and outcomes Strengthening the social recognition of youth work Supporting active European citizenship of young people and youth workers Supporting the employability of young people and of youth workers 145

How should EVE use these systemic recognition tools? Youthpass exists for several actions and strands of the Erasmus+ programme, and we recommend developing a Youthpass for virtual exchanges. Generic certificates are used less frequently146 and so a certificate template that is both tailored for virtual youth exchanges and adaptable to specific exchanges should be developed. We would specifically recommend Youthpass for older participants, since this type of recognition is more likely to be accepted by employers and academic institutions. Ideally, the issuing of Youthpasses would be integrated into EVE’s platform for a seamless experience. Europass offers a very useful and widespread CV format. EVE could offer two-hour modules that support participants in filling the template. The self-assessment of language skills and digital competences could both be verified by facilitators who have worked in virtual exchanges with the participant in question. This could be done informally, as the templates are freely available and modifiable, but we recommend forming an official partnership with Cedefop.

7.3.2 Platform-specific recognition tools for non-formal and informal learning Why are platform-specific recognition tools relevant for EVE? Numerous existing virtual exchange platforms use various recognition tools. While platformspecific recognition tools are certainly not a very strong form of documenting skills and qualifications, with the emergence of networks such as the Virtual Exchange Coalition, their importance could be growing in the future. Which platform-specific recognition tools are the most relevant for EVE? 



145

eTwinning, a platform promoting school collaboration in Europe, uses two tools to signal success: the European eTwinning Prizes and Quality Labels. While Prizes are given to projects based on student age and special categories, Quality Labels are granted to teachers with excellent eTwinning projects, where projects reach a certain national and European standard. The Sharing Perspectives Foundation is a non-profit and non-governmental organisation aiming to initiate, stimulate, and facilitate international cross-cultural dialogue by utilising new online communication platforms. All students who successfully finish the programme receive a Sharing Perspectives Foundation Certificate which recognises students’ achievements and completion of the course.

https://www.youthpass.eu/en/youthpass/about/

Fennes, Helmut et al. (2017): The usage of Youthpass. In: Researching Youth in Action: Long-term monitoring of the Erasmus+ Programme. Vienna, forthcoming. 146

93



Coursera is one of the most popular commercial online learning platforms. After successfully completing a course, users are rewarded with downloadable certificates, which they can share on their social media profiles and personal websites.

How should EVE use platform-specific recognition tools? We would recommend designing a standard template for certificates so that it can be quickly drawn upon. It should be complementary to Youthpass, which documents the learning process overall, in that it only certifies the acquisition of specific skills. Falling back on our case study of music as a thematic priority, such a certificate could, for example, document that a learner has completed a 10-hour youth exchange on music production and has learned how to capture, edit, enhance, mix, and publish multi-stream performances.

7.3.3 Motivational recognition tools for non-formal and informal learning Why are motivational recognition tools relevant for EVE? Not every new user of EVE will want to participate in exchanges immediately, and we have designed a wide range of activities for everyone to undertake on the platform, following the model of gradual engagement. Providing some ‘currency of attention’ during each and any of these activities is crucial. Retweets, likes, comments are all currencies of attention. Which systemic motivational tools are the most relevant for EVE? Mozilla created Open Badges in 2011. We have categorised them as a motivational tool, because in our experience badges can be a huge motivational factor, but their intention is in fact to develop new ways to recognise learning, irrespective of learning settings 147. Open Badges have been introduced to the youth sector through badgecraft.eu148, and have gained some recognition in the field. We recommend drawing on the work that has been done and utilising open badges on EVE. Which platform-specific motivational tools are interesting for EVE? The Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organisation, which provides a rich variety of gamification elements on their learning platform 149. These are “energy points”, awarded for watching videos and solving exercises. There are 6 levels of badges, with hundreds of individual badges in total, as well as avatars, which can be upgraded in exchange for completed tasks or points earned. How should EVE use motivational recognition tools? Open Badges rely on a decentralised system of badge issuers. Every badge issuer designs their badges to their liking. See below three examples of badges for illustration:

Figure 6. Badges at the University of California in Davis.

147

https://openbadges.org/about/

148

https://www.badgecraft.eu/en/about

149

https://www.khanacademy.org

94

Figure 7. Badges used by RWA, a training consultancy in the finance sector

Figure 8. Badges used by Mozilla for their Webmaker project

95

As these examples showcase, EVE will have to design its own badges to be able to use Open Badges. We consider the effort very much worthwhile. It makes the badges internationally comparable and unique at the same time. To transfer badges from one platform to another, so-called Backpack services150 are used. In the youth sector, most badge issuers are small, and there are no backpack services yet. In the virtual exchange scene, open badges currently play no role. We suggest that:   

EVE designs and issues EVE-specific open badges to boost user motivation and to document participants’ learning at the same time EVE becomes a member of the Open Badge Alliance. It would be the first virtual exchange provider and the second youth-specific badge issuer151 to do so EVE offers a backpack service for the youth sector. The software to do that exists as an open-source tool, and since EVE will have a very powerful server infrastructure, the backpack service will – in relation to the videoconferencing – hardly use any resources at all

Following our recommendations, EVE would become an Open Badges pioneer both in the youth sector and the virtual exchange scene, and at the same provide an infrastructure for smaller organisations and projects to follow its lead and issue Open Badges.

7.4 The role of formal recognition As defined in Cedefop’s ‘Terminology of European education and training policy”, formal learning “occurs in an organised and structured environment (e.g. in an education or training institution or on the job) and is explicitly designated as learning (in terms of objectives, time or resources)”. What is even more important, “formal learning is intentional from the learner’s point of view. It typically leads to validation and certification”152. In essence, when learners pass grading/assessment, they obtain a certificate that is understood, accepted, and sometimes even required by employers or educational institutions. Below we present some examples of wellknown European or global frameworks for formal recognition. What are the most relevant formal recognition frameworks? The most popular form of formal learning recognition is the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). The European Commission Education and training initiative defines it as “a credit system designed to make it easier for students to move between countries. Since these credits are based on the learning achievements and workload of a course, a student can transfer their ECTS credits from one university to another so they are added up to contribute to an individual's degree programme or training”153. There is also a corresponding system for Vocational Education and Training (VET). In 2009 the European Parliament and the Council of the EU adopted the recommendation of European credit system for vocational education and training (ECVET). One of the main aims of ECVET is to “make it easier for people to get validation and recognition of work-related skills and knowledge

Backpack services are designed to allow badge transfers. Badges can be displayed anywhere, but their status can only be verified through a backpack service. See https://openbadges.org/getstarted/displaying-badges/ for more details. 150

For current badge issuers see https://openbadges.org/about/participating-issuers/. And for the current members of the Open Badge Alliance, see http://www.badgealliance.org/about/. The first youth-specific member of the Alliance is Chicago University’s Digital Youth Network (http://digitalyouthnetwork.org/). 151

European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training. Terminology of European education and training policy: a selection of 100 key terms. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, (2008): 85. 152

153

96

http://ec.europa.eu/education/resources/european-credit-transfer-accumulation-system_en

acquired in different systems and countries – so that they can count towards vocational qualifications”154. A broader tool, the European Qualification Framework (EQF), helps bring together and compare different qualification systems in Europe. “Its eight common European reference levels are described in terms of learning outcomes: knowledge, skills and competences155. Finally, International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED), initiated by UNESCO, is a tool similar to EQF though adapted on a global scale. ISCED was developed to “facilitate comparisons of education statistics and indicators across countries on the basis of uniform and internationally agreed definitions”156. How could EVE contribute to formal recognition? As a youth exchange platform drawing on non-formal learning, EVE’s standard modality is not framed by grading or assessment, and its exchanges will not typically lead to a type of recognition that is immediately compatible with ECTS, ECVET. However, EVE should undertake any reasonable effort to support participants who wish to accredit their learning on the platform for their formal training, be that in higher education or in vocational training. EVE should in particular be prepared for:  

Learning Agreements, which are commonly used to specify learning outcomes to be achieved during the exchange attended on EVE Workload calculations, which are necessary to calculate credits and include exchanges as well as the time needed to prepare for them

We recommend developing a recognition handbook for facilitators with standard templates for learning agreements and standard formulas for calculating the workload of exchanges. While in general the initiative for recognising learning for formal education rests with the participants of EVE, partnerships with formal education institutions could nonetheless be actively sought. We see particular potential with institutions that train youth workers. Many of them are beginning to include aspects of digital youth work in their curricula, and EVE could develop specialised modules, consisting of several exchanges in particular sequences, that become part of these curricula. One of the best examples of virtual learning platforms that apply such a model is Soliya’s Connect Program. It is an online cross-cultural education program that can be integrated into curricula of universities, either by running courses based on the curriculum of the Connect Program, or by integrating the program as a complementary offer 157. In Europe, there are a number of universities offering youth worker training, among them the University of Brighton (United Kingdom), the University of Maynooth (Ireland), and the University of Tampere (Finland). Additionally, the Commonwealth of Nations created a Commonwealth Youth Work Qualifications Consortium to advance youth worker education and training across the globe. We suggest that 2017 be used to explore possible partnerships with academic key institutions offering training for youth workers, with the intention to develop a digital youth work module that can be integrated in their curricula.

154

http://ec.europa.eu/education/policy/vocational-policy/ecvet_en

155

http://ec.europa.eu/ploteus/search/site?f[0]=im_field_entity_type%3A97#

http://www.uis.unesco.org/Education/Pages/international-standard-classification-ofeducation.aspx 156

157

http://www.soliya.net/?q=connect_faq 97

7.5 Key risks A study on validation of non-formal MOOC-based learning offered a “traffic light” model, arguing that if six elements are built into the planning of an open course, there is a greater likelihood that learners will have their resulting credentials recognised by another HEI or employer” 158. These elements include:      

Identity verification of the learner Supervised assessment Informative certificates/ badges acknowledging learning Quality assurance Award of credit points Partnership and collaboration159

If the above aspects are not addressed, the skills gained by following EVE courses might not be accepted by higher education institutions, employers, or other stakeholders.

7.6 Summary The recognition chapter set out to develop ways of acknowledging the efforts of users on and for EVE, and to provide possibilities for participants to showcase acquired skills and expertise. After considering formal, non-formal, and informal ways of recognition, the chapter recommends:    

158

Developing a Youthpass edition for virtual youth exchanges as well as thematic certificates Supporting young people in adapting the Europass CV format to their needs Designing EVE-specific badges, using the Open Badges Framework of the Mozilla Foundation, to allow international comparability – but to do so with a unique EVE-design Developing templates for learning agreements and workload calculations, and drafting a recognition handbook for facilitators to streamline the use of these templates

Witthaus et al, 60.

159

98

Ibid., 61-64.

8. Support materials 8.1 The purpose and approach of this chapter What do we want to achieve? In this chapter, we explore what support materials are needed for EVE’s annual themes, facilitation and technology, the core group of facilitators, EVE Facilitation Network (EFN), and all platform users. What are the key challenges? Among the key challenges that need to be resolved are:   

Identifying the essential areas for support materials Focusing on a number of standard formats across the user and facilitator groups Producing all necessary support materials in a timely and efficient manner

How will we achieve it? The chapter focuses on facilitation and technology and for each of them explores what support materials are needed for the specific user group.

8.2 General approach to support materials The approach to and design of support material for EVE will be predominantly shaped by two aspects of Erasmus+ Virtual Youth Exchanges: the use of annual thematic priorities across the entire platform and the usage of the flipped classroom model for the training of facilitators, which will be discussed in detail in the following sections. How will thematic priorities shape support materials?

EVE will, through its exploration of annual thematic priorities, generate new knowledge from the outset – on youth, society and music during the pilot phase, and on user-chosen intercultural priority themes afterwards. We therefore have suggested earlier in this report to partner with Wikipedia, to allow for gained knowledge and insight to expand and enrich the online encyclopaedia. This partnership should extent to support materials. Not everything produced by EVE, whether in the context of an exchange or the context of support materials, will be ready and/or useful for Wikipedia. We suggest to establish a Wiki at wiki.eve.org, using the same Open-Source Software that Wikipedia is built upon, to then mirror the globally relevant contents on wikipedia.org. To this date, the online encyclopaedia remains comparatively weak on youth-specific contents, and the cooperation with EVE will extend the quantity and quality of youth-relevant articles considerably. At the same time, the cooperation grants EVE some additional publicity, and more importantly, it introduces a layer of editorial support and community-driven quality control that EVE could not maintain by itself and on its own. Written support materials will be assembled collaboratively on wiki.eve.org in Wikipedia’s format of iterative articles and accompanying discussions. There are many examples for the usage of Wikis in education, among them WikiEducator 160, UNESCO’s Open Training Platform161 and Wikiversity162 .

160

http://wikieducator.org

161

http://otp.unesco-ci.org

162

https://www.wikiversity.org 99

How will the flipped classroom model shape support materials? The Flipped Learning Network (FLN) defines flipped learning as “a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter163”. In a nutshell, flipping a classroom means that learners will explore a topic – such as approaches to the facilitation of virtual youth exchanges – through audiovisual materials, such as podcasts or videos, and then use the time spent together in a training session or exchange to engage with that knowledge. The approach flips the sequence of knowledge acquisition and knowledge engagement around. Drawing on flipped learning moves virtual exchanges from their traditional context of formal higher education and language class learning closer towards the learner-centred approaches of non-formal education and intercultural youth work. At the same time, it introduces a new layer of learning to non-formal education, namely the use of videos in advance of a training session or exchange164. How will support materials deal with multiple languages? During the pilot phase, all support materials will be developed in English. Along with the translation of the entire platform in 2018 and 2019, selected support materials should be translated to other languages, including subtitles of videos.

8.3 Support materials on facilitation EVE will be situated at the intersection of intercultural learning, non-formal education, online learning, youth work, and virtual exchanges, a combination that currently does not exist. Support materials regarding the philosophy, principles and practice of facilitation in this new space can therefore not be rehashed from something that already exists. Much as the facilitation approach itself, facilitation support materials will be developed in a discursive, iterative process that is rooted in educational practice as well as learning research. Thematic priorities are not expected to have a major impact on the facilitation approach. What facilitation support materials are needed for the core group of facilitators? The core group of facilitators will be responsible for producing the contents of all facilitation support materials for the wider EVE Facilitation Network (EFN), and will steer the development of EVE Facilitation Approach (EFA). Initially, their work should be supported by a literature review, prepared by the central support team, which outlines the current state of research on online learning, with a focus on intercultural and non-formal learning, and exchange pedagogy, with a focus on youth and virtual exchanges. Crucially, this overview should identify gaps in existing research. A second initial product to support the work of the core group will be a glossary, with key terms, spanning intercultural learning, non-formal education, online learning, youth work and virtual exchanges. This glossary would be the first component of EVE’s internal online encyclopaedia at wiki.eve.org, should draw on the glossary of the Youth Partnership between 165 the Council of Europe and the European Commission , will be extended over time, and by

Flipped Learning Network (2014): The Four Pillars of F-L-I-P. Available online at

163

https://flippedlearning.org/wp-content/ uploads/2016/07/FLIP_handout_FNL_Web.pdf.

In the chapter on facilitation, we have outlined in more detail that there is no obvious limit to the adaptation of methods of non-formal education to online learning environments and argue that the introduction of flipped learning merely frames the adaptation process by focusing individual learning on audiovisual material. 164

165

http://pjp-eu.coe.int/en/web/youth-partnership/glossary

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doing so become a useful resource not only for the core group of facilitators, but the entire facilitation network and the entirety of platform users. At the annual training and development lab, the core group of facilitators should always receive at least a full day worth of advanced training. For each training module a script should exist on the platform’s internal wiki, allowing for collaborative development as well as documenting its usage and the changes and improvements made over time. The scripts should follow the templates developed by the Salto Network for their network trainings166. What facilitation support materials are needed for EVE Facilitation Network? Through a series of formats, the core group should drive the discourse forward about key aspects of what will later become the EVE Facilitation Approach. We suggest these formats to be: A facilitation manifesto – the basic values and principles of the EVE Facilitation Network. This manifesto should be co-produced by core facilitators at their development lab in 2017 and will cover key topics to ensure a valuable intercultural experience for exchange participants. A podcast series “Going online” – 2-3 core facilitators have a dialogue about the impact of the virtual arena on youth exchanges and discuss methodological questions including how to address sensitive issues in virtual settings. A blogpost series “How virtual can it get? Taking youth exchanges online” – a collection of videos that seek to help facilitators and trainers reflect on the changing nature of digital/virtual youth exchanges. An online space for methods in virtual youth exchanges as part of wiki.eve.org. This should cover everything from energisers to simulations, allowing facilitators fast access to a variety of methods adequate for the digital realm. All of these formats should start from the assumption that non-formal education and online spaces can be a perfect match, and seek to explore how this match can be shaped and indeed be perfected. They should involve not only several members of the core group, but the wider facilitation network. Together with the literature review and glossary, both of which will be available for the wider facilitation network, these formats and their documentation will over time form a body of knowledge underpinning the EVE Facilitation Approach. Thematic priorities will invite facilitators to dive deeply into a new topic every year. Our suggested approach to developing thematic support materials rests on an assumption that for each new theme there will be a subset of facilitators who are somewhat familiar with the topic. Together with staff of the central support unit, they could form a thematic working group, championing the new theme, and spearhead the production of thematic support materials. Support materials for a new priority theme should take one of two forms and be either topical or geographical. The latter format should cover each country served by EVE (youth and music in Egypt, youth and music in Ireland, etc.). The former format should cover topical aspects of each theme (music and democracy, music and politics, etc.). Both formats would be articles on EVE’s Wiki, be developed collaboratively, and be tagged with keywords and countries respectively to connect the two strands of articles. The topical and geographical support materials for each new priority theme should be extended with ideas for possible exchanges for each topic and/or country. Exchange curriculum templates for exchanges of different durations should be added to each article, using a standardised template derived from the Salto Network standards for face-to-face trainings167.

166

https://www.salto-youth.net/rc/training-and-cooperation/tc-rc-nanetworktcs/

167

https://www.salto-youth.net/rc/training-and-cooperation/trainercompetencedevelopment/

101

What facilitation support materials are needed for EVE users? As EVE users will join from all the corners of and contexts within Europe and its neighbouring regions, it cannot be assumed that they will all be familiar with non-formal education or virtual exchanges. We suggest producing a short video that introduces the foundations of EVE Facilitation Approach (EFA), evolving together with the further development of the approach itself. Beyond that, there is no special support material needed for platform users regarding facilitation: each facilitator will introduce their approach at the start of an exchange programme or session.

8.4 Technology support materials EVE will prompt the youth sector to catch up on the largely neglected potential of online learning for non-formal education. While we are confident that trainers and moderators of the sector will assertively navigate all aspects of facilitation, they will be more challenged by the technological features. Additionally, thematic priorities are expected to have a major impact on the technology used for virtual exchanges. Our approach to support materials takes these matters into account. What technology support materials are needed for the core group of facilitators? The core group of facilitators will be highly professional regarding their educational approach and pedagogical toolset. Assuming the same about technology would be a mistake. Research cited earlier in this report has demonstrated the general lack of technological proficiency among youth workers and youth trainers. Support material on technology can therefore not follow the same model as above – it must be produced as early as possible. Central to the technology support materials should be videos explaining eve.org facilitation features. We suggest a series of smaller videos rather than aiming for one lengthy video, in particular so they can be easily extended to reflect new features, but also so that they can be produced alongside technical development of the platform. Narration should be available for all videos for accessibility, and subtitles should be produced. Examples for feature videos include Spotify’s introductory video168, a video introducing Flipboard by Sandwich Video169, and Mint’s introductory video by Transvideo Studios 170. These videos should be complemented by a dynamic page for frequently asked questions, which should be swiftly extended with new questions and answers as they arise. Importantly, eve.org should have a sandbox feature, similar to wikipedia.org, where facilitators can safely try all technological tools available to them without having to fear that an ongoing youth exchange gets interrupted. What technology support materials are needed for the EVE Facilitation Network? Technology support materials for the EVE Facilitation Network should build on and extend the feature videos developed for the core group of facilitators and be tied to the initial and advanced training modules for facilitators. At their annual training and development lab, the core group of facilitators will always review, adjust and adapt the current set of core and optional modules for the initial as well as advanced facilitator training. For each module, a script should exist on the platform’s internal wiki, allowing for collaborative development as well as documenting its usage and the changes and improvements made over time, similar to the scripts for the core group’s own training modules.

168

https://vimeo.com/26427650

169

http://sandwichvideo.com/projects/this-is-my-flipboard/

170

https://vimeo.com/22764410

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For the training modules, it is important to deliberately tailor them to different profiles of facilitators in relation to their technological and digital proficiency. As the flipped classroom approach suggests, each training module should be accompanied with a video- or podcast introducing the theme of the training module in an engaging way. What technology support materials are needed for EVE users? On average young people are more digitally literate than youth workers, and this has to be reflected when it comes to support materials regarding the technology of EVE. We suggest to retain the general ideas (small videos introducing platform features), but produce them in a different style (such as animated drawings), and at a higher level of digital literacy. The videos should be complemented by an engaging page for frequently asked questions, which should be swiftly extended with new questions and answers as they arise. Importantly, eve.org should also have a sandbox feature for users, less focused on participation tools and more geared towards the general functionality of the platform.

8.5 Summary Owed to the pilot character of EVE as a virtual youth exchange platform, there is a substantive amount of support materials that need to be developed for its core group of facilitators, facilitation network and users. Whenever possible, we recommend developing these materials for the core group first, then extending and adjusting these for the wider facilitation network, and finally polishing and publishing materials appropriate for all EVE users. In general, materials should be produced by the central support unit and the core group of facilitators.

9. Ensuring quality 9.1 The purpose and approach of this chapter What do we want to achieve?

Scaling the Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange (EVE) platform to 20.000 exchanges and 200.000 exchangers is a doable but a daunting task. One step in the wrong direction can derail the entire project, which is why our feasibility study explores major risks in each of the key chapters, from technology and facilitation to diplomacy and marketing. This chapter, complementary to the analysis of these key risks, explores quality in the daily EVE running. We look at how quality can be defined and safeguarded across all aspects of the platform. In the chapter following this one, we then analyse in more detail which indicators should be measured to consistently capture key aspects of quality. What are the key challenges?

Among the key quality aspects that need to be addressed are:   

Ensuring diversity of contexts and engagement among participants Ensuring diversity of backgrounds and approaches among facilitators Ensuring diversity of contents and methods among exchanges

  

Ensuring adequacy and timeliness of facilitation training materials Ensuring adequacy and timeliness of user support and help options Ensuring adequacy and timeliness of exchange support materials

  

Ensuring a balance between advertency and adequacy in marketing Ensuring a balance between honesty and reticence in diplomacy Ensuring a balance between experimentation and reservation in technology 103

How will we achieve it?

The chapter will look at how quality is typically defined in non-formal education, intercultural learning, e-learning, and derive quality assurance guidelines that reflect the diversity of approaches to quality across the domains that inform EVE. 9.2 Quality in non-formal education How is quality in non-formal education defined? There is no universal set of quality standards in non-formal education, but a lively discourse has been shaped by three frameworks and approaches: the Council of Europe’s quality standards for education and training activities (2007), the Salto Training and Youth Partnership study on quality in non-formal education and training (2008), and the European Youth Forum’s position paper on assuring quality in non-formal education (2011). We discuss each of the frameworks and approaches separately. In 2007, the Council of Europe developed quality standards for their own education and training activities, concerning “the whole spectrum of context, partners, people, methods and stages of the activity or project” and defining “a minimum common understanding of what [quality] 171 entails“ across this spectrum . Importantly, the Council of Europe’s educational staff, who authored the standards, note:

“It should be born in mind that the notion of quality is socially, institutionally and culturally marked and, therefore, not always understood by all partners in the same way. As the education and training activities of the Council of Europe are not valueneutral, the understanding and practice of quality standards must take this factor into account too.“ Similarly, virtual exchange platform under discussion in this feasibility study is not valueneutral. It seeks to promote intercultural understanding, firmly believing (and not without reason) that non-formal education contributes to such understanding and that intercultural understanding is worthwhile educating for. The quality assurance guidelines suggested later in this chapter will take that into account, following the example of the Directorate of Youth and Sport. The quality standards are equally informative. Quality standards, meant to ensure that educational activities efficiently and effectively utilise all available educational, financial, and 172 technical resources, are : 1. Relevant needs assessment 2. Concrete, achievable and assessable objectives 3. Definition of competences addressed and learning outcomes for the participants 4. Relevance to the Council of Europe programme and priorities of the Directorate 5. Adequate and timely preparation process 6. Competent team of trainers 7. Integrated approach to intercultural learning 8. Adequate recruitment and selection of participants 9. Consistent practice of non-formal education principles and approaches 10. Adequate, accessible and timely documentation

Education and Training Unit (2007). Quality standards in education and training activities of the Directorate of Youth and Sport. Strasbourg, Council of Europe. Page 2, emphasis/italics by original authors. 171

Ibid, page 3. For a more detailed description of the quality standards, the document can be consulted online as a pdf at 172

https://www.coe.int/t/dg4/youth/Source/Training/Study_sessions/2007_Quality_standards_educ_training _en.pdf

104

11. Thorough and open process of evaluation 12. Structurally optimal working conditions and environment 13. Adequate institutional support and an integrated follow-up 14. Visibility, innovation and research Each of these fourteen standards is underpinned by a set of criteria. Outlining each of these in total 91 criteria would not only go beyond the scope of this study, it would also be misleading. Many criteria are specific for the institutional context of the Directorate of Youth and Sports and its embedment in the Council of Europe, and while they have informed the quality assurance guidelines, they cannot be copied without adaptation. In 2008, the Salto-Youth Training and Cooperation Resource Centre (Salto T&C RC) and the Partnership between the Council of Europe and the EU in the field of youth (Youth Partnership) commissioned a study on quality in non-formal education and training in the field of European 173 youth work . Other than the Council of Europe, which sought to define quality standards for education and training activities, the 2008 paper looked at quality with the aim to develop competence profiles for educators and trainers. In their exploration of quality, authors Helmut Fennes and Hendrik Otten draw attention to a dilemma that remains unresolved to this day:

“The discourse on quality in non-formal education and training is also characterised by a fear – primarily of practitioners – that measures and instruments for quality assurance and quality control will formalise non-formal education and, therefore, take away a main quality (sic) aspect of non-formal education. The potential dilemma – the quest for recognition of non-formal education through quality assurance could jeopardise the nature of non-formal education – will require cautious, sensible and creative action by all stakeholders to be resolved in a constructive way“174. The quality assurance guidelines presented in this chapter attempt to do exactly that: be cautious, sensible, and creative. They also draw on the ten quality standards developed by 175 Fennes and Otten by means of comparing quality standards in other (education) sectors . In 2011, the European Youth Forum undertook another attempt to define quality standards in nonformal education with their policy paper “A framework for indicating and assuring quality” and 176 the subsequently published manual for quality assurance (2013) . As the Council of Europe with their dedicated look at education and training activities, and Salto-Youth and the Youth Partnership with their dedicated look at educators and trainers, the European Youth Forum chose a defining framework for their set of standards, namely the role of youth organisations as providers of education and training.

Fennes, Helmut and Otten, Hendrik (2008). quality in non-formal education and training in the field of European youth work. Bonn, Brussels and Strasbourg: Salto T&C RC and Youth Partnership. Available online as a pdf at https://www.salto-youth.net/downloads/4-17173

1615/TrainingQualityandCompetenceStudy.pdf 174

Ibid, page 20.

175

Ibid, page 24.

European Youth Forum (2011). Revised policy paper on non-formal education. A framework for indicating and assuring quality. Antwerp, Council of Members. European Youth Forum (2013). Quality assurance of non-formal education. A framework for youth organisations. Manual. Brussels, European Youth Forum. 176

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Against that backdrop, the European Youth Forum defined 11 quality indicators, reflecting “four aspects of a non-formal education programme: resources, educators, content, and learning 177 process” : 1. The assessed needs of learners, organisations and society are translated into objectives 2. The objectives are reflected in the non-formal education scheme 3. The educational methodology selected is suitable for the learning process 4. The necessary resources are available 5. Resources are used in a sustainable, cost effective and responsible way 6. Educators have the necessary competences 7. Educators are prepared 8. The communication between all actors is managed effectively 9. Learners influence their learning process 10. Learners understand their learning outcomes and can transfer them 11. All actors are involved in the continuous evaluation process EVE quality assurance guidelines lean on all three frameworks because each inform the quality of virtual youth exchanges in different, but equally valid ways. The quality assurance guidelines are an adaptation of these three sets of quality standards to the EVE context.

9.3 Quality in intercultural education How is quality in intercultural education defined? The quality of intercultural education in the youth sector has been subject of much debate in the past years, from “Resituating Culture”, the very first knowledge book of the Youth partnership in 2004, to “Where do we stand – where do we have to go?”, the anniversary paper of the Institute for Applied Communication Research (IKAB), one of the youth sector’s leading think tanks. Gavan Titley, the editor of “Resituating Culture”, noted in 2004 that the prominence of intercultural education in the youth sector has generated “dogmatic educational practices grounded in equally static and unreflexive ideas of culture.” Crucial for EVE, he emphasises the following:

“To resituate culture is to embrace the constant necessity to historicise, contextualise and critique a disputed and multi-accented concept that is understood in divergent and overlapping ways within and across the realities and modernities of Europe”178. Almost a decade later, Yael Ohana and Hendrik Otten, the authors of “Where do we stand – where do we have to go?”, argued that the youth sector has come to a “a theoretical and practical impasse, in that it has become thoroughly depoliticised,” and call for a new intercultural learning concept. In their own words:

“We conclude that intercultural education must be political and contribute to responsible political action by trying to achieve equality, social justice and a continuous ‘democratisation of democracy’, by again and again reviewing and re-explaining its purposes, intentions and examining its results anew“. Titley, Ohana, and Otten all contend that, while intercultural learning in the youth sector may have become technically impeccable, politically it has become superfluous. They call for intercultural political education to take a stand, to enable citizens to subject their own attitudes

European Youth Forum (2011). Revised policy paper on non-formal education. A framework for indicating and assuring quality. Antwerp, Council of Members. Page 10 f. 177

Titley, Gavan (2004, ed.). Resituating culture. Strasbourg, Council of Europe. Page 10. Available online as a pdf at http://pjpeu.coe.int/documents/1017981/1668211/2004_resituating_culture_coepub.pdf/ . 178

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to criticism, to accept and act on the perpetual necessity of re-negotiating agreements rather than take consensuses for granted. It would go far beyond the scope of this feasibility study to reflect how virtual youth exchanges could embrace that understanding of intercultural education as a political practice, but the quality assurance guidelines do reflect the need to engage in a critical discourse, if only to avoid that EVE over time turns into what intercultural learning has become: an empty shell.

9.4 Quality in e-learning How is quality in e-learning defined? While there is a steadily growing body of research and literature on quality in e-learning, the aspects that are of key interest for EVE are still sparsely covered, namely the intersections of elearning with intercultural and/ or non-formal education. The Commonwealth of Learning, an intergovernmental organisation seeking to promote open learning and distance education, published the to-date only toolkit covering quality at the intersection of e-learning and non179 formal education . The toolkit follows the output-outcome-impact paradigm, and suggests a range of indicators for each of the three, subdivided by learner, learning provision, and learning community. The table 180 below illustrates the approach :

Table 12. E-learning quality indicators Outcomes In the learners

Performance indicators  The knowledge, skills and attitudes aimed for were reflected in the learners’ behaviours following the programme  The applications of the new learning were shown to be effective and beneficial to the learners and/or community  The programme empowered the participants and engendered a new sense of self-worth and enterprise  The participants continued functioning as a community of practice or virtual community  The participants undertook similar programmes on their own initiative

In the learning provision

  

The new approaches were shown to be cost-effective and sustainable The programme acted as a catalyst for further developments The programme attracted other partners and stakeholders

In the community



The participants recommended the programme to other community groups Other community groups requested or adopted the programme



9.5 Quality assurance guidelines for EVE Which quality guidelines should EVE adhere to? Erasmus+ virtual youth exchanges will draw on a number of different domains, most notably non-formal education, intercultural education, and e-learning. In each of these areas, multiple competing approaches to quality exist, without consensus which aspects of quality should be considered. EVE can therefore only, over time, develop its' own set of quality standards. Doing so before the first virtual youth exchange has ever happened would of course be premature, but

Latchem, Colin (2012). Quality Assurance Toolkit for Open and Distance Non-formal Education. Vancouver, Commonwealth of Learning. Available online as a pdf at http://oasis.col.org/bitstream/handle/11599/106/QA%20NFE_150.pdf . 179

180

Ibid, page 83. 107

drawing on the introduced approaches to quality, we suggest a number of quality assurance guidelines as a basis for future quality criteria: 9.5.1 Governance and management of EVE 

 



  

While initiated by the European Commission, EVE will have its own dedicated structures for governance and management of the programme and platform, including an Academic Board, an Advisory Board, a Facilitation Steering Group, Regional Coordination Teams, a Management Team, and an Ombudsgroup. The Academic Board will be comprised of scholars and researchers familiar with nonformal education, intercultural learning and youth exchanges in the youth sector. It will meet at least annually. The Advisory Board will include appointed international representation from major stake-holders within the youth and virtual exchange sectors, as well as elected representation from facilitators and users of the platform, and will meet at least annually. The Facilitation Steering Group will consist of 4 elected members of the core facilitation group, 2 additional, elected facilitators, and 2 elected users of the platform. It will meet virtually at least once every two months, and physically at least twice annually. The Regional Coordination Teams will include appointed facilitators and users from each region covered by EVE. They will meet virtually at least once every two months, and physically at least annually. The Management Team will consist of three staff members working professionally on the implementation of EVE. They should work on different aspects, such as marketing, technology and facilitation, and meet at least monthly. The Ombudsgroup will be comprised of appointed members of the Advisory Board, the Core Facilitation Group, and the Management Team. It will meet at least annually, but more frequently on request and when appealed to.

9.5.2 Recruitment and selection of facilitators    

The recruitment and selection process for the facilitation core group and the wider facilitation network will be scheduled and completed sufficiently early. Recruitment and selection procedures will be web-based and enable applications to be submitted by candidates from any location at any time. Recruitment and selection will be based on explicit and transparent criteria which will be available to prospective facilitators and other interested parties. Each applicant, whether successful or not, will have the right to inquire about the reasons for their acceptance or refusal.

9.5.3 Registration and exclusion of users    

The registration process will only ask for information that is necessary to complete registration. No information will ever be used or sold for any other purpose. The registration process will verify the identity of users through ID-card-selfies. These will be only stored offline and irreversibly deleted online after verification. The registration of a user can only be revoked after they have been warned, and after the chance to respond to allegations that could lead to exclusion. The exclusion of users will be decided by the Facilitation Steering Committee. Excluded users can appeal the decision to the Ombudsgroup.

9.5.4 Contents and methods of exchanges     108

All exchanges are designed to contribute expressly to the achievement of the overall plat-form objectives; and each module has its own explicit learning outcomes. All aspects of exchanges, including all pedagogical resources, will be reviewed by at least two facilitators, and will be kept up-to-date. Contents, methodology and outcomes of exchanges will reflect the international and intercultural nature of the platform and the diversity of its users. All exchanges will respect and protect the values of non-formal education and the ethics of youth work in their full diversity across and beyond Europe.

 

All exchanges will seek to historicise, contextualise and critique culture as a multiaccented concept that is understood in divergent and overlapping ways. All exchanges will contribute to the practice of intercultural political education and seek to constructively re-construct, re-negotiate, and further democratise democracy.

