Open Educational Resources (OER) have the potential to broaden access to education and to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of teaching and learning in Europe. The best way to put OERs into practice is through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). MOOCs are large-scale courses that represent one of the latest developments in open education, an initiative that is always trying to improve quality, access and equality in education and training.
MOOCs can be implemented in formal, informal and non-formal learning, and make learning ubiquitous. ECO will focus on expanding the most successful experiences with MOOCs in Europe into a pan-European scale. This will be achieved through pilots and demonstrations of the best practices implemented in regional hubs of excellence all over Europe, and also through evaluations of outcomes, results and lessons learnt from them in an open and mobile learning context.
ECO will use leading-edge technology to create a combined MOOC platform – based on individual platforms and resources provided by project partners – making it possible to combine and transfer pilot activities in all the hubs involved.
ECO will contribute to increasing awareness of the advantages of open education in Europe. The project will prove the potential of MOOCs (courses and communities) for breaking down technological barriers in learning across people with special needs or at risk of exclusion.
The expected impact of ECO will be increased by training certified teachers who will be able to create their own online courses and other educational resources and distribute them through the learning platform that comprises all pilots. This will make the project expand into the teachers’ respective communities and, therefore, ECO will pay special attention to the training of European teachers.