So, a Summer School on the beautiful island of Ischia (pronounced “Iskia”) in Italy. Was it worth it?
Let’s start with the short answer to that question: yes, it was worth it.
Before I start with the long version of the answer, I want to confess that, when I registered my colleague and myself, I probably know less about the EMMA project than I could have or maybe even should have. If you look at the EMMA website, it does not look like a work in progress or an ongoing project:
In itself that it good of course, but if you combine this with the flyer for the summer course it is easy to expect a fully functional platform and a step-by-step course in developing a MOOC on that platform. And that is not what we got. What did we get?
We got to spend a week with a project team that is faced with an immense task. Quoting the information on their website:
EMMA, the European Multiple MOOC Aggregator is a 30 month pilot action supported by the European Union. It aims to showcase excellence in innovative teaching methodologies and learning approaches through the large-scale piloting of MOOCs on different subjects. EMMA will provide a system for the delivery of free, open, online courses in multiple languages from different European universities to help preserve Europe’s rich cultural, educational and linguistic heritage and to promote real cross-cultural and multi-lingual learning. EMMA is supported by the European Commission’s CIP (Competitiveness and Innovation Programme) Framework Programme, it began in February 2014 and will continue until July 2016.
The project is now little of halfway and the site is up and running, the first MOOCs have run, the translation part is being integrated, first lessons learned are available, a business model for after July 2016 is being developed, they have been presenting at events both offline and online, and have organised a 5 day Summer School.