9.5.5 Recognition of learning during exchanges    

All participants of virtual youth exchanges will automatically receive a Youthpass certificate tailored to youth exchanges and specific to their exchange. All participants of virtual youth exchanges can earn, display and use open badges for their achievements on the platform. All participants of virtual youth exchanges may request thematic certificates about specific modules and/or the acquisition of particular skills. All participants of virtual youth exchanges may request certificates and additional documentation about exchanges for ECTS recognition.

9.5.6 Technology and security of the platform    

EVE will strive to use modern technology, configured in ways that make the experience as much as possible independent of the bandwidth of users. EVE will guarantee accessibility level AA at all times, and strive to achieve level AAA in every way possible with its human, technical and financial resources. EVE will strive to protect its platform against outside intrusion in any form or shape. Security breaches will be reported to all users immediately. EVE will encrypt all traffic in ways that do now allow anyone else but the receiver of a message to decipher its contents at any given time.

9.5.7 Marketing, public relations and diplomacy  

EVE will strive to promote honesty, fairness and intercultural awareness and avoid stereotyping in all of its marketing, public relations and diplomacy efforts. EVE will define ethical standards related to marketing, public relations and diplomacy in a process involving all its stakeholders from all covered regions.

9.5.8 Monitoring and evaluation     

EVE will keep monitoring to a clearly defined minimum, never obtain or store data unnecessarily, and always provide access to stored data for its users. EVE will regularly evaluate its performance and impact through clearly defined indicators, which are developed in a collective process involving all stakeholders. EVE will cooperate with academic partners for monitoring and evaluation activities, most notably the Joint Research Centre and the RAY Youth Research Network. EVE will publish all monitoring and evaluation reports, employ a peer review process before publication, and invite feedback to all published reports. EVE will provide additional possibilities for immediate feedback, and respond to each feedback given in a timely and respectful manner.

9.6 Summary In this chapter we have looked at quality standards for non-formal education through three distinct lenses, covering activities, educators and providers. We also touched upon the main quality discourse in intercultural education, and introduced an approach to quality in non-formal e-learning. Based on these approaches to quality, we have suggested that EVE should adhere to a set of 36 of quality guidelines.

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10. Monitoring and evaluation 10.1 The purpose of monitoring and evaluation What do we want to achieve? The EVE initiative will be monitored and evaluated periodically. We therefore need a welldeveloped framework that will serve a number of purposes:     

Helping stakeholders to identify, consider, discuss, and agree on the key elements of the EVE initiative Providing systematic information about the progress and achievements of the initiative Collecting information for management purposes, to ensure that policy makers and managers can take informed decisions at the operational as well as strategic levels Estimating the longer-term outcomes and impact of the EVE that are at the core of the initiative but depend only in part on its actions (for example, better awareness and appreciation of different cultures) Providing information on cost-effectiveness and cost-efficiency of investments into EVE in relation to achieved impacts

What are the main challenges?   

Deciding on the key targets: do we need other targets besides the number of participants? Assessing outcomes/impacts, in particular in terms of changing attitudes and soft skills among the target group, especially individual participants Making sure that management and evaluation information feeds into decision-making

The key building blocks To achieve the above aims and to address challenges, the monitoring and evaluation framework consists of a number of building blocks:     

Specifying the rationale of EVE Deciding on the intervention logic Deciding on indicators and targets to measure different elements of the intervention model Deciding on monitoring and evaluation methods and data sources Identifying institutions that will carry out monitoring and evaluation

We will present the building blocks in the following sections. We rely on the Tender Specifications, relevant sources of literature, discussion with the Client during the kick-off meeting, and data/insights collected during the interviews conducted (see Annex 1 for complete list).

10.2 Finalising the rationale of EVE What is EVE about? International youth mobility can contribute to improving understanding between different cultures and preventing radicalisation, as well as help participants develop skills that are useful in the labour market181. Nonetheless, only a small share of young people has an opportunity to take part in physical exchanges. For instance, only 7.5% of EU students are mobile, due to a variety of reasons that include financial cost and commitments at home. Furthermore, many young people beyond the EU are not eligible to participate in exchange programmes. Even those

For instance, Kokko, Raija. ‘Future nurses’ cultural competencies: what are their learning experiences during exchange and studies abroad? A systematic literature review.’ Journal of Nursing Management 19, no. 5 (2011): 673-682. Crowne, Kerri Anne. ‘What leads to cultural intelligence?.’ Business Horizons 51, no. 5 (2008): 391-399. 181

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young people who take part in physical exchanges are not necessarily exposed to people from different social strata and with diverse socio-economic characteristics. Virtual exchanges offer a solution for those who do not have an opportunity to join physical exchanges, such as people from disadvantaged backgrounds or at risk of exclusion. Virtual exchanges also provide new possibilities for individuals with mobility experience to get to know those young people who are difficult to meet during physical exchanges. There are studies showing that participation in virtual exchanges, if done correctly, can have comparable effects to that of physical exchanges and encourage better understanding and appreciation of different cultures182. Moreover, virtual mobility may help participants to acquire relevant knowledge and soft skills that could improve their career prospects. During interviews most stakeholders agreed that EVE should primarily aim to increase awareness and appreciation of different cultures. Development of skills and knowledge is a useful additional aim/benefit, while preventing radicalisation is a long-term objective.

10.3 Intervention logic of the EVE initiative The rationale as presented above feeds into a more elaborate intervention logic (see the figure below), which structures EVE in terms of its key elements. We start with the needs of society that lead to policy objectives. The need for a virtual exchange platform to address a number of issues, as well and its policy objectives were discussed both in contexts of education and cultural diplomacy. For example, 17 March 2015 EU Education Ministers issued a declaration on Promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education183. Then the speech of Commissioner Tibor Navracsics of 12 July 2016184 and other publications185 emphasised the possibility provided by VE to learn about and understand cultural differences, while improving their soft skills. Meanwhile, the European Parliament’s opinion on the EU foreign policy in a world of cultural and religious differences186, the European Commission’s communication of 8 June 2016 ‘Towards an EU strategy for international cultural relations’ 187 and Federica Mogherini’s speech at the Culture Forum 188 highlighted cultural diplomacy as one of the most promising means to develop EU’s international partnerships in the times of high

This argument has been supported by a number of studies. For instance: Waters, Nicole Parker. The Effect of Virtual-Learning on the Cultural Awareness of Nursing Students. Nursing Theses and Capstone Projects, Paper 41. Gardner-Webb University, 2014. Schenker, Theresa. ‘The effects of a virtual exchange on students' interest in learning about culture.’ Foreign Language Annals 46, no. 3 (2013): 491-507. Erez, Miriam, Alon Lisak, Raveh Harush, Ella Glikson, Rikki Nouri, and Efrat Shokef. ‘Going global: Developing management students' cultural intelligence and global identity in culturally diverse virtual teams.’ Academy of Management Learning & Education 12, no. 3 (2013): 330-355. Yoon, Jiyoon, and Insoon Han. ‘Virtual Activities to Promote Multiculturalism and Sustainability of International Partnerships.’ In Teacher Education: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications, pp. 1384-1401. IGI Global, 2016. 182

https://ec.europa.eu/epale/en/resource-centre/content/declaration-promoting-citizenship-and-commonvalues-freedom-tolerance-and 183

Tibor Navracsics, Engage – why we need to open up education more than ever, 3rd dialogue with Southern Mediterranean countries on Higher Education, Brussels, 2016. 184

https://ec.europa.eu/epale/en/resource-centre/content/declaration-promoting-citizenship-and-commonvalues-freedom-tolerance-and 185

186

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2009_2014/documents/cult/ad/1015/1015197/1015197en.pdf 187

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1465397367485&uri=JOIN:2016:29:FIN

188

https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/5164_en

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political and societal turbulence. Virtual exchanges, in turn, are among the cultural diplomacy tools. Once such needs and objectives appear on the policy agenda, decision makers should assign appropriate inputs, decide on activities, and agree on expected outputs. Following on the definitions of the Better Regulation Guidelines189 as well as other relevant methodologies, we assume that inputs, activities, and outputs are determined internally within the initiative and depend primarily on decisions made by policy makers and managers. Various chapters of the feasibility study at hand explore the most important inputs, activities, and outputs of the EVE initiative. A successful intervention leads to results. They, however, depend not only on policy makers and managers, but also on other factors, such as the interest and enthusiasm of participants. Finally, in the long term the intervention aims to achieve outcomes or have impacts on target groups/participants such as change of attitudes with regards to other cultures. We suggest results-based monitoring and evaluation, which means assessing outputs, results, outcomes on a regular basis. Altogether, the progress of EVE will be assessed at several levels: 1. Ongoing monitoring of outputs and results, in order to: a. provide quantitative feedback on the number of exchanges, participants and other indicators at the programme level190 b. receive feedback on the quality of exchanges offered by EVE at the level of individual exchanges or a number of individual exchanges 2. Regular data collection and assessment of the medium-term outcomes at the programme level in order to understand the impact on young people of participation in the initiative, in particular changes of their attitudes and soft skills 3. Synthetic (e.g., interim, final) evaluation of EVE’s intervention as a whole, including data on outputs, results and outcomes in relation to objectives, inputs and activities In the sections below we present each of these elements in more detail. Overall, we assume that management or key stakeholders of EVE will do both: use monitoring data to track progress and initiate periodic evaluations for assessing deeper changes over time.

Figure 9. Intervention logic of the EVE initiative

189

http://ec.europa.eu/smart-regulation/guidelines/toc_guide_en.htm

The distinction of programme and individual levels here denotes the distinction between EVE as a whole and specific exchanges available on EVE within each thematic priority. 190

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10.4 Measuring outputs and results Measuring of outputs and results of the EVE initiative will involve quantitative and qualitative dimensions of relevant indicators. The quantity measurement of outputs and results will be relatively straightforward and based on data generated by the software infrastructure of EVE. The measurement of quality, in turn, may require extra data collection involving EVE participants and facilitators. We further discuss the main indicators, types of data, measurement methods and potential challenges. How do we measure the quantity of outputs of the initiative? Outputs follow directly from project inputs and activities. Output indicators are usually quantitative and relatively easy to monitor. As shown in Figure 8 above, the key outputs of the EVE initiative are as follows:      

Functionalities of the online platform (e.g, new elements as a result of scaling up; new elements depending on thematic priority) Institutional partnerships (including educational institutions, other VE platforms, and private partners) Languages that the platform operates in Support materials created, and validated for participants Support materials, courses, and videos that are available to facilitators Facilitators recruited, trained, and accredited

We suggest that at the output level the EVE initiative does not set quantitative targets and only undertakes an ongoing monitoring of output numbers based on the data generated by the software system. A partial exception concerns facilitators that are an important internal condition for EVE to function and to achieve the anticipated results. It is foreseen that EVE will rely either on mostly volunteer facilitators (around 900), or entirely on paid facilitators (around 350), or on a mixed pool with 40-50 core paid facilitators and a larger network of volunteers (see the chapter on facilitators). These figures have to be monitored for management purposes, even though they do not constitute an official target. Overall, we suggest a regular, real-time monitoring of output figures to be made available for management of the platform. A summary monitoring report, including comments/analysis of the data, available to the public, could be produced annually – for every thematic priority. How do we measure the quantity of results of the EVE initiative? Result indicators represent the immediate effects of an intervention. Within the EVE initiative, the result indicators may be expressed in quantitative terms of the take-up/popularity of the initiative among the young people in the EU and beyond. Results partly depend on the outputs but are not fully within the control of policy makers and project managers. So, for example, if the EVE platform is well designed, registration process is simple, themes or projects draw attention of the young people, etc., then it is likely that the take-up will be high. Yet, despite elaborate preparation, there will always be an element of uncertainty as young people might be cautions or reluctant to participate, they might lack trust in the initiative or prefer other exchange platforms. A well-designed monitoring system is necessary to signal problems and prompt management to take corrective actions. We suggest monitoring the following results:    

  114

Exchange topics/themes/projects on the platform (including the items uploaded by registered participants and discussion contributions by platform users, etc.) Visitors on the platform (including the bounce rate) Exchanges/exchange programmes Sessions/meetings per exchange, average duration of exchanges, and other participation indicators, such as numbers of items uploaded by registered participants (photos, videos, etc.), discussion contributions by platform users (e.g., likes, comments, links, trackbacks, etc.) Participants (including by country, EU vs. the third countries, individual vs group participation) Certificates/badges/credits awarded

For the monitoring of participation, the platform should differentiate not only by country and between individual and group participants (i.e., those who joined EVE exchanges through an interlocutor, such as youth organisation, school or university), but also between:   

Participants who register on the platform Participants who start taking part in exchanges Participants who complete a given exchange with certificate or badge(s)

The EVE initiative has a very clear target result: 2,000 participants by the end of 2017 (pilot scheme) and 200,000 participants by the end of 2019. We suggest that this figure of 200,000 means the cumulative number of participants that will have enrolled on any of exchanges on the platform by the end of 2019 (but not necessarily graduated). However, evidence from the existing VE initiatives suggests that 200,000 participants in three years is a rather ambitious goal. The numbers of young people involved depends a lot on two variables, apart from the obvious quality and good marketing requirements, among others. The first is the exchange format: group or individual; one-off, continuous or semester-long, and so on. Another crucial variable is time – how long an initiative has been alive. For instance, the Global Nomads Group reports a cumulative figure of a million participants (joined via their schools) in 18 years. TakingITGlobal191 attracted 230,000 active individual participants in 10 years from 1999 to 2009192 although enrolment gathered pace later and in 2016 there were over 500,000 active members. Other notable VE initiatives, such as Soliya have around 670 participants each semester. Meanwhile, an interviewee from the virtual exchanges pioneer iEarn reported an impressive figure of around 2 million users daily, but it needed many years to build such popularity. None of these existing initiatives seem to have managed to accumulate such large participation figures in such a short period of time as it is a target for EVE. Another challenge is estimating the number of participants from disadvantaged backgrounds or at risk, which is important given the rationale of EVE. There is no straightforward way to get this information directly from participants (e.g., we would advise against asking about income, disability or criminal record in a registration form). However, there are ways to identify these persons indirectly. First, if they join EVE through an organisation engaged in working with disadvantaged youth, this information may be obtained from this organisation. Second, approximate numbers could be calculated based on information that would actually be on the registration form (or evaluation survey). For instance, indicators of age, in combination with educational level and employment status may reveal some of the participants from disadvantaged backgrounds. We suggest a regular, real-time monitoring of the above-listed results. The practice of eTwinning can serve as an example. eTwinning monitors participation numbers, exchange duration, downloads of resources and so on at the central level, as well as differentiates by different countries, regions, participant characteristics, and so on. Data is then aggregated into monitoring reports. An EVE summary monitoring report, including comments/analysis of the data, available to the public, is to be produced annually. This annual report should combine both monitoring end evaluation data, that is, information on outputs, results and outcomes (see the following sections for the approach to outcome evaluation). How do we measure the quality of outputs and results? The Tender Specifications require recommendations on how to assess the quality of individual exchanges and facilitators, potentially including instant feedback from participants and facilitators. The main focus of quality measurements will be set on EVE’s outputs rather than results because good quality exchanges or facilitation is a pre-condition for achieving good results. However, the quality of results, such as exchange projects, sessions and programmes,

191

http://www.tigweb.org/

192

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TakingITGlobal

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should be also monitored to identify potential problems and areas for improvement. The existing VE initiatives use a number of solutions for monitoring quality of individual exchanges, as presented below.

Mini web surveys. Short questionnaires of 1-5 questions provided to participants and facilitators right after each of the exchange session ends. These questions concern issues such as user satisfaction and quality of facilitation, support materials, IT solutions used, and so on. They may be, for example, closed quality rating questions or open questions allowing for qualitative feedback. The collected information should feed into the continuous improvement and maintenance of the initiative, and help to identify emerging problems.

Qualitative interviews/focus groups. Most likely they will take place after an exchange programme in order to understand the lessons and to feed this information into the further development of the platform. Interviews and/or focus groups could be done separately with programme participants and facilitators. While the participants would express their overall satisfaction with exchanges and discuss areas for improvement, facilitators would also provide peer-reviews, advice, and feedback to their fellow facilitators. These assessments are to be carried out by the management of the platform with support of the main institution responsible for EVE’s evaluation and/or external experts if required. All of the exchanges or a sample of them may be assessed. The findings should be periodically reviewed to make the necessary adjustments of the initiative. Quality assessment questionnaires could run separately or become a part of questionnaires aimed at collecting data on project outcomes (i.e., changes in attitudes and skills, see the following section).

10.5 Measuring outcomes Outcomes are the longer-term effects of a policy or programme. Three anticipated outcomes of the EVE initiative were outlined in the Tender Specifications: 1. Increase in young people’s awareness and appreciation of different cultures and societies 2. Enhancement of young people’s soft skills, including foreign language and teamwork skills 3. Fewer young people becoming drawn to violent extremism In the intervention logic we differentiate outcomes into long-term (3) and medium-term (1 and 2) ones. Differently from outputs and results, such outcomes cannot be monitored real-time, and need specific quantitative/qualitative approaches. Basically, measuring outcomes/impacts implies two things: a) Assessment of changing attitudes and capabilities of participants – i.e., how did they change; b) Assessment of causality – i.e. the extent to which EVE contributed to this change (if at all). These are the research questions, addressed by academics and experts who employ a number of techniques, such as surveys, controlled before-after studies, randomised controlled trials, focus groups and others. Although particular data collection methods differ, to satisfy both of the above-listed conditions a research design must include two elements. First, measurement of change requires data collection before and after the intervention. Second, assessment of causality requires involvement of a control group. These requirements are likely to become an important challenge in developing the impact assessment methodology. We have to also note that measuring trends of violent extremism (long-term outcome) in the framework of EVE is hardly feasible. Radicalisation and violent extremism are themselves very multifaceted concepts, measurements of which are not completely agreed upon by academics193. More importantly, these phenomena are caused by multiple factors with complex

Borum, R. (2011). Radicalization into violent extremism II: A review of conceptual models and empirical research. Journal of Strategic Security, 4(4), 37. 193

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causal relationships that cannot be easily isolated for research purposes194. Therefore, the attribution of causality to EVE would be extremely difficult, if possible at all. We thus further focus on the measurement of shorter-term outcomes: changes in participants’ cultural attitudes and changes in their soft skills, and draw on the experience of the existing VE initiatives. How do we measure change in cultural attitudes? The existing virtual exchange initiatives provide valuable examples of methods applied to assess the attitudinal changes. In essence they employ controlled before-after studies, although following on different scientific paradigms. We further review the most relevant of them. Web surveys Web surveys measure the stated attitudes. This is the method most commonly applied by the existing virtual exchange initiatives. The most notable examples are the partnership between the Saxelab Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at MIT and some of the members of Virtual Exchange Coalition, such as Soliya, Sharing Perspectives Foundation, and the Global Nomads Group, and eTwinning. To measure changes in participants’ cultural attitudes, the partnership employs a before-and-after measurement survey with a control group. Their survey questionnaires include the ‘feeling thermometer’ 195, self-other overlap measures196, and agreement/disagreement questions that present a range of perspectives towards the ‘other’ identity group. These measures enable Saxelab to assess whether the norms perpetuating the intergroup conflict have been challenged. As revealed by our interviewees, a number of additional measures may be applied for evaluating the impact of virtual exchanges. They include intergroup anxiety fixed scales, outgroup trust fixed scales, empathy measures (questions about whether respondents are able to put themselves in the outgroup’s shoes), questions about willingness to interact with people of other cultures, and other similar questions197. Feasibility. Web surveys are a method well suited for EVE. First, it is widely applied, welldeveloped, and well-tested in this particular field. Second, an online survey can reach a large number of respondents and ensure representativeness. Third, it is relatively easy to run and analyse. Fourth, this method provides valuable opportunities to compare the data over time and across countries, participant age and position, exchange type and so on. Fourth, it is relatively low cost. However, to develop accurate and valid survey measurements, one needs to consider a few challenges. First, it may be difficult to select respondents for the control group, who are similar to participants but do not have virtual exchanges experience (the problem also relevant for other approaches discussed below). This is easier for group participants: an interlocutor can select a control group of non-participating young people from the same organisation, ideally those who are going to participate in the exchanges later (the so-called ‘wait list control’). However, it may be rather difficult to compile control groups for individual EVE users, although are some solutions. For example, if there was a large enough sample of controls (i.e., youth who do not participate but can be surveyed), it would be possible to choose the subset that matches the participant group demographically, i.e., are similar in age, gender composition, and initial attitudes towards the other group as the students on EVE. However, these approaches

Borum, R. (2011). Radicalization into violent extremism I: A review of social science theories. Journal of Strategic Security, 4(4), 7. 194

195

The measure requires to indicate how ‘warm’ or ‘cold’ one feels towards the other group.

The idea is that a respondent has two circles: one represents himself, whereas the other represents a group (e.g. Americans). The idea is to move the circles closer or further away (using the cursor) to represent personal relationship with the group. 196

197

Interview with Sandy Schumann. 117

may not be feasible to implement, and even if implemented they might not ensure same validity and reliability of causal relationships as a proper control group would. In any case, as emphasised by the interviewed representatives of JRC as well as existing VE platforms, having control groups is of crucial importance. Thinking about and designing control groups should start as early as possible during the designing stage of EVE. Second, selecting valid and appropriate measures require significant attention. To operationalise relevant attitudes, evaluators need to be familiar with the existing research in the field (e.g., academic research that is already undertaken in the field of virtual exchanges by MIT, Oxford University, University of Padua198, among other institutions) and know exactly what they intend to measure. Only then the broad concepts can be translated into a number of dimensions and then into particular survey questions (see the figure below). An alternative approach would be to apply already developed and validated measurement tools. For example, an interviewed representative of Soliya said that they were at that moment validating their measures for attitudinal changes (as well as for skill development, which is also relevant for EVE), which would become open source. Nonetheless, such measures may need to be redesigned to meet the specific needs of EVE.

Figure 10. Operationalisation of cultural attitudes

Note: ‘cultural attitude’ is only one of the concepts relevant for EVE’s impact evaluation. Other relevant concepts include ‘cultural intelligence’, ‘cultural competence’ or ‘cultural awareness’. Finally, as noted by a representative of Sharing Perspectives Foundation, another challenge to consider is that of response rates. For example, in their given case, only 20-25% of students completed the survey after it was initially sent. Survey administrators had to send eight waves of reminders to achieve 70-80% final response rate. However, in the case of EVE we can somewhat overcome this problem (i.e., reluctance of exchange participants to participate in surveys) by selecting a representative group of participants to fill in the questionnaires. Given

198

http://www.didattica.unipd.it/offerta/docente/ABA72BF6709D43A2B5AEDBF0D6250F07

118

the size of population (around 200,000 participants), it may be possible to generate a representative sample to survey, based on population statistics. Another option would be to deconstruct long questionnaires into thematic blocs of questions and make sure that each participant gets to answer one bloc but not the whole questionnaire. Because of the sheer volume of respondents, this might still be sufficiently reliable. Social psychology methods Social psychology methods aim at measuring implicit attitudes. Developed by Harvard University scientists in the late 1990s 199, the implicit association tests (IAT) allow capturing attitudes and stereotypes that a research subject might not be aware of 200. IATs take a form of an online exercise where a respondent has to react quickly to words appearing on the screen and associate them to a one of two categories by pressing specific response keys. In this way, IAT measures the strength of association between concepts (e.g., Arabs, foreigners) and attitudes (e.g., good, bad) or personal characteristics (e.g., athletic, clumsy). The main idea is that respondents respond faster when words are closely associated in their minds. This can reveal their attitudes, preferences or stereotypes. If repeated at two or more points in time (before-after), such tests may also help measuring change of attitudes.

Feasibility. The main advantage of IATs is that they investigate thoughts and feelings that exist outside the conscious awareness of the respondents. Moreover, IAT is an online-based exercise that does not require significant amount of time to complete. It is therefore possible to collect data from a large number of respondents and to construct a relatively representative sample. A number of organisations provide IAT infrastructure and data analysis services 201. This infrastructure can be revisited and adjusted by adding EVE-specific words and questions. IATs may be integrated into the platform and provided to participants before and after their virtual exchange programme. However, as noted by Dr Emile Bruneau (who contributed to the development of Saxelab’s measurement tools) IAT relies on reaction times, and therefore one should be aware of poor internet connections in some regions. Moreover – and even more importantly – it may violate the ethics of youth work that require the research into youth to always be transparent about its goals and purposes. Psycho-physiological methods Psycho-physiological methods allow identifying correlation between emotion, cognition, and behaviour during real-time group interactions. Brain scans (fMRI) allow researchers to locate those areas of the brain that are activated by intergroup processes, thus giving a sense of the role that emotion and cognition networks in the brain play in belief and attitude formation. Similarly, heart rate variability, skin conductance, and hormone readings have been used in intergroup research to index attention, emotional arousal, contagion, and cognitive effort. In 2009, such a study was implemented by AOCMF (now Soliya) in partnership with Saxe Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at MIT. By employing brain imaging technologies, the researchers identified changes in reasoning bias and attitudes after a dialogue between members of divided groups202.

Feasibility. An advantage of psycho-physiological methods is that they allow capturing the complex emotional and cognitive processes involved in real-time group interactions that cannot accurately be captured solely via self-reporting methods. Intergroup beliefs, emotions, attitudes and prejudices may change quickly and seamlessly so that participants often do not know when, how or why they changed, and some would be unable to say what their beliefs or attitudes actually are. Psycho-physiological methods provide a possibility to overcome these barriers. Nonetheless, it can be difficult to apply such methods in the context of EVE. First, they require very specific and expensive technological infrastructure and expertise. Second, they require

199

https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/faqs.html

Perez, Efren O. "Implicit attitudes: Meaning, measurement, and synergy with political science." Politics, Groups, and Identities 1, no. 2 (2013): 275-297. 200

201

https://www.projectimplicit.net/services.html

202

http://www.soliya.net/SoliyaGuideEnglish.pdf 119

physical presence of the participants at a lab – this induces extra costs and issues. Third, consequently the sample of participants whose attitude changes are measured can only be very small and unrepresentative. We therefore do not envisage using this method for evaluation of EVE’s outcomes. Qualitative social science approaches Interviews and focus groups are very common for evaluation purposes as their purpose is to explore the views, experiences, beliefs, and/or motivations of individuals on specific matters. They are often used to provide context to other data (such as outcome data), offering a more complete picture of what happened in the program and why. The existing platforms, such as eTwinning and Global Nomad’s Group, use interviews and/or focus groups for measuring participant satisfaction and general impressions about the exchange programmes. Likewise, in-depth interviews and focus groups can be employed for measuring VE outcomes and impacts. Generally, there is a great variety of research questions that interviews and focus groups can help answer, as well as an array of techniques for asking these questions. For example, a study of impact of eTwinning included telephone interviews with stakeholders as well as visits to participating schools203. Pupils and teachers were asked to score a set of outcomes from their eTwinning activities, while various stakeholders tried to interpret particular impacts and underlying reasons/conditions. Meanwhile, researcher from Sexelab has experimented with the following technique: he gave participating students a tricky scenario regarding intercultural interactions and asked them to develop as many arguments as possible for the other side (i.e., another cultural group) as they could. The same exercise was completed before and after the exchange programme, and the results were compared to measure the change in attitudes.

Feasibility. An advantage of in-depth interviews and focus groups methods is that they provide a 'deeper' understanding of social phenomena than would be obtained from purely quantitative methods, such as questionnaires. They are, therefore, most appropriate where detailed insights are required from individual participants. However, in-depth interviews and focus groups are a very time-intensive method. Moreover, it is usually very difficult to reach and interview a representative sample to produce generalisable findings. We therefore recommend combining such qualitative methods, if applied at all, with quantitative approach presented above (i.e., web-surveys). The two approaches could be applied in parallel, or interviews/focus groups could be used at specific stages of evaluation. Qualitative data collected in interviews and focus groups would add valuable insights and explanations that might not appear in the analysis of quantitative survey data. How do we measure changing skills? The prevailing method is participant self-reports via web-based surveys. Some VE platforms, such as the Sharing Perspectives Foundation, add relevant self-evaluation questions into a before-and-after survey with a control group204. Meanwhile, other platforms, such as eTwinning rely on uncontrolled one-off surveys205. In both cases, the survey questions focus on whether the respondents find their knowledge and skills improved, or feel more comfortable in different settings (see Box 1 below). For instance, the Sharing Perspectives Foundation uses the concepts of the Erasmus Impact Study206: in the survey the exchange evaluators look into changes in

http://bookshop.europa.eu/lt/study-of-the-impact-of-etwinning-on-participating-pupils-teachers-andschools-pbNC3112371/ 203

204

http://www.sharingperspectivesfoundation.com/wp-content/uploads/PEC-Evaluation.pdf

205

https://www.etwinning.net/eun-files/eTwinningreport_EN.pdf

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/repository/education/library/study/2014/erasmusimpact_en.pdf 206

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participants’ self-esteem, decisiveness, argumentativeness, and curiosity207.

tolerance

of

ambiguity,

self-efficacy,

resilience,

Some of interviewees208 agree with this approach and recommend that EVE could use similar metrics for evaluation of skills changes as physical exchange organisations. For example, we can borrow some validated measures in the field of non-formal education from the ‘Researchbased Analysis and Monitoring of Erasmus+: Youth in Action (RAY)’ 209, which were designed for participants and facilitators of physical exchanges. Advantage of this would be not only welltested measures, but also cross-comparisons with the impacts of physical exchanges available to some extent. However, specific measures will still need to be well adjusted to EVE in particular, considering different target groups and skills. For example, as skills are age dependent, age groups of participants should not be mixed up. Furthermore, such surveys can be complemented with qualitative interviews with participants (e.g., practice of Global Nomads Group), where respondents report the extent to which they feel that participation has enhanced their skills. Qualitative approaches may reveal new aspects not captured in survey questions.

Box 1. Examples of web survey questions to measure changes in participant’s transversal skills 1. Please indicate to what extent do you agree or disagree with the statements below: (post-programme)

The program has improved my skills in working with people I have never met in person Compared to other students in my year who have not participated in the program, I feel more skilled in intercultural communication

Strongly agree

Agree

Partly agree, partly disagree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

°

°

°

°

°

°

°

°

°

°

°

°

°

°

°

I find that the program has taught me something that I couldn’t have acquired in a traditional classroom setting 2. Please indicate to what extent do you agree or disagree with the statements below 210: (pre-programme and post-programme)

Strongly agree

Agree

Partly agree, partly disagree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

207

http://www.sharingperspectivesfoundation.com/wp-content/uploads/spf_personalitymeasures-def.pdf

208

E.g., Shamil Idriss.

209

http://www.researchyouth.net

These questions are based on the methodology of the Erasmus Impact Study, and looks into changes in participants’ self-esteem, decisiveness, tolerance of ambiguity, self-efficacy, resilience, argumentativeness and curiosity. 210

121

I frequently find myself looking for new opportunities to grow as a person (e.g., information, people, resources)

°

°

°

°

°

Everywhere I go, I am out looking for new things or experiences

°

°

°

°

°

°

°

°

°

°

Thanks to my resourcefulness, I know how to handle unforeseen situations

°

°

°

°

°

No matter what comes my way, I’m usually able to handle it

°

°

°

°

°

I feel uncomfortable when I don’t understand the reason why an event occurred in my life

°

°

°

°

°

When I’m confused about an important issue, I feel very upset

°

°

°

°

°

I have high self-esteem

Source: Sharing Perspectives Foundation, PPMI The main disadvantage of self-reports, however, is subjectivity. An alternative providing a more precise measurement is skills tests. For instance, Soliya had developed and applied crosscultural collaboration skills tests in a form of cooperative online games. The games were played before and after the virtual exchange program to gauge whether participants become better able to overcome anxieties and performance inhibitors in cross-cultural environments211. Additionally, such tests could be employed for the purposes of recognition of skills/knowledge gained during an exchange process.

Feasibility. Assessment of skills/knowledge will be carried out alongside the assessment of changing attitudes. Therefore, a web-based survey could be used to assess both changing attitudes as well as soft skills. Furthermore, as showed by the latter initiative, it is possible to apply similar tools as used for evaluation of physical exchange programmes (e.g., Erasmus, as mentioned above). This may even allow, to some extent, for comparisons between impacts of physical and virtual exchanges212. Such exercise would elucidate whether VEs really make exchange experiences and benefits accessible to those who lack resources to go on a physical exchange. This approach could be supplemented by qualitative interviews in cases when some more in-depth insights are needed. Meanwhile, the cooperative online games, according to the developers of such tools213, proved to be not sensitive enough to detect changes in appropriate soft skills.

211

http://virtualexchangecoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/VirtualExchange_saxelab.pdf

However, many conditions would apply, such as decently synchronized methodologies and appropriate sample sizes. 212

213

Interview with Dr Emile Bruneau.

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Which of these methods are best suitable for EVE? The table below compares all of the approaches described in this section. The optimal design to measure both, changing attitudes and skills is a before-after web survey with a control group. It should be complemented (but not replaced) by qualitative approaches such as interviews and focus groups, to acquire a deeper understanding of the relevant questions and possibly reveal new important aspects.

Table 13. Comparison of impact measurement methods Method

What is measured Changes in attitudes, changes in skills, user satisfaction Changes in attitudes

Comparative costs Low

Psychophysiological methods

Changes in attitudes

High

Interviews, focus groups

Changes in attitudes, changes in skills, user satisfaction

Medium

Online skillstest games

Changes in skills

Medium

Web-survey

Implicit attitudes test

Medium

Main advantages

Main disadvantages

Highly representative; relatively lower costs; possibility to combine measurement of several indicators Investigate thoughts and feelings that exist outside the conscious awareness of the respondents; easy to complete; possible to collect data on a representative sample Allows the capture of complex emotional and cognitive processes involved in real-time group interactions that cannot accurately be captured solely via self-reporting methods

Relies on self-reports (subjectivity); does not capture implicit attitudes or real changes in skills

Provide a 'deeper' understanding of social phenomena than would be obtained from purely quantitative methods, such as questionnaires Helps to avoid subjectivity inherent to self-reporting; possible to collect data on a representative sample

Prerequisites IAT infrastructure and specific expertise for analysis; requires speedy internet connections Need for expensive physical infrastructure, expertise for data collection and analysis, presence of the participants at a laboratory; difficult to collect data on a representative sample; possibly violates youth work ethics Unrepresentative; additional travel and interviewers costs

Need for additional infrastructure; not sensitive enough to capture all changes

What should the cycle of outcome measurement look like? As mentioned, the participants typically fill in questionnaires before and after the exchanges (e.g. at the beginning and at the end of an exchange semester, as in, for instance, Soliya, Global Nomads Group, and Sharing Perspectives Foundation). In the case of EVE, the duration of the evaluation cycle, as well as its frequency, will depend on the length of individual exchange programmes/projects. If a given exchange programme is longer (e.g. eight sessions), it can have longer questionnaires before and after, and shorter questionnaires in the middle of 123

the exchange process. This is the individual approach, where the impacts of specific exchange programmes available on EVE are assessed. The problem with it is that it does not provide practical opportunities to assess the participants of one-off exchanges. It also does not capture the changes of participants over time, if they participate in multiple individual exchanges. One option to overcome these problems would be evaluation at programme (overall EVE) level. This would entail sending questionnaires periodically (e.g., every three months) to all registered members who have participated in any number of exchanges. Survey results would be compared to those of previous surveys, to identify changes. Survey data would also be linked to the participants’ demographic data and information on their participation in particular programmes (frequency, duration, number of sessions, etc.), which is collected during monitoring processes. In this way, respondents may be grouped by their activity levels, and these groups, in turn, compared to each other. This type of evaluation cycle would be suitable if we expect the same people to participate in multiple exchange programmes, and wish to see how participation in EVE in general affects cultural views and skills (in contrast to the effects of a single exchange programme).

