The School of Languages and Translation Studies of the University of Turku is involved in the CORDIALIS project in which pedagogical materials and tools for hybrid teaching and interaction are designed. The first national meeting of the project will be organised on 21 March 2023 at the University of Turku.
The COVID 19 health crisis revealed the needs of citizens to use digital tools in education, in many professional and cultural sectors. In addition, the crisis highlighted problems related to distance communication, such as poor digital skills, concentration issues when working from home and application of netiquette.
ERASMUS+ Project CORDIALIS (Connecting Remote Areas Through Digital Competences and Cultural Heritage) answers these challenges by offering different target groups, especially citizens in remote areas, tools to develop their digital skills. At the same time, the project brings together people through what they have in common and what supports their well-being: local cultural heritage and crafts.
“The CORDIALS project was created to respond to the need to connect actors from different sectors and to highlight local cultural heritage and crafts to strengthen citizens’ common awareness of belonging to the European entity. The pedagogic materials produced in the project use the local cultural heritage and crafts of the partner countries as tools for learning digital skills,” tell University Lecturer Maarit Mutta who coordinates the project and Project Researcher Soila Merijärvi.
The CORDIALS team consists of four partners: De l’art et d'autre in France is a small company that provides services in the field of cultural education and body interaction, Kaimo Turizmo Asociacija in Lithuania is a national level association uniting countryside tourism service providers in Lithuania, and Web per Tutti in Italy produces digital and cultural education to adults of various ages. The main goal of the University of Turku in the project is to support hybrid language learning and help both teachers and students to use different digital tools in education.
Freely Available Learning Materials on Distance Communication and Digital Skills
In the first stage of the project, the CORDIALIS team created the Diagnosis and solutions for distance communication manual and a set of 36 Question/Answer cards that include learning tasks designed for the target groups. These materials are freely available on the project website in five different languages (English, Italian, Lithuanian, French and Finnish).
“The materials and tools are suitable for everyone who wish to improve their distance communication and digital skills or perhaps teach them to others. The manual focuses on questions related to motivation, interaction and group management of participants, and provides a short theoretical backdrop to the topic. The Question/Answer cards, then again, aim to improve the motivation and concentration of participants in distance communication,” says Mutta.
The Question/Answer cards created by the CORDIALIS team include learning tasks designed for the target groups. Picture: CORDIALIS.
In addition, the partners created video podcasts on interaction, motivation and group management in distance communication. Some of the cards were tested in workshops organised in partner countries with different target groups, such as senior language learners.
“A workshop organised as part of a Spanish class for senior learners in Turku in collaboration with TSL Turku, a local association providing training for people in working life, explored digital tools that can be used in studying. The participants were also able to test a telepresence robot that was available in the workshop. The workshop aimed at decreasing digital anxiety in particular. For instance, the participants used their mobile phones to photograph sites important to them in Turku and told the other participants why they are important in Spanish,” says Merijärvi.
Project Materials Will Be Presented at Multiplier Events on 21 March 2023 and 29 March 2023
The first Multiplier event, or promotion event, will be organised at the University of Turku (Arcanum building, Luoma room) on Tuesday, 21 March 2023 at 4pm–6pm. The event presents the project and its pedagogic materials and will be held in Finnish. Registration to the event is open through Webropol until 20 March 2023.
In addition, the partners of the project will organise an international Multiplier event from Sulmona, Italy on Wednesday, 29 March 2023 at 4pm. The event will be held on Zoom and participants get to meet all the partners of the project and test the created materials. This event will be held in English. Registration via email to firstname.lastname@example.org is open until 27 March 2023.
The events are open to everyone and free of charge. They welcome everyone interested in learning more about distance communication and related challenges and solutions, and improving their digital skills or teaching digital skills to others.
The English materials of the project are freely available on the project website.