The Future of Education

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

OWL - Open Web-based Learning Space for Professional Development of Adult Educators

Carmen Biel, German Institute for Adult Education (Germany)

Tim Scholze, German Institute for Adult Education (Germany)


OWL is a large scale project carried out by the German Institute for Adult Education in Bonn.

It provides an open learning space on which educational personnel working in and for adult education (AE) institutions access:

-       continuing professional development via a competence oriented learning approach

-       problem based situative learning pathways to tackle challenges in their educational practice

-       Receive state of the art educational information and materials as OER (open educational resources)

-       Participate in a growing AE community

OWL will make use of a completely new approach to e-learning and blended learning which operates so called “individual learning pathways” as tailor-made professional development instrument.

In Germany, there are approximately 530.000 people that engage as lecturers, course instructors, counsellors or trainers in all areas of activity of further and adult education. Only a few of these hold a pedagogical degree, as adult education is a popular field for career changers. However, pedagogical expertise is a key competence to offer high quality continuing education.

The project OWL aims to provide a web-based learning environment and innovative learning technologies and tailor-made blended learning approaches for Adult Educators.

The approach is based on requirement analysis (RA) with more than 1.000 representatives of the target group from Germany, Austria and Switzerland (Schöb et al., 2015). All concepts as well as pilot materials were discussed and evaluated in expert workshops, focus groups and interviews with several hundred representatives of the target groups.

The project has a run-time of three years (2016-2019) and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany.


As far as learning technologies are concerned OWL aims to interconnect existing information and learning technologies (e.g. CMS, LMS, e-Portfolios) to make use of state-of-the-art technology and up-to-date learning content (without re-inventing the wheel).

These systems will be interconnected with a web-based competence management system which also works with reference systems and relates to professional educational competences of the trainers and teaching staff.

Learning objects will be aggregated to learning fields and individual learning pathways will be proposed by an innovative recommendation system.



New Learning Technologies, Situative learning, Self Organised Learning, Professionalisation of Adult Educators, Validation of Comeptence Development


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