10.6 Evaluation synthesising the data on outputs, results and impacts While the previous sections concerned the regular or ongoing measurement and assessment of particular elements of the intervention logic, in this section we discuss the synthetic (i.e., combining output, result and outcome level data) evaluation of EVE (e.g., interim and/or final). Analysed in relation to EVE’s objectives, inputs and activities, it will help us to discover some custom aspects of initiative’s operation, including the questions of EVE’s effectiveness, efficiency, EU value added and complementarity. For example, such evaluations may aim to answer the following questions:     

To what extent are the costs involved justified, given the changes/effects which have been achieved? To what extent are the costs proportionate to the benefits achieved? What factors are influencing any particular discrepancies? To what extent is EVE coherent internally? To what extent is EVE coherent externally; i.e., consistent with other EU actions in the field? What would be the most likely consequences of stopping or withdrawing the existing EU intervention?

These questions will be answered using qualitative and quantitative evaluation techniques, including documentary analysis, interviews, case studies, statistical analysis and others.

10.7 Institutional responsibilities Who will be in charge of monitoring and evaluation? Ongoing monitoring of the outcomes and results of EVE at the programme level and at the level of individual exchanges will be carried out by the management of the platform. We assume, based on the Technical Specifications and interviews that the assessment of outcomes and impacts (requiring more elaborate tools and methods) will be carried out by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission with or without assistance of external evaluators. Representatives of JRC have confirmed that the Centre has the necessary thematic and methodological expertise to develop research design and analyse the data. The JRC should be included in the process of development of EVE initiative from the very beginning in order to integrate evaluation (e.g. questionnaires) into the design of the platform. Who are the stakeholders or users of monitoring and evaluation? One of the aims of EVE monitoring and evaluation is to inform the stakeholders about the ongoing achievements of the EVE initiative. The stakeholders include: 

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EU-related institutions and organisations. European Commission and in particular the DG EAC that will engage in developing, piloting and rolling-out the EVE initiative; officials of the European External Action Service, Joint Research Centre and EACEA; EU

    

Delegations and Offices in the non-EU target countries; as well as the national agencies in the Erasmus+ programme countries Experts and academics. People with expertise in inter-cultural dialogue, learning online, learning and training, as well as in youth work both inside and outside the EU EVE target groups. Young people aged 13-30 from various socio-economic backgrounds within the EU and the third countries Society. Youth NGOs, youth workers, social workers, teachers, everyone interested in or working on inter-cultural learning, communication and youth engagement Schools and universities. Institutions of secondary and tertiary education in EU Member States and in third countries around the world Partner organisations. Partners for research, logistics, technology, evaluation and funding (such as educational institutions, youth organisations, other VE platforms, and private partners), whose involvement is crucial to the successful functioning of EVE and implementation of thematic priorities.

10.8 Summary EVE’s intervention model, which integrates its rationale and theory of change, suggests that the initiative should be regularly monitored and assessed at three levels: outputs, results and outcomes.

Output indicators measure direct outputs from project inputs and activities, such as functionalities of EVE’s online platform, number of facilitators recruited, or exchange materials prepared. Intervention outputs constitute preconditions for achieving the goals of intervention. Results, in turn, represent the immediate effects of an intervention. In this specific case they translate into indicators such as the exchanges attended and numbers of participants involved. Measurement of outputs and results will include the dimensions of quantity and quality. The measurement of quantities is rather straightforward and relies on the platform’s software solutions. Meanwhile, to measure quality, EVE administrators will need to collect information on user satisfaction from participants and facilitators. Such data can be gathered using mini web surveys and/or interviews. Outcome (impact) indicators are intended to measure longer-term effects of the initiative, namely changes in participants' cultural attitudes and soft skills. Measurement and analysis of outcomes will aim to answer two main questions: how participants’ attitudes and skills change; and whether there is a causal relationship between EVE intervention and this change. As presented in this chapter, there are a number of different well-developed methods for measuring attitudinal changes, such as surveys, psycho-physiological tests or implicit attitude tests. Application of any of them, however, requires data collection before and after the intervention in order to measure the scope of the changes in question. Furthermore, to assess the causal relationship, research design must include a control group. After reviewing all options, we suggest a before-after web survey of participants with a control group to measure the longer-terms effects of EVE, as the most acknowledged and cost-efficient method. This may be complemented by qualitative interview and focus group data. The development of research design for outcome assessment should start from the earliest stages of EVE’s creation. Besides the regular measurement of EVE’s outputs, results and outcomes, there will be a synthetic (e.g., interim, final) evaluation of EVE’s intervention as a whole. This will include data on all – outputs, results and outcomes, and asses them in relation to the intervention’s objectives, inputs and activities.

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11. Technology 11.1 The purpose and approach of this chapter What do we want to achieve? This chapter presents options and recommendations for the technology underpinning EVE. A platform like EVE will flourish most when its technology works. While servers, scripts and apps perform— powerfully, instantaneously and quietly all at once—the educational experience shines. EVE should be known for the richness of its exchanges, not its trouble in getting everyone connected. With that ambition in mind, this chapter seeks to develop a technological framework for EVE that allows facilitators and participants to concentrate on the contents and pedagogy of their exchange. What are the key challenges? Key to a viable technological implementation of EVE will be a scalable web-conferencing and video solution. EVE will be confronted with dual realities: young people overwhelmingly rely on Apple’s FaceTime, Google’s Hangout, Microsoft’s Skype, and increasingly Snapchat for their video usage, whereas current web-conferencing solutions are proprietary, large-scale systems with high demands on infrastructure at provider and user level and complicated setups. There is, at the moment of authoring this chapter, no technical solution available that satisfies the demands of usage put forward by EVE in full: an easily accessible, easy to install, and easy to use web-video tool that is gentle with bandwidth, can handle high concurrency and does not rely on high-risk technology (such as Flash). Existing virtual exchange platforms and online mobility schemes have found arrangements with the current situation, but none of them is confronted with a demand nearly as high as anticipated for EVE. 20,000 exchanges are foreseen for 2018 and 2019, on average lasting five sessions of two hours each, resulting in a total of 12 million web-conferencing minutes (based on exchanges, not individuals) for these two years, with a total of 200,000 young people joining. Given that usage of EVE will fluctuate heavily not only throughout the day, but also between weekdays and weekends, and between school vacation and lecture time, there might be up to 50 exchange sessions run at the same time. Furthermore, the majority of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and many of the existing exchange platforms use video-streaming and text-based discussion formats, and through this combination avoid the challenge of multiple multi-point video conferences altogether. Similarly, the eTwinning platform relies on several formats, including video, but does not feature a life web-conferencing tool as envisaged for EVE in the Tender Specifications. How will we achieve it? The chapter sets out with a range of premises that inform the choices between technology options, then looks at the three key challenges (video solution, scalability, and automated translation), continues with a comparison of platforms for EVE’s technological base, and concludes with an outline of next steps to be taken.

11.2 The technology of EVE: main premises EVE needs an attractive home base Any community needs a space with which its various members can identify. Whether the community exists online, offline, or in between, whether the space is physical, virtual, or both, makes little difference. From the local youth club to the global Wikimedia movement: successful communities have a – digital, analogue or hybrid – place they call home.

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For EVE, we envisage an attractive digital online home to include:    

Easy and memorable web address such as eve.org Appealing web design tailored to the target audience Inviting online platform, to which its members look forward to return Unobtrusive platform that operates proficiently in the background

These parameters have been reflected in the costing.

EVE needs to be secure and protective Security will be crucial for EVE for a number of reasons, both from the perspective of users and hosts. For users, data privacy and security is key, and plays an increasing role in young people’s judgment of an online platform. Data storage should comply with the EU Data Protection Directive. From the hosting perspective, security is vital in pedagogical as well as political terms. Pedagogically, because exchanges need a protected space in which young people feel safe and safeguarded. Politically, because any abuse of the platform, for whichever purpose, would be severely damaging. Therefore, EVE needs to be as much as that is possible hackerproof to prevent pedagogical interruption and political exploitation.

EVE needs to be open and accessible While for all technical layers, security and protectiveness is crucial, EVE needs to be open and, crucially, accessible at user experience and interaction level. It has to be easy to register and interact with peers, facilitators, administrators, and other stakeholders, to join or create exchanges, and to browse through the results of exchanges – no matter whether assistive technologies are used or not, and irrespective of the device being used (computer, tablet, phone).

EVE needs to be open-access and open-source Young people increasingly care about open access, open source, open content, open data, and open licenses. Moreover, the EU has made a profound commitment to the open source definition through its Open Source Strategy 214 and its Open Access Policy215. EVE should respect both developments fully.

EVE needs to be fast and light The Technical Specifications rightly emphasise that EVE needs to be light-weight and fast for users. This has deep implications for the code-base, design of the platform, and the video solutions recommended. It also has consequences for the operating resources: to ease the load on users’ devices, EVE’s servers will need to be able to handle more.

EVE needs to be standard-compliant The features and characteristics described in this section can only be achieved and maintained if EVE follows the main web standards, and adjusts as these standards evolve. This means in particular that EVE should rely on standard flavours of CSS and HTML5 and should comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines216 at AA level217 and the Authoring Tool Accessibility

214

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/informatics/oss_tech/index_en.htm

215

https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/open-access-scientific-publications-horizon-2020-projects

The 12 main Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG, https://www.w3.org/TR/2008/RECWCAG20-20081211/) are organised under the four principles perceivable, operable, understandable 216

and

robust.

The

12

guidelines

are

underpinned

by

hundreds

of

techniques

(https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-TECHS/).

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Guidelines218 at AA level. As much as possible, EVE should aspire to achieve AAA level. This makes it easier for some groups to access web content 219, in particular by providing extended audio descriptions, media alternatives for videos, contrast ratios of 7:1, detailed help and instructions, explanations for abbreviations as well as strange words, and by ensuring that the site is navigable with only a keyboard.

EVE needs to be transparent Young people are critical online users, and EVE needs to respect that and create a level playing field that does not underestimate the ability of young internet users to trace information. There can be no ambiguity about issues such as EVE’s stakeholders and their interests in the platform, or which data is stored and shared and why.

EVE needs to be user-centred EVE’s entire design from the technological layers underneath the surface to the user interface and interaction layers should be user-centred in every possible way. This must also be the case for the governance framework of the platform, in particular its privacy and security policies.

EVE needs to be user-driven EVE will seek to attract young people to join and organise youth exchanges based on the principles of non-formal education. Participatory learning is a core value and practice in nonformal education and youth work. EVE should allow and invite its users to shape its current practices and to contribute to its future development.

EVE needs to handle peaks EVE should aim to be a lively platform at most times of every day, but peaks are unavoidable: school and public holidays, daily and weekly rhythms, and time zone differences will all lead to certain periods, days, and times where the load on the platform will be multiplied. EVE needs to have the resources to handle such peaks, also in unexpected intensity, though without always providing them needlessly.

EVE needs to work both synchronously and asynchronously EVE will seek to facilitate synchronous youth exchanges, and in doing so it will have a unique feature in comparison to the existing European exchange platforms. At the same time, asynchronicity needs to be a complementary feature. If participants miss an exchange session, e.g. because they are sick, the session should be available as a recorded video so they can catch up before the exchange continues with the next session.

11.3 Key Challenge 1: An excellent video solution Looking beyond what’s available today The largest promise to provide a viable solution rests with WebRTC 220, short for Web Real-Time Communication, a set of definitions, protocols, and tools for browser-to-browser applications

AA Level is the medium level of conformance (https://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDINGWCAG20/conformance.html#uc-levels-head) and means that EVE has to satisfy all WCAG Level A and 217

Level AA success criteria, or provide a Level AA conforming alternate version. The Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines ( https://www.w3.org/TR/ATAG20/) are the equivalent of the content accessibility guidelines but for tools that allow users to create, rather than consume, content. 218

219

http://www.visionaustralia.org is a great website showcasing skilfully how AAA can be implemented. 220

https://webrtc.org/

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without a need for internal or external plugins. Video calling is one of the features covered by WebRTC. The framework supports all major browsers and platforms, mobile as well as traditional, with one caveat: WebKit/Safari is under development at the time of authoring this chapter. WebRTC has the potential to deliver everything the Tender Specifications require, in particular related to the ease of use and the ease of load, whilst adhering to principles that are important to the tenderers in their longstanding work in online learning and digital youth work, in particular in relation to open source and privacy protection. We are familiar with the philosophy and the technological foundations underpinning WebRTC, as well as the current status of the work of the Web Real-Time Communications Working Group at the W3C Consortium that defines the APIs for WebRTC221. Based on their intimate knowledge, we believe that WebRTC is the best currently available starting point for exploring scenarios that align with the demands set out in the Tender Specifications. How well does WebRTC work today? In most browsers WebRTC works exceptionally well. Google has reported more than a billion WebRTC minutes a week in 2016222. All Webkit-based Browsers (chief among them Safari) remain the major current exception, which is being worked on actively, with a roadmap foreseeing completion in 2017223. On mobile devices, WebRTC works in mobile browsers with the same caveat as above (Webkitbased browsers in active development)224. More importantly, WebRTC can be used on all mobile platforms, including iOS225, for native app development. Below are a number of screenshots to illustrate key functionality, all of them in-browser with no plugins installed. Interested readers can try out WebRTC themselves at 226 webrtc.github.io/samples/ (or watch this introductory video instead) most easily with Chrome and/or Firefox. Note that all samples put the full load on your browser, so you might notice your computer’s fans spinning up. This is something we will have to deal with. Figure 11. In-browser video chat (similar to Microsoft Skype, Google Hangouts) 227

221

https://www.w3.org/2011/04/webrtc/

222

Source: https://blog.voxbone.com/clue-con-using-webrtc/

The Webkit Feature Status Site lists WebRTC support as in active development. The development lead, Jon Davis, has confirmed that the feature will be rolled out in the first half of 2017. 223

As of December 7, 2016, when Chrome for Android 55 was released, which also illustrates the active and quick development cycle for the implementation of WebRTC across browsers and platforms. 224

https://webrtc.org/native-code/ios/ for details, and here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/webrtc/id828333357 as well as here: https://github.com/ISBX/apprtcios for examples of Apps. 225

See

226

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-YGw3bgB_s

227

Try it at https://apprtc.appspot.com/r/evetry

129

Figure 12. Peer-2-Peer video conference with 2 parties: no plugins needed, works in standard browser228

228

Try it at https://webrtc.github.io/samples/src/content/peerconnection/pc1/

130

Figure 13. Peer-2-Peer video conference with three parties: no plugins needed, works in standard browser229

In summary, WebRTC is an excellent video solution that offers exactly what EVE needs. It can be used at scale, works in most browsers – and will soon work in all browsers – and can be scaled, as we will demonstrate in the next section.

229

Try it at https://webrtc.github.io/samples/src/content/peerconnection/multiple/

131

11.4 Key Challenge 2: Scaling the video solution How can WebRTC be scaled for EVE’s usage scenario? The above samples illustrate the in-browser, plugin-free functionality in its simplest form: peer to peer. Of interest is, however, how WebRTC can be scaled. Sustained attention to WebRTC infrastructure such as media servers and cloud scenarios has gained substantial traction in the past years. The graphic below illustrates, using the example of Kurento230, one of the most mature WebRTC media servers, the function of infrastructure: Figure 14. Open Source Kurento Media Server: advanced media processing of media servers 231

Of crucial interest to EVE is Nubomedia232, a continuation of Kurento and an attempt to advance Kurento into a cloud-based infrastructure. Nubomedia is a European Commission funded research project, coordinated by the Unversidad Rey Juan Carlos that started in early 2014 and concluded in September 2016. Nubomedia has developed a scalable infrastructure for WebRTC applications that is well suited for EVE purposes. Whilst EVE would be the largest instance of a Nubomedia-based platform, the architecture has been designed with scalability for thousands of users in mind. From the project deliverable D2.4.2.:

230

http://www.kurento.org/

231

http://www.kurento.org/whats-kurento

232

http://www.nubomedia.eu/

132

‘The NUBOMEDIA Platform is an elastic cloud PaaS [Platform as a Service] that has been created in the context of the NUBOMEDIA Project to comply with the following objectives: • • •

To provide elastic scalability for media delivery, so that physical and virtual computing and networking resources are allocated on demand to them accordingly to their QoS requirements To provide a modular media plane suitable for hosting interacting media capabilities including media transport, media (de)coding, media filtering, media interoperability and media processing To provide advanced autoscaling mechanisms able to orchestrate complex stateful media components To provide a set of APIs suitable for complying with the requirements of a wide spectrum of developers by enabling, at the same time, abstraction and flexibility’ 233 Figure 15. Nubomedia's software architecture234 Nubomedia’s software architecture was designed to take the load off an individual's browser and provide a scalable platform able to handle thousands of video chats simultaneously:

233

http://www.nubomedia.eu/sites/default/deliverables/WP2/D2.4.2_Architecture_R6_V2_26-01-2016_FINAL-PC.pdf

234

http://www.nubomedia.eu/sites/default/deliverables/WP3/D3.2_Cloud_Platform_R6_V1.1_FINAL-PC.pdf

133

In conclusion, with Nubomedia there is a scaling framework available that will allow EVE to implement a viable, scalable WebRTC video solution.

134

11.5 Key Challenge 3: Automated translation of real-time video The remaining key challenge stems from the ambition to make EVE accessible for any young person, no matter which language they speak. Multi-lingual facilitators will play a crucial role in facilitating intercultural dialogue across language barriers, and EVE seeks to support their efforts through technology as best as possible. The easier of two technical aspects is the provision of static or pre-recorded information in multiple languages, which will be addressed later in this chapter as part of the comparison of platform options. The much more challenging hurdle is the support of real-time communication through automated translation. The struggles of Siri and Alexa make explicit that technology is not yet where EVE would need it to be. Several initiatives of interest to EVE are actively seeking to respond to that challenge: Web Speech API – The Web Speech API235 is a draft specification authored by Glen Shires and Hans Wennborg (both working at Google) and published by the Speech API Community Group. It is hosted on the webpage of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), but is currently not an official standard and not on track to become one. The Web Speech seeks to enable web developers to incorporate speech recognition and speech synthesis into web pages and webbased applications. The Web Speech API is published under a free license, is compatible with WebRTC, but currently only works in Chrome and Firefox. It is currently unclear when other browsers will support it. It is labelled as ‘experimental technology’236.

Translate Your World – With their software called TYWI (and pronounced ‘tie-wee’), Translate Your World claims to have developed ‘the world’s first fully interactive, full-speed, real-time voice translation software, which can generate subtitles in 78 languages almost instantaneously. In their own words: ‘TYWI is the first software to enable across-language communication at full speed. Your voice becomes a voice in the other language and also becomes subtitles in up to 78 languages. The voice of the other person is translated for you, as well, as both audio and text. Each user has control over the quality and results. And unlike telephone systems that ask you, ‘How can we help?’ and then rarely understand what you say, TYWI will understand you and will improve every time you use it’237. TYWI is described as 50/50 software: ‘50% of the work is done by the software and 50% by the speaker.’ In other words: the software has specific demands, for example how fast a speaker can be, how strong an accent can be, which words are known etc. TYWI is a commercial product, is compatible with WebRTC and works with Firefox, Chrome and some versions of Internet Explorer (but not Microsoft’s new browser Edge). It additionally requires a voice recognition software/app that should ideally be installed on the user’s device 238. WebRTC Translate – The Github project WebRTC Translate by Szymon Nowak is an app that uses the APIs of WebRTC und WebSpeech to provide almost instantaneous real-time translations during a video call239.

https://dvcs.w3.org/hg/speech-api/raw-file/tip/webspeechapi.html; a demo of how the API can be used is available at https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/demos/speech.html 235

236

More information is available at https://dvcs.w3.org/hg/speech-api/raw-file/tip/webspeechapi.html

237

http://www.translateyourworld.com/about

238

More information is available at http://translateyourworld.com/

239

A demo is available at https://webrtc-translate.herokuapp.com/ 135

The app is freely available on Github, is compatible with WebRTC, but because of the current browser compatibility limitations of the Web Speech API, only works in Chrome, Firefox and Opera. In summary, there are some promising experiments currently ongoing that could potentially provide instantaneous translation during video calls. At the moment of authoring this feasibility study, none of them is ready to be deployed at scale in ways that are practical for EVE. It is, however, not unlikely that the technology advances quickly, and we are suggesting to include the feature in the call for tenders for the implementation of the video solution despite the current experimental state of the framework. We have also foreseen substantive resources, allowing EVE to build on the freely available code of WebRTC Translate for a tailored solution. Despite these resources, the current absence of a reliable technical solution has an impact on the facilitation approach, which is reflected in the chapter on facilitation, among others through language qualification requirements for facilitators. With two of the three key challenges resolved, we can now turn to identifying the technological base underpinning EVE.

11.6 EVE’s technological base: comparing open-source platforms Which platform is the best starting point for EVE? A WebRTC-based video solution can be embedded in any website that is standard-compliant. In this section we assess several open-source solutions against the main premises introduced above, which we have translated into the key criteria. As outlined in our tender submission, we have selected a number of open-source social platforms and learning platforms to identify which of them, if any, could be used to build an attractive home base for EVE.

ATTRACTIVE HOME BASE Code and Design fully separated Code-base allows for mobile first design Experience past-login fully customisable SECURE AND PROTECTIVE Encrypted connection enforceable (https) Two-factor authentication possible Security architecture known & tested Spam-control integrated & adjustable OPEN AND ACCESSIBLE User interaction is possible out-of-thebox Usage of several languages is achievable Flexible search mechanism integrated OPEN-ACCESS AND OPEN-SOURCE Software is open source with open license Open access for contents technically possible Contributions to community are possible FAST AND LIGHT Competitive load-time achievable Ease of load on servers not users 136

& Mahara Moodle

OpenOLAT & extensions

Concrete5 Add-ons

Typo3 & Extensions

&

& Drupal Modules

Aspects of comparison // Platforms

WordPress & BuddyPress

Table 14. Comparison of existing open source social platforms

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1, 2

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99u.com

Fast experience on mobile devices STANDARD-COMPLIANT WCAG compliance Level AA out-of-thebox WCAG compliance Level AA achievable ATAG compliance Level AA out-of-thebox compliance Level AA achievable ATAG CSS and HTML5 compliance possible TRANSPARENT Data storage options fully customisable Data sharing options fully customisable User privacy options fully customisable USER-CENTRED Platform design informed by users Platform design driven by users Platform further developed with users USER-DRIVEN User feedback mechanisms integrated User feedback mechanisms embeddable Landing page customisable by user KEY FUNCTIONALITY Online collaboration possible to integrate Exchange of documents and messages possible Application, selection, recruitment possible HANDLING PEAKS Scalable database architecture Caching solution integrated Caching solution embeddable SUMMARY Recommended for EVE

Source: compiled by D&D In conclusion, several of the reviewed platforms can, with an acceptable amount of customisation, deliver the key functionalities requested by the Technical Specifications. It is the accessibility compliance that separates the field: WordPress and Drupal come closest to fulfilling the criteria on content access and authoring tool accessibility standards. Overall, very little sets these two platforms apart: they are scalable, widely spread, have lively communities of practice and have both been applied to comparable use cases. Both platforms allow the core functionality of EVE to be implemented, from user interaction and file sharing to facilitator training and feedback mechanisms. Given that the European Commission’s websites are built with Drupal, our recommendation is to use Drupal as the technological base for EVE. The 137

extensive in-house experience and expertise will ease the work of the Commission considerably, alone when drafting technical specifications and assessing tender submissions.

11.7 A separate solution for the pilot phase? The implementation of EVE‘s technology will be handled through a call for tender to identify the most qualified and competitive vendor to supply the technical solutions required to make EVE a success. The tender is going to cover the platform eve.org, including its web design and code, and containing all features and functions except the video conferencing and automated translation, as well as the video solution, the scaling infrastructure, and automated translation. From our discussions at the Steering Group meetings, it seems realistic that the calls for tenders could be published early in 2017, and successful tenders be selected in mid-2017. From the functionality outlined in this chapter, we estimate that a time window of 2-3 months should be feasible to develop the platform as well as the video solution, as both will be based on existing technologies and wrap interfaces and extensions around them. Given that timeframe, the platform and its video module could be available in September 2017, with beta versions for testing by the core facilitators likely to be available in August 2017. We therefore recommend not to implement a separate solution for the pilot phase, but rather to work towards a swift publication of the calls for tenders.

11.8 Summary The timing of EVE could, from a technological standpoint, not be better. With WebRTC there is a young, yet excellent technological base available to build the video solution that EVE needs. Thanks to extensive research funded by the European Commission, specifically into Nubomedia, there is a framework available to implement a scalable web environment for WebRTC. With Drupal, an excellent open-source platform exists to serve as a framework for EVE’s home base, hopefully located at eve.org. The major technical shortcoming is the absence of a viable automated translation software. We have offset it as best as possible through adjustments in the facilitation approach – and suggest, at the same time, to integrate the current experimental APIs into the technology stack already anyway, to benefit from likely improvements to automated translation during the years to come. The costing chapter outlines the estimated expenses for the implementation of our suggestions in more detail.

138

12. Diplomatic issues 12.1 The purpose of EVE’s public diplomacy What do we want to achieve? The main aim of EVE public diplomacy strategy is to contribute to creating favourable conditions for the EVE initiative in countries beyond the EU, in particular by engaging with governments (e.g. through the EU Delegations), educational institutions, NGOs and individuals from these countries. Why is it important? An effective public diplomacy could help to launch EVE in countries beyond the EU, reduce bureaucratic barriers, involve local actors (e.g. local communities, NGOs, educational institutions), attract participants and even rise additional financial resources. Public diplomacy could be carried out at the highest level (such as the level of foreign ministries) as well as at the levels of sectorial ministries (e.g. education), local authorities and other key institutions, think tanks, foundations (such as the Qatar Foundation). What are the key challenges?  

Avoiding cultural or political conflicts between participants while remaining open to discussing difficult and important issues Implementing EVE with an awareness of issues and sensitivities concerning specific regions

How will we achieve it? There are two blocks to consider when designing and implementing EVE’s public diplomacy strategy:  o o  o o

Level of individuals: Selecting themes and facilitators Registering participants and following a code of conduct Systemic level: Engaging with authorities, organisations, and communities in countries beyond Europe Respecting regional sensitivities

12.2 Level of individuals What are the principles of selecting themes and facilitators? Some exchange themes and/or topics are very sensitive (especially in the regions beyond the EU) and may cause misunderstandings or even conflicts between participants, in particular:       

Religion Ethics Culture International and internal politics Ideology History Social issues

As a starting point to approach sensitive issues, we refer to the concept of securitization, as developed by Ole Wæver, a well-known representative of Copenhagen School in International Relations. The main message of the theory is that security and stability can never be considered as given and any question may turn into a security issue. Therefore desecuritisation is the

139

240

key to minimising the threat of escalation . For EVE this means that contentious issues have to be taken out of a hostile context (in other words, reframed) by using appropriate approaches, as is common practice in intercultural non-formal education. Facilitators play a key role in implementing these approaches. From the perspective of public diplomacy, the main aim of facilitation is securing a safe intercultural learning environment. Facilitators have to ensure that participants are both 241 accepted and respected by their peers . They should allow for discussion between participants, support their interest and engagement while also making sure that this does not turn into heated or hostile exchanges. Facilitators have the delicate task to find the right balance because, as pointed out by some interviewees, there is a risk of ‘false consensus’ when participants are overly polite but do not feel that important issues are thoroughly addressed. All in all, facilitators have to be trained in relevant methods. Furthermore, the team of facilitators should be sufficiently diverse in order to offer a variety of linguistic competences and cultural experiences. The variety of approaches and methods used in non-formal education for intercultural learning, as evidenced in the Training Kits “Intercultural Learning” and “Euro-Mediterranean Youth Work” 242 among many other places , could potentially be complemented by approaches used in some of the reviewed virtual exchange contexts, such as Integrative Complexity. As defined by ICthinking, one of the leading IC research groups: ‘Integrative Complexity is a measure of how black-and-white someone's thinking is. If we are threatened, our brain narrows its focus. Exactly the same happens if something precious to us, such as our deepest values, are threatened. With this narrowing down, we become more likely to use violence to defend ourselves and our values. However, the black-and-white thinking can be made more complex, if people understand their own "in group" has a range of viewpoints, not just a single "right" perspective. And, this complexity spills over into an understanding that the "out group", however it is defined for someone, can also be more complex - they are not all 243 bad. With this reduced black-and-white thinking, a person is less likely to resort to violence’ . ICthinking provides training that equips people to embrace differences positively, creatively and collaboratively. The IC or similar approaches could become an essential part of EVE facilitation training programme and complement the methodology pool of intercultural learning in youth work. Registering participants and following a code of conduct While quality facilitation is key to the success of the platform, two other elements are important from the perspective of public diplomacy. Firstly, there has to be a registration system ensuring that EVE is open to everyone yet able to secure the network from external risks (hate speech, fraud, radicalisation, infiltration) and guarantee the anonymity of users that might be worried about scrutiny from their local governments; secondly, a code of conduct should be adopted supporting mutual respect among participants and allowing, in exceptional cases, to cancel participation. More specifically:

Ole Waever, Securitization and Desecuritization, in B. Buzan & L. Hansen, eds., International Security. Volume III. Widening Security, Sage, 2007, p. 66-75; Barry Buzan, Waever, O., de Wilde J. Security: A New Framework for Analysis.Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1998, 24-27. 240

Hu, D. E. Y. U., and K. Potter. "Designing an effective online learning environment." Southeast Education Network 16 (2012). 241

Intercultural learning is one of the key concepts underpinning youth work and non-formal education across Europe. Susana Lafraya’s “Intercultural Learning in non-formal education”, published as a Knowledge Book by the Youth Partnership, details the role intercultural learning has played in particular for international youth exchanges. 242

243

https://sites.google.com/site/icthinking/-ask-the-editor

140





Upon registration users should provide their basic personal information (i.e. name, surname, picture). This procedure would be very significant in order to avoid the risks such as hate speech, fraud, or even attempts to radicalise participants. To reduce the likelihood of users registering with false identities, EVE should require them to upload a photo of themselves holding a valid ID. However, users should have an option to participate in exchanges by revealing only their first name or a nick name. Only the facilitators would have access to the real name/surname of participants who take part in exchanges moderated by these facilitators The code of conduct should consist of clear, easily understandable and enforceable rules and consequences. We recommend that it would be developed with a significant contribution of the core group of facilitators

12.3 Systemic level How could EVE become a successful tool of EU’s soft power? EVE is an element of EU’s soft power and public diplomacy. In essence, public diplomacy involves engaging with government and non-governmental partners, conveying information and 244 building long-term relationships that create an enabling environment for government policies . According to Joseph Nye, soft power ‘is the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion or payments. It arises from the attractiveness of a country's culture, political ideals, and policies. When our policies are seen as legitimate in the eyes of others, our 245 soft power is enhanced’ . Soft power is the ‘second face of the power’, supplementing the 246 traditional hard power, based on military and economic strength . According to Nye, the success of public diplomacy depends on three dimensions: 1. Daily communication, which involves explaining the context of domestic and foreign policy (including elements like foreign press). 2. Strategic communication, in which a set of themes is developed, much like what occurs in a political or advertising campaign (branding of central themes or advancing a particular government policy). 3. The development of lasting relationships with key individuals over many years through 247 scholarships, exchanges, training, seminars, conferences, and access to media . EVE is related to the third dimension. Nye argues that the ‘Internet can be used interactively and in combination with people’s exchanges. Face-to-face communications remain the most effective, but they can be supplemented and reinforced by the Internet. For example, a combination of visits and the Internet can create both virtual and real networks of young people who want to learn about each other's cultures’. Cultural context is significant, since ‘preaching at foreigners is not the best way to convert them. Too often political leaders think that the problem is simply that others lack information, and that if they simply knew what we know, they would see things our way. But all information goes through cultural filters, and declamatory statements are rarely heard as intended. Telling is far less influential than actions and symbols that show as well as tell’. ‘Effective public 248 diplomacy is a two-way street that involves listening as well as talking’ . Therefore, in order to avoid negative public reactions or even diplomatic misunderstandings, it is essential to understand that successful public diplomacy requires both time and consistent application of soft power resources, which should help to:

244

Joseph Nye, Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics, 105-107.

245

Ibid.

246

Ibid, 5.

247

Ibid., 1

248

Ibid, 111-112. 141

  

Establish relations with local governments Develop strong partnerships with NGOs (especially youth organisations), educational institutions and other partners Reach out to local media and thus introduce the public to EVE

Partnerships are at the core of public diplomacy Forming partnerships is an important aspect of EVE’s public diplomacy in regions beyond Europe. Strong strategic partnerships would help embedding EVE in its target regions, whereas lack of support at the local level may cause bureaucratic, financial or other barriers, deter potential participants and facilitators, and diminish the value of EVE’s certificates. Seeking partnerships at the highest level may prove helpful, for example in the MENA region, as according to our interviews many governments may have somewhat tense relationships to their youth populations, which are striving for change and potentially threatening the current political establishment. As an example, in order to elicit support for the Stevens Initiative, the US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the advantages and aims of this initiative with Arab foreign ministers and ambassadors. He invited experts to a joint meeting to share proven success stories and concrete outcomes of virtual exchanges. This led to some Arab governments contributing financially to the Stevens Initiative. Furthermore, the statement of support at the level of government created a conducive environment for further partnerships at the sectorial and local level. Another example comes from the Anna Lindh Foundation’s programme ‘Young Arab Voices’. The Foundation started by engaging with local youth organisations and school and university educators, yielding a network of strongly committed partners. This allowed firstly developing the programme at a small scale and once it reached maturity in terms of proven success, more important strategic partnerships were sought, including university deans, and government officials. A somewhat similar approach is taken at Soliya. Evidence of effectiveness of exchange at the local level provides a strong argument to attract additional partners. These two approaches should not be seen as alternatives, but should instead be considered as complementing each other. Ideally, both types of partnerships should be pursued. Governmental support at the highest level creates a favourable environment to the programme, whereas strong partnerships on the ground would encourage individuals and educators to join EVE. What is the potential regional scope of EVE? EVE has a potential to become an effective EU public diplomacy tool. However, from the perspective of soft power, its success directly depends on the willingness to understand the needs and values of other countries, cultures and communities. We review some of these aspects in the following section. The participants will initially come from the Erasmus+ programme countries, as well as partner 249 countries , including three EU neighbourhood regions (Eastern Europe; Western Balkans; South Mediterranean and Middle East). In the future EVE could include countries from the rest of Middle East (such as Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and others), Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Central Asia, North America, as well as other regions. From the perspective of public diplomacy, it is important that EVE is aware of region and country-specific political and cultural sensitivities. In the following section we present a list of some important and sensitive regional issues that we selected based on interviews and literature sources.

249

https://www.erasmusplus.org.uk/participating-countries

142

Examples of sensitive issues in the Eastern European region This region includes Eastern Partnership Countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, 250 Moldova, Ukraine and Russian Federation as Partner Country (see Figure 16).

Figure 16. Geographic scope of the Eastern European region





Sensitive issues: o Ukrainian crisis (Euromaidan, Annexation of Crimea, War in Donbass) o Georgian-Russian conflicts (Russo-Georgian war of 2008, Occupied territories of Georgia) o Armenian-Azerbaijani conflicts (Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, other events) o Legitimacy of current Belarus’ political regime o Internal pro-EU and pro-Russian divide in Moldova, the issue of separatist region of Transnistria Other important aspects: o Popular attitudes towards the EU and Western democracy o Perception of post-modern values (e.g. LGBT rights, secularism, self-expression, environmentalism) o Common and different Slavic/Orthodox Christian traditions in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Georgia o Islamic traditions in Azerbaijan and specific national Armenian Apostolic Church

Examples of sensitive issues in Western Balkan region This region includes Partner Countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia) and former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as a non-EU Programme Country (see Figure 17).

