Title Teaching Tutoring - Intelligent Agents to customize lifelong learning pathways in microfinance sector
Project Number LLP-LDV/TOI/08/IT/527
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text Are you a MicroFinance Institution (MFI) located in Europe? Are you interested in developing your business and management models, learning from and sharing knowledge with other European MFIs? Engage your staff in a learning pathway aimed at improving the effectiveness of your company’s activities and the range and quality of its services in addition to addressing the issue of sustainable micro-credit programs. The didactic model developed and tested during the T2 project involving project partners from various educational organisations, fostered the set up and delivery of a training pathway based on the different and specific needs of MFI professionals. Moreover the blended methodology will allow your staff to access a training pathway without space or time limits and will help keep travel costs low. Let your organisation take part in the European MFI community of practices; enrol in “The Foundation of Sustainable MicroFinance Programmes” course today!
T2 project addresses the needs of MicroFinance Institutions (MFIs) operating in Europe. Microfinance is a strategic sector in Europe providing micro-credit to non-bankable micro-enterprises as well as low-income and marginalized people, promoting growth, employment and social inclusion and influenced by the modern model of flexicurity.
This sector has grown rapidly since 2000 and many operators are relatively young and often work very differently. The majority of MFIs active today were established between 2000 and 2005. Despite the consent growth in this field, the training market often fails to meet the diversified and specific needs of MFI professionals due to different national legal frameworks and the diverse nature and intervention models of MFIs.
T2 aims at improving the quality, attractiveness and accessibility of training in the microfinance field by:
i) providing training organisations with a model to individualize training based on MFIs’ specific needs;
ii) setting up a common and integrated European training offer promoting sustainable microlending and microfinance programmes.
T2 has adapted and transferred a pedagogical and didactic model that was developed in PARMENDE, a previous Leonardo da Vinci funded project, for the “Foundation of sustainable microfinance” course. The course was also planned within the framework of the former PEMTE project, supported by the e-Content Programme.
This model was based on the combination of e-learning methods and Intelligent Agent technology which resulted in a web-based intelligent tutoring system able to generate individualised assessment pathways for each student. T2 features the same model, set up to support both students in self-directed learning and trainers in customizing lessons based on the specific training needs of each student.
The project is carried out by a Consortium comprising four complementary partners, who were collectively involved in the former PARMENIDE and PEMTE projects. Partners are based in four EU Member States and consist of two Universities specialised in E-learning and two European microfinance networks.
The T2 project develops and test a blended course to be delivered in three main sessions: the on-line course, on-site workshops and web-based project works. Teachers will develop the instructional design of the on-site workshops which will be based on the legitimate needs of course attendees, thanks to Intelligent Agent technology.
The project begins with an analysis of the European MFIs’ training needs, and updating the “Foundations of sustainable microfinance” course developed within the framework of the previous PEMTE project. This phase involves the conversion of E-learning objects to SCORM in order to easily update, reschedule and transfer them and the development of the Virtual Tutor software, based on Intelligent Agent technology. The core of the project will concentrate on transferring and adapting the pedagogical and didactic model developed in the previous PARMENDE project. The result is an E-platform consisting of an E-course and a Virtual Tutor Environment, an intelligent tutoring system able to generate individual assessment pathways for each student. The Virtual Tutor provides teachers with an evaluation for each individual participant, helping them customize face-to-face lessons based on their specific needs.
The Virtual Tutor Environment is based on Intelligence Agents and governed by a chat-bot or “Virtual Tutor”. According to this so-called “emotional learning” approach, the participant is shown scenarios that have a strong visual stimulus conveyed through very detailed graphics. The Virtual Tutor acts as a realistic teacher, personalizing a sequence of student assessment questions based on the student’s answers, as well as reproducing realistic teacher behaviour regarding the student’s feedback. For example, if a student gives an incorrect answer to a key question, the chat-bot’s face looks angry and the student is then encouraged to go back and study a specific learning object.
The partnership not