EBmooc project used massive open online course to gather adult educators together.

Knowhow about digital tools for adult educators

EAEA GRUNDTVIG AWARD 2018. The EBmooc project used a massive open online course to teach digital tools to adult educators in Austria. Birgit Aschemann talks about the project.

What was the main purpose of this project?

“The main purpose was digital professionalisation for adult educators. The project aimed to offer knowhow about digital tools for adult education to as many adult education professionals as possible: trainers and teachers, adult education managers, lifelong guidance professionals. We did that in a digital way, so that participants were able to learn at any time and place via internet, and were able to practice the tools and the new knowledge during the whole course time.

It was important to select and explain tools and contents in a way especially prepared for adult education, instead of mixing it up with schools or university examples. The course comprised a total of six modules. It took approximately 18 hours in total to complete. This did not include time spent participating in optional courses or webinars. The content was designed to make everyday work in adult education more colourful, more effective and above all, easier.”

How did the project foster cooperations and partnerships?

“A huge open online course (Ebmooc) was provided for free to all adult educators and adult education providers in Austria. Cooperation with all Austrian AE umbrella organisations and many concrete provides were the precondition for the broad usage and impact, and therefore all AE providers and adult educators (trainers) were invited to participate in several ways: as learners or with their HR department or as providers of face-to-face groups.

A huge open online course was provided for free to all adult educators and adult education providers in Austria.

The project team established cooperation with all Austrian adult education umbrella organisations and with many concrete adult education providers. They were invited to use the course for free, not only for their own staff but also for their courses offered to other adult educators. In an intense and overarching strategy lasting about one year a network of providers and learning facilitators was built and provided with information and materials. Volunteers from several provider organisations were prepared to provide accompanying groups and participate as learning facilitators.

Many organisations used the EBmooc for their human relations development strategies or at least recommended the EBmooc to their staff. Several providers organised a supporting course (accompanying group) to the EBmooc. These cooperations and partnerships resulted from an open invitation and from sharing all videos and materials in the Ebmooc as creative commons and for free. Nobody had to pay with money or with any data. The project was completely financed by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research.”

What was the best practice learnt from this project that you want to share?

“Massive open online courses (MOOC) are definitely useful for the continuing professional development of adult educators. Trainers and teachers for adults are interested and able to participate in a MOOC more easily than in a face-to-face course, as their working times and working contracts are very different and they are spread over urban centres as well as rural areas.

Besides public funding and team spirit, the most important factor for a successful MOOC for adults is cooperation. Only by cooperating with proven experts, umbrella organisations, adult learning providers and interested volunteers, it is possible to reach thousands of learners and make a cost-effective investment. When offering a MOOC it is important to do that as a “blended learning”-format, with accompanying face-to-face meetings and webinars, for those who like or need that.

When offering a huge online course and trying to reach many people, public relations work is a main task to fulfil. It is also still necessary to convince learners that there is no pitfall in creative common offers: no costs or data collections.”


  • Category: National Projects
  • Coordinator: CONEDU Verein für Bildungsforschung und -medien
  • Country: Austria
  • Focus: Adult educators
  • Innovative cooperation: using a MOOC to gather a wide network of umbrella organisations and adult education providers
  • Resources: website

Text: EAEAPhotos: EBmooc

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