A Smooth Start With Online Learning | HOP Crash Course 2023
HOP Crash Course 2023 is a blended online training, that combines an online course, an in-person training and a series of live events. The training covered quality aspects of non-formal online learning and the implementation on the HOP Online Learning platform. Between April and July 2023, 27 participants went through a process of planning and designing online courses. The HOP Crash Course 2023 was organised by SALTO Eastern Europe and Caucasus and the Helenic National Agency.S tarting with online learning and creating your own online course is often a challenge and especially at the beginning overwhelming: Where do I have to start? What is possible? Will I manage the technicalities of an online learning platform? How can I proceed with course creation step-by-step? How can I make my course engaging and interactive? Etc. are important questions that need to be tackled.
The HOP Crash Course 2023 addresses difficulties of getting started and offers a smooth start with online learning. Designed as a blended online training, the HOP Crash Course 2023 merges an online course, an in-person training and a series of live events into one learning path.
The training course aims at supporting trainers, facilitators, staff members of National Agencies and SALTO Resource Centres in planning and creating their first online course and publishing it on the HOP Online Learning Platform. The course covered quality aspects of online learning in the field of Non-formal Education and Youth Work as well as designing and implementing course elements on the moodle-based HOP Online Learning platform.
HOP Crash Course 2023 | A short overview
The training course aims at raising the QUALITY in online learning activities within Non-formal Education in the field of International Youth Work, as well as DISCOVERING the potential of the HOP Online Learning Platform. This included the following goals:
- to enrich participants with UNDERSTANDING quality in online learning, specifically in the youth work field following principles of Non-formal Learning;
- to strengthen participants more CONFIDENCE in designing online courses in various formats (blended and stand-alone online courses with small and big numbers of learners, facilitated and self-paced);
- to make participants well ACQUAINTED with various possibilities to deliver online learning at HOP Online Learning platform in an engaging, interactive and learner-centered way.
The call for participants focused on the following two target groups: trainers/facilitators/creators of online learning activities and NAs/SALTOs officers willing to support online learning. Ideally, applicants would already have an idea for an online course they would like to design and implement on HOP.
All in all, 34 participants had been selected, 24 took part in the residential event in Litochoro. Several participants had problems with visa and travel arrangements and had to cancel on a short notice.
The course has been facilited by Nerijus Kriaučiūnas (HOP Council) and Michael Kimmig (HOP Council) and supported by Tomek Szopa (SALTO EECA & HOP platform) and Apostolos Alexiadis (Hellenic National Agency). SALTO Eastern Europe and Caucasus (SALTO Resource Centre) and Hellenic National Agency were the course providers of this years edition of the HOP Crash Course.
HOP Crash Course 2023 | Course Design
In 2023, for the first time in our history of HOP Crash Course, we were able to meet in-person in Litochoro. The residential training was combined with the online course HOP! Plan, create and publish your first online course HOP and additional live online meetings. Altogether, the “full” version of the HOP Crash Course 2023 Edition consisted of the following blended elements:
- 5 live events (on ZOOM and gathertown),
- the online course “Plan, create, publish your first online course on HOP” (on HOP),
- course development (in teams and/or individually) and
- a three-day in-person training in Litochoro, Greece.
HOP Crash Course 2023 | Course Process
Online Onboarding Meeting, 31st May 14:00-16:00 CET
The first meeting focussed on getting all participants “on board” and was about:
- Getting to know each other,
- Introducing the HOP Crash Course elements,
- Introducing the HOP Course “HOP! Plan, create and publish your first online course”,
- Getting familiar with the HOP initiative, and practically with the HOP Online Learning Platform.
HOP Course enrolment
- Enrolling into the HOP Course “HOP! Plan, create and publish your first online course”
- Exploring the content on “Online learning and course creation”
Two Online CheckIN Meetings, 4th June 16:00-17:30 CET, 25th June 16:00-17:30 CET
Online CheckIN-Meetings aimed at deepening contact between the participants, guide them through the course content of the HOP course and give them the opportunity to share first impressions and experience with the HOP platform. Furthermore those meetings helped getting prepared for meeting in-person:
- Reflecting on experience with the HOP platform and the HOP course.
- Exploring quality criteria of non-formal online learning,
- Introducing HOP Course and online content
- Collecting and sharing ideas for online courses
Residential event, 11.06.2023 – 15.06.2023, Litochoro, Greece
So far, during the online process before the in-person meeting, the participants experienced the HOP platform and the HOP course as learners. The residential training changed this perspective and put participants into the role of course authors and course creators.
Participants brought to Literocho their course idea or even course outlines to work on. The programme mainly focussed on exploring and trying out the functionalities of Moodle/HOP while creating course elements within this environment. Here is an overview of the programme:
Follow-up MeetUP, 21.06.2023, 17.00 – 18.00 CEST
The first follow-up meeting aimed at planning the next steps of the course creation process and additional content that would be provided on the HOP platform.
- Sharing plans to make/not to make course real
- Sharing needs to advance course design and development
- Introducing additional content on the HOP Course
Celebrate & Evaluate MeetUP, 31th July, 14:00-16:00 CET
The last meeting closed the blended learning process of course design and course creation and gave participants the opportunity to share their work and reflect on their progress. The meeting also showed possibilities on how to continue this process with the support of HOP mentoring.
- Presentation of course projects
- Reflection of design process
- Exploring possibilities of learning on Spacial platforms like gathertown
- What’s next? HOP Mentoring
- Celebration and evaluation of the HOP Crash Course
HOP Crash Course 2023 | Documentation
Presentations, discussion results and many methods and tools used can be found on our HOP Crash Course Padlet.
HOP Crash Course 2023 | Course reviews
After putting into practice the original blended version of the HOP Crash Course, we can say that it is a great format to support people to bring their course idea online. The various course elements not only touch on all of the three aims (raising understanding and confidence as well as getting acquainted with the HOP platform), but create real energy and motivation to realise one’s own course ideas.
Here are some inspiring quotes from participants:
“It was a really fun experience. I would highly recommend it to anyone wishing to dive in deep in online learning and online facilitation.”
“Such a powerful course pushing course instructors to overcome the gap between their teaching & the online learning experience they offer to their learners, who in turn learn to close this gap.”
“Wonderful experience, I really appreciated it and recommend it! Great trainers!”
“This course is very interesting to whom want to learn how to create online trainings.”
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