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Building a model for participatory design of learning outcomes
Europe is becoming a learning society and citizens are required to constantly update their competences, not only with regard to the world of work but in an encompassing approach to participate in contemporary societies. Moreover, European societies face a rapid differentiation of educational pathways, opportunities and biographies. This increase in complexity from learners requires great effort into initiative taking, creativity, problem solving, risk assessment and decision taking, all of which requires learners to become stakeholders of their own learning process. It however has been demonstrated, that learner groups with a disadvantaged background or those remote from learning have great difficulties to take ownership of their learning, without being empowered.
However, although a great deal of rhetoric about learner empowerment, adult education practice too often remains caught in traditional instruction methods, fixed curricula and pre-defined learning outcomes. It's in particular low achievers who suffer from this situation, because in the formal education system they often have made the experience that major parameters of their learning is out of their control, and thus never had the chance to develop a sense of ownership for their own learning.
The PARTICIPATE partnership starts from the assumption that the impact on disadvantaged target groups can be greatly increased if education providers manage to adopt participatory approaches and methods, and this way support their learners to develop a sense of ownership of their learning and to become lifelong learners. The overall objective of the PARTICIPATE project is to promote participatory methods in adult education and, more specifically it will build a model for participatory design of learning outcomes.
The PARTICIPATE project will identify and examine good practice in the field and, from them derive a generic model for the design of participatory evaluation and assessment of learning outcomes, whereby the adult learner is included in this process of setting their own outcomes and indicators. Instead of being initially presented with a final set of specific learning outcomes within an already agreed assessment framework, the learners are offered the opportunity to participate in determining how their course will be measured and evaluated. Complementary PARTICIPATE will promote participatory design of learning assessment, and support educators and practitioners on its implementation.