Figure 17. Geographic scope of the Western Balkan region

250

With Ukraine‘s and Russia‘s territory as recognised by international law. 143





Sensitive issues: o Political heritage of post-Yugoslavian conflicts, particularly war crimes o Tensions between religions and cultures in the region, primarily Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Islam Other important aspects: o Popular attitudes towards the EU and Western democracy o Perception of post-modern values (e.g. LGBT rights, secularism, self-expression, environmentalism)

Examples of sensitive issues in the South Mediterranean and Middle East South Mediterranean and Middle East regions include Erasmus+ Partner Countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia) and Turkey as a nonEU Programme Country (see Figure 18).

Figure 18. Geographic scope of the South Mediterranean and Middle East regions



144

Sensitive issues: o Religion, morality and cultural issues, strongly linked to Islamic perception of post-modern values (e.g. the position of women) o War in Syria o Israeli-Arab conflict

o



o o o Other o

A number of other, past and present military conflicts, such as Algerian war of independence, Western Sahara conflict, Kurdish-Turkish conflict Internal politics of Turkey, particularly the recent Turkish coup d'état attempt Migration crisis Other internal issues (e.g. the question of monarchy in Morocco) important aspects: Populations‘ attitude towards the EU and Western democracy

What common themes/ topics could engage young people from different regions? According to Eleonora Insalaco’s analysis in ‘The Anna Lindh Report 2014’, the Arab Spring created a new context for dialogue between young people from Europe and Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries (SEM). According to 2012 Anna Lindh/ Gallup Poll Survey, the potential for collaboration might be based on common values of young people from European and SEM countries, which primarily include:    

Family Respect for other cultures Social integration 251 Diversity and minority issues

The research report indicated an increase of mutual interest between the young people of the two regions. Both groups argued that they are interested in culture and lifestyle of young people in other regions. Young Europeans also emphasised cuisine, reading foreign-language newspapers or books, watching foreign television or movies, making friends and travelling. Meanwhile their SEM peers pointed out that they are interested in European economy, political 252 life and religion . Moreover, according to a number of our interviewees, there are also other topics, highly relevant for the youth of the Middle East and North Africa, and, though to a lesser extent, for the young Europeans as well. These topics include:    

Skills, employability and career opportunities Migration (as well as migrant experiences abroad) Education Networks, affiliation, deep meaningful connections and social enterprises

12.4 Key risks  

Level of individuals: o Potential misunderstandings and even conflicts between EVE participants Systemic level: o Diplomatic incidents with the Partner countries blaming the EU for an attempt to impose the ‘Western’ values o Artificial barriers created by national or local authorities for people or institutions willing to take part in the exchanges o Lack of awareness or support for EVE among media, institutions, NGOs and individuals

12.5 Summary The main aim of public diplomacy is to contribute to creating favourable conditions for the EVE initiative in countries beyond the EU. In order to achieve it, the following steps will have to be implemented: 

Ensuring an open yet friendly intercultural dialogue between EVE participants by: o Reframing contentious themes by taking them out of a hostile context

251

The Anna Lindh Report 2014, 61-62

252

Ibid., 64. 145

Using appropriate approaches to facilitation, such as intercultural learning and Integrative Complexity o Implementing a registration system that would ensure that EVE is open to everyone yet able to secure the network from external risks and guarantee users’ anonymity o Enforcing a code of conduct aimed to ensure mutual respect among participants and allowing, in exceptional cases, to cancel participation Implementing EVE with an awareness of issues and sensitivities in specific regions by: o Initiating partnerships at national, sectoral and local levels, including NGOs and local communities o Understanding political and cultural sensitivities of particular regions o Finding themes and issues that resonate with specific groups of participants o



146

13. Costs of the EVE initiative and physical Youth exchanges 13.1 Estimated costs of the EVE initiative What do we want to achieve?

Throughout this feasibility study, we have outlined and assessed a number of options and made propositions for the best ways ahead to make Erasmus+ Virtual Exchanges a success. In this chapter, we bring the feasibility study to a close by presenting the costs for EVE, as well as costs for various options where those exist, alongside with recommendations for which option is preferable on the basis of our study. What are the estimated overall costs for EVE? The overall estimated costs for EVE in the years 2017-2020 amount to 19.5 million Euro, equalling an investment of less than 100 Euro per exchange participant during that time ( Table 15). 2 million Euro are estimated for the costs of the pilot phase (12 months from mid-2017 to mid-2018), 7 million Euro for the first full year of EVE (early 2018 to early 2019) and 10.5 million Euro for the second full year of the platform (early 2019 to early 2020). Detailed cost calculations are presented in appendixes to this report.

Table 15. The overall estimated costs for EVE in the years 2017-2020

FACILITATION MARKETING SUPPORT TECHNOLOGY

COSTS 2017-2018 357,886 € 200,000 € 617,432 € 824,400 €

COSTS 2018-2019 3,407,804 € 2,000,000 € 1,261,645 € 344,435 €

COSTS 2019-2020 6,848,400 € 2,000,000 € 1,107,400 € 467,323 €

TOTAL COSTS 2017-2020 10,614,090 € 4,200,000 € 2,986,477 € 1,636,158 €

ALL AREAS

1,999,718 €

7,013,884 €

10,423,123 €

19,436,725 €

How do the costs of EVE compare to other platforms of virtual exchanges? EPALE In 2016, EPALE had an annual budget for its 35 National Support Structures (NSS) of 5.5 million Euro253. In addition, the budget for Central Support Services (CSS) and Commissionprovided hosting (DG DIGIT) amount to 8.7 million Euro for the six-year period 2014-2019. EPALE was kick-started in 2012 with a 3 million Euro investment under the Lifelong Learning Programme.

eTWINNING In 2016, eTwinning had an annual budget of 13 million Euro, of which 2 million Euro were earmarked for Central Support Services (CSS), and 11 million Euro combined for National Support Services (NSS) and Partner Support Agencies (PSA) 254. SHARING PERSPECTIVES In 2016, the costs per student amounted to $500 per year. 55% of the overall annual budget of the Sharing Perspectives Foundation is spent on salaries for core staff, 35% for programmespecific costs (hosting, research, evaluation, support), and 10% on overhead.

253

https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/sites/eacea-site/files/publication_of_results_-_copy.pdf

254

Interview programme 147

How have we calculated the costs for the facilitation of EVE? For the facilitation of virtual exchanges on the platform, we have undertaken to explore three scenarios, described in more detail in Chapter 5. In short, we have estimated costs for: 1. A facilitation network consisting entirely of paid facilitators, 400 in total 2. A facilitation network consisting of paid and volunteer facilitators, 350 and 150 respectively 3. A facilitation network consisting entirely of volunteer facilitators, 1.000 in total Common to all three scenarios are expenses for:  

the annual training and development lab of the core group of facilitators the costs for the facilitation of all virtual exchanges during the pilot phase

Depending on each scenario, we have estimated costs for:   

the initial and ongoing training of facilitators in 2018 and 2019 the facilitation of youth exchanges in 2018, 2019 and 2020 the Virtual Youth Exchange Summit of all facilitators in 2018 and 2019

For a detailed break-down of facilitation-related costs, see Table 16.

Table 16. Facilitation-related costs under three scenarios 2017-2018 2018-2019 Unchanging expenses, independent from scenario

2019-2020

2017-2020

Annual training and 182,886 € 182,886 € development lab Exchange facilitation 175,000 € during pilot phase Changing expenses, dependent on scenario

182,886 €

546,658 €

Initial and ongoing facilitators training Scenario 1 154,000 € Scenario 2 196,000 € Scenario 3 378,000 € Exchange facilitation during scaling phase Scenario 1 3,690,000 € Scenario 2 2,831,250 € Scenario 3 1,000,000 € Virtual Exchange Facilitators Summit Scenario 1 299,029 € Scenario 2 380,554 € Scenario 3 464,240 € ALL EXPENSES COMBINED, DEPENDENT ON SCENARIO

175,000 €

238,000 € 294,000 € 602,000 €

392,000 € 490,000 € 980,000 €

6,560,000 € 6,000,000 € 1,000,000 €

10,250,000 € 8,831,250 € 2,000,000 €

476,560 € 554,400 € 889,840 €

775,589 € 934,954 € 1,354,080 €

Scenario 1 357,886 € 4,143,029 € 7,294,560 € 11,795,475 € Scenario 2 357,886 € 3,407,804 € 6,848,400 € 10,614,090 € Scenario 3 357,886 € 1,842,240 € 2,491,840 € 4,691,966 € While Scenario 3 (a facilitation network consisting entirely of volunteer facilitators, 1000 in total) is the least expensive option, it is highly unlikely to succeed. The youth sector in Europe, even with the addition of its neighbouring regions, does not have the capacity to mobilise 1000 volunteers. We therefore suggest adhering to Scenario 2 (a facilitation network consisting of 350 paid and 150 volunteer facilitators). It is 1.2 million Euro less expensive than Scenario 1, and has the added value of allowing new facilitators to explore the world of EVE on a voluntary basis without having to become and commit to a contractual arrangement from the very start.

148

How have we calculated the costs for the marketing of EVE? We have estimated the costs for the development of a marketing strategy in 2017 with 200,000 Euro, covering the segments identified in Chapter 6, ranging from secondary school students to advanced university students, and including groups at risk and young people with fewer opportunities (Table 17). For the implementation of the marketing strategy we have estimated 2,000,000 Euro each in 2018 and 2019. Conversations with several marketing experts have confirmed that an annual budget of 2 million Euro is, while not opulent, adequate to cover the scope of the marketing efforts envisaged in Chapter 6.

Table 17. Marketing cost breakdown

Development of a marketing strategy Implementation of the strategy, year 1 Implementation of the strategy, year 2 ALL ASPECTS

COSTS 2017-2018 200,000 €

COSTS 2018-2019

COSTS 2019-2020

2,000,000 €

200,000 €

2,000,000 €

TOTAL COSTS 2017-2020 200,000 € 2,000,000 €

2,000,000 €

2,000,000 €

2,000,000 €

4,200,000 €

How have we calculated the costs for the support of EVE? The support strand of the cost estimates covers:        

Support for the facilitation network, including the recruitment process, the logistical support of the annual training and development lab, and the support of initial and ongoing training Management of the technological development process, in particular the alignment of the platform’s philosophy, facilitation approach, and technical implementation Management of the marketing process, in particular the alignment of the marketing strategy and its implementation with the platform’s philosophy, ethics and code of conduct Management of the portal’s progressive translation into other languages Development of recognition tools and support for users in recognition processes Development of support materials and management of engagement processes Development and procurement of partnerships for technology, recognition and technology Flat rate for all associated administrative costs

For detailed breakdown of support costs, see Table 18.

Table 18. Support costs breakdown

Support of the facilitation network Management of technology dev. Marketing management Management of translations Development of recognition tools Development of support materials Development of partnerships

COSTS 2017-2018 186,000 €

COSTS 2018-2019 286,000 €

COSTS 2019-2020 361,000 €

TOTAL COSTS 2017-2020 833,000 €

165,400 €

70,500 €

94,000 €

329,900 €

40,000 €

200,000 €

200,000 €

440,000 €

175,000 €

25,000 €

200,000 €

45,000 €

65,000 €

100,000 €

205,000 €

50,000 €

50,000 €

50,000 €

150,000 €

60,000 €

270,000 €

150,000 €

480,000 € 149

Flat rate for all administrative costs ALL ASPECTS

71,032 €

145,145 €

127,400 €

343,577 €

617,432 €

1,261,645 €

1,107,400 €

2,986,477 €

How have we calculated the costs for the technology of EVE? The technology strand of the cost estimates covers:     

Development and coding of the base components for eve.org, including responsive page and post templates, discussion fora and direct messaging, collaborative editing tools Development and coding of the facilitation back-end, covering modules for applications, trainings, accreditations, peer reviews, support, certificate production Development of the user back-end, covering modules for initial registration, partner finding, user connections, open badges, feedback, newsletter Development and coding of the video solution, covering WebRTC wrappers for standard exchanges of various sizes, 1:1 sessions, automated translation Development and implementation of a scaling environment, covering a scaling approach that is tailored for EVE, a scalable server environment, server maintenance

For detailed breakdown of technology costs, see Table 19.

Table 19. Technology costs breakdown

Base components Facilitation backend User backend Video wrappers Scaling environment ALL ASPECTS

COSTS 2017-2018 273,000 € 156,000 € 169,000 € 166,400 € 60,000 € 824,400 €

COSTS 2018-2019 68,250 € 32,500 € 42,250 € 41,600 € 159,835 € 344,435 €

COSTS 2019-2020 68,250 € 32,500 € 42,250 € 41,600 € 282,723 € 467,323 €

TOTAL COSTS 2017-2020 409,500 € 221,000 € 253,500 € 249,600 € 502,558 € 1,636,158 €

Summary of cost calculation The estimated costs of EVE are both competitive and realistic. A comparison of the expenses for centrally provided support (including marketing, hosting, training) shows that while EVE will be run with a comparatively lean structure, it will have sufficient resources available for the key tasks at hand. Initial investment costs also compare favourably to other platforms, without shrinking the necessary room for manoeuvre. The competitiveness of EVE stems in part from the envisaged scale. The platform will benefit from starting at a time when virtual exchanges are not an entirely new format anymore, online engagement of young people is at an all-time high and projected to grow, and the geopolitical situation increasingly constrains access to physical exchange opportunities in particular for young people outside of Europe. We are aware of the inherent difficulties and have included sufficient resources in several key areas to mitigate risks. We have, for example, foreseen substantive amounts to accompany the technical implementation of the platform (165,400 Euro in 2017) and ensure consistency between philosophy, facilitation, and technology. In 2018 and 2019, we have earmarked 400,000 Euro to guide the implementation of EVE’s marketing strategy, again seeking to align the approach of EVE with how it is being promoted to young people in and beyond Europe.

150

13.2 Costs of physical Youth Exchanges What do we want to achieve? To put EVE initiative cost estimates in context, we have analysed the running costs of the physical Youth Exchanges that are implemented under Key Action 1 of the Erasmus+ programme. We have picked the Youth Exchanges for a comparison because they offer similar opportunities for young people in the physical environment as the EVE would in virtual settings: developing competences, becoming aware of socially relevant topics/thematic areas, discovering new cultures, habits, and life-styles, mainly through peer-learning, strengthen values like solidarity, democracy, friendship, etc. Much like in case of EVE, the learning process in Youth Exchanges is also triggered by methods of non-formal education. What are the key features of the physical Youth Exchanges?

Youth Exchanges allow groups of young people aged between 13 and 30 from at least two different countries within the EU and beyond to meet, live together, and work on shared projects for short periods. The duration of activity ranges from 5 to 21 days, excluding travel time. The number of participants varies from 16 to 60. Each national group, consisting of at least 4 participants, is supported by a group leader (18 years or older). The involvement of young people with special needs and fewer opportunities is strongly encouraged and supported. During youth exchanges, participants jointly carry out a work programme, usually a mix of workshops, exercises, debates, role-plays, simulations, and outdoor activities. Such activities as academic study trips, festivals, holiday travel, and performance tours, are not eligible for grants under Youth Exchanges. The work programme should be prepared by the participating sides in advance. To this end, an Advance Planning Visit (APV) may be organised before the exchange255. The purpose of the APV is to build trust, understanding, and form a solid partnership between organisations in the project. An APV lasts up to 2 days (travel days excluded), with one participant representing each national group. The number of participants can be increased to 2 if the second participant is a young person taking part in the activity without having a role as a group leader or trainer. How are costs of physical Youth Exchanges calculated?

The costs for Youth Exchanges are structured around five budget categories: 

Travel: international travel costs of participants from their place of origin to the venue of the activity and return, including travel costs for a possible Advance Planning Visit;



Top-up for expensive domestic travel costs: costs of a return trip to reach the main HUB/airport and/ or a train/ bus station within the country of origin and/ or of a return trip to reach a remote final destination (from the main HUB/airport and/ or a train/ bus station) within the receiving country;



Organisational support: costs directly linked to the implementation of mobility activities;

255

One out of four exchanges involve APV based on the data from 2014-2016. 151



Special needs support: additional costs directly related to participants with disabilities and accompanying persons (if not covered under the categories “Travel” and “Organisational support”);



Exceptional costs: various extra costs, including visa and visa-related costs, residence permits, vaccinations, costs to support the participation of young people with fewer opportunities on equal terms as others, costs connected to lodging of participants during an APV, costs for providing a financial guarantee, if the National Agency asks for it, expensive travel costs for participants from/ to outermost regions and Overseas Countries and Territories. The financing mode for the Youth Exchanges is mainly based on unit costs except special needs support and exceptional costs that are covered based on real costs. Table 20 below presents in detail the funding rules of the Youth Exchanges.

Table 20. Funding rules of the physical Youth Exchanges Eligible costs Travel

Top-up for expensive domestic travel

Financing mechanism Contribution to unit costs

Rules of allocation Based on the travel distance per participant: from EUR 20 for travel distances between 10 and 99 km to EUR 1300 for travel distances of 8000 km or more.

  

Young people Group leaders Accompanying persons

Contribution to unit costs

For domestic travel costs exceeding 225 EUR 180 EUR per participant per return trip.

  

Young people Group leaders Accompanying persons

  

Young people Group leaders Accompanying persons



Young people with special needs Accompanying persons

2 top-ups possible per 1 exchange.

costs Organisational support

Who are eligible

Contribution to unit costs

Per day of activity per participant. Day rate depends on a country where the activities take place and varies from EUR 28 to EUR 40. Number of days depends on the duration of the activity: from 5 to 21 days, excluding travel time. One travel day before the activity and one travel day following the activity may be added if necessary.

Special needs support

Real costs

All eligible costs.

(100%) 

Exceptional costs

Visa and visa-related costs, residence permits, vaccinations.

  

Young people Group leaders Accompanying persons

Real costs

Costs to support the participation of



(100%)

young people with fewer opportunities

Young people with fewer opportunities

Real costs (100%)

on equal terms as others. 152

Real costs

Costs connected to lodging of

(100%)

participants Planning

during



an

Advance

a

financial



Visit.

Real costs

Costs for guarantee,

(75%)

providing

Group leaders or trainers Young people (optional)



-

  

Young people Group leaders Accompanying persons

if the National Agency asks for it. Real costs (up 80%)

Expensive travel costs of participants to

from/to outermost Overseas

regions

and

Countries and Territories.

Source: Erasmus+ Programme Guide (2017). Potential costs of physical Youth Exchanges: six scenarios

The costs of Youth Exchanges per exchange may vary considerably depending on such factors as duration of an exchange, a number of participants, and distances between sending countries and the country of activity. To demonstrate this diversity, we have developed six scenarios of potential Youth Exchanges costs as presented in Table 21. Amongst the six scenarios, there are scenarios with the highest and the lowest possible costs of the physical exchanges. Annex 13 presents the assumptions and calculations behind each scenario.

Table 21. Hypothetical Youth Exchanges and their costs Scenario

Hypothetical Youth Exchange

Estimated costs (EUR) Per exchange

Per participant not including real costs

No 1

The activities take place in the UK for 21 days. 6 other countries participate. One of them is Russian Federation (Kamchatka region, over 8000 km). Two groups of the participants come from Azerbaijan and Georgia (3000-3999 km). Three groups come from France, Lithuania, and the Czech Republic (5001999 km). In total, 60 young people take part in the activities. They are supervised by 7 group leaders. 5 participants have special needs and come with 5 accompanying persons (4 such participants are from sending countries and 1 from the UK). APV is organised for the exchange. 2 people per sending country come to participate in it. Two groups (from France and Russia) experience expensive domestic travel costs.

119740 + real costs*

1996

No 2

The activities take place in Belgium for 17 days. 5 other countries participate. One group of participants comes from Jordan (3000-3999 km), two groups come from Cyprus and Greece (2000-2999 km) and two groups come from Italy and Spain (500-1999

55641 real costs

1210

+

153

km). In total, 46 young people take part in the activities. They are supervised by 6 group leaders. 3 participants have special needs and come with 3 accompanying persons (2 such participants are from sending countries and 1 from Belgium). APV is organised for the exchange. 2 people per sending country come to participate in it. Two groups (from Spain and Italy) experience expensive domestic travel costs. No 3

The activities take place in Luxembourg for 16 days. 4 other countries participate. One group of participants comes from Turkey (2000-2999 km), two groups come from Austria and Hungary (5001999 km) and one group comes from Germany (100499 km). In total, 45 young people take part in the activities. They are supervised by 5 group leaders. 2 participants have special needs and come with 2 accompanying persons (1 such participant is from a sending country and 1 from Luxembourg). APV is organised for the exchange. 1 person per sending country comes to participate in it. The group from Turkey experiences expensive domestic travel costs.

42979 real costs

+

955

No 4

The activities take place in Estonia for 11 days. 3 other countries participate. Two groups of participants come from Norway and Poland (500-1999 km) and one group comes from Latvia (100-499 km). In total, 31 young people take part in the activities. They are supervised by 4 group leaders. 1 participant from a sending country has special needs and comes with 1 accompanying person.

19338 real costs

+

623

14412 real costs

+

480

2900 + real costs

181

APV is organised for the exchange. 1 person per sending country comes to participate in it. The group from Norway experiences expensive domestic travel costs. No 5

The activities take place in Romania for 10 days. 2 other countries participate: Bulgaria and Moldova (100-499 km). In total, 30 young people take part in the activities. They are supervised by 3 group leaders. 1 participant from a receiving country has special needs and comes with 1 accompanying person. APV is organised for the exchange. 1 person per sending country comes to participate in it.

No 6

The activities take place in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for 5 days. A group from Kosovo also participates in the exchange (10-99 km). In total, 16 young people take part in the activities. They are supervised by 2 group leaders. None of the participants has special needs. APV is not organised for the exchange.

* Note: Special needs support and exceptional costs are covered based on real costs. According to the data provided by the European Commission, average costs in the category “Special needs

154

support” per participant with special needs was 233 Euro (including special needs participants with no additional costs) in 2014-2016. Average costs in the category “Exceptional costs” per Youth exchange was 749 Euro256. Costs of physical Youth Exchanges in recent years

Nearly 100 thousand young people participated in the physical Youth Exchanges in 2014 (Table 22). A third of them were people with fewer opportunities and 34% had special needs. The expenditure for these exchanges amounted to more than 45 million Euro. Although the costs of physical Youth Exchanges may vary considerably, they tend to be at the lower end of the potential range. Based on the data for all finalised 2014 and 2015 contracted mobilities257, an average grant per participant for Youth Exchanges was 447 Euro in Programme countries and 487 Euro in Partner countries. An average daily grant per participant was 54 and 56 Euro respectively. The exchanges tend to last 8-9 days and to involve around 35 participants on average. Hence, the most likely scenarios seem to be Scenario No 4 and No 5, in which approximately 30 young people engage in a relatively short physical exchange (around 10-11 days) with their peers from 2-3 other countries (Table 21). Table 22. Key numbers of the physical Youth Exchanges in 2014 Funding (EUR)

45 808 800

Participants

99343

Participants from Programme countries

74340

75%

Out of them with Special Needs

2970

4%

Out of them with Fewer Opportunities

25768

35%

Participants from Partner countries

25003

25%

Out of them with Special Needs

790

3%

Out of them with Fewer Opportunities

8802

35%

Activities

3056

Activities in Programme countries

2309

76%

Activities in Partner countries

747

24%

Source: Erasmus+ Programme Annual Report 2014. Statistical Annex.

13.3 Comparison between estimated costs of virtual and physical youth exchanges Erasmus+ virtual and physical youth exchanges are very similar in their goals but greatly differ with regard to their needs for the initial investment and (foreseen) mode of operation. A substiantial chunk of the overall estimated costs for EVE in the years 2017-2020 will be allocated to setting up and piloting the platform, whereas the programme of the physical youth exchanges has been running for a

256

The data is based on mobilities involved in 3871 projects granted in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and completed by the end of 2016. A project can comprise one or several Youth Exchanges. 257

The European Commission provided the data. 155

long time and does not require launch investments. Such differences make the comparison of the overall (annual) costs of both initiatives non-informative. Thus, to reasonably compare the costs of virtual and physical youth exchanges we decided to focus on the estimated running costs of the exchanges. For physical exchanges, such costs include travel costs of participants and costs directly linked to the implementation of mobility activities (work programme). Running costs of virtual exchanges include costs for the facilitation of exchanges (but not for training of facilitators, support material, etc.). We have compared virtual and physical exchanges using three main criteria: cost per exchange, cost per participant, and cost per contact hour. Cost per exchange We have illustrated the potential running costs of physical youth exchanges, ranging from high-end, high-range youth exchanges with costs of 120 thousand Euro per exchange (7 countries across Europe, 21 days with 60 participants, 60% of them with fewer opportunities), to low-end, low-range youth exchanges with costs of 2900 Euro per exchange (2 neighbouring countries, 5 days with 16 participants, 0% of them with fewer opportunities), for more detail see Table 21. The cost of virtual exchanges depends on the length of the exchanges and on whether facilitators’ network features paid, volunteer, or both types of facilitators. We foresee that duration of virtual exchanges will vary from two hours (singular introductory session, teaser session) to 30 hours (long-term exchange sessions, plural). 60% of standard exchange sessions will be facilitated by two facilitators. Based on these assumptions, virtual exchanges would cost from 20 to 1250 Euro per exchange as presented in Table 23.

Table 23. Cost of virtual exchanges (per exchange) Estimated costs (EUR) per exchange: 3 scenarios

Type of the exchanges

Duration of the exchanges (contact hours)

Facilitation hours per exchange assuming that 60% of the time sessions will be facilitated by two facilitators except the introductory sessions

A facilitation network consisting entirely of paid facilitators, 400 in total

A facilitation network consisting of paid and volunteer facilitators, 350 and 150 respectively

A facilitation network consisting entirely of volunteer facilitators, 1.000 in total

Average daily rate 205 € per day = 26 € per hour258

Average daily rate 195 € per day = 24 € per hour259

10 € per hour or less260

258

400 paid facilitators: 250 facilitators paid at junior rate of 160 € per day and 150 paid at 280 € per day, resulting in an average daily rate of 205 € per day. 259

350 paid facilitators; 150 volunteers. 250 facilitators paid at junior rate of 160 € per day and 100 paid at 280 € per day, resulting in an average daily rate of 195 € per day. Each volunteer receives an annual stipend of 1.000 € after 100 hours of facilitation. 260

1 000 volunteer facilitators. Each volunteer receives an annual stipend of 1.000 € after 100 hours of facilitation. 156

or less if the hours by volunteers are included Introductory session (teaser)

Standard exchange sessions

Long-term exchange sessions

2

2

52

48

20

4

6.4

166

154

64

8

12.8

333

307

128

12

19.2

500

461

192

16

25.6

666

614

256

20

32

832

768

320

30

48

1248

1152

480

Cost per participant As presented in Subchapter 13.2, Erasmus+ physical exchanges may cost 180-2000 Euro per participant. In 2014-2015, on average they costed around 450-500 Euro per participant. Meanwhile, virtual exchanges may cost from 2 to 125 Euro per participant if at least 10 participants on average attend each session (see Table 23 for the costs per virtual exchange). SUMMARY

The running costs of both virtual and physical youth exchanges may vary a lot depending on their duration, number of participants and other features. As demonstrated in the preceeding sections, the costs of one exchange may range from 2900 to 120,000 Euro for physical exchanges and from 20 to 1250 Euro for virtual ones. We estimated that on average virtual exchanges would cost much less per exchange as well as per participant (see Table 24).

Table 24. Summary table comparing estimated costs of virtual and physical youth exchanges Estimated running costs of exchanges (EUR) Per exchange

Per participant

From

To

From

To

Virtual exchanges

1250

20

125

2

Physical exchanges

120,000

2900

2000

180

157

Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange: rationale and key action points There is a need for Erasmus+ virtual exchanges In the EU and elsewhere, the lives of young people have been marked by complex 21st century trends likely to have far-reaching consequences. First, we observe increasing tensions related to the lack of cultural awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity within the European countries and beyond. Often, such tensions translate into missed opportunities for dialogue and collaboration between members of diverse cultural backgrounds. Second, in many countries youth unemployment rates are much higher than unemployment rates for all ages, making the number of jobless young people disturbingly large. In the EU alone, more than 4.5 million young people are unemployed261, while long-term youth unemployment is also very high 262. However, high youth unemployment co-exists with increased difficulties in filling vacancies, which points to the existence of labour market mismatches due to inadequate skills. As global economies become more interdependent, solutions to these issues require multilateral, cross-cultural cooperation and structured dialogue. Intercultural, international, and global competencies play a crucial role in today’s knowledge society. By developing these competencies young people can adapt to an increasingly competitive labour market. In doing so they are also likely to increase personal fulfilment, social inclusion; and active citizenship. Intercultural dialogue is essential for developing respect for cultural diversity and improving coexistence in today’s diverse societies263. Physical exchanges and study abroad programmes are among the best means to foster intercultural dialogue, as well as to prepare young people for the world of increasing interdependence264. However, only very small share of young people participate. It has been estimated that only about 7.5% of the total EU student population are mobile265. Even if MS achieved the EU benchmark of 20% by 2020 266, this would still leave 80% of students with limited international, intercultural experiences as part of their university studies. Virtual exchanges complement physical exchange programmes, by offering young people access to some of the same benefits. These include developing cultural awareness and soft skills. Many successful virtual exchange programmes exist around the globe. In May 2011, three leaders in the emerging field (Global Nomads Group, iEARN, and Soliya) formed the Virtual Exchange Coalition. This recognised virtual exchange as a distinctive field, critical to the modern and innovative approach to education. The network quickly gained momentum, attracting initiatives from various parts of the world (e.g. Global Nomads Group has offices in the US and Jordan, while the Sharing Perspectives Foundation is based in the Netherlands)267.

EPRS Strategy, ‘Measures To Tackle Youth Unemployment, Are They Enough?’, European Parliamentary Research Service Blog, 2016. Available at: https://epthinktank.eu/2016/01/13/measures-to-tackle-youth-unemployment-are-they-enough/. 261

Eurostat, Long-term unemployment rate. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/gdp-and-

262

beyond/quality-of-life/long-term-unemployment-rate.

The European Year of Intercultural content/EN/TXT/?uri=URISERV:l29017. 263

Dialogue (2008), http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-

European Commission, The European Union support for student and staff exchanges and university cooperation in 2013-2014, Erasmus Facts, Figures & Trends, 2015. 264

Notably, Erasmus mobility increasingly takes the form of traineeships; in 2013 they amounted to 21% of the total mobility. European Commission, Education and Training Monitor 2015, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2015. 265

A benchmark defined within the framework of ET 2020 stipulates that at least 20% of higher education graduates should have had a period of higher education-related study or training (including work placement) abroad. More information available at: http://ec.europa.eu/education/policy/strategic-framework/index_en.htm. 266

267

More information available at: http://virtualexchangecoalition.org/.

158

In 2012, the US Senate Appropriations Committee’s report promoted the use of virtual exchange268. In May 2013, at the Foreign Service Institute Overseas Security Seminar, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced the Obama Administration's plan to develop a publicprivate virtual exchange initiative to provide young people with access to meaningful crosscultural experience as part of their education. As a result, the Stevens Initiative was established. The initial funding of USD 31 million was committed by the US, Morocco, Algeria, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates269. The initiative provides funding, through merit-based competitions, for organisations to administer virtual exchange programmes between youth in the US, the Middle East, and North Africa. The first scheme funded under the initiative was launched in 2015. The two main EU-hosted virtual exchange platforms are eTwinning (launched in 2005) and EPALE (2015). eTwinning promotes school collaboration and networking by allowing classes from primary and secondary schools to collaborate on joint online projects with classes from other countries. The ePlatform for Adult Learning in Europe (EPALE), also funded under the Erasmus+ programme, aims to become the main reference point for adult learning professionals in Europe270. In 2016, the European Commission also launched the School Education Gateway, an online platform for teachers, schools, experts, and other stakeholders in the school education field. However, the three EU initiatives only involve a small sample of the European youth. This suggests that similar platform is needed for a broader youth population. The Commission has tasked Vilnius-based Public Policy Management Institute (PPMI) and Berlinbased Youth Policy Labs (YPL) with exploring the feasibility of Erasmus+ virtual exchanges to complement existing physical exchanges and expand current exchange geographies. Together we have looked at key aspects from marketing and facilitation to diplomacy and technology. To inform our recommendations, we interviewed dozens of experts from various regions and analysed existing virtual exchange platforms and youth exchange formats. Launching EVE EVE aims to create a safe and fun online community in which young people participate in facilitated discussions. These discussions are designed to increase the inter-cultural awareness and other skills and competencies of participants through non-formal learning approaches. For this purpose, web-conferencing tools, social media, mobile applications, and other technologies will be used. The platform will involve young people aged 13-30 from all parts of society, paying particular attention to the involvement of those at a greater risk of exclusion. C hallenging targets

have been set to involve around 2,000 young people in EVE pilot projects by the end of 2017, and some 200,000 young people by the end of 2019271.

EVE will involve participants registering as individuals or as part of a group. We recommend structuring virtual exchanges around thematic priorities that will feature a set of pre-defined topics as well as topics developed by the participants themselves. Themes, such as music, film, books, sports, and food, span across all cultures and borders and fascinate young people, have positive connotations, and at the same time offer a political dimension. We recommend using these thematic priorities to explore them in relation to aspects of society. EVE would combine synchronous and asynchronous activities, and be either short (one or two sessions) or longer (up to 12 sessions). To launch EVE, we recommend developing Tender Specifications and announce tenders (or a single tender) for service provider(s) to develop technology, design and implement a marketing

U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Bill, 2013. 268

269

Available at: http://stevensinitiative.org/.

270

Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/epale/lt/home-page.

271

Ibid. 159

plan, create a facilitators’ network and other aspects. The Commission would establish a unit along the lines of what in eTwinning is called the Central Support Service (CSS) as well as a network of national or regional support services. Both the central and local services would be in charge of overseeing day-to-day operation of the platform, work to attract participants, implement marketing actions, and build the facilitators’ network. The support services would reach out to potential partners and stakeholders, including governmental actors, NGOs, universities, youth workers, and technology platforms, both in the Erasmus+ countries and beyond. A Steering Committee would be created to set the strategic direction of the EVE initiative, involving the Commission and key stakeholders, including Erasmus+ and EVE alumni. In order for EVE to achieve its ambitious goals and deliver on key aims, such as development of intercultural awareness, soft skills, and reduced radicalisation in the longer term, five major elements must be considered:     

EVE’s core purpose Adaptation to the needs of local communities Participants’ engagement and commitment A strong network of facilitators Enabling technology

EVE’s core purpose Our suggestion is that EVE should focus its purpose on creating multi-cultural communities for the development 21st century skills, including linguistic flexibility, digital competencies, openness to new ideas, and the ability to communicate and collaborate with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. This is a goal that diverse countries, regions, and groups within society can agree on. This study reveals a number of other options in regard to the potential mission of the EVE initiative, including greater multicultural awareness, contribution to change (political, economic, environmental, etc.), decreasing or preventing radicalisation of young people. In fact, multi-cultural awareness and preventing/ decreasing radicalisation is part of EVE’s rationale and intervention logic. We expect that participation in youth exchanges will contribute to such goals in the medium to long term. However, these goals should be communicated in a very sensitive manner, with a clear awareness of regional and cultural contexts. To ensure target groups find out about EVE and its mission, a wide range of communication channels should be employed. We recommend relying on a diverse set of marketing settings used in combination for the greatest effect. These should include formal and non-formal education settings, such as schools, universities, VET, and libraries, youth-specific settings, including youth clubs and societies, youth organisations, and sports clubs, entertainment settings, such as cinemas and cafes, and social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. It is also important not to neglect local social media platforms. Adaptation to the needs of local communities There is a risk that EVE will be perceived as “just another European Union activity” – a complicated institutional initiative filled with buzz words. To avoid this, it is necessary to communicate EVE as a platform enabling youth to discuss matters that are important to them, both in local and global arenas. EVE should support young people striving for societal change and offer them an opportunity to discuss serious matters in a facilitated global virtual environment. However, contribution to change might be part of EVE’s rationale in Europe, but has to be approached with great care in countries beyond the EU. Across all geographies, exchanges must touch on issues that are important to participants and their local communities. Engaging in open dialogue with the current and potential participants is the way to discover which exchange topics are likely to spark their interest. For this purpose, we recommend establishing partnerships with local NGOs, educational institutions, youth organisations, and community representatives. The platform also has to take advantage of research, such as that conducted by Anna Lindh Foundation, to better understand youth values and interests in the Mediterranean region. Participants’ engagement and commitment

160

Another important challenge is user engagement and commitment. The majority of the existing virtual exchange platforms only offer participants the opportunity to join as a group, affiliated with partner schools or universities. When individuals join in groups as part of their school or university curricula, engagement is supported by the existing infrastructure (i.e. teacher evaluations, the need to receive course credits, peer pressure to complete projects). Yet, one of EVE’s unique selling points is that in addition to group exchanges, it will be open to individuals who would otherwise not be able to take part. Among others, this could include people at risk, such as school drop-outs, NEETs, and other groups. In such case much attention must be given to maintaining user engagement and commitment, as individual participants are more likely to not show up or drop out. Several measures may mitigate this risk. First, it is essential to reduce user burden by ensuring the EVE platform is easy to register on and use. Second, there must be a support team offering help at all times. Next, participant engagement should be maintained by offering diverse topics aligned with participants’ interests, and/ or through the innovative use of gamification. Effective facilitation will have a crucial role. Recognition of participation is also an important motivating factor. Although EVE will not offer a formally accredited educational programme, it should allow participants to get their learning acknowledged so that it can be used to complement their formal education. We recommend developing a Youthpass for virtual exchanges, as this type of recognition is accepted by employers and academic institutions. EVE could also offer its own certificates and introduce Mozilla Open Badges to serve as motivational tools. Lastly, we recommend that EVE undertakes any reasonable effort to support participants who wish to accredit their learning on the platform for their formal training, be that in higher education or in vocational training. We recommend developing a recognition handbook for facilitators with standard templates for learning agreements and standard formulas for calculating the workload of exchanges. A strong network of facilitators A strong and experienced network of facilitators will serve as a major precondition for the success of EVE platform. Facilitators will not only ensure youth participation in exchanges that truly matter to them, but will also create and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment. Yet, there is a risk that an environment that is too supportive may yield a “false dialogue” – a situation in which participants are so nice to each other that honest exchange never occurs, for fear of offending other participants. The role of facilitators is therefore essential in ensuring the balance between politeness and the honest expression of opinions in dialogue. Another existing risk related to facilitation is the high turnover among the volunteer facilitators. This is problematic as it takes a great deal of time and skill to attract, select, and train new facilitators. High turnover also prevents formation of a cohesive and experienced facilitation network. To effectively organise facilitation on EVE, we recommend recruiting a small yet diverse core group of 50 freelance facilitators at the beginning of 2017 to help implement the pilot phase and shape EVE. The group will eventually grow into an EVE Facilitation Network (EFN), constituting of a mix of volunteering and paid facilitators. Once facilitation capacity is in place it is very important to attract and engage a diverse target population and reach people at risk and

those already excluded from the mainstream society. Continuous facilitator learning, taking place in training and development laboratories, will be essential for avoiding false dialogue, and ensuring participant engagement. Enabling technology

Lastly, enabling technology is an essential precondition for the success of EVE platform for synchronous as well as asynchronous exchanges. Appropriate technological solutions directly tackle the risk of EVE being hard to use, inaccessible in countries with slower bandwidth, and not secure. Commitment to developing an easy-to-use, intuitive user interface and continuous usability testing both are crucial to ensuring EVE is a sustainable platform for youth exchanges irrespective of devices used for access (computer, tablet, and mobile). Data security is important to grant participants a space in which they feel safe and because any abuse of the platform would severely damage the reputation of EVE.

161

Considering participation on EVE from users’ perspective, we recommend allowing first time visitors to get to know the platform without enforcing registration, and applying the principles of gradual engagement to its registration process. Following the successful registration, EVE should offer new users playful low-threshold activities to contribute to ongoing thematic discussions, easy and appealing ways to browse and engage with contribution of others, and rewards for contributing to discussions as well as engaging with other users. We also recommend offering a facilitated introductory exchange module with 10 young people who get to know each other, and through that process also get to know the platform. For the enabling video solution technology we recommend using WebRTC272, short for Web Real-Time Communication. WebRTC is a set of definitions, protocols, and tools for browser-tobrowser applications without a need for internal or external plugins. Video calling is one of the features covered by WebRTC. The framework supports all major browsers and platforms, mobile as well as traditional, with one caveat: WebKit/Safari is currently under development, with a roadmap foreseeing completion in 2017273. To scale WebRTC, we recommend using Nubomedia274, a European Commission funded research project. Nubomedia has developed a scalable infrastructure for WebRTC applications that is well suited for EVE purposes. Drupal, an excellent open-source platform, is recommended to serve as a framework for EVE’s home base, hopefully located at eve.org. The major technical shortcoming is the absence of a viable automated translation software. We have offset it as best as possible through adjustments in the facilitation approach and suggest integrating currentlt experimental APIs into the technology stack to benefit from likely improvements to automated translation during the years to come. Monitoring performance To monitor performance of EVE, we recommend using the intervention model, which integrates its rationale and theory of change and suggests that the initiative should be regularly monitored and assessed at three levels: outputs, results and outcomes. Output indicators measure direct outputs from project inputs and activities, such as functionalities of EVE’s online platform, number of facilitators recruited, and exchange materials prepared. Results, in turn, represent the immediate effects of an intervention. In this specific case they translate into indicators such as the exchanges attended and numbers of participants involved. Measurement of outputs and results will include the dimensions of quantity and quality. The measurement of quantities is rather straightforward and relies on the platform’s software solutions. Meanwhile, to measure quality, EVE administrators will need to collect information on user satisfaction from participants and facilitators. Such data can be gathered using mini web surveys and/ or interviews. Outcome (impact) indicators are intended to measure longer-term effects of the initiative, namely changes in participants' cultural attitudes and soft skills. Measurement and analysis of outcomes will aim to answer two main questions: how participants’ attitudes and skills change; and whether there is a causal relationship between EVE intervention and this change. We recommend using a before-after web survey of participants with a control group to measure the longer-terms effects of EVE, as the most acknowledged and cost-efficient method. This may be complemented by qualitative interview and focus group data. The development of research design for outcome assessment should start from the earliest stages of EVE’s creation. A considerable investment, yet a low cost per each young person involved The overall estimated costs for EVE in the years 2017-2020 amount to 19.5 Million Euro, equalling an investment of less than 100 Euro per exchange participant during that time. 2 million Euro are estimated for the costs of the pilot phase (12 months from mid-2017 to mid2018), 7 million Euro for the first full year of EVE (early 2018 to early 2019) and 10.5 million Euro for the second full year of the platform (early 2019 to early 2020).

272

https://webrtc.org/

The Webkit Feature Status Site lists WebRTC support as in active development. The development lead, Jon Davis, has confirmed that the feature will be rolled out in the first half of 2017. 273

274

http://www.nubomedia.eu/

162

Table 25. The overall estimated costs for EVE in the years 2017 - 2020 COSTS COSTS COSTS TOTAL COSTS 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2017-2020 FACILITATION 357,886 € 3,407,804 € 6,848,400 € 10,614,090 € MARKETING 200,000 € 2,000,000 € 2,000,000 € 4,200,000 € SUPPORT 617,432 € 1,261,645 € 1,107,400 € 2,986,477 € TECHNOLOGY 824,400 € 344,435 € 467,323 € 1,636,158 € ALL AREAS 1,999,718 € 7,013,884 € 10,423,123 € 19,436,725 € The estimated costs of EVE are both competitive and realistic. Comparing the expenses for centrally provided support (including marketing, hosting, training) shows that while EVE will be run with a comparatively lean structure, it will have sufficient resources available for the key tasks at hand. Initial investment costs also compare favourably to other platforms, without shrinking the necessary room for manoeuvre.

163

Annexes Annex 1. List of interviewees Interviewees

Position and institution

Interview date

Interview type

Policy makers and executives 1.

Rodrigo Ballester

Cabinet of Navracsics

Commissioner

2.

Georges Bingen

EACEA, Head of Unit. Sport, Youth and EU Aid Volunteers

18 November

Online

3.

Cecile Le Clercq

DG EAC, eTwinning

5 October

Face to face

4.

Roberta Cepulyte

Agency of International Youth Cooperation in Lithuania, Coordinator of the Youth Exchanges

10 November

Face to face

5.

Jana Fiorito

EACEA, Erasmus+ Department team

18 November

Online

6.

Robert France

DG EAC, Erasmus+ programme

7 October

Face to face Face to face

5 October

Face to face

7.

Harald Hartung

DG EAC, Head of Unit, Youth Policy

10 October (together with G. Robertson)

8.

Christine Hoehn

European Council, CounterTerrorism Coordinator team

6 October

Online

9.

Philip Holzapfel

Delegation of the EU to Morocco, Head of Section of Political Affairs, Press, Culture and Information

9 November

Online

10.

Beatrice d’Hombres

Joint Research Centre

10 November

Online

11.

Guoda Lomanaite

Agency of International Youth Cooperation in Lithuania, Director

10 November

Face to face

12.

Michael Mann

EEAS, Head of Division, Strategic Communications

7 October,

Face to face

13.

Regina Mourtou

DG EAC, Gateway

17 October

Online

14.

Luca Perego

DG EAC , Advisor to Director General

6 October

Face to face

15.

Graeme Robertson

DG EAC, Business Manager, European Youth Portal

10 October (together with H. Hartung)

Face to face

16.

Milvia Van Rij-Brizzi

EACEA, Head of Department, Erasmus+, EU Aid Volunteers

18 November

Online

17.

Wilhelm Vukovich

DG EAC, EPALE

164

(Vassiliki)

School

Education

6 October

Face to face

18.

Hugo Carvalho

National Portugal

Youth

Council

of

19.

Suvi Tuominen

National Development Centre for Digital Youth Work in Finland

VE platforms 20.

Anonymous

EPALE

16 November

Online

21.

Jordan Earl

Director of the American Language Center in Marrakesh, Morocco; Soliya

15 November

Email

22.

Hany El Mokadem

IT Director, Soliya

14 November

Online

23.

Anne Gilleran

Senior Adviser, Pedagogical Manager, eTwinning

17 October

Online

24.

Waidehi Gokhale

CEO, Soliya

7 October

Online

25.

Ed Gragert

Former Interim Director, iEARN

5 October

Online

26.

Casper van der Heijden

Programme Manager, cofounder, Sharing Perspectives Foundation; former dialogue facilitator and trainer for Soliya

24 October

Online

27.

George Irani

Professor at the American University of Kuwait; Soliya

8 November

Online

28.

Claire Morvan

Communication eTwinning

13 October

Online

29.

Chris Plutte

Co-founder & Executive Director, Global Nomads Group

7 November

Online

30.

Santi Scimeca

Project Manager, eTwinning Central Support Service

7 October

Online

31.

Bart van der Velden

Researcher working on impact evaluation; Sharing Perspectives Foundation

26 October

Online

32.

Paul Walton

Anna Lindh Foundation

15 November

Online

Executive

Manager,

Experts and researchers 33.

Bernard Abrigiani

Salto Euromed

14 November

Online

34.

Maysam Ali

Assistant Director, The Stevens Initiative

20 October

Online

35.

Eolene Boyd-MacMIllan

Senior Research Associate and Co-director, IC Thinking Group, University of Cambridge

24 October

Online

36.

Emile Bruneau

Research lecturer,

10 October

Online

associate University

and of

165

Pennsylvania

37.

Robert O’Dowd

Project coordinator, expert on Online Intercultural Exchange and tellecollaboration, INTENT; UNICollaboration; University of León, Spain

38.

Alex Farrow

Expert on youth participation, Civicus Youth Advisory Board, Practical Participation

6 October

Face to face

39.

Helmut Fennes

Expert on citizenship and young people, University of Innsbruck and RAY research network

27 October

Face to face

40.

Tony Geudens

Salto Inclusion

14 November

Online

41.

Francesca Helm

Researcher focusing on intercultural communication, online education, virtual exchange, computer-mediated communication (CMC) and the socio-cultural context of Web 2.0 for language and intercultural learning, University of Padova

11 October

Online

42.

Shamil Idriss

Former CEO, Soliya

4 November

Online

43.

Melissa Ingber

Executive Director, The Stevens Initiative; ASPEN Institute

20 October

Online

44.

Nerijus Kriauciunas

Expert on recognition of online learning, Open Badge Community

27 October

Face to face

45.

Bastian Küntzel

Expert on communication, Training

intercultural Incontro

11 November

Face to face

46.

Marina Makarenko

Salto Eastern Caucasus

Europe

&

14 November

Online

47.

Andriy Pavlovych

Salto Eastern Caucasus

Europe

&

14 November

Online

48.

Jon Rubin

Director, SUNY Center for Collaborative Online International Learning (USA)

18 October

Online

49.

Sandy Schumann

Post-doctoral student, Oxford University, Centre for the Study of Intergroup Conflict

28 September

Online

50.

Andie Shafer

Program Coordinator, Stevens Initiative

20 October

Online

51.

Henry Shepherd

Assistant Director, The Stevens Initiative

20 October

Online

52.

Christine Shiau

Budget Manager, The Stevens Initiative

20 October

Online

166

The

18 October

Online

53.

Airina Volungeviciene

President, EDEN European Distance and E-learning Network; Opening Universities for Virtual Mobility (OUVM)

54.

Rita Bergstein

Salto Training & Cooperation

24 November

Online

55.

Nuala Connolly

Expert on digital youth work, National Youth Council of Ireland, Coordinator of Screenagers research project

19 December

Online

56.

Clara Sommier, Benoit Tabaka

Google, European Union and Middle East Team

21 December

Online

Facebook, Brussels Team

22 December

Online

58.

Anna Helseth Cecilia Zappala

12 October, 14 November

Online

167

Annex 2. Sample interview questions Rationale of the EVE initiative

Type of interviewees (indicative)

Is EVE more about improving understanding among cultures OR improving education of the target groups and their prospects in the labour market?

EC, experts

What should be the balance between exchanges inside and beyond the EU? At the start of the pilot phase? At the end of 2019?

EC, experts

In your opinion, which policy gaps or policy needs could be filled in by the EVE initiative? How to ensure that EVE contributes to the wider objectives of the EU and helps the Commission to fulfil its mission? What is the potential role of the EVE initiative for achievement Commissions/ DG EAC policy objectives (discuss the intervention logic)? How to make sure that EVE draws on the key strengths of the current initiatives, such as eTwinning and School education gateway? How to make sure that EVE complements the current initiatives rather than competes with tem? What specific groups at risk should be included among the potential participants of the EVE initiative? How much attention/ resources is the Commission willing to devote to these groups?

EC, experts

What are the most important stakeholders of the EVE initiative? What lessons, experiences, insights stemming from the [… policy, … project, …initiative] are most relevant to the EVE initiative?

EC, experts

Based on your experience, what are the key pre-conditions that would make the EVE initiative work and achieve its ambitious goals? What are the most important risks? In your opinion, what are the critical factors that will determine the achievement of the 200,000 participants target? What’s the Commission's/ DG EAC’s role?

EC, experts

Participants, User Engagement, and Marketing Participants What are the sociodemographic characteristics of your user/ participants' pool?

VE platforms, experts

Could you share some data concerning your user numbers? How did they change over the years?

VE platforms, experts

How do you calculate the users/ participants on your platform (e.g. registered users, graduates)?

VE platforms, experts

How do you make your platform attractive to young people to take part as individuals? How do you differentiate between different groups (e.g. age groups, education groups, countries and cultures?

VE platforms, experts

Does your platform aim to include people at risk; if yes, how do you do this? What specific situations of disadvantage do you aim to address? How do you approach the issue of stigmatisation/ non-discrimination?

VE platforms, experts

Do you aim to attract GROUPS of people through youth workers, teachers, university staff? How does it work? How do you identify such people?

VE platforms, experts

What end to end processes do you use for INDIVIDUALS to create or find exchanges, sign-up for or participate in a virtual exchange?

VE platforms, experts

What end to end processes do you use for GROUPS to create or find exchanges, sign-up for or participate in a virtual exchange?

VE platforms, experts

Are there any identity and/or security checks or approval process on potential participants (individuals or groups)?

VE platforms, experts

Do you use other platforms (such as E+ Participants Platform) for registering your participants? What are the key advantages?

VE platforms, experts

Do you restrict the number of exchanges a single young person may participate in?

VE platforms, experts

What are the key barriers to people using your platform? How do you address (or how did you deal with) these barriers?

VE platforms, experts

Marketing the initiative How do you segment your target groups?

VE platforms, experts

What marketing channels do you use? (online platforms, institutional networks, old media, etc.?)

VE platforms, experts

How do you market your initiative in different geographical areas?

VE platforms, experts

Are registrants asked where did they find information about your platform? If so, what are the usual sources?

VE platforms, experts

Do you use existing networks (such as eTwinning, youth organisations, etc.) to market your platform?

VE platforms, experts

Do you use any of the existing EU or national programmes or policies to market your platform?

VE platforms, experts

Could you share your experience of reaching people, who are at risk or already excluded from the mainstream society (drop outs, disabled, single parents, (ex)addicts, etc.)?

VE platforms, experts

What is your key marketing message? How does it differ across segments of users?

VE platforms, experts

What are the key risks in marketing that you aim to address or are dealing with?

VE platforms, experts

User Engagement What share of registered exchange participants drops out? At what stage? What are the key reasons for dropping out?

VE platforms, experts 169

What is the scope of exchanges on your platform in terms of number of participants involved, number of sessions, as well as their duration and frequency?

VE platforms, experts

In your opinion, what are the key motivating factors for participants to take part in exchanges, by geographic area, age, ethnic background, employment situation or educational attainment?

VE platforms, experts

What is your user engagement strategy? What makes the participants to retain commitment and complete the courses/ projects?

VE platforms, experts

Have you introduced any Gamification elements on your platform to increase engagement?

VE platforms, experts

Content of exchanges, session support materials, facilitators, and recognition of learning Content of exchanges and session support materials What are the key topics that participants of your platform collaborate on?

VE platforms, experts

Are there any topics that you'd consider sensitive? How do you deal with sensitive topics?

VE platforms, experts

Ho do you decide on specific exchange topics or themes? Is it top down or bottom up? How much the users or participants are involved in deciding on the topic of exchanges? How much the facilitators are involved?

VE platforms, experts

What type of learning materials do you use? How are they produced (in-house? by an external organisation? by facilitators? participants' contribution?). How do you adopt the materials to different participant groups?

VE platforms, experts

How many languages do you work with during exchange sessions; what languages do you use for support materials? How do you translate the materials you work with? Do you use automatic translation?

VE platforms, experts

How do you validate the materials? In other words are the support materials checked or approved in any way?

VE platforms, experts

Facilitators How do you find and attract facilitators?

VE platforms, experts

How do you estimate the number of facilitators that the platform needs?

VE platforms, experts

Do you have any process for accrediting or vetting facilitators to ensure that suitable persons in terms of their qualifications and personal characteristics work on the platform?

VE platforms, experts

Do you train facilitators? If yes, how do you do this? Do you use any of the existing schemes, such as UN Advanced Facilitation Certificate? Do you cooperate with other VE platforms?

VE platforms, experts

Do you have any system for recognising skills that facilitators obtained in training or developed while moderating exchanges?

VE platforms, experts

170

What support materials are provided for facilitators? (e.g. methodological support or guidelines on how to foster collaboration between participants?

VE platforms, experts

How is the quality of facilitation ensured?

VE platforms, experts

How do you maintain contact with facilitators? How do you receive feedback from them? Do you encourage networking among facilitators? Internal discussion? Peer-to-peer support? Do you provide mentoring, coaching?

VE platforms, experts

What is the facilitators' commitment to the exchanges (one-off / part-time / full-time)?

VE platforms, experts

How do you motivate facilitators? Are facilitators volunteers or paid employees? Are they one-off (facilitating just a specific course) or part of a larger and more professional pool?

VE platforms, experts

If the platform pays its facilitators, how payments are calculated, activity monitored?

VE platforms, experts

Do facilitators produce their own session support materials (to be used by exchange participants)?

VE platforms, experts

What non-formal education methods or approaches do you use on your platform?

VE platforms, experts

Recognising learning outcomes of participants Do you assess in any way individual performance/ achievements of participants (e.g., grading)

VE platforms, experts

What formal and non-formal tools or methods for recognising the learning outcomes do you use?

VE platforms, experts

Do you use any platform-based credentials (certificates, badges, etc.)?

VE platforms, experts

How important the recognition of learning is to your participants? Is this age-specific?

VE platforms, experts

How do you know that your recognitions tools and methods are accepted or appreciated in the labour market, by educational institutions or other relevant stakeholders?

VE platforms, experts

Ensuring quality What quality control mechanisms do you use in order to ensure quality experience for participants, including the quality of facilitation, support materials, quality of exchange projects?

VE platforms, experts

Do you use ex-ante checks (e.g. accreditation), ongoing monitoring, ex-post checks (tests, interviews, evaluations)?

VE platforms, experts

In particular what channels do you use for receiving feedback from participants?

VE platforms, experts

What channels do you use for receiving feedback from facilitators?

VE platforms, experts

What do you do with this feedback? How do you use it to improve the platform?

VE platforms, experts

Do you use any external monitoring or evaluation? E.g., do you work with external consultants? Do you collaborate

VE platforms, experts

171

with academics? Technology What are they key functionalities that you offer on your platform? Do you use your own proprietary solutions (say, for communication or video-conferencing) or rely on external platforms (Skype, Google, etc.) or use commercially available products?

VE platforms, experts

What is the potential added value of EVE beyond the current commercial and non-commercial online tools that young people already have access to, such as Skype, Facetime, and eTwinning? How satisfied are you with the technologies that you currently use? Do you feel constrained in any way by your current technology?

VE platforms, experts

What are your plans for the future in terms of software and hardware developments? In an ideal case scenario, what technologies would you like to have access-to?

VE platforms, experts

What technical infrastructure do you use to monitor participation and provide feedback for participants, facilitators?

VE platforms, experts

What technical back-office infrastructure do you use for managing/ administering the platform?

VE platforms, experts

What technical solutions if any do you use to ensure that exchange materials can be provided and facilitation can be carried out in a number of languages? Do you provide any real-time or automatic translation?

VE platforms, experts

How do you deal with security issues, hacking risks? How do you ensure personal data protection?

VE platforms, experts

Monitoring and evaluation At what levels do you monitor and evaluate the performance of your platform? E.g., outputs, results, impacts? What indicators do you use?

VE platforms, experts

For example, do you monitor the number of participants, their socio-economic characteristics, drop-out rates?

VE platforms, experts

Do you set any targets that you aim to achieve? How do you decide on such targets?

VE platforms, experts

Do you rely on institutional partnerships for monitoring and evaluation of your platform's outputs, results, outcomes, impacts?

VE platforms, experts

Do you use any tests for assessing change of your participants' views, skills or attitudes? How do they look and how do they work?

VE platforms, experts

Costs of exchanges

172

What are the key cost items corresponding to the main elements of the virtual exchange platform?

VE platforms, experts

What are your key sources of funding?

VE platforms, experts

Synergies What are potential synergies between eTwinning and EVE? How to realise such synergies? How to avoid duplications between eTwinning and EVE?

EC, experts

What are potential synergies between Erasmus+ (physical exchanges) and EVE? How to realise such synergies? E.g. making virtual exchanges part of university courses - how this could work?

EC, experts

What are other relevant policies on the Commissions side? What synergies there may be between EVE and other EU programmes?

EC, experts

What synergies there may be between EVE and external programmes?

EC, experts

Diplomacy How can we make the EVE initiative part of EU's public diplomacy?

EC, experts

What are the most sensitive issues from the perspective of public diplomacy? What are the most sensitive countries or regions?

EC, experts

What procedures should be used to address the sensitivities?

EC, experts

How much EU's Delegations in the third countries should be involved?

EC, experts

How much the governments of the third countries should be consulted?

EC, experts

173

Annex 3. List of the platforms reviewed Platform title Higher education settings 1. Sharing Perspectives Foundation

2. Soliya: The Connect Program

3. Dorm Diplomacy

Logo

Website

http://www.sharingperspectivesfoun dation.com

http://soliya.net/?q=what_we_do_c onnect_program

Room http://www.dormroomdiplomacy.org

4. UNI Collaboration http://uni-collaboration.eu

Adult learning 5. EPALE

https://ec.europa.eu/epale

School settings 6. eTwinning https://www.etwinning.net/en/pub/i ndex.htm

7. Global Group

Nomads http://gng.org

8. iEARN https://iearn.org 9. Inventors4Change http://www.inventors4change.org

10. Youth For Understanding: Virtual Exchange Initiative 11. YALLAH

http://www.yfuusa.org/virtualexchanges http://yallah.qfi.org/

Youth 12. Online Youth Exchange Program

http://onlineyouthexchange.org

Language learning 13. Kizuna Across Cultures

http://kacultures.org

14. Naboomboo https://www.naboomboo.com 15. LinguaeLive http://www.linguaelive.ca

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Annex 5. List of potential partners operating in EVE countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region) The information about potential partners was collected from the respective websites and other official sources. The first section of the table (involving local, regional, international, media and IT organisations) includes additional information, since they vary in terms of aims, scope and outreach. The following section (involving cultural and educational centres) includes basic information, as these institutions have clear principles of operation. Regional and local organisations (including foundations) Title and website African Network Policy Experts

of

Youth

http://www.afrinype.org/

Amideast http://www.amideast.org/

Anna Lindh Foundation http://www.annalindhfoundat ion.org/

Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) http://www.alecso.org/site/ Arab Thought Foundation http://arabthought.org/

Asfari Foundation http://www.asfarifoundation. org.uk/ Bridges of Understanding https://bridgesofunderstandin g.org/ 184

Main aims regarding the youth

Scope and outreach

A network with aim to enhance advocacy for youth policy implementations and realisations among African countries by persuading Africa’s UN Member States to renew their commitments regarding implementing youth policies on the continent. Also an aim to facilitate knowledge development on youth policies.

Africa

A non-profit organisation engaged in international education, training and development activities.

Middle East and North Africa

An inter-governmental institution bringing together civil society and citizens across the Mediterranean to build trust and improve mutual understanding. Also projects concentrating specifically on youth (e.g. Young Arab Voices).

Mediterranean regions.

An institution of the Arab League with aim to coordinate cultural and educational activities in the Arab world.

Middle East and North Africa

An international independent nongovernmental organisation dedicated to promote Arab nation’s pride with all its principles, values and ethics, in an atmosphere of a responsible freedom.

Middle East and North Africa

A foundation with aim to help young people make a valuable contribution to society by empowering them through education, research and the power of free thinking.

UK, Syria, Lebanon

A not-for-profit, nonpolitical organisation, enhancing positive relations between the United States and Arab World through one-to-one

Middle East and North Africa, US

Million year

individuals

a

34,430 young people participated in Young Arab Voices programme, more than 1000 debates held (period 20052015)

Palestine,

connections between thought leaders and the creation of original youth focused programs. Committee on Gender, Family, Youths and People with Disabilities http://www.panafricanparlia ment.org/gender-familyyouth-and-people-withdisability EuroMed Youth Program http://www.euromedyouth.ne t/

INJAZ Al-Arab http://www.injazalarab.org/

Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) http://www.isesco.org.ma/

King Abdullah II Award for Youth Innovation and Achievement (KAAYIA) http://www.kaayia.jo/ Lutfia Rabbani Foundation http://www.rabbanifoundatio n.org/ Madrasati Palestine http://ps.madrasati.org/en/in dex.html Middle East Youth Initiative http://www.meyi.org/

Said Foundation

One of the ten permanent committees of the Pan-African Parliament (a legislative body of African Union), concentrating on issues concerning women, family and people and children with disabilities.

Africa

A programme promoting the mobility of young people and the understanding through exchanges, voluntary service an training/ networking.

Middle East, North Africa and the EU

A non-profit organisation that drives youth education and training in workforce readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship across the Arab World.

Middle East and North Africa

An international Islamic organisation with aim of strengthening, promoting and consolidating cooperation among Member States in the fields of education, science, culture and communication.

Middle East, Africa and Islamic regions

An award celebrating and supporting young men and women throughout the Arab region who have pioneered innovative solutions to urgent social, economic and environmental challenges.

Middle East and North Africa

A foundation with aim to build sustainable, inclusive societies in Europe and the Arab World by facilitating Euro-Arab dialogue and educational exchange.

Middle East and North Africa, Europe

A program with aim to improve the quality of education in disadvantaged public schools throughout Palestine.

Palestine

A program performing vigorous research on issues pertaining to regional youth (ages 15–29) on the topics of Youth Exclusion, education, employment, marriage, housing, and credit, and on the ways in which all of these elements are linked during young people’s experience of waithood.

Middle East

A foundation with aim to improve the

Middle East and UK

14,819 students reached through competitions and conferences in 20142015 North other

185

http://www.saidfoundation.or g/

life chances of children and young people by providing them with opportunities to receive good education and care (including scholarships and other means).

SALTO Center

A centre with aim to support and reinforce the Euro-Mediterranean Youth cooperation by offering trainings, events, educational tools and practices, support to the EuroMed Youth Units, the network and partners.

Middle East, North Africa and Europe

A socially-minded initiative based in Qatar, seeking to create jobs and economic opportunities for young people in the Arab world, targeting 18- to 30-year-olds.

Middle East and North Africa

EuroMed

Resource

https://www.saltoyouth.net/rc/euromed/

Silatech http://www.silatech.com/en

282,000 youth jobs created and sustained since 2008

International organisations (including foundations) Title and website

Main aims regarding the youth

Scope and outreach in MENA region

AEGEE (European Students' Forum)

A transnational, interdisciplinary student organisation, promoting an equal, democratic and unified Europe, open to all across national borders.

Europe (also including Turkey)

An international non-governmental not-for-profit organisation that provides young people with leadership development and cross-cultural global internship and volunteer exchange experiences across the globe, with a focus to empower young people so they can make a positive impact on society.

127 countries around the world

A foundation with aim to collaborate with a range of philanthropic, governmental and educational organisations in order, among other aims, to empower the youth and create cultural understanding through education.

Over 90 countries

An international organization that promotes social entrepreneurship by affiliating individual social entrepreneurs into the Ashoka organisation. Special emphasis on youth and its skills of empathy, new leadership, teamwork, and changemaking.

Various world regions, including Middle East and North Africa

A major international humanitarian agency delivering emergency relief

Worldwide,

https://www.aegee.org/

AIESEC http://aiesec.org/

Alwaleed Philanthropies https://www.alwaleedphilanth ropies.org/

Ashoka https://www.ashoka.org/en

CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief 186

Around 13,000 members (the largest international student organisation in Europe)

70,000 members (the largest youth-run organisation in the world)

including

Everywhere)

and long-term international development projects, also supporting the empowerment of youth.

MENA region

A foundation with aim to lead and sustain coordinated action to harness the talent and potential of the world’s youth by building partnerships, initiatives, and curricula that prepare young men and women to succeed as citizens, employees, entrepreneurs, and change-makers.

98 countries the world

A movement that aims to support young people in their physical, mental and spiritual development, that they may play constructive roles in society, with a strong focus on the outdoors and survival skills.

Worldwide, also including MENA region

An international educational exchange organisation with a network of over 50 independent national organisations worldwide, working together to advance learning across cultures.

Worldwide (70 countries), also including Turkey and other MENA countries

Title and website

Main aims

Scope

Media In The Middle East

An annual region-wide survey of media use patterns, content preferences, and attitudes toward issues such as censorship, freedom of speech, and cultural preservation

Middle East

An EU-funded project aimed at supporting the institutions and individuals committed to reforming the media sector in the Southern Mediterranean Region.

North Africa

A leading knowledge solutions provider in the Arab World serving the region’s top academic, research, cultural, and government organizations and corporations for the past 25 years.

Middle East and North Africa

An independent digital media project led by journalists and technologists that explores a new model of

Syria

http://www.care.org/work/ed ucation/youth International Foundation

Youth

http://www.iyfnet.org/

Scouts (Arab Scout Region) https://www.scout.org/node/ 93/about/6657?language=id

Youth (YFU)

for

Understanding

https://www.yfu.org/

More than 97 million people reached worldwide in 2013 around

17 million people since 1989

40 million members worldwide, of which 284 000 are registered members of the Arab Region. 5 million (registered and unregistered) are members of the region’s National Scout Organizations (NSOs)

More than 4,000 exchange students annually

Media and IT support

http://mideastmedia.org/

MedMedia http://www.med-media.eu/

Naseej http://naseej.com/

Syria Deeply https://www.newsdeeply.com

187

/syria

188

storytelling around the Syrian crisis with a goal to build a better user experience of the story by adding context to content, using the latest digital tools of the day.

Development aid organizations Department for International Development (DfID) (UK) Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Cultural institutes British Council Goethe Institut Institut Français Instituto Cervantes Schools and youth centres 15th October Pioneer School (Bizerte, Tunisia) Access Youth Center Sidi Bennour (Morocco) Kalaat El Andalous Youth Center (Tunisia) Soukra Youth Center (Tunisia) Universities Algeria Mohamed-Cherif Messaadia University University of Jijel, Algeria Egypt Al Azhar University American University in Cairo Amideast Amideast Religious Leaders Program Beni Suef University British Council Cairo University English Language Resource Center (ELRC) Future University Helwan University Menoufiya University South Valley University Israel Tel Aviv University Jordan German-Jordanian University 189

Hashemite University Philadelphia University University of Jordan Yarmouk Universsity

190

Lebanon American University of Beirut Haigazian University Lebanese-American University Lebanese International University Notre Dame University Morocco Al Akhawayn University Dar Al Hadith Al Hassania Ibn Zohr University Mohammed V University Moulay Ismael University - Meknes National School of Commerce and Management of Agadir University of New England - Tangier Palestinian Territories Al Quds University Birzeit University Hebron University Tunisia Institut Superieur de Géstion de Tunis The American Corner Sousse The American Corner Tunis Turkey Ankara University Bilgi University Bogazici University Hacettepe University Kadir Has University Karadeniz Techincal University Koç University Sabanci University TED University TOBB University of Economics and Technology

191

Annex 6. Youth population size in countries likely to participate (including youth in Secondary or Tertiary education)

Total population

Population of age group 1529*

Percentag e of age group 1529

Total number of Secondary education students (aged approx. 1018)**

Estimate of Secondary school students (age group 1518)**

Member States of the EU

504 633

89 262

17,8%

37 564 770

18 385

Austria

8 506 889

1 572 116

18,5%

690 920

345 460

22,0%

526 540

33,5%

Belgium

11 203 992

2 047 799

18,3%

730 126

365 063

17,8%

676 375

33,0%

Bulgaria

7 245 677

1 240 836

17,1%

506 379

253 190

20,4%

400 214

32,3%

Cyprus

861 930

195 840

22,7%

57 288

28 644

14,6%

63 411

32,4%

Croatia

4 246 809

770 604

18,1%

366 746

183 373

23,8%

238 785

31,0%

Czech Republic

10 512 419

1 829 647

17,4%

729 845

364 923

19,9%

634 113

34,7%

Denmark

5 639 719

1 064 133

18,9%

422 904

211 452

19,9%

369 740

34,7%

Estonia

1 315 819

244 461

18,6%

67 643

33 822

13,8%

88 867

36,4%

Finland

5 451 270

994 351

18,2%

361 355

180 678

18,2%

345 184

34,7%

63 928 608

11 289

476

France

18,0%

5 431 967

2 715 984

23,7%

3 709 990

32,3%

80 767 463

13 276

737

Germany

17,0%

6 928 283

3 464 142

25,2%

4 447 891

32,4%

Greece

11 092 771

1 889 859

17,0%

616 613

308 307

16,3%

598 464

31,7%

Hungary

9 893 082

1 794 551

18,1%

785 738

392 869

21,9%

619 360

34,5%

Percentage of Secondary school students in youth population

Number of Tertiary education students

Percentag e of Tertiary education students in youth population

20,9%

29 247 084

32,6%

Member States of the EU and other Western European partner countries 230

815

782

200,000 constitute s X% of this youth population

Ireland

4 593 125

853 271

18,6%

278 212

139 106

16,3%

272 560

31,9%

Italy

60 233 948

9 221 641

15,3%

4 476 100

2 238 050

24,3%

2 951 211

32,0%

Latvia

2 012 647

382 847

19,0%

98 551

49 276

12,9%

133 758

34,9%

Lithuania

2 957 689

590 971

20,0%

243 158

121 579

20,6%

216 527

36,6%

Luxembourg

549 680

105 106

19,1%

46 127

23 064

21,9%

32 873

31,3%

Malta

423 431

85 994

20,3%

34 312

17 156

20,0%

27 971

32,5%

Netherlands

16 655 799

3 043 011

18,3%

1 191 003

595 502

19,6%

1 016 406

33,4%

Poland

38 533 789

8 201 406

21,3%

2 344 356

1 172 178

14,3%

2 673 908

32,6%

Portugal

10 457 295

1 713 302

16,4%

653 534

326 767

19,1%

552 072

32,2%

Romania

19 985 814

3 691 542

18,5%

1 694 225

847 113

22,9%

1 087 469

29,5%

Slovakia

5 413 393

1 118 125

20,7%

491 023

245 512

22,0%

373 849

33,4%

Slovenia

2 059 114

349 773

17,0%

129 441

64 721

18,5%

109 280

31,2%

Spain

46 464 056

7 184 277

15,5%

2 552 280

1 276 140

17,8%

2 225 345

31,0%

Sweden

9 519 375

1 839 607

19,3%

600 964

300 482

16,3%

688 725

37,4%

United Kingdom

63 705 030

12 627

19,7%

5 035 677

2 517 839

20,0%

4 166 196

33,1%

Non-EU Western European Erasmus+ Programme and Partner countries

13 376 145

2 521 249

18,8%

1 027 871

513 936

20,4%

875 516

34,7%

Iceland

323 764

69 690

21,5%

31 012

15 506

22,2%

23 227

33,3%

Liechtenstein

36 947

6 679

18,1%

2 931

1 466

21,9%

2 214

33,1%

Norway

5 018 573

987 163

19,7%

386 828

193 414

19,6%

344 095

34,9%

Switzerland

7 996 861

1 457 717

18,2%

607 100

303 550

20,8%

505 980

34,7%

Total/Average of the EU/Western

517 778

92 511

17,8%

38 592 641

19 321

20,9%

30 122 600

32,6%

606

576

336

296

0,11%***

193

European countries Other non-EU Erasmus+ Programme and Partner Regions Eastern Partnership Countries

218 450

528

Armenia

3 018 854

Azerbaijan

48 880

841 22,4%

14 031 500

7 015 750

14,4%

13 788 861

28,2%

797 238

26,4%

324 164

162 082

20,3%

255 544

32,1%

9 416 801

2 622 049

27,8%

923 476

461 738

17,6%

843 710

32,2%

Belarus

9 468 154

1 935 429

20,4%

601 341

300 671

15,5%

582 484

30,1%

Georgia

4 490 700

1 021 350

22,7%

268 007

134 004

13,1%

308 645

30,2%

Moldova

3 559 519

934 992

26,3%

281 460

140 730

15,1%

296 687

31,7%

Ukraine

45 372 692

9 506 285

21,0%

2 651 114

1 325 557

13,9%

2 607 408

27,4%

Russian Federation

143 730

32 537

22,4%

8 981 938

4 490 969

14,0%

8 894 383

27,8%

Western region

18 365 716

3 899 236

21,2%

1 512 597

756 299

19,4%

1 128 027

28,9%

2 897 364

696 911

24,1%

329 011

164 506

23,6%

277 193

39,8%

3 843 126

832 637

21,7%

322 507

161 254

19,4%

235 341

28,3%

Kosovo

1 780 021

477 667

26,8%

Montenegro

620 029

132 702

21,4%

66 972

33 486

25,2%

42 978

32,4%

Serbia

7 164 132

1 290 497

18,0%

581 018

290 509

22,5%

418 307

32,4%

Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

2 061 044

468 822

22,7%

213 089

106 545

22,7%

154 208

32,9%

South Mediterranean and Middle East

294

79

27,1%

36 530 283

22,9%

26 632 873

33,3%

194

024

Balkan

Albania Bosnia Herzegovina

201

and

888

924

18

265

regions

630

438

Algeria

39 114 275

9 784 910

25,0%

4 056 674

2 028 337

20,7%

3 600 292

36,8%

Egypt

86 813 723

25 026

29,6%

9 658 007

4 829 004

18,8%

8 030 896

31,2%

Israel

8 059 456

1 803 526

22,4%

765 770

382 885

21,2%

569 577

31,6%

Jordan

6 675 000

2 037 050

30,5%

928 949

464 475

22,8%

680 282

33,4%

Lebanon

3 759 134

1 037 337

27,6%

624 822

312 411

30,1%

535 279

51,6%

Libya

5 298 152

1 712 771

32,3%

639 776

319 888

18,7%

515 100

30,1%

Morocco

32 950 445

9 194 605

27,9%

3 514 128

1 757 064

19,1%

3 150 585

34,3%

Palestine

3 443 828

976 601

28,4%

869 213

434 607

44,5%

486 140

49,8%

Syria

21 124 000

5 995 000

28,4%

3 627 384

1 813 692

30,3%

1 805 523

30,1%

Tunisia

10 982 753

2 687 534

24,5%

1 142 749

571 375

21,3%

959 418

35,7%

76 667 864

18 078

978

Turkey

24,8%

10 702 811

5 351 406

28,2%

6 299 781

33,2%

Total/Average of the regional countries

531 796

132 554

665

24,9%

52 074 380

26 190

037

19,6%

41 549 761

31,3%

1 049 389 574

225 065

002 21,4%

90 667 021

45 511

333

TOTAL/AVERAGE

20,1%

71 672 361

31,9%

782

142

717

0,08%*** 0,09%

Data source: UN Statistics Division and UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Reference period: 2012-2014. *Because age intervals used by the international databases are not the same as EVE target group, age group 15-29 was chosen as the most appropriate. **International databases provide only the total number of Secondary school students, including the age groups of 10-17 or 1118. Thereby, in order to obtain data compatible with the age group 15-29, we divided the total number by two to get an estimate of secondary education students of age group 15-18. *** Calculated assuming EVE aims to attract half (100,000) of participants from the EU Member States, with the remaining half joining from the three EU neighbourhood regions: Eastern Europe, Western Balkans, the South Mediterranean and the Middle East.

195

Annex 7. Foreign-born immigrants in youth populations in Member States and other Erasmus+ countries Percentage of foreign-born immigrants from the EU (from immigrant population)

Percentage of foreign-born immigrants not from the EU (from immigrant population)

128,9

44,7%

55,3%

Total population of age group 15-29 (in thousands)

Number of foreignborn immigrants

Percentage foreign-born immigrants

Belgium

2 028,2

288,5

14,2%

Bulgaria

1 216,3

6,0

0,5%

Czech Republic

1 793,4

45,1

2,5%

25,3

56,1%

43,9%

Germany

13 527,6

1 690,8

12,5%

464,2

27,5%

72,5%

Estonia

240,6

5,4

2,2%

Greece

1 734,7

154,9

8,9%

23,1

14,9%

85,1%

Spain

7 077,2

1 080,3

15,3%

269,3

24,9%

75,1%

France

10 944,0

758,3

6,9%

128,6

17,0%

83,0%

Croatia

765,5

35,3

4,6%

8,7

24,6%

75,4%

Italy

9 252,9

1 148,3

12,4%

346,3

30,2%

69,8%

Cyprus

177,4

32,6

18,4%

16,9

51,8%

48,2%

Latvia

358,2

4,5

1,3%

Luxembourg

100,0

34,0

34,0%

27,9

82,1%

17,9%

Hungary

1 727,6

27,5

1,6%

18,8

68,4%

31,6%

Malta

80,8

5,3

6,6%

Austria

1 532,5

271,0

17,7%

115,4

42,6%

57,4%

Poland

6 976,0

23,2

0,3%

10,5

45,3%

54,7%

196

of

Number of foreignborn immigrants from EU-28 countries except reporting country

Portugal

1 677,0

135,5

8,1%

34,1

25,2%

74,8%

Slovenia

345,5

20,8

6,0%

1,8

8,7%

91,3%

Slovakia

1 102,8

5,7

0,5%

3,3

57,9%

42,1%

Finland

968,1

50,9

5,3%

16,3

32,0%

68,0%

Sweden

1 756,4

267,4

15,2%

39,3

14,7%

85,3%

United Kingdom

12 169,9

1 809,6

14,9%

748,6

41,4%

58,6%

Norway

812,4

141,0

17,4%

55,1

39,1%

60,9%

Switzerland

1 467,7

358,7

24,4%

176,3

49,1%

50,9%

Data source: Eurostat. Reference period: 2014.Link: http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=lfso_14pcobp&lang=en

197

Annex 8. People with disability in youth populations in Member States and other Erasmus+ countries Total of age group 15-29 (in thousands)

Disabled* thousands)

Belgium

2 052,9

200,2

9,8%

Bulgaria

1 271,6

59,8

4,7%

Czech Republic

1 933,8

77,7

4,0%

Denmark

1 022,1

126,6

12,4%

Germany (until 1990 former territory of the FRG)

13 934,4

1 203,9

8,6%

Estonia

250,1

13,5

5,4%

Greece

1 728,5

56,9

3,3%

Spain

7 312,1

375,1

5,1%

France

10 455,3

486,3

4,7%

Italy

9 197,4

349,0

3,8%

Cyprus

164,5

7,5

4,6%

Latvia

390,6

21,1

5,4%

Lithuania

602,5

34,8

5,8%

Luxembourg

96,6

8,5

8,8%

Hungary

1 836,2

120,5

6,6%

Malta

84,6

2,9

3,4%

Netherlands

3 102,1

328,4

10,6%

Austria

1 541,2

99,3

6,4%

Poland

8 020,0

375,0

4,7%

Portugal

2 211,8

41,0

1,9%

Romania

3 141,4

60,1

1,9%

Slovenia

359,3

16,6

4,6%

Slovakia

1 029,6

43,7

4,2%

Finland

1 034,5

76,1

7,4%

Sweden

1 854,6

180,6

9,7%

United Kingdom

12 599,9

1 407,3

11,2%

European Union (27 countries)

87 227,6

5 772,3

6,6%

Iceland

71,0

7,6

10,7%

Norway

922,6

106,1

11,5%

(in

Data source: Eurostat. Reference period: http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hlth_dpeh005&lang=en

Percentage disabled

2012.

of

Link:

*EHSIS was designed to measure the biopsychosocial model of disability introduced by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF, World Health Organization, 2001). According to this model applied to the survey, disabled people are

those who face barriers to participation associated, inter alia, with a health problem or basic activity limitation. Thus, the survey primarily explored the barriers to life opportunities faced by people with health problems and impairments

199

Annex 9. Early leavers from education and training in youth populations in Member States and other Erasmus+ countries Percentage of early leavers* from education and training, age group 18-24 (%) Belgium

10,1

Bulgaria

13,4

Czech Republic

6,2

Denmark

7,8

Germany

10,1

Estonia

11,2

Ireland

6,9

Greece

7,9

Spain

20,0

France

9,2

Croatia

2,8

Italy

14,7

Cyprus

5,2

Latvia

9,9

Lithuania

5,5

Luxembourg

9,3

Hungary

11,6

Malta

19,8

Netherlands

8,2

Austria

7,3

Poland

5,3

Portugal

13,7

Romania

19,1

Slovenia

5,0

Slovakia

6,9

Finland

9,2

Sweden

7,0

United Kingdom

10,8

EU (28 countries)

11,0

Iceland

18,8

Norway

10,2

Switzerland

5,1

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

11,4

200

Turkey

36,4

Data source: Eurostat. Reference period: 2015. Link: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/tgm/table.do?tab=table&init=1&plugin=1&pcode=te sem020&language=en *Early leavers from education and training refers to persons aged 18 to 24 fulfilling the following two conditions: first, the highest level of education or training attained is ISCED 0, 1, 2 or 3c short, second, respondents declared not having received any education or training in the four weeks preceding the survey (numerator). The denominator consists of the total population of the same age group, excluding no answers to the questions 'highest level of education or training attained' and 'participation to education and training'. Annex 10. Percentage of youth not in employment, education or training (NEET) in selected Member States and other Erasmus+ countries Percentage of youth not in employment, education or training (NEET), age group 1529 (%) Austria

10,4

Belgium

13,8

Czech Republic

12,2

Denmark

10,5

Estonia

12,8

Finland

14,3

France

17,2

Germany

8,6

Greece

26,1

Hungary

15,9

Iceland

6,2

Ireland

16,2

Israel

14,1

Italy

27,4

Latvia

13,0

Lithuania

13,7

Luxembourg

8,4

Netherlands

8,3

Norway

9,2

Poland

15,6

Portugal

15,3

Russian Federation

14,0

Slovakia

17,2

201

Slovenia

14,6

Spain

22,8

Sweden

9,1

Switzerland

8,3

Turkey

28,8

United Kingdom

13,7

Data source: OECD. Reference period: 2015. Link: https://data.oecd.org/youthinac/youth-not-in-employment-education-or-training-neet.htm

202

Annex 11. Youth populations living in rural areas in Member States Youth population rural areas

Belgium

1 316,7

207,5

15,8%

Bulgaria

704,2

214,0

30,4%

Czech Republic

1 067,2

412,5

38,7%

Denmark

722,9

284,3

39,3%

Germany

8 386,4

1787,7

21,3%

Estonia

135,8

60,3

44,4%

Ireland

518,0

224,1

43,3%

Greece

1 075,2

245,8

22,9%

Spain

4 474,8

1219,7

27,3%

France

7 481,0

2174,5

29,1%

Croatia

485,9

201,5

41,5%

Italy

5 936,7

1427,8

24,1%

Cyprus

98,3

25,5

25,9%

Latvia

201,0

83,4

41,5%

Lithuania

369,3

191,3

51,8%

Luxembourg

66,1

30,8

46,6%

Hungary

1 098,3

442,2

40,3%

Malta

52,8

4,0

7,6%

Netherlands

2 048,3

279,3

13,6%

Austria

973,7

399,6

41,0%

Poland

4 187,6

1926,1

46,0%

Portugal

1 102,2

278,1

25,2%

Romania

2 188,1

1032,6

47,2%

Slovenia

203,8

104,3

51,2%

Slovakia

659,1

331,8

50,3%

Finland

623,9

165,0

26,4%

Sweden

1 190,6

313,1

26,3%

United Kingdom

7 709,6

821,0

10,6%

55 077,8

14887,6

27,0%

Iceland

40,1

5,4

13,5%

Norway

660,1

265,4

40,2%

Switzerland

925,6

224,2

24,2%

European Union countries)

of

Percentage population areas

Total population, age group 15-24

of of

youth rural

(28

Data source: Eurostat. Reference period: 2016. http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=lfsa_pgauws&lang=en

Link:

203

Annex 12. Platforms reviewed HIGHER EDUCATION SETTINGS Virtual exchange initiative: information fiche Platform title (and logo) Sharing Perspectives Foundation http://www.sharingperspectivesfoundation.com/

The essence/ mission/ goals of the platform in short

The structure/ key blocks of the platform

Accessibility

275

building

The Sharing Perspectives Foundation is a non-profit non-governmental organisation based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It is dedicated to initiate, stimulate and facilitate international cross-cultural dialogue and collaboration to foster knowledge and understanding by utilizing new online communication platforms. It designs and implements virtual exchange programmes in which it provides a curriculum that stimulates students and professors from different universities around the world to collaborate and discuss the world’s most current issues; a way to directly bridge theory and practice, by making the classroom itself a venue for inter-cultural dialogue and exchange. First, the Sharing Perspectives Foundation organises annual European-wide virtual exchange programmes on contemporary socio-political issues that concern Europe. The platform brings university students from across Europe together in a virtual exchange programme to collaboratively study these issues through video-lectures from professors at different universities and expert practitioners in the field; to discuss these issues in small groups of 10-12 students on our web-based video-conference platform; and to jointly investigate the issues at stake through a large-scale European-wide primary research. Second, the platform also provides virtual exchange services for public and private organisations and businesses, such as virtual expert panels to physical conferences or trainings, virtual preparation or follow-up exchanges to physical trainings, conferences or business meetings, or they transform a physical training, business meeting or conference into a virtual interaction. Finally, the Sharing Perspectives Foundation is also exploring the possibility to bring virtual exchanges to secondary schools across Europe275. Participants

http://www.sharingperspectivesfoundation.com/virtual-exchanges/

204

Target groups Registration process

Scope and sustainability

Participation (individual/ group) Countries / regions covered Institutional partnerships (responsible/ managing institution(s) as well as participating organisations or formal partners)

University students and academics Students of participating universities enrol for courses offered by the Sharing Perspectives Foundation at their universities and an online enrolment form. The platform then contacts the student to assign seminar groups for the programme and to provide instructions for the next steps. Group. European Union. University partners that participate in virtual exchange programmes:            

Institute of European Studies and Vesalius College, Free University of Brussels, Belgium Department of IR and European Studies, University of Nicosia, Cyprus European College, University of Tartu, Estonia Network for European Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland Faculty of Political Science, University of Osnabrück, Germany School of Political Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece Institute of International Studies, Corvinus University in Budapest, Hungary Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland Next Generation Global Studies Group, University of Padova, Italy Centre for International Studies, Utrecht University, Netherlands Department of Political Science and Contemporary History, AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland Department of Politics & International Studies, Coventry University, United Kingdom.

Partners for the implementation of virtual exchange programmes:  

Soliya Lutfia Rabbani Foundation.

Donors:   Exchange duration and frequency

European Commission Lutfia Rabbani Foundation.

Annual programmes last 10 weeks. Each week there are 3 online lectures to watch (approximately 1 hour in total), and a joint 2 hour virtual 205

Learning contents, process and outcomes

seminar. Total number of participants on the No information. platform Content of exchanges / support material Curriculum Together with participating universities the Foundation constructs one curriculum. This curriculum is divided into periods that focus on different themes related to the crisis. Because they work with universities from different countries, and often with different faculties – be it political science, law, economics, social science, etc. – they are able to construct one curriculum that offers different national, cultural and disciplinary academic perspectives on the topic. The lectures are presented by the universities and recordings are available on the website. The programmes offer different lectures per week and are supported by academic articles.

Learning and teaching methods, including types of support material, presence of project-based joint activities

Topics focus on contemporary socio-political issues that concern Europe, such as the European economic crisis or the refugee crisis, among many others. Each course has specific assignments, such as :      

Evidence of outcomes or achievements (e.g. increase in intercultural awareness)

276

Active participation in and preparation for weekly seminars; Short seminar presentation; Collectively implement a large scale survey and explore data findings; Individually conduct in-depth interview; Write final paper of 3000-4000 words on one of the topics from the course; Best students selected to take part in the summit in Brussels.

Students are assessed for each course based on some criteria, for instance final paper and participation in seminars. Positive evaluations by the participants themselves. Impact evaluations276 found for that participation in a course increased participant’s self-esteem, self-efficacy and curiosity, and decreased

http://www.sharingperspectivesfoundation.com/wp-content/uploads/spf_personalitymeasures-def.pdf content/uploads/PEC-Evaluation.pdf

206

http://www.sharingperspectivesfoundation.com/wp-

Multilingualism Facilitation

Recognition knowledge

of

skills

and

Quality assurance

IT solutions for people-topeople collaboration

Accommodation of multiple languages Facilitators Number of facilitators Types of facilitators (e.g., gradation in terms of experience, training or qualification; part-time or full-time; paid or volunteers) Training of facilitators as provided by the platform (e.g. content of training, accreditation) Recognising learning Recognition of learning (e.g. formal credits, non-formal certificates, labels, badges, prizes etc.)

tolerance of ambiguity (authors agree though that it might have been influenced by an outside event). Further, the participants developed 21st century skills such as critical thinking, cross-cultural communication and collaboration and IT literacy skills; and increased mutual understanding for the viewpoints of their peers in other European countries. The positive effects of the programme are very encouraging: such virtual exchanges are more accessible than their physical counterparts, but offer comparable benefits. English only. 10277. Professionally trained facilitators host the web-based video-conference room discussions. They are permanent employees at the organisation. Facilitators are trained in collaboration with Soliya278. They are accredited by the UN.

All students who successfully finish the programme receive a Sharing Perspectives Foundation Certificate which formally recognises students’ achievement and completion of the course. It is up to participating universities to decide whether the courses are ECTS accredited.

Quality assurance Provisions for monitoring and user A before-after participant survey was conducted for evaluation and impact feedback assessment purposes279 annually, for each course. Technology Video/ web-conferencing (unique platform / Yes, provided by Soliya. external services)

277

http://www.sharingperspectivesfoundation.com/spf/

278

http://www.sharingperspectivesfoundation.com/rec/

279

http://www.sharingperspectivesfoundation.com/wp-content/uploads/Europe-on-the-Edge-Course-outline3.pdf 207

Social media functionalities (e.g. registering, Yes, Facebook, Twitter. sharing info through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.) Online discussion boards / forums No information. Private messaging and chatrooms No information. Blogs No information. Collaborating on and exchanging documents and No information. media Process for initiating or finding exchanges No information. Partner-finding tools No information. Other (polls, calendars, newsletters, etc.) No information. Compliance with accessibility standards (such as No information. WCAG, W3C) Technical infrastructure (proprietary / open- No information. source software, database server, load capacity, etc.) Other Funding sources Grants from European Union and Lutfia Rabbani Foundation, individual donations. Summary comments on potential relevance of the platform to EVE Some elements of the Sharing Perspectives Foundation should be considered for the development of EVE, such as:   

208

Collaboration and preparation of content by participating organisations (universities in this case). Integration of virtual exchanges into university curricula. A possibility of short physical exchange or a trip as a reward for good performance.

Virtual exchange initiative: information fiche Platform title (and logo) Soliya http://www.soliya.net/

The essence/ mission/ goals of the platform in short The structure/ key blocks of the platform

building

Accessibility

Soliya is an international non-profit organization that is using new media technologies to create and mobilize a global community of youth to promote understanding between diverse societies by building respectful relationships across national, cultural, religious and ideological boundaries. The platform offers three main fields of activity: 1. Connect Program, presented as Soliya’s flagship virtual exchange initiative, is an online cross-cultural education program integrated into curricula of universities. Its goal is to provide students with a unique opportunity to establish a deeper understanding for the perspectives of others around the world and develop ‘21st Century Skills’ such as critical thinking, cross-cultural communication and media literacy skills. 2. Facilitation Training is at least 10-20 hours training with aim to prepare highly-skilled facilitators for Connect Program activities. Guided by an experienced trainer, participants meet in small group sessions to develop and practice the necessary communication, technology and conflict resolution skills to guide and deepen these cross-cultural discussions. 3. Public Squares are facilitated online small-group dialogues in which participants from across cultural, geographic, religious and political divides explore diverse perspectives and discuss important and divisive issues. Participants Target groups University students, youth. Registration process (key steps? easy/  Application forms for Connect Program (institutional) complex? Admin approval required?) and Facilitation Training (individual) can be found on the website. Both have a quite complex structure and require approval.  Less open procedure for Public Squares. Participation (individual/ group)

Scope and sustainability

Countries / regions covered

  

Connect Program: group. Facilitation Training: individual / group. Public Squares: individual / group (participants involved by Soliya Fellows).

Middle East; North Africa; Central, South and South-East Asia; 209

Institutional partnerships (responsible/ managing institution(s) as well as participating organisations or formal partners)

Exchange duration and frequency

Europe; North America.  A merger with Search for Common Ground 280.  Over 100 universities in 27 countries281 (lead by Soliya).  MIT partnership.  UN partnership (lead by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations).  Partnerships with iEARN-USA and Global Nomads Group forming the Virtual Exchange Coalition with a goal to raise awareness and support for virtual exchange.   

Learning contents, process and outcomes

Total number of participants on the platform Content of exchanges / support material Curriculum

Learning and teaching methods, including types of support material, presence of project-based joint activities

280

https://www.sfcg.org/search-for-common-ground-and-soliya-to-join-together/

281

http://www.soliya.net/?q=who_we_are_university_partners

282

http://www.soliya.net/?q=connect_faq

283

http://www.soliya.net/?q=become_a_facilitator

210

Connect Program: two cycles of eight to ten weeks a year (fall and spring semesters), average three hours per week282. Facilitation Training: basic 10-hour or advanced 20-hour training. Several training cycles a year, four to ten weeks, two to four hours weekly283. Public Squares: no detailed information provided.

No information. - Formal: media communications, international relations, religious studies, conflict resolution and others. - Non-formal: cultural, geographic, religious and political divisive issues. University courses, video interviews, researches, media and social media content, facilitation of projects.

Evidence of outcomes or achievements (e.g. increase in inter-cultural awareness)

Multilingualism Facilitation

Accommodation of multiple languages Facilitators Number of facilitators Types of facilitators (e.g., gradation in terms of experience, training or qualification; part-time or full-time; paid or volunteers)

One of the MIT studies regarding the issue of American-Muslim relations in the context of Soliya’s Connect Program confirmed the importance of the VE in encouraging intercultural dialogue and positivity284. Soliya has also worked with MIT, as well as psychology and neuroscience labs at Harvard and the New School for Social Research, on the link between media and social behaviour285. No information about activities in languages other than English. 700286 (70-100 newly-trained ones each semester287).  

Training of facilitators as provided by the platform (e.g. content of training, accreditation)

Volunteer facilitators (with a possibility to apply for scholarships) participating in Facilitation Training for further coordination of Connect Program activities. A separate and less open Soliya Fellowship program preparing young civil society leaders for the activities of Public Squares.

- Content of Facilitation Training program: • Skill-building activities in active listening, summarizing, asking good questions, observing and addressing group dynamics, and working with online tools. • Opportunities for hands-on facilitation practice with other trainees and extensive, individualized feedback to participants from trainers after each session. • Discussion of relevant academic materials on facilitation and conflict resolution theory. • Presentation of various activities and tools recommended for facilitator use in the Connect Program.

284

http://virtualexchangecoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/VirtualExchange_saxelab.pdf

285

http://www.soliya.net/SoliyaGuideEnglish.pdf

286

http://www.soliya.net/?q=who_we_are_soliya_network_facilitators

287

http://www.soliya.net/?q=what_we_do_advanced_training 211

- Accreditation of facilitators: Successful engagement as a facilitator for one semester of the program ensures the receipt of United Nations Advanced Facilitation Training Certification288. - Soliya Fellows are provided by extensive online and in-person training, including dialogue facilitation, media production, engaging diverse communities and social media engagement. Additional training is provided by conflict resolution leaders, broadcast and social media companies and premiere NGOs. Recognition knowledge

of

skills

and

Quality assurance

IT solutions for people-topeople collaboration

Recognising learning Recognition of learning (e.g. formal credits, non-formal certificates, labels, badges, prizes etc.)

Quality assurance Provisions for monitoring and user feedback

Technology Video/ web-conferencing (unique platform / external services)

288

http://www.soliya.net/?q=what_we_do_advanced_training

289

http://www.soliya.net/?q=what_we_do_connect_results

290

http://www.soliya.net/?q=what_we_do_sessions

212

- Soliya recommends that the Connect program Courses would be offered as part of a credit-bearing course. - There are two ways how the program can be integrated into coursework: • University can structure a course specifically around the Connect Program using the curriculum created by Soliya • University can integrate the Connect Program into existing courses as a supplement to an existing curriculum. Working closely with the Saxe Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at MIT, Soliya evaluates the educational impact of the Connect Program with a focus on empathy and understanding; 21st Century Skills such as critical thinking, cross-cultural communication and collaboration; and empowerment and activation289. Yes, using Soliya‘s videoconferencing application290.

Social media functionalities (e.g. registering, sharing info through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.) Online discussion boards / forums Private messaging and chatrooms Blogs Collaborating on and exchanging documents and media Process for initiating or finding exchanges Partner-finding tools Other (polls, calendars, newsletters, etc.) Compliance with accessibility standards (such as WCAG, W3C) Technical infrastructure (proprietary / opensource software, database server, load capacity, etc.)

Funding sources Summary comments potential relevance of platform to EVE

on the

Yes. No information. No information. http://soliyanetwork.blogspot.com/ No information. Possible using application forms. No information. No information No information The Connect program is designed to provide a rich online experience with minimal technical requirements. The same principle generally applies for other programs. The participants of Connect Program ideally have to provide students access to five or six computers on flexible schedule. Soliya’s technical team supports the set-up of technology on campus and trouble-shoots throughout the course period291.

Other More than 20 financial supporters, both institutional and private, including technical support 292. There is also a possibility to donate personally. Soliya is an evident example of a successful VE platform. It is able to offer EVE a variety of positive ideas and experiences. The most significant of these are: • • • • •

World-wide partnership network Integration of courses into universities’ curricula Cross-cultural communication. Facilitation training; ICT base.

291

http://www.soliya.net/?q=connect_faq

292

http://www.soliya.net/?q=who_we_are_supporters 213

214

Virtual exchange initiative: information fiche Platform title (and logo) Dorm Room Diplomacy http://www.dormroomdiplomacy.org The essence/ mission/ goals of the platform in short

The structure/ key blocks of the platform

Accessibility

293

building

Founded by students at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009, Dorm Room Diplomacy (DRD) broadens perspectives and connects young leaders around the world. It uses twenty-first century virtual exchanges to broaden perspectives among university students and connect young leaders around the world. DRD is based on the belief that dialogue can humanize cultures, helping students to see the individuals behind reductionist cultural stereotypes. Dorm Room Diplomacy offers a two-tiered approach to broaden perspectives and connect young leaders from around the world: virtual exchange videoconferences (covering two programs) and campus chapters. 1. Flagship videoconference program is a virtual exchange program which brings together students from around the world on one screen. Each online conference involves a trained facilitator and approximately eight students: half attending universities in the United States and half attending universities outside of the United States. To foster the openness and trust necessary to discuss sensitive issues, groups have a consistent set of participants throughout each semester. Foundation videoconference program is a related pilot program that the DRD is going to unveil this spring semester. Foundations are weekly, two-hour virtual seminars covering a specific topic, running over the course of three weeks. Like the flagship 10-week sessions, groups consist of eight participants from universities in the West and Middle East. 2. Campus Chapters aim to augment the videoconference experience by hosting on-campus events and collaborating with other campus resources to engage the student body and university community. Chapters tend to be registered student groups with their university (where applicable), and operate independently of DRD’s videoconferences. Holding a variety of events to foster on-campus dialogue, many chapters plan small group discussion sessions and host notable speakers from government and academia293. Participants Target groups University students. Registration process (key steps? easy/  Participant application forms for videoconference

http://www.dormroomdiplomacy.org/about/how-it-works/ 215

complex? Admin approval required?)    Scope and sustainability

Participation (individual/ group) Countries / regions covered Institutional partnerships (responsible/ managing institution(s) as well as participating organisations or formal partners)

Exchange duration and frequency

Group United States, United Kingdom, Middle East, South Asia, North Africa.  Around 40 university partnerships294 (lead by DRD).  Collaboration with Exchange 2.0 Coalition, Syria Deeply, The United Nations Foundation and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy295.  Press partners296.   

Learning contents, process and outcomes

Total number of participants on the platform Content of exchanges / support material Curriculum

294

http://www.dormroomdiplomacy.org/about/universities/

295

http://www.dormroomdiplomacy.org/about/collaborators/

296

http://www.dormroomdiplomacy.org/about/press/

297

http://www.dormroomdiplomacy.org/about/how-it-works/

216

programs can be found on the website (Google Forms application platform) and are easy to fill in. Students interested in joining or starting a chapter are invited to contact the platform team via email. Potential facilitators are invited to either complete applications or send emails. All require admin approval.

Flagship videoconference program: 10 weeks, one hour weekly. Foundation videoconference program: three weeks, two hours weekly297. Campus Chapters: duration depends on each chapter.

No information. 

Flagship videoconference program: participants drive the selection of discussion topics, which in the past have included issues pertaining to cultural stereotypes, current events, politics, religion, gender inequality, and more. Participants agree on a topic for the following

  Learning and teaching methods, including types of support material, presence of project-based joint activities



 

Multilingualism Facilitation

Flagship videoconference program: weekly videoconferences moderated by a facilitator. Participants correspond with one another in between sessions and after the end of the program via videoconference, social media, email, and occasional in-person meetings. Foundation videoconference program: weekly videoconferences facilitated by a trained expert on the topic. Campus Chapters: a variety of on-campus events supplemented by videoconferences, including small group discussion sessions, hosting notable speakers from government and academia.

Evidence of outcomes or achievements (e.g. increase in inter-cultural awareness)

Several blog articles conveying the positive outcomes of programs298.

Accommodation of multiple languages Facilitators Number of facilitators Types of facilitators (e.g., gradation in terms of experience, training or qualification; part-time or full-time; paid or volunteers)

No information about activities in languages other than English.

Training of facilitators as provided by the platform (e.g. content of training, accreditation)

No information. One type of videoconference facilitators who are generally graduate students with significant experience in intercultural dialogue, frequently including past participation in the DRD videoconferences. Facilitators trained by DRD are responsible for:  

298

week at the close of each session. Foundation videoconference program: participants are provided with an opportunity to select a specific topic area with peers and a trained expert. Campus Chapters: no exact curriculum specified.

introducing the topic of discussion selected by the students; encouraging broad-based participation;

http://www.dormroomdiplomacy.org/blog/?url=/blog 217



Recognition knowledge

of

skills

and

Quality assurance

IT solutions for people-topeople collaboration

Recognising learning Recognition of learning (e.g. formal credits, non-formal certificates, labels, badges, prizes etc.) Quality assurance Provisions for monitoring and user feedback

Technology Video/ web-conferencing (unique platform / external services) Social media functionalities (e.g. registering, sharing info through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.) Online discussion boards / forums Private messaging and chatrooms Blogs Collaborating on and exchanging documents and media Process for initiating or finding exchanges Partner-finding tools Other (polls, calendars, newsletters, etc.) Compliance with accessibility standards (such as WCAG, W3C) Technical infrastructure (proprietary / opensource software, database server, load capacity, etc.)

