Title Learning Infrastructure for Correctional Services - European Transfer
Project Number DE/08/LLP-LdV/TOI/147189
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text E-learning comprises a great chance for prisoners to improve their basic skills as well as their vocational knowledge. This will strengthen their opportunities in the labour market after release, and lead to a substantial overall reduction of recidivism. Nine partners from eight European countries worked together to develop and evaluate a common European e-learning framework in prison education.
Summary E-learning provides knowledge on an individualised level, meeting the specific educational needs of a large variety of learners. This opens up time for teachers to act as consultants, moderators, and facilitators for the students, while giving profound advice according to the students' level of qualification, motivational situation etc. This kind of "blended learning" is particularly effective in correctional services: modularised learning objects are appropriate for inmates with short term sentences; digital media as learning environment enhances IT and media competency of inmates, etc. Overall, the project (with nine partners from eight European countries) aimed at the cooperative development of a European e-learning framework for prison education.
In the last decade approximately 20 e-learning projects have been developed in the prison field within Europe. A few platforms have proved to be particularly useful for practical work and have been transferred with national funds into a kind of “mainstreaming platform”, i.e., they presently constitute the basis for a comprehensive professional implementation in a wide range of prisons. This particularly is the case with the platforms installed in prisons in Austria, England & Wales, Germany, Norway, and Spain, offering learning material to offenders, covering up to 50 prisons in some of these countries. In Germany, for example, there are currently about 500 learning places connected to the e-learning platform called elis (e-learning in prisons). We expect this number to double in the near future.
It is important to note that some of the learning platforms already reach a high professional standard with respect to their overall structure. When the project began, there were only five platforms capable and keen as a basis for the development of a common technical framework on a European level. These platforms are represented by the LICOS project partners.
Nonetheless, the learning content of the systems had to be adapted to new issues within the European prison system, specifically the increasing number of foreigners. Therefore, the transnational European challenge was a) to make existing learning platforms compatible by providing a comprehensive learning technology framework and IT management, and b) in an even more ambitious step – to create a common European learning platform for this specific aforementioned target group to provide it with a native teacher educational service.
The goal of the project was to adapt, transfer, pilot and integrate existing innovative project results of participating partners into a common technical and organisational framework for the implementation of e-learning systems in prison education. This has been organised as a joint activity of the project partners, triggered by an exchange of their experiences from national e-learning platform development and deployment, considering the results as well as the processes, and the technology as well as the management. Based on this experience, a thorough analysis of requirements of the different prison systems (including cultural and social needs) has been performed and the given national (technical and organisational) solutions were re-evaluated from a common European framework point of view. The reconfigured and updated framework can be used to implement concrete learning platforms in the various member states. The development comprises technical modules, which can be implemented according to the needs of the respective country, including feedback from the labour market concerning qualification needs, as well as cross-national educational services for foreign inmates, and – most important – security measures. Additionally, organisational modules deal with change management issues.
The development of the common e-learning framework has been done together with application partners who provided feedback at every stage of the development process (participatory design). The challenge was to combine the general framework approach with a concrete implementation process within a national prison education environment (contextual design). We cooperated with two pilot partners, chosen based on their backgrounds with different cultural traditions, application contexts, and organisational structures.
Utilization and distribution of results
Access for disadvantaged
Open and distance learning
Information and Communication
Other Service Activities
open and distance learning
The following products have been developed in the LICOS project:
- LICOS Pedagogical Concept
- LICOS e-Learning Platform
- User Guide
- Security Concept
- E-Learning in Prison Education in Europe
(Recommendations for European Policy Makers)
- Report on e-learning in European prisons -
Concepts, organisation, pedagogical approaches in prison education (Country Reports)
- Research Methodology (Interview, Questionnaire)
- LICOS Web Site, Flyer