A Framework for Efficient and Engaging Hybrid Education in Lower-secondary Schools (FreeEd)

Main funder

Funder's project number: 2020-1-RO01-KA226-SCH-095377

Funds granted by main funder (€)

  • 48 390,00

Funding program

Project timetable

Project start date: 01/03/2021

Project end date: 28/02/2023


Following the evaluation of short-term impacts of forced distance learning during spring2020, most countries in the EU decided to partially re-open schools, with various restrictions due to distancing rules and health considerations. As distance learning imposed most challenges in case of young learners (who have lower level of agency and autonomy - see JRC Technical report on The likely impact of Covid-19, di Pietro et al.; OECD working paper no. 224 on Education responses to Covid-19, P. Gouedard et al.) in-classroom learning was prioritized for primary schools across Europe. For lower-secondary and upper-secondary schools, as the health challenges have been persisting all over Europe, several schools opted for hybrid (blended) learning - a combination of in-school and distance learning.
Reports and studies on the effect of distance learning and opportunities on the "new school" under Covid-19 have been published in all countries (for RO: studies by IRES, Salvati Copii, regionally: the Association of Teachers in Harghita conducted a survey following the 2021 Bolyai Summer Academy for Teachers). Based on these reports the partnership undertook a SWOT analysis of the situation in each country to define the specific needs of lower-secondary schools, children and teachers, with focus on hybrid in education. While in Romania the lack of digital tools (at school, teacher and student level) is definitely higher than in AT, EE, FI, some other needs seem relevant across all four countries, such as: Insufficient ICT competency both for teachers and learners have created difficulties and inequality in organising online learning; Inequities in access to online education between urban and rural areas, families with higher and lower income; Low level of interaction (for both social interaction and learning) in distance education; Higher workload than typical contact teaching at school, especially that most teachers feel "left alone" to experiment on their own; Teachers and pupils need significantly more pedagogical and technical support and clearer instructions for distance education situations of this type; Particularly families and learners with more difficulties have been at risk of losing the rhythm in education; There is a risk of negative effects on motivational factors when distance learning continues for a long period of time.
Based on these needs we defined the following objectives for the project:
1. To co-create an easily adoptable, flexible framework for hybrid (blended) education for lower-secondary education, available in English, Romanian and Hungarian languages, valorizing policies recently implemented and practices tested in the project countries.
2. To develop at least 120 lower secondary school teachers’ (30/country) specific digital pedagogical competences (focusing on innovative and open pedagogies) in order to assure high quality and inclusive digital education in both distance learning, online learning and hybrid learning context.
3. To reinforce the ability of min. 120 lower-secondary school teachers to efficiently take care of the safety and wellbeing of their learners in distance learning in hybrid learning context.
4. To equip min. 80 (20/country) STEAM teachers to use edtech solutions (such as Geogebra) efficiently for hybrid education, focusing on the needs of learner groups underrepresented in STEM education, and keeping contact with education technology providers, through the networks of the project partners.

Principal Investigator

Other persons related to this project (JYU)

Primary responsible unit

Related publications and other outputs

Last updated on 2023-23-03 at 15:31