299

http://www.davisprojectsforpeace.org/media/view/2185

218

preparing discussion questions and materials in advance of each session.

No information.

- External application, submitted by the representatives of the platform, confirms that the outcomes of program are planned to be measured using both qualitative and quantitative methods as well as consulting experts299. Yes. Yes.

No information. Yes, videoconference participants are invited to correspond with one another via email. http://www.dormroomdiplomacy.org/blog/ No information. Available using application or email registration. No information. No information. No information. No information.

Other Funding sources

 

Summary comments on potential relevance of the platform to EVE

300

Sponsors: AMENDS, The Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship, The Clinton Global Initiative University, Kathryn W. Davis Projects for Peace300. Possibility to donate personally.

It seems that Dorm Room Diplomacy has developed an advanced VE infrastructure but it does not present enough information to prove its outcomes. However, it is able to offer EVE several positive ideas and experiences. The most significant of these are: • World-wide partnership network, especially in the Middle Eastern region; • Cross-cultural communication.

http://www.dormroomdiplomacy.org/about/sponsors/ 219

Virtual exchange initiative: information fiche Platform title (and logo)

UNI Collaboration http://uni-collaboration.eu/

The essence/ mission/ goals of the platform in short

The structure/ key blocks of the platform Accessibility

building

Scope and sustainability

220

UNI Collaboration is a platform to support university educators to organise and run online intercultural exchanges for their students. In these exchanges, students from universities in different countries collaborate together using online communication tools to carry out collaborative projects and to learn about each other's language and culture. By taking part in such projects, students can develop foreign language skills, intercultural awareness, electronic literacies as well as learning more about their particular subject area. From the teacher perspective, this platform helps find partner teachers and classes in other countries, allows reading about tasks, successful projects and evaluation tools and exchanging questions and experiences with an experienced community of practitioners. Key building block of the platform is project creation domain in which users can search for already created projects to take part in, or alternatively, develop their own. Participants Target groups University teachers, mobility officers, management Registration process Registration is relatively complex and admin approval is required for new users. For this purpose, applicants are requested to provide justification for account so that UNI Collaboration can filter out bogus requests Participation (individual/ group) Individuals that are institutionally associated Countries / regions covered Europe, the US, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Reunion Island, Australia, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China. Geographical reach is rapidly expanding. Institutional partnerships (responsible/ The platform was developed by the INTENT consortium, a managing institution(s) as well as participating project funded by the European Union’s Lifelong Learning

organisations or formal partners)

Learning contents, process and outcomes

Exchange duration and frequency Total number of participants on the platform Content of exchanges / support material Curriculum Learning and teaching methods, including types of support material, presence of project-based joint activities Evidence of outcomes or achievements (e.g. increase in intercultural awareness)

Multilingualism

Accommodation of multiple languages

Facilitation

Facilitators Number of facilitators Types of facilitators (e.g., gradation in terms of experience, training or qualification; part-time or full-time; paid or volunteers) Training of facilitators as provided by the platform (e.g. content of training, accreditation)

Recognition knowledge

of

skills

and

Recognising learning Recognition of learning (e.g. formal credits, non-formal certificates, labels, badges, prizes etc.)

Programme. Other partners include Soliya and the Exchange 2.0 Coalition, the SUNY global centre, and the LLP project TILA (http://uni-collaboration.eu/node/545). For complete list of participating organisations, see: http://unicollaboration.eu/list_institutions. Duration is always one semester. 917 registered users (October 4th, 2016). Diverse, depends on tasks set by the classes/teachers. Language learning and intercultural exchanges are popular. The approach focuses on collaborative learning and on studentdriven interaction and collaboration. Teaching materials are sometimes provided on the platform (for examples see sample projects: http://uni-collaboration.eu/sample_projects). The platform is very new (it was launched in April 2016), so no information on outcomes or achievements is available yet. However, there are numerous tools for students to assess their learning. Each past project features an “evaluation” section, which includes information on what students and teachers thought of the project. Most contents are provided in English, yet key information is also available in German, French, Spanish, Polish, and Italian. Classes and projects can be created in any language, provided that all participating users speak the language Unknown Unknown Training materials are provided on the platform and feature video-sessions on organisational, pedagogical, and technical aspects, and outlines the benefits of telecollaboration (http://uni-collaboration.eu/node/202). Recommends using learning evidence and reflection to goals to develop an ePortfolio.

221

Quality assurance

IT solutions for people-topeople collaboration

Quality assurance Provisions for monitoring and user feedback Technology Video/ web-conferencing (unique platform / external services) Social media functionalities (e.g. registering, sharing info through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.) Online discussion boards / forums Private messaging and chatrooms Blogs Collaborating on and exchanging documents and media Process for initiating or finding exchanges Partner-finding tools Other (polls, calendars, newsletters, etc.) Compliance with accessibility standards (such as WCAG, W3C) Technical infrastructure (proprietary / opensource software, database server, load capacity) Other

Funding sources Summary comments on potential relevance of the platform to EVE

222

After each exchange students and teachers are required to leave feedback. Not included Uni Collaboration has Twitter (@UNICollaborate) and Facebook Accounts, contents can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other social media platforms. User can also register using their existing social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Google, and OpenID). Yes Yes Yes Yes Search & match tool Search & match tool No No information The platform relies on a custom-built e-portfolio for students.

EC Life-Long Learning Programme Their approach to the e-portfolio interesting for EVE.

could

potentially

be

ADULT LEARNING Virtual exchange initiative: information fiche Platform title (and logo)

EPALE https://ec.europa.eu/epale/en

The essence/ mission/ goals of the platform in short The structure/ key blocks of the platform Accessibility

building

Scope and sustainability

EPALE is an open membership community for teachers, trainers, researchers, academics, policy makers and anyone else with a professional role in adult learning across Europe. It is set up around the sharing of content related to adult learning, including news, blog posts, resources, and events and courses. Members of the community can engage with adult learning colleagues across Europe through the site’s features. Everything within the platform is organised around five adult learning themes: learner support, learning environments, life skills, quality and policies, and strategies and financing. Participants Target groups Teachers, trainers, researchers, academics, policy makers and anyone else with a professional role in adult learning across Europe. Registration process (key E-mail and organisational affiliation details are required. Request to register is steps? easy/complex? Admin then forwarded to the validation team, which after checking personal approval required?) membership request may either request more information, or approve membership. Once the membership is approved, users can login using a weblink provided. In general, registration process is easy. Participation (individual/ Individual. group) Countries / regions covered EU countries (except Greece), Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Montenegro, Norway, Turkey. Institutional partnerships The platform is managed by Central Support Service (a consortium of Ecorys (responsible/ managing UK and Intrasoft Ltd). institution(s) as well as

223

participating organisations formal partners)

or

Other stakeholders include:                      

Exchange duration and frequency

Learning contents, process and outcomes

301

Participants join groups in which they can take part in discussions, share information, read blogs, news, and resources. Frequency of exchange depends on users themselves, duration is not limited. 16,382 registered users (on 14th of Sept, 2016)301.

Total number of participants on the platform Content of exchanges / support material Curriculum Topics include: learner support (social inclusion, barriers to learning, persons with disabilities, validation of prior learning, older persons, immigrants),

https://ec.europa.eu/epale/en/user-directory

224

Centre for Education and Lifelong Learning Education and Culture Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency Erasmus Plus National Agencies European Association for Quality Assurance European Association for the Education of Adults European Association of Institutions in Higher Education European Basic Skills Network European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning European InfoNet Adult Education European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network European Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training European Society for Research on the Education of Adults European University Association European University Continuing Education Network International Council for Adult Education National Coordinators for the Implementation of the European Agenda for Adults Learning Network on and analyses of European education systems and policies The European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning The European Open Education Portal UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning.

Learning and teaching methods, including types of support material, presence of projectbased joint activities Evidence of outcomes or achievements (e.g. increase in inter-cultural awareness) Multilingualism

Accommodation languages

Facilitation

Facilitators Number of facilitators

Recognition

of

skills

and

of

multiple

Types of facilitators (e.g., gradation in terms of experience, training or qualification; parttime or full-time; paid or volunteers) Training of facilitators as provided by the platform (e.g. content of training, accreditation) Recognising learning

learning environments (valuing non-formal and informal learning, second chance schools, learning in prisons, workplace learning, community learning, elearning), life skills (languages, entrepreneurship and employability, cultural education, basic skills – literacy, numeracy and digital skills, financial literacy), policy (research and evaluation best practices, national policies and funding, European policies, projects, and funding), and quality (professional development of staff, quality assurance, measuring impact, provider accreditation). Users on the platform engage by searching resources that are of interest to them. Learning is independent and self-paced. There are no project-based activities on EPALE, yet users can search for partners in EPALE database for joint participation in funded projects. None identified.

EPALE is a multilingual platform, with some key content provided in 24 languages and some features available in 6 key languages (English, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Polish). EPALE is currently being developed and translations become available gradually No facilitators as such, but the Central Support Service (CSS) develops EPALE and manages operations on EPALE on a daily basis. The CSS also makes decisions about the content to be featured on EPALE, which member contributions should be translated into other EPALE languages, manages helpdesk, and social media communications. N/A.

N/A.

225

knowledge

Quality assurance

IT solutions for people-topeople collaboration

Recognition of learning (e.g. formal credits, non-formal certificates, labels, badges, prizes etc.) Quality assurance Provisions for monitoring and user feedback

Technology Video/ web-conferencing (unique platform / external services) Social media functionalities (e.g. registering, sharing info through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.) Online discussion boards / forums Private messaging and chatrooms Blogs Collaborating on and exchanging documents and media

Process for initiating or finding exchanges Partner-finding tools Other (polls, calendars, newsletters, etc.) Compliance with accessibility standards (such as WCAG, W3C) Technical infrastructure (proprietary / open-source software, database server, load 226

None identified.

EPALE survey was used to build a clearer picture of potential EPALE users and their needs and preferences, in order to establish some guiding principles for the development of the website and community. In 2014 the survey yielded 1,914 responses from 37 countries. None identified. Yes (EPALE can be followed on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook).

Yes (users can comment and engage in discussions in forums). Yes (an online form to contact users in the database, the message is forwarded to their e-mail address). Yes (https://ec.europa.eu/epale/en/content/epale_blog_post). None identified (but if users wish to contribute relevant material to any of the five EPALE themes, including interesting news items, articles, reports, events and resources, they are invited to send an email with information to the helpdesk). Search window can be used to search for forums/materials of interest. Users, wishing to contribute by initiating new topics, are required to email to the helpdesk. Yes (there is a user database). Yes (news, calendars, newsletters). Yes, EPALE is compliant with W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) standards (including WCAG) to improve accessibility to the internet. No information.

Funding sources

Summary comments potential relevance of platform to EVE

on the

capacity, etc.) Other EPALE is funded by the European Commission as part of the overall adult learning strategy for lifelong learning. Originally, supported through the Lifelong Learning/Grundtvig programme (2007-2013), funding is now provided through Key Action 2 of the Erasmus+ programme (2014-2020). Co-financing is also provided by Member State governments in order for the NSSs to be operational. EPALE is supported under article 14.1.b of the legal decision adopting the Erasmus+ programme. It also plays an important role in the achievement of the goals set out in the 2011 Council Resolution for a Renewed European Agenda for Adult Learning and Education and Training 2020.  Similar user database for participation in funded projects could be adopted in EVE  Good usability with topic filters  Events calendar promotes face-to-face communication and participation in “physical” events  User motivation is assumed and so no learning recognition certificates are provided, yet only 16,273 registered users (unknown active proportion)  Great that translations are available, but important to note that not all materials get translated, only key  Messaging functionality directs messages to email – probably increases user retention.

227

SCHOOL SETTINGS Virtual exchange initiative: information fiche Platform title (and logo) eTwinning https://www.etwinning.net

The essence/ mission/ goals of the platform in short The structure/ key blocks of the platform

Accessibility

Scope and sustainability

302

building

eTwinning offers a platform for staff working in a school in one of the European countries involved, to communicate, collaborate, develop projects, share and be part of a European learning community. The eTwinning action promotes school collaboration in Europe through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) by providing support, tools and services for schools. Platform allows collaboration on projects in multiple subject fields, languages, and age groups. Enabling technological tools are provided on platform, project ideas are proposed by participating teachers and are shared on the platform for other teachers to join. Another building block is tools aimed to progress teachers. These include self-teaching materials, online seminars, workshops, and other learning events, aiming to boost teachers’ abilities. Participants Target groups Staff (teachers, head teachers, librarians, etc.), working in a school in one of the European countries involved. Registration process (key steps? Pre-registration: create a username and password and provide your email easy/complex? Admin approval address; full registration: school details and personal information302. required?) Admin approval required between pre-registration and full-registration. In general, registration is relatively complex as if school has not been registered, teachers are required to register their school as well as themselves. Participation (individual/ group) Personal (teachers) and group (students, schools). Countries / regions covered 36 countries (but 38 National Support Services): EU28 + Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Serbia,

https://www.etwinning.net/en/pub/get_support/help/how_to_register_on_etwinning.htm

228

Switzerland, and Turkey. In the near future, eTwinning will continue this expansion by opening up to neighbouring countries on the eastern edge of Europe involved in the Eastern Partnership programme (i.e. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine). The eTwinning extension will also include one of our neighbours to the south, Tunisia. The programme itself is part of Erasmus+; its Central Support Service is operated by European Schoolnet.

Learning contents, process and outcomes

Institutional partnerships (responsible/ managing institution(s) as well as participating organisations or formal partners) Exchange duration and frequency Depends on the project. Total number of participants on the 371,597 members (users) and over 44,449 projects in March 2016 303. platform Content of exchanges / support material Curriculum Projects in all school subjects offered. Learning and teaching methods, including types of support material, presence of project-based joint activities Evidence of outcomes or achievements (e.g. increase in intercultural awareness)

When students agree to collaborate on a project, duration, frequency, and deliverables are agreed upon and so learning/teaching methods vary from project to project. Support self-teaching materials are made available for teachers, explaining the process of collaborating on eTwinning and management of twinspace. Users testimonies, featured in the ‘eTwinning generation’ report 304 suggest that users developed in 5 key directions:     

Valuing the diversity of European culture Enjoying a different learning experience Growing as a person (e.g. self-confidence, independent thinking) Developing new skills (e.g. linguistic, leadership, critical thinking, technical, presentations, creativity) Influencing future direction (inspired to study particular subjects, learn languages).

303

Data from: eTwiinning portal, at https://www.etwinning.net/en/pub/discover/what_is_etwinning.htm, checked on 13 September

304

https://www.etwinning.net/eun-files/generation/en.pdf 229

Multilingualism

Accommodation of languages Facilitators Number of facilitators

Facilitation

Recognition knowledge

of

skills

and

Quality assurance

IT solutions for people-to-people collaboration

305

Types of facilitators (e.g., gradation in terms of experience, training or qualification; part-time or full-time; paid or volunteers) Training of facilitators as provided by the platform (e.g. content of training, accreditation) Recognising learning Recognition of learning (e.g. formal credits, non-formal certificates, labels, badges, prizes etc.) Quality assurance Provisions for monitoring and user feedback Technology Video/ web-conferencing (unique

https://www.etwinning.net/eun-files/eTwinningreport_EN.pdf

230

multiple

According to eTwinning’s survey (2014) 305, top skills impacted by eTwinning include learning cross-curricular skills (team work, creativity, problem-solving, decision taking). Teachers particularly benefited from developing their project-based teaching skills, foreign language skills, and collaborative skills in working with teachers of other subjects. The programme also increased their use of 21st century teaching practices. The majority of eTwinner teachers stated that eTwinning’s most positive impact at student level is on increasing student motivation, followed closely by fostering collaborative work among learners. Available in 28 languages.

Teachers themselves act as facilitators. N/A.

Support self-teaching materials are made available for teachers, explaining the process of collaborating on eTwinning and management of twinspace.

There are two types of public recognition available in eTwinning: the European eTwinning Prizes and Quality Labels. Prizes are given to projects based on pupils’ age and special categories. Quality Labels are granted to teachers with excellent eTwinning projects, where project reaches a certain national and European standard. None identified.

Yes.

platform / external services) Social media functionalities (e.g. registering, sharing info through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.) Online discussion boards / forums Private messaging and chatrooms Blogs Collaborating on and exchanging documents and media Process for initiating or finding exchanges Partner-finding tools Other (polls, calendars, newsletters, etc.) Compliance with accessibility standards (such as WCAG, W3C) Technical infrastructure (proprietary / open-source software, database server, load capacity, etc.)

None identified.

Yes. Yes. None identified. Yes. Search by filters (country, region, subject). Search by filters (country, region, subject). None identified. No information provided. The eTwinning environment is made up of 3 layers:   

Data layer comprising the database server and other raw data repository Business layer holding the business logic of the Portal and related tools Presentation layer presenting the Portal content in the most appealing, efficient and user-friendly way.

The eTwinning platform uses the LINUX operating system for all its servers; Linux is open-source software, which makes it benefit from a large community support while commercial support is available as well. The Business layer is implemented in Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) and in Adobe Coldfusion. Adobe ColdFusion 11 is currently the main Presentation layer technology used for eTwinning. It allows for Rapid Application Development of rich internet applications in a very productive and efficient way and integrates well with the Business and Data Layers. It allows clustering to provide an increase in load capacity and performance

231

when needed. Adobe provides the Central Support Service specific support and guidance for the software design and implementation in order to achieve the most efficient, fastest and state-of-the art results306. Funding sources Summary comments on potential relevance of the platform to EVE

306

Other Erasmus+ budget  Extremely relevant; could be used as a model for EVE  Teachers acting as facilitators is beneficial for saving budged but may not be feasible for EVE where targeted population is beyond schools  Recognition options interesting and could be implemented in EVE  Detailed description of tech infrastructure – useful for EVE purposes

https://www.etwinning.net/en/pub/misc/about.htm

232

Virtual exchange initiative: information fiche Platform title (and logo)

Global Nomads Group http://www.gng.org

The essence/ mission/ goals of the platform in short

The structure/ key blocks of the platform

building

Global Nomads Group (GNG) is a US non-profit 501(c)3 organization, founded in 1998. The headquarters are located in New York, the US and Amman, Jordan. GNG claims to foster dialogue and understanding among the world's youth. By leveraging technology, they enable conversations between middle school and high school students who otherwise would not meet. These exchanges are supposed to promote empathy, cultural awareness, and build 21st century workforce skills, as well as to foster dialogue and understanding among the world's youth. Their ultimate goal is to raise awareness and minimise cultural misconceptions. The platform offers three broad programmes: 1. Campfire: connects classrooms across the world through an online collaboration platform, curricula, and global citizenship project. A key program feature in Campfire is a GNG-designed Community, built and curated for each classroom pair, allowing virtual exchanges to take place asynchronously. 2. Youth Voices: connects classrooms across the world through shared curricula, an online platform, a global citizenship project, and interactive videoconferences (IVCs). These tools allow students to connect in realtime for face-to-face intercultural dialogue. Youth Voices fosters leadership and motivation for youth to take positive action in their communities and equips students with critical 21st century workforce skills. 3. Pulse: organises virtual town hall meetings that give students a forum to deliberate some of the most challenging issues of our time. These interactive live-stream programs offer students the opportunity to learn from guest speakers and exchange perspectives with their peers using a LIVE chat function.

233

Accessibility

Scope and sustainability

Participants Target groups Registration process

Participation (individual/ group) Countries / regions covered Institutional partnerships (responsible/ managing institution(s) as well as participating organisations or formal partners)

Youth (middle and high school students, 14-19 years old)307, at-risk308. To show interest, one can fill in a General interest for online (http://www.gng.org/getinvolved), and join a group on Facebook. It is a first step to joining the platform. Way of registration for virtual exchanges varies by programme, but in all cases educators register for their groups of students. To apply for Campfire309 and Youth Voices, educators fill in an application online for the upcoming academic year. Meanwhile, to join Pulse, educators just have to prepare students following a prepared curriculum and join an online conversation310. All three programmes are based on participation of classrooms or student groups. North America, Central and South America, Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, Southeast Asia – 54 countries in total.  Massachusetts Institute of Technology  Bezos Family Foundation  Google  Photo Wings  Aspen Words  Kentucky Educational Development Corporation  Amideast  Polycom  United States Institute of Peace  Bridges of Understanding  Madrasati Palestine  Qatar Foundation International  Peace Education and Community Empowerment (PEACE)  Jordan Education Initiative  New Visions for Public Schools

307

https://www.guidestar.org/profile/75-2750127

308

http://www.edutopia.org/global-nomads-at-risk-students-connect-peers-worldwide

309

http://gng.org/dp-campfire-app-2016-17.pdf

310

http://gng.org/pulse-participant-school-instructions.pdf

234

  Exchange duration and frequency

Learning contents, process and outcomes

Students Rebuild The Aspen Institute Stevens Initiative.

Varies depending on a programme. For example, Youth Voices programme is a yearlong virtual youth exchange programme that connects students around the world (a class or group of students is paired with a partner class in another country during the school year) 311, while Pulse could be an ad hoc activity. Since 1998, GNG has reached approximately a million young people, on all 7 continents.

Total number of participants on the platform Content of exchanges / support material Curriculum Each curriculum presents a Learn, Act, Reflect structure, designed to help your students work through activities and complete their Global Citizenship Projects 312. All of GNG's curricula promote 21st century skills and are aligned to Common Core Standards. Topics: Human rights; environmental awareness and environment innovation; overfishing and conservation; recycling; access to education; issues in the Middle East; issues in Africa; education and change; water challenges; technology and environment; gun violence; climate change; child rights; sustainable energy; social change; right to bear arms; human trafficking; anti-bullying; consumption with conscience313. Full list is available at http://archive.gng.org/category/all/ . Learning and teaching methods, including types of support material, presence of projectbased joint activities

Some programmes offered by GNG, for instance Campfire, can be integrated into many different subject areas in the school curriculum, including Social Studies, World History, English Language Arts, Art, and more. Comprehensive workbooks are prepared for students and handbooks for educators. There are project-based joint activities available, such as investigation of a specific issue and creation of a short film on it; big brother, big sister initiatives; among others. There are also specific projects for GNG alumni314.

311

http://gng.org/yt-student-workbook-2014-15.pdf http://gng.org/gca-curriculum-2014-15-student-workbook.pdf

312

http://www.gng.org/curricula

313

https://www.oercommons.org/my/41140

314

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6mzr29SSQs1ZmhGVVRJcnQ4ZFU/edit

235

Multilingualism Facilitation

Evidence of outcomes or achievements (e.g. increase in inter-cultural awareness) Accommodation of multiple languages Facilitators Number of facilitators

To date, results of evaluations and self-reports indicate that GNG programs create a culture of empathy between and among participating students315.

Types of facilitators (e.g., gradation in terms of experience, training or qualification; part-time or full-time; paid or volunteers)

GNG Virtual Exchange Dialogue Facilitators work several hours a week (part-time) to lead interactive videoconference (IVC) and online dialogue between paired secondary school classrooms in the US and Arab/Muslim worlds. Facilitators are matched with 3-5 school pairs, who are part of a virtual exchange programme. Facilitators lead 4-5 IVC conversations per pair, moderate student dialogue on GNG’s online platform, and communicate with GNG staff and educators about scheduling and preparation for exchange. Facilitators promote critical thinking, multicultural sensitivity, respectful cross-cultural communication, and global citizenship in their interactions with students and educators317. It is a paid position. 15-hour basic training on facilitating virtual exchange and intercultural dialogue. Led by GNG staff, this interactive two-day workshop in New York City (also a small workshop in Amman, Jordan) review facilitation skills, values, protocols, and technologies, with extensive practice and feedback. Facilitators observe sample dialogue and participate in simulations. The training is grounded in the fundamentals of conflict management and cross-cultural communication, and is applicable to the fields of cross-cultural education, conflict prevention and resolution, youth development, intercultural dialogue, and workplace and organizational management. There are plans to launch a virtual monthlong course in the future. Training topics include:

Training of facilitators as provided by the platform (e.g. content of training, accreditation)

Almost exceptionally English. Only some ad hoc programmes are available in other languages, e.g. Arabic316. No information.



315

http://gng.org/snapshot http://gng.org/gng-annual-report-2014-2015.pdf

316

http://gng.org/-.pdf

317

http://gng.org/virtualexchangedialoguefacilitator-nyc

236

Intro to GNG and virtual exchange

       

Intercultural dialogue facilitation / conflict management theory and values Analysis of sample dialogue facilitation Facilitation skills boot camp, with exercises and practice Youth/adolescent development and educational pedagogy Training on virtual exchange technologies (IVCs and online platforms) Understanding intercultural competence and conflict management Practice facilitations, applicable to both virtual and in-person dialogue Individualized feedback and coaching

The training is led by Global Nomads Group and supported by the Bridges of Understanding Foundation. Participants receive a certificate of completion from both organisations318. Recognition knowledge

of

skills

and

Quality assurance

IT solutions for people-topeople collaboration

Recognising learning Recognition of learning (e.g. formal credits, non-formal certificates, labels, badges, prizes etc.) Quality assurance Provisions for monitoring and user feedback

Technology Video/ web-conferencing (unique platform / external services) Social media functionalities (e.g. registering, sharing info through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,

318

http://gng.org/gng-virtual-exchange-facilitator-training-and-role-info-and-application-us-nyc.pdf

319

http://www.gng.org/me http://gng.org/gng-me-google-site.pdf

320

http://www.polycom.com/global/en/customer-stories/global-nomads-group.html

321

http://gng.org/pulse-participant-school-instructions.pdf

322

http://gng.org/campfire-student-workbook-2015-16-reduced-size.pdf

No information.

GNG is conducting pre- and post-programme surveys in partnership with the MIT Saxelab of Social Cognitive Neuroscience. In addition, GNG staff conducts focus group discussions or interviews at the conclusion of the program 319. Yes. Using Polycom RealPresence video collaboration solutions320, Google Hangout on Air321 or Skype322. Yes.

237

Google+, etc.) Online discussion boards / forums Private messaging and chatrooms Blogs Collaborating on and exchanging documents and media Process for initiating or finding exchanges Partner-finding tools Other (polls, calendars, newsletters, etc.)

Yes, using Google+ Online Platform323, GNG Connect – ‘like our own private Facebook’324. Yes, using Google+ Online Platform and GNG Connect. http://gng.org/blog - the link is active, but no content inside. No information. No information. No information. Virtual reality lab325 - using a headset like Google Cardboard or Oculus, viewers can see the VR environment all around them326. No information.

Compliance with accessibility standards (such as WCAG, W3C) Technical infrastructure (proprietary / open- No information. source software, database server, load capacity, etc.) Other Funding sources Government grants, foundation support, contributions (corporations and individual) 327. Summary comments on potential relevance of the platform GNG provides a number of good practice examples that could be considered in the to EVE development of EVE, such as:     

323

http://gng.org/techcamp-student-workbook-2015.pdf

324

http://gng.org/campfire-student-workbook-2015-16-reduced-size.pdf

325

http://gng.org/virtual-reality

326

http://gng.org/healing-classrooms-vr-resources-v2.pdf

327

http://gng.org/gng-annual-report-2014-2015.pdf

238

Built-in own social network Trained part-time facilitators Use of solutions provided by Google, Skype and Polycom Monitoring with the before-after survey Involvement of local educators

 

Comprehensive and specific curricula on each of the topics, following the Learn, Act, Reflect structure Provision of workbooks and handbooks for students and educators.

Virtual exchange initiative: information fiche Platform title (and logo) iEARN328 https://iearn.org/ The essence/ mission/ goals of the platform in short

iEARN is a non-profit organization made up of over 30,000 schools and youth organizations. iEARN empowers teachers and young people to work together online using the Internet and other new communications technologies. iEARN is:   

The structure/ key blocks of the platform

Accessibility

328

building

a safe and structured environment in which young people can communicate an opportunity to apply knowledge in service-learning projects a community of educators and learners making a difference as part of the educational process

Complete set of goals is available online: https://iearn.org/about/global-assembly. Platform allows collaboration on projects in multiple subject fields, languages, and age groups. Enabling ITC tools are provided on platform, project ideas are proposed by participating teachers via Teacher’s Forum. Another building block is tools aimed to progress teachers. These include face-to-face workshops and online professional development courses for educators seeking to integrate online global project work into their classrooms. Participants Target groups Teachers and students from participating countries, willing to develop learning projects and collaborate Registration process Teachers must register by providing their personal details (names, contact details) and (key steps? the details of their school. Students must also register, but this can be done by teachers easy/complex? Admin via the Member Dashboard on iEARN’s Coolaboration Centre. With no admin approval

https://iearn.org/assets/resources/Project_Book_2015-16.pdf 239

Scope and sustainability

approval required?) Participation (individual/ group) Countries / regions covered Institutional partnerships (responsible/ managing institution(s) as well as participating organisations or formal partners)

required, registration is very easy. Individual (teachers) and groups (students, schools). More than 140 countries, for complete list see: https://iearn.org/countries. Led by iEARN- International Education and Resource Network        

Adobe Youth Voices Educational Development Center (EDC) Intel Teach Microsoft Partners in Learning Program National Wildlife Federation Oracle Education Foundation United States Department of State USAID

For complete list of partnerships, https://iearn.org/about/partners. Depends on the project.

Learning contents, process and outcomes

national

partnerships,

see:

Exchange duration and frequency Total number of Over 2,000,000 students and 50,000 educators. participants on the platform Content of exchanges / support material Curriculum Projects in all school subjects offered (over 200 projects to choose from). Learning and teaching methods, including types of support material, presence of project-based joint activities Evidence of outcomes or achievements (e.g. increase in inter-cultural awareness)

240

including

When students agree to collaborate on a project, duration, frequency, and deliverables are agreed upon and so learning/teaching methods vary from project to project. An important emphasis in learning is answering the question "How will this project improve the quality of life on the planet?" Support self-teaching materials are made available for teachers. These include face-toface workshops and online professional development courses. Complete list of dissertations, evaluations, and research focusing on iEARN can be found online: https://iearn.org/about/research-evaluation

Key findings include:     

Multilingualism

Accommodation multiple languages

Facilitation

Facilitators Number of facilitators

of

Types of facilitators (e.g., gradation in terms of experience, training or qualification; parttime or full-time; paid or volunteers)

329

Educational telecommunications projects have a positive impact on the individual user in terms of motivation, skill development, self-esteem, and interpersonal interaction; Teachers and students indicated an increased awareness of global issues that they were able to directly address through the iEARN projects and an increased sense of empowerment through direct involvement; Email communications in schools raises intercultural awareness and provides intercultural learning opportunities; An improvement in the reading, writing, and comprehension skills in non-native students' English production; Participation in projects helped students improve their intercultural awareness and understanding, increased the amount of time that students spent in interculturalrelated activities such as discussions of social and/or political issues and discussions of international events; and helped to improve teachers understanding of international events and their involvement with causes for the betterment of society.

User testimonials are also available online: https://iearn.org/testimonials. Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Azeri, Bengali, Catalan, Chinese, Dutch, Spanish, Farsi, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Georgian, Kiswahili, Korean, Macedonian, Polish, Russian, Slovenian329. Teachers act as facilitators in projects, but are allowed to consult with the project facilitation team. There are also country coordinators, representatives, and contact people (at least one per country). N/A.

https://iearn.org/language-resources 241

Training of facilitators as provided by the platform (e.g. content of training, accreditation) Recognition knowledge

Recognising learning Recognition of learning (e.g. formal None identified. credits, non-formal certificates, labels, badges, prizes etc.) Quality assurance Quality assurance Provisions for monitoring and user Seeking feedback via specific feedback form: feedback https://iearn.wufoo.com/forms/m1xc96xz1qfszw0/. IT solutions for people-to- Technology people collaboration Video/ web-conferencing (unique Yes. platform / external services) Social media functionalities (e.g. Yes (users can follow iEARN on Facebook, the platform can be shared registering, sharing info through on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+). Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.) Online discussion boards / forums Yes (teacher forum, youth forum, groups). Private messaging and chatrooms None identified. Blogs None identified. Collaborating on and exchanging Yes. documents and media Process for initiating or finding exchanges Search by filters (age, language, subject, keywords). Partner-finding tools Search by filters (age, language, subject, keywords). Other (polls, calendars, newsletters, etc.) Yes (newsletter). Compliance with accessibility standards No information. (such as WCAG, W3C) Technical infrastructure (proprietary / No information. open-source software, database server, load capacity, etc.) Other Funding sources No information found. Summary comments on  Very similar to eTwinning, highly applicable to EVE and can serve as an example in many areas potential relevance of  Funding route unclear, in their US website it was mentioned that there are types of paid membership, would need to

242

of

skills

and

Online professional development courses and face-to-face workshops developed for teachers. Whilst the course offerings vary from country to country, they share a common goal of supporting educators and students to use technology to enable collaborative project work. iEARN workshops can be designed to cover the technical, collaborative, and organisational skills needed to participate in Internet-based learning programs.

the platform to EVE 

be clarified if selected for case study analysis Excellent impact evaluation/evidence.

243

Virtual exchange initiative: information fiche Platform title (and logo) Inventors4Change http://www.inventors4change.org The essence/ mission/ goals of the platform in short The structure/ key blocks of the platform Accessibility

building

Scope and sustainability

Learning contents, process and outcomes

244

Inventors4Change is an open membership community that seeks to connect children from around the world in teams to develop solutions to thematic challenges through invention-based collaborative learning. The platforms seeks to focus on children and young people from underserved communities. The platform is centred around online challenges related to sustainable development, to which children and young then respond by developing own ideas and building their own inventions and solutions with digital tools. Participants Target groups Children and young people Registration process None – interested schools get in touch by email Participation (individual/ group) Group Countries / regions covered From the start: Spain and India, more planned Institutional partnerships (responsible/ UdiGitigalEdu, an interdisciplinary group of researchers at the managing institution(s) as well as participating University of Girona organisations or formal partners) Exchange duration and frequency Exchanges are built around the schedule of a school year. Total number of participants on the platform 9 schools participated (6 in South India, 3 in Spain), no estimated number of students participating Content of exchanges / support material Curriculum Topics have included poverty, equality, global warming, human rights, and migration. Learning and teaching methods, including types The platform uses a learning approach they call invention-based of support material, presence of project-based collaborative learning (see illustration). joint activities

Evidence of outcomes or achievements (e.g. increase in intercultural awareness) Multilingualism

Accommodation of multiple languages

Facilitation

Facilitators Number of facilitators Types of facilitators (e.g., gradation in terms of experience, training or qualification; part-time or full-time; paid or volunteers) Training of facilitators as provided by the platform (e.g. content of training, accreditation)

Recognition knowledge

of

Quality assurance

skills

and

Recognising learning Recognition of learning (e.g. formal credits, non-formal certificates, labels, badges, prizes etc.) Quality assurance

The outcomes of a recent challenge on the refugee crisis suggest not only a deeper thematic understanding of a topic, but remarkably raised intercultural awareness and respect. English is used as the main langua franca, but Catalan and Kannada are both used for purposes of intercultural learning. The platform is facilitated by a small team of researchers from UdiGitialEdu, a group of scientists at the University of Girona. --Week-long trainings were run for teachers and social workers in participating schools.

None identified

245

IT solutions for people-topeople collaboration

Provisions for monitoring and user feedback Technology Video/ web-conferencing (unique platform / external services) Social media functionalities (e.g. registering, sharing info through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.) Online discussion boards / forums Private messaging and chatrooms Blogs Collaborating on and exchanging documents and media Process for initiating or finding exchanges Partner-finding tools Other (polls, calendars, newsletters, etc.) Compliance with accessibility standards (such as WCAG, W3C) Technical infrastructure (proprietary / opensource software, database server, load capacity, etc.) Other

Funding sources Summary comments on potential relevance of the platform to EVE

None identified Skype Appealing marketing through social media. Inventors4Change operates a Youtube channel, a Twitter account @inventors4c, and a Facebook page. No No Yes, on kidblog.org Yes, through Scratch Videos ----No information The platform uses open-source software, has an open license, and relies on the open-source platform Scratch for the production of digital products. University of Girona, Fundación Ship2B The platform is small, intelligent marketing, the workload for facilitators extensive, but in particular the use of Scratch is exemplary and potentially useful for EVE. Inventors4Change Coalition.

246

is

a

member

of

the

Virtual

Exchange

Virtual exchange initiative: information fiche Platform title (and logo) Youth For Understanding: Virtual Exchange Initiative http://www.yfuusa.org/ The essence/ mission/ goals of the platform in short

The structure/ key blocks of the platform

building

Accessibility

Scope and sustainability

The Youth For Understanding (YFU) draws upon six decades of leadership in international education to expand the mission and cultivate greater understanding and empathy through increased access to cultural exchange. Having supported in-person experiences for more than 260,000 students in 70 countries, the new YFU Virtual Exchange Initiative encourages interpersonal diplomacy through virtual dialogues amongst teenagers around the world – with emphasis on reaching girls, displaced youth and other underrepresented groups who may not easily be able to embark on a physical journey abroad 330. The program introduces opportunities for secondary school students and qualifying YFU alumni to engage in broadtopic, multi-polar dialogue across global classrooms, after-school clubs, and youth centres. In collaboration with the YFU partner network, this program will expand to additional countries in the coming years, including locations absent a YFU office, and those where YFU has strong and active national presence - with priority given to areas supporting the ongoing resettlement of displaced people. Participants Target groups Secondary schools students aged 14-22. Registration process (key steps? easy/ Organizational representatives may submit a simple online complex? Admin approval required?) inquiry. Students are asked to have their teachers or authorized parties submit an inquiry on behalf of their institution. Admin approval required. Participation (individual/ group) Group. Countries / regions covered Pilot countries and regions: United States, Middle East and North Africa331. Institutional partnerships (responsible/ Pilot partnerships with iEARN and several schools in the US and managing institution(s) as well as participating North Africa332 (lead by YFU).

330

http://www.yfuusa.org/virtual-exchanges/

331

Ibid.

332

Ibid. 247

organisations or formal partners) Exchange duration and frequency

Learning contents, process and outcomes

Total number of participants on the platform Content of exchanges / support material Curriculum

Learning and teaching methods, including types of support material, presence of project-based joint activities Evidence of outcomes or achievements (e.g. increase in inter-cultural awareness) Multilingualism Facilitation

Recognition knowledge

333

Ibid.

334

Ibid.

248

of

skills

and

13 weeks - Fall and Spring semester cycles. Piloting March 2016333. No information. Cross-cultural discussion topics based on curriculum requirements, student interest and world news that may lead to increased appreciation of differences, embraced similarities, and greater awareness. Special emphasis on socially vulnerable groups. Following a 4x4xP structure, each group begins with four core conversations, continues with up to four additional topics as suggested by facilitators and concludes with optional crosscollaborative projects334. No information (especially regarding the recent start of the initiative).

Accommodation of multiple languages Facilitators Number of facilitators

No information about activities in languages other than English.

Types of facilitators (e.g., gradation in terms of experience, training or qualification; part-time or full-time; paid or volunteers) Training of facilitators as provided by the platform (e.g. content of training, accreditation)

First facilitators of the platform were selected from partner institutions. No public individual facilitator registration available at the moment. As the Virtual Exchange Initiative grows, YFU will invite selected student (and teacher) participants to a blended virtual and in-person youth summit in which they will further engage in YFU curriculum and train as virtual exchange facilitators.

Recognising learning Recognition of learning (e.g. formal credits, non-formal certificates, labels, badges, prizes

No information.

No information.

etc.) Quality assurance IT solutions for people-topeople collaboration

Quality assurance Provisions for monitoring and user feedback Technology Video/ web-conferencing (unique platform / external services) Social media functionalities (e.g. registering, sharing info through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.) Online discussion boards / forums Private messaging and chatrooms Blogs Collaborating on and exchanging documents and media Process for initiating or finding exchanges Partner-finding tools Other (polls, calendars, newsletters, etc.) Compliance with accessibility standards (such as WCAG, W3C) Technical infrastructure (proprietary / opensource software, database server, load capacity, etc.)

No information. No information. Yes. No information. No information. http://blog.yfuusa.org/ (covers all YFU activities). Exchange of text, images, videos and other media. Possible using inquiry forms. No information. No information. No information. The YFU virtual exchange portal captures participation details and utilizes the iEARN Collaboration Centre to support asynchronous (not real-time) interactions via various types of media335.

Other Funding sources

 

Summary comments on potential relevance of the platform to EVE

335

Ibid.

336

http://www.yfuusa.org/about/history/

The whole YFU initiative was firstly funded by the US government, but since 1956 it has continued its work on a private basis336. Possibility to donate personally.

YFU Virtual Exchange Initiative is a relevant example of a

249

recently launched VE platform. This specific experience may be very valuable for future EVE development regarding the creation of: • • • •

250

Partnership network; Facilitator network; New curriculum; ICT base.

Virtual exchange initiative: information fiche Platform title (and logo) Yallah – Youth Allied to Learn, Lead and Help http://yallah.qfi.org/ The essence/ mission/ goals of the platform in short The structure/ key blocks of the platform

building

Accessibility

Scope and sustainability

Learning contents, process and outcomes

Yallah (Youth Allied to Learn, Lead and Help) is a platform for alumni of the Qatar Foundation International (QFI) to share ideas, learn from each other and build cross cultural relationships. Yallah aims to develop a youth-led community of global citizens dealing with issues of global and local concern. Yallah is a protected platform for registered users, where they can engage with each other, discuss, review, comment, provide feedback, and more. Yallah pursues a peer-to-peer approach by having the platform designed by students themselves. Participants Target groups Alumni of QFI exclusively Registration process Registration is limited to QFI-alumni, but technically simple and easily accessible Participation (individual/ group) Individual Countries / regions covered Global, but concentrated on the Middle East Institutional partnerships (responsible/ The platform is hosted by Quatar Foundation International, managing institution(s) as well as participating committed to support cross-cultural exchange and global organisations or formal partners) citizenship through education Exchange duration and frequency No fixed frequency or duration Total number of participants on the platform No information available Content of exchanges / support material Curriculum This is not a formal learning platform, but there are frequent moderated and facilitated discussions on key societal and cultural themes. Students can also investigate professional options and benefit from college counselling and expertise in areas of the environment, leadership and service learning thanks to special guests. Learning and teaching methods, including types This is not a formal learning platform. Users design community of support material, presence of project-based projects with the help of their peers and can collaboratively joint activities work on movies. 251

Evidence of outcomes or achievements (e.g. increase in intercultural awareness)

None available.

Multilingualism

Accommodation of multiple languages

Multilingual: The platform is built in Arabic, English and Portuguese, and everything on it is translated into all three languages. This is done with Bridge, a tool developed by Meedan, a non-profit that provides digital tools for journalism and translation.

Facilitation

Facilitators Number of facilitators Types of facilitators (e.g., gradation in terms of experience, training or qualification; part-time or full-time; paid or volunteers) Training of facilitators as provided by the platform (e.g. content of training, accreditation)

Recognition knowledge

of

skills

and

Quality assurance IT solutions for people-topeople collaboration

252

Recognising learning Recognition of learning (e.g. formal credits, non-formal certificates, labels, badges, prizes etc.) Quality assurance Provisions for monitoring and user feedback Technology Video/ web-conferencing (unique platform / external services) Social media functionalities (e.g. registering, sharing info through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.) Online discussion boards / forums Private messaging and chatrooms Blogs Collaborating on and exchanging documents and media Process for initiating or finding exchanges Partner-finding tools Other (polls, calendars, newsletters, etc.)

Unknown Unknown No information available.

n/a

No information available Not included Yes – full Twitter and Facebook integration Yes Yes Yes Yes: photos -------

Compliance with accessibility standards (such as WCAG, W3C) Technical infrastructure (proprietary / opensource software, database server, load capacity) Other Funding sources

Summary comments on potential relevance of the platform to EVE

No information Yallah is built with Ning’s framework for websites.

Yallah is funded by Qatar Foundation International (QFI), the U.S.-branch of the Qatar Foundation (QF) with the mission to connect cultures and advance global citizenship through education. Relevant aspects for EVE to be taken into account: the excellent and short code of conduct and approach to privacy, and technically the approach to translation with Bridge, a tool by Meedan.

YOUTH Virtual exchange initiative: information fiche Platform title (and logo) The Online Youth Exchange http://onlineyouthexchange.org/

The essence/ mission/ goals of the platform in short

The structure/ key blocks of the platform

building

The Online Youth Exchange program pairs youth organizers from around the world to foster long-term partnerships and information sharing through webinars and facilitated conversations. Participants learn from one another as strategies, stories, and ideas are shared to help develop their organizing and leadership skills. From there, these skills can be applied to their respective projects and campaigns to be more effective in creating change in their communities. The programme consists of three steps. 1. Connection. Participants spend one video call to familiarize with each other on a personal level, followed by two subsequent calls to elaborate on each partner’s experiences in organizing. Each partnership establishes a personalized set of goals and expectations. 2. Training. The program focuses on skills development on a variety of topics via webinar. Following each session, each pair reflects with each other using video chat and implements the strategies learn during the 253

webinar training. 3. Action. The program focuses on the individual projects of each pair. Each participant shares ideas about campaign and project strategies, while receiving feedback from his or her partner. At the completion of the year-long program, the most successful partnerships and projects will be rewarded with prizes and awards. Accessibility

Scope and sustainability

Participants Target groups Registration process Participation (individual/ group) Countries / regions covered Institutional partnerships (responsible/ managing institution(s) as well as participating organisations or formal partners)

Learning contents, process and outcomes

Multilingualism Facilitation

Exchange duration and frequency Total number of participants on the platform Content of exchanges / support material Curriculum

One year-long programme. Around 60 in the 2015-2016 programme338.

Learning and teaching methods, including types of support material, presence of project-based joint activities Evidence of outcomes or achievements (e.g. increase in inter-cultural awareness)

Learning and sharing experiences in twos or trios.

Accommodation of multiple languages Facilitators

No information.

337

http://onlineyouthexchange.org/welcome-online-youth-exchange/

338

http://onlineyouthexchange.org/welcome-online-youth-exchange/

254

Youth leaders. Online application form http://onlineyouthexchange.org/apply/. Individual. China, the United States, Lithuania, Indonesia, South Korea and Vietnam337 in the 2015/2016 programme.  The China Youth Climate Action Network (CYCAN)  The Sierra Student Coalition (SSC)  The Taiwan Youth Climate Coalition (TWYCC)  The Green Environment Youth Korea (GEYK)  The Green Environment Youth Korea (GEYK)  The Adopt a Negotiator project.

Development of organising and leadership skills.

No information.

Number of facilitators Types of facilitators (e.g., gradation in terms of experience, training or qualification; part-time or full-time; paid or volunteers) Training of facilitators as provided by the platform (e.g. content of training, accreditation) Recognition knowledge

of

skills

and

Quality assurance IT solutions for people-topeople collaboration

Recognising learning Recognition of learning (e.g. formal credits, non-formal certificates, labels, badges, prizes etc.) Quality assurance Provisions for monitoring and user feedback Technology Video/ web-conferencing (unique platform / external services) Social media functionalities (e.g. registering, sharing info through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.) Online discussion boards / forums Private messaging and chatrooms Blogs Collaborating on and exchanging documents and media Process for initiating or finding exchanges Partner-finding tools Other (polls, calendars, newsletters, etc.) Compliance with accessibility standards (such as WCAG, W3C) Technical infrastructure (proprietary / opensource software, database server, load capacity, etc.) Other

Funding sources Summary comments on potential relevance of the platform to EVE

No information, but there generally are facilitators. No information. No information.

No information.

No information. Yes, webinars, meetings on Skype. Yes, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Google+. No information. No information. http://onlineyouthexchange.org/blog/ - but link does not work. No information. No No No No

information. information. information. information.

No information.

No information. Implementation of a joint civil society project between two participants.

255

256

LANGUAGE LEARNING Virtual exchange initiative: information fiche Platform title (and logo)

Kizuna Across Cultures (KAC) http://kacultures.org

The essence/ mission/ goals of the platform in short The structure/ key building blocks of the platform Accessibility

Scope and sustainability

Kizuna Across Cultures runs an online language and exchange programme connecting high school students in the United States and Japan. The virtual exchange is constructed around language learning: it connects students of Japanese in the US with students of English in Japan. Participants Target groups High school students in the USA and Japan, through teachers Registration process Interested high schools need to apply during a fixed time every year (February in Japan, April in the U.S.) Participation (individual/ group) High school classes Countries / regions covered United States and Japan Institutional partnerships (responsible/ KAC is the initiative of two individuals, Ayako Smethurst and managing institution(s) as well as participating Shanti Shoji, who worked as language teachers in Japan and organisations or formal partners) the USA respectively, and met through their work in the embassies of the US and Japan.

Exchange duration and frequency Total number of participants on the platform Learning contents, process and outcomes

Content of exchanges / support material Curriculum

The initiative is backed by severak foundations, among them the United States-Japan Foundation, and several embassies, among them the U.S. Embassy Tokyo. The virtual exchanges have a fixed duration of 6 months. At the time of writing, more than 3.500 high school students had been connected through the platform. The curriculum concentrates on language learning through class room interaction between high school students.

257

Learning and teaching methods, including types of support material, presence of project-based joint activities

Evidence of outcomes or achievements (e.g. increase in intercultural awareness)

Multilingualism Facilitation

Accommodation of multiple languages Facilitators Number of facilitators Types of facilitators (e.g., gradation in terms of experience, training or qualification; part-time or full-time; paid or volunteers) Training of facilitators as provided by the platform (e.g. content of training, accreditation)

Recognition knowledge

of

skills

and

Quality assurance

IT solutions for people-topeople collaboration 258

Recognising learning Recognition of learning (e.g. formal credits, non-formal certificates, labels, badges, prizes etc.) Quality assurance Provisions for monitoring and user feedback Technology Video/ web-conferencing (unique platform /

Students engage with one another through student-focused discussion topics that allow them to get to know one another and learn from one another in a fun and casual environment. Topics range from everyday themes, such as “What’s your favourite food?” or “What music do you listen to?” to themes that make students think a bit more, such as “My future dreams” or “School rules.” (Source) Beyond their daily interaction, students have to participate in two projects – Omiyage Exchange, where each school makes a gift for their partner school, and Video Koshien, a video competition at the end of the exchange. The videos of the video competition clearly show an increase in intercultural awareness and understanding. This is underpinned by the programme evaluation, where 95% of students say they know more about the other culture. More details are available online. English and Japanese are both used. The exchanges are facilitated by high school teachers. ---

Teachers undergo a preparation phase that starts 3 months before the exchange itself.

Prices for the winners of the video competition

A programme exit evaluation is conducted after every year, results are published online Google Hangouts

external services) Social media functionalities (e.g. registering, sharing info through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.) Online discussion boards / forums Private messaging and chatrooms Blogs Collaborating on and exchanging documents and media Process for initiating or finding exchanges Partner-finding tools Other (polls, calendars, newsletters, etc.) Compliance with accessibility standards (such as WCAG, W3C) Technical infrastructure (proprietary / opensource software, database server, load capacity, etc.) Other Funding sources Summary comments on potential relevance of the platform to EVE

None, though there is a Twitter account, @KACultures, and a Facebook page. No No No Yes, through Video on vimeo.com Videos Matching is done by the programme team --No information The platform uses available free tools, in particular Google Hangouts and Vimeo.

United States-Japan Foundation, U.S Embassy Tokyo, several smaller foundations, individual donations The platform is another example of a virtual exchange with fixed parametres that are very different from what EVE is envisaged to be: it is mono-thematic, has one duration applicable to everyone, and is facilitated by teachers. Interesting for EVE: Its usage of video is exemplary, as well as its transparency about the evaluation of teachers and students is excellent.

259

Virtual exchange initiative: information fiche Platform title (and logo) Naboomboo https://www.naboomboo.com

The essence/ mission/ goals of the platform in short The structure/ key building blocks of the platform Accessibility

Scope and sustainability

Learning contents, process and outcomes

260

Naboomboo is a language learning platform built around tutoring, using a playful learning approach. Users find a mother tongue tutor who supports their language learning through video-conferencing. Naboomboo is committed to help their users achieving full proficiency in a foreign language by talking with the tutor about their favourite topics. Participants Target groups Anyone learning a language Registration process Anyone can register, simple process (name, email, password). Registration for free, session costs per minute depending on picked package. Participation (individual/ group) Individual Countries / regions covered Global Institutional partnerships (responsible/ Naboomboo is a start-up based in Torino, Italy. It is supported managing institution(s) as well as participating by a number of start-up typical institutions (City of Torino and organisations or formal partners) others) and partners (venture funds). Exchange duration and frequency No fixed frequency. One conversation lasts 20 minutes. Session is not free. Total number of participants on the platform More than 50,000 registered users Content of exchanges / support material Curriculum The platform seeks to support language learning through conversations with native language tutors about topics of interest to the learner. Users can choose between three objectives: career, education (e.g. preparation for exam, study trip), free time (e.g. holiday abroad).

Learning and teaching methods, including types of support material, presence of project-based joint activities

The interactions are based on board games rules and logic. The platform seeks to combine native language trainers, time flexibility, multiple topics and simple applications to a unique learning approach. Conversation time has to be earned – either through teaching one’s own native language, or through purchasing credits for conversation time.

Evidence of outcomes or achievements (e.g. increase in intercultural awareness)

None available.

Multilingualism

Accommodation of multiple languages

The platform supports more than 70 languages that can be learned, but is itself built in English.

Facilitation

Facilitators Number of facilitators

There are 50 certified tutors – which seems very little, as it’s the only way to earn conversation time instead of paying for it.

261

Types of facilitators (e.g., gradation in terms of experience, training or qualification; part-time or full-time; paid or volunteers) Training of facilitators as provided by the platform (e.g. content of training, accreditation) Recognition knowledge

of

skills

and

Quality assurance

IT solutions for people-topeople collaboration

Recognising learning Recognition of learning (e.g. formal credits, non-formal certificates, labels, badges, prizes etc.) Quality assurance Provisions for monitoring and user feedback Technology Video/ web-conferencing (unique platform / external services) Social media functionalities (e.g. registering, sharing info through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.) Online discussion boards / forums Private messaging and chatrooms Blogs Collaborating on and exchanging documents and media Process for initiating or finding exchanges Partner-finding tools Other (polls, calendars, newsletters, etc.) Compliance with accessibility standards (such as WCAG, W3C) Technical infrastructure (proprietary / opensource software, database server, load capacity) Other

Funding sources

Summary comments on potential relevance of the platform to EVE 262

Paid tutors, one level only. No information available.

Unclear.

Users can evaluate conversation session

tutors

at

the

end

of

a

20-minute

Registration through Facebook, Twitter or Twitter Account @naboomboo and Facebook page.

Google+.

WebRCT

No No No No Searching for a tutor on the website of the platform Search tool --No information The site relies heavily on JavaScript and uses WebRCT for video

Naboomboo is part of the I3P (Innovative Enterprise Incubator of the Polytechnic University of Turin) programme for digital startups and has accessed typical startup funding. This is the only platform to work with a very short duration:

each session is 20 minutes only. The implementation of WebRCT for the video conferencing is flawless: very nicely done.

263

Virtual exchange initiative: information fiche Platform title (and logo) Linguaelive http://www.linguaelive.ca The essence/ mission/ goals of the platform in short The structure/ key building blocks of the platform Accessibility

Linguaelive is a language learning platform that connects people who want to learn each other’s language. It makes each participant a learner and a teacher at the same time. Language learners are paired in tandems that are interested in learning the language of the other person. Participants Target groups Registration process

Scope and sustainability

Learning contents, process and outcomes

Participation (individual/ group) Countries / regions covered Institutional partnerships (responsible/ managing institution(s) as well as participating organisations or formal partners) Exchange duration and frequency Total number of participants on the platform Content of exchanges / support material Curriculum

Learning and teaching methods, including types of support material, presence of project-based joint activities Evidence of outcomes or achievements (e.g. increase in intercultural awareness) Multilingualism

264

Accommodation of multiple languages

Students learning a language in a formal education context, teachers Only instructors/teachers can register directly. Students need an invitation code provided by instructors. Classes Global Linguaelive was developed by language teachers at Canada’s Queen’s University, which also provided seed funding. No fixed frequency or duration No information available The platform seeks to support language learning through peerto-peer conversations between learners interested in each other’s language so that everyone is a learner and an educator at the same time. Peer-to-peer learning, tandems with swapping roles (expert and target languages are matched with duality) None available.

The platform is built in English, German, French, Spanish and Chinese, but language lessons can be in any language of

interest – are de facto though concentrating on most of the major languages (English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Italian, Arabic and Japanese). Facilitation

Recognition knowledge

Facilitators Number of facilitators Types of facilitators (e.g., gradation in terms of experience, training or qualification; part-time or full-time; paid or volunteers) Training of facilitators as provided by the platform (e.g. content of training, accreditation) of

skills

and

Quality assurance IT solutions for people-topeople collaboration

Recognising learning Recognition of learning (e.g. formal credits, non-formal certificates, labels, badges, prizes etc.) Quality assurance Provisions for monitoring and user feedback Technology Video/ web-conferencing (unique platform / external services)

Unknown Instructors/teachers

No information available.

The timing of sessions is matched, and teachers are encouraged to consider the duration of conversations when grading. Unclear Any that is available to the user of the platform. Matches are done based on language, availability and technology. So only users are matched that:

  

Social media functionalities (e.g. registering, sharing info through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.) Online discussion boards / forums Private messaging and chatrooms Blogs Collaborating on and exchanging documents and media

are interested in the same pair of languages are available at the same time have access to the same technology

None. No No No No

265

Process for initiating or finding exchanges Partner-finding tools Other (polls, calendars, newsletters, etc.) Compliance with accessibility standards (such as WCAG, W3C) Technical infrastructure (proprietary / opensource software, database server, load capacity) Other Funding sources Summary comments on potential relevance of the platform to EVE

Search & match tool on the website Search & match tool on the website --No information None beyond the own website, because it relies on existing technologies (Skype, etc.) exclusively. Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario, Canada); Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, individual donations The approach of LiLi is very interesting: ask users to which technologies they have access (Skype, Google Hangout) and when they are available, and then only match users who are available at the same time AND who use the same technology. This could be a very viable approach for EVE. Note that the platform does not use thematic interest to match language learners because they say that the shared interest in learning a language is enough as a starting point. This is an interesting thought experiment. Could the interest in an exchange be enough? And the conversation about themes be part of the exchange?

266

COMMERCIAL PLATFORMS

Platform (and logo)

title Coursera Registration process

Joining platform

the

Enrolment procedure (e.g. during a specific time frame) Searching courses (e.g. structure, search window)

Learning: processes, user retention, and recognition

Sign up options require either Facebook login or full name, e-mail address, and password. anytime filters,

tree

For certified courses a specific registration time frame is provided; for non-certified auditing, users can register at any time. Search by subject group and keywords.

Accommodation of multiple languages

Courses available are predominantly in English (unless institution uses other language of instruction); volunteers are asked to translate courses into other languages (e.g. on Sept 15th, 2016, some courses with English, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, French, Japanese, Korean, Greek and Hebrew were available).

Learners’ evaluation (e.g. online quizzes, peer graded assignments, essays)

Course dependent, typically includes a mix of online quizzes and peer graded assignments (only applies to certified completion route).

Reminders to complete coursework (e.g. email, notifications; daily, weekly)

Users are notified via e-mail to complete their coursework when the deadline approaches and a few times after it.

Recognition of learning (e.g. credits, non-formal certificates, badges, prizes etc.)

After completing the course with appropriate performance (80%), users are rewarded downloadable non-formal certificates as well as provided with a link to add certification information to their LinkedIn profiles.

Gamified elements (e.g. animation, levels of learning) Design/technical

or

formal labels, avatars,

Social media functionalities (e.g. registering, sharing info through Facebook,

None. Yes (users can login with Facebook profile and can share certificates on LinkedIn).

267

aspects

Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.) Online discussion boards / forums Primary communication channel (e.g. private messaging/notification on platform, email)

E-mail.

Collaborating on and exchanging documents and media with other users

Only in peer graded assignments.

Other (polls, calendars, newsletters, etc.) Technical infrastructure (proprietary / open-source software, database server, load capacity, etc.) Summary comments on potential relevance of the platform to EVE

268

Yes (discussion boards in some courses, learners’ forums in each course, accessible after enrolment).

    

Newsletters are regularly sent by Coursera to offer new courses that might be of interest, based on previous course enrolments. No information provided .

Simple registration (one-click or 3 questions only) Filters to simplify course search Learners’ evaluation done either automatically (e.g. quizzes) or by employing peer learners (e.g. peer graded assignments); therefore, facilitators/moderators do not have the burden of marking numerous outputs Reminders sent to e-mail to increase user retention Certification provided to increase commitment and boost users’ return on investment (in terms of money and time).

Platform (and logo)

title Khan Academy Registration process

Joining platform

the

Enrolment procedure (e.g. during a specific time frame) Searching courses (e.g. structure, search window)

Learning: processes, user retention, and recognition

Online registration form using user’s email (creation of separate Khan Academy account), or with Facebook/Gmail. anytime filters,

tree

Anytime. Search window as well as a tree structure with different fields and subjects.

Accommodation of multiple languages

Default language is English but the website translated to 23 languages and videos to 65.

Learners’ evaluation (e.g. online quizzes, peer graded assignments, essays)

Participants engage in automated exercises with continuous assessment.

Reminders to complete coursework (e.g. email, notifications; daily, weekly)

The platform collects comprehensive statistics on user’s progress seen by other users. Also, Khan Academy gives coaches a wealth of information about their students' progress.

Recognition of learning (e.g. credits, non-formal certificates, badges, prizes etc.)

formal labels,

Does not hand out officially recognized credentials to students. There is no certificate of completion. All of the courses here are just for the sake of learning.

avatars,

‘Energy points’ awarded for watching videos and solving exercises. Also, there are currently 6 main levels of badges, with hundreds of different badges in total. Avatars are updated in exchange to completed tasks or points earned.

Social media functionalities (e.g. registering, sharing info through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.)

Signing up or signing in with Facebook or Gmail. Sharing learning materials on Facebook or Twitter.

Online discussion boards / forums

Yes. Under learning materials, such as videos.

Gamified elements (e.g. animation, levels of learning)

Design/technical aspects

or

Primary

communication

channel

(e.g.

No.

269

private messaging/notification on platform, email) Collaborating on and exchanging documents and media with other users Other (polls, calendars, newsletters, etc.) Technical infrastructure (proprietary / open-source software, database server, load capacity, etc.)

No. Tips&Thanks – giving tips to other user’s on relevant issues (part of the discussion) to collect credits. The videos show step-by-step doodles and diagrams on an electronic blackboard. To produce them, the platform developers use a Wacom ArtRage software, which is recorded with screen capture software from Camtasia Studio. Videos are hosted via Youtube. The exercise software is available as open source under the MIT License.

Summary comments potential relevance of platform to EVE

Platform (and logo)

Joining platform

270

on the

 

A personalized learning engine to help people track what they have learned and recommend what they can do next. Statistics on user’s performance on the platform.

title Udacity

the

Registration process

Very simple and quick (users have to provide their name, surname, email and password). The registration form is located in the home page of the official website.

Enrolment procedure (e.g. anytime or during a specific time frame)

Anytime since the program is launched.

Searching courses (e.g. structure, search window)

Categories, filters and search window.

filters,

tree

Learning: processes, user retention, and recognition

Accommodation of multiple languages

Udacity videos are all produced and closed captioned in English but some of courses have subtitles in other languages, including Spanish, Chinese, French, and Portuguese339.

Learners’ evaluation (e.g. online quizzes, peer graded assignments, essays)

After a lesson, student gets a set with exercises (including quizzes) to reaffirm that he or she has learned the material340. Students also master the curriculum by building projects that are approved by Udacity coaches and reviewers 341. Nanodegree programs require students to complete between five to eight projects to earn the credential342.

Reminders to complete coursework (e.g. email, notifications; daily, weekly)

Email.

Recognition of learning (e.g. credits, non-formal certificates, badges, prizes etc.)

Students participating in paid Nanodegree Programs can get a certification, built and recognized by industry leaders like Google, Facebook, Apple and more.

Gamified elements (e.g. animation, levels of learning)

Design/technical aspects

formal labels,

Udacity also has a partnership with Georgia Tech to offer an accredited, fully online Master’s Degree in Computer Science. While the courses are hosted on Udacity, the degree is conferred by Georgia Tech 343. avatars,

Levels of programs (beginner, intermediate, advanced).

Social media functionalities (e.g. registering, sharing info through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.)

Information provided only about Udacity official accounts.

Online discussion boards / forums

Yes.

Primary communication channel (e.g. private messaging/notification on platform,

Email.

339

https://udacity.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/207992263-Are-Udacity-courses-only-available-in-English-

340

https://udacity.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/207991843-What-is-a-Udacity-course-like-

341

https://udacity.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/207694976-What-is-a-Nanodegree-program-What-s-the-experience-like-

342

https://udacity.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/207694856-Is-there-a-final-exam-

343

https://udacity.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/207991913-Can-I-get-college-credit-for-Udacity-courses-Are-you-accredited271

email)

Summary comments on potential relevance of the platform to EVE

272

Collaborating on and exchanging documents and media with other users

No information.

Other (polls, calendars, newsletters, etc.)

No information.

Technical infrastructure (proprietary / open-source software, database server, load capacity, etc.)

No information.

Udacity is one of the leading for-profit MOOC platforms. Though, because of its commercial format, it differs from educational VE platforms, it might offer EVE a variety of positive ideas and experiences, such as: •

Industry partnerships, including world-wide leading companies;



Preparation of vocational courses;



Recognition of learning.

Annex 13. Potential costs of the physical Youth Exchanges: six scenarios Table below presents the assumptions about the exchanges behind each of the six scenarios presented in Section 12.1 and how, based on those assumptions, we have calculated the potential costs of the exchanges. High range

Medium range

Low range

High end

Low end

High end

Low end

High end

Low end

No 1

No 2

No 3

No 4

No 5

No 6

21

17

16

11

10

5

No of participating countries

7

6

5

4

3

2

Receiving country344

AU, BE, DK, EL, FI, FR, IE, IS, IT, LI, MT, NL, NO, PT, SE, UK

DE, EE, ES, HR, HU, LT, LU, LV, PL, SI, SK

BG, CZ, countries

Daily rate in a receiving country

40

37

36

33

32

28

No of participants

60

46

45

31

30

16

No of group leaders

7

6

5

4

3

2

%345 (No) of participants

8 % (5)

6 % (3)

5 % (2)

3 % (1)

2 % (1)

No (0)

Scenario ASSUMPTIONS Duration days

in

CY,

MK,

RO,

TR,

partner

344

According to the data provided by the European Commission, the most active countries with regard to hosting exchanges in 2014-2016 were the following countries: Poland (17 601 participants), Turkey (14 141), Germany (13 490), Spain (11 333), Italy (8 610), Romania (8 529). According to the Erasmus+ Programme Annual Report 2014 (Annex I), participants with special needs accounted for almost 4% and participants with fewer opportunities for 35% of all participants of the Youth Exchanges. 345

273

with special needs No of accompanyi ng persons

5

3

2

1

1

0

%1 (N) of participants with fewer opportunitie s

60 % (36)

46 % (21)

45 % (20)

31 % (10)

30 % (9)

No (0)

No of people from sending countries participating in an Advance Planning Visit (APV)

12

10

4

3

2

No APV

(2 per sending country -> 2*6)

(2 per sending country -> 2*5)

(1 per sending country -> 1*4)

(1 per sending country -> 1*3)

(1 per sending country -> 1*2)

% (No) of participants (including group leaders) from sending countries + accompanyi ng persons from sending countries

80 %

61 %

60 %

41 %

40 %

25 %

(54+4=58)

(32+2=34)

(30+1=31)

(14+1=15)

(13+0=13)

(5)

No of participants (including

20

14

8

5

No

No

(1 country assumed)

(1 country assumed)

274

(2

countries

(2

countries

accompanyi ng persons) who experience expensive domestic travel costs within the country of origin

assumed)

assumed)

Travel distances and rates

1 national group (10 people) - 8000 and more km / EUR 1300 per participant

1 national group (8 people) - 3000-3999 km / EUR 530

1 national group (8 people) - 2000-2999 km / EUR 360

2 national groups (10 people) - 5001999 / EUR 275

2 national groups (12 people) - 2000-2999 km / EUR 360

2 national groups – (16 people) 5001999 / EUR 275

1 national group (5 people) - 100-499 km / EUR 180

2 national groups (14 people) – 500-1999 / EUR 275

1 national group (7 people) – 100-499 km / EUR 180

8*530+12*360+14*2 75

8*360+16*275+7*1 80

+ 2*530+4*360+4*275 =

+

2 national groups (18 people) – 30003999 km / EUR 530 3 national groups (30 people) – 5001999 km / EUR 275

2 national groups (13 people) - 100499 km / EUR 180

1 national group (5 people) - 1099 km / EUR 20

COSTS SUBTOTAL: Travel Travel to the exchange: no of people * unit costs depending on a distance

10*1300+18*530+ 30*275+ 2*1300+4*530+ 6*275= 13000+23400+8250 + 2600+2120+

+

1650=

Travel to the APV: no of

51020

4240+4320+3850+ 1060+1440+1100= 12410+3600= 16010

1*360+1*275+2*18 0= 2880+4400+1260+ 360+275+180= 8540+815=

10*275+5*180

13*180=

5*20=

+

+

100

2*275+1*180=

2*180=

2750+900+

2340+360=

550+180=

2700

3650+730= 4380

9355

275

people* unit costs depending on a distance

SUBTOTAL: Top-up for

20*180=

14*180=

8*180=

5*180=

-

-

3600

2520

1440

900

40*58*23+40*14*2 1=

37*34*19+37*21*17 =

36*31*18+36*21*1 6=

33*15*13+33*21*1 1=

32*13*12+32*21*1 0=

28*5*7+28*13* 5=

53360+11760=

23902+13209=

20088+12096=

6435+7623=

4992+6720=

980+1820=

65120

37111

32184

14058

11712

2800

expensive domestic travel costs No of participants * unit costs SUBTOTAL: Organisation al support Daily rate in a receiving country * No of participants (incl. group leaders and accompanyi ng persons) from sending countries * (Duration of the exchange + 276

2 travel days) + Daily rate in a receiving country * No of participants (incl. group leaders and accompanyi ng persons) from a receiving country * Duration of the exchange SUBTOTAL: Special needs support

Real costs

Real costs

Real costs

Real costs

Real costs

Real costs

SUBTOTAL: Exceptional costs

Real costs

Real costs

Real costs

Real costs

Real costs

Real costs

51020+3600+65120 =

16010+2520+37111 =

9355+1440+32184=

4380+900+14058=

2700+11712=

119740 + real costs

55641 + real costs

42979 + real costs

19338 + real costs

14412 + real costs

TOTAL: Travel + Top-up for expensive domestic travel costs + Organisation al support +

100+2800= 2900 costs

+

real

277

Special needs support + Exceptional costs

Note: Calculations are made based on the funding rules for the Youth exchanges established by the Erasmus+ Programme Guide (2017). Source: PPMI.

278