Top marks for the VIRTUE-s project
The Erasmus funded project VIRTUE-s officially ended on the 31 August 2020. Now the EU reviewer has awarded the project with high scores branding the project “Best practice”.
During the three years (2017-2020), the VIRTUE-s project achieved several valued outputs, such as local teacher training courses and a global Massive Open Online Course on biofouling and Ocean Literacy, an interactive biodiversity calculator, a training workshop on media literacy, and a handbook on “how to produce collaborative media productions” and much more – in five languages. At the end of the project, project partners summarised all achievements in a final report, which has now been evaluated by a reviewer from the European Union. The maximum score was 100 points and the VIRTUE-s project received 91 points.
- Our expectations of this 3-year project were very high after our proposal received 96 out of 100 evaluation points in 2017. This exceptionally high score was due to the collaboration of eight efficient and proficient scientific and school partners coming together. Now that the project has had its final evaluation, we are pleased to see that our expectations have been fulfilled, said Mikael Olsson, who coordinated the project at the University of Gothenburg, together with Susan Gotensparre.
The project was evaluated according to four categories: “Relevance of the project/strategy” (19 out of 20 points), “Quality of the project design and implementation” (24/25), “Quality of the project team and the cooperation arrangements” (12/15) and ”Impact and dissemination” (36/40).
The reviewer’s comments, as excerpts from each category and overall comments:
“Relevance of the project/strategy”… the project has developed most relevant usable learning outcomes of high quality, such as the further developed webpage, the teaching material and the 7,5 ECTS course in Sweden. It is also particularly positive with the global success achieved by the MOOC. This project has developed several intellectual outputs designed to support teachers and students in working with marine ecology. The innovativeness is high from a didactical perspective...
“Quality of the project design and implementation”… This is a very well-run project which has addressed a real and specific need – better tools for teaching science at the upper secondary levels with focus of marine ecology. If well exploited, it could really have a positive impact at teaching biology and environmental science at secondary schools in Europe ...
“Quality of the project team and the cooperation arrangements” … The partnership has according to the final report been working very well together and the cooperation as it seems has been smooth and fruitful. The transnational project meetings seem to have been very positive and well planned and the participants have fulfilled their aims. Project management has been very well accomplished. What should have been further developed and explained in the report, is though how the cooperation between the schools has been run and how the interaction between the universities and the schools have been run throughout the project. The positive aspect of having the partner from the US present is good enough stated but should have been further explained in the report …
”Impact and dissemination”… Another very positive aspect is the course being run by the university of Gothenburg as a result of this project, thus also affecting university students and hopefully coming teachers. It is also a recommendation to the consortium to continue with the MOOC, due to its global success and impact.
Overall comments …this project has been very successful. The produced intellectual outcomes are of high quality and these can really be of use in the daily classroom situation by teachers if being exploited and disseminated properly to schools in the participating countries and elsewhere. …
- Now the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences have decided to submit a new Erasmus+ proposal to complement and expand on the VIRTUE project with more exciting features. Fingers crossed we go all the way this time also! said Mikael Olsson.
Assessment of the report
Above 75 points: the project is considered very good to excellent in terms of qualitative and quantitative results and these results are worth disseminating more widely. This is considered as an example of best practice and could be considered for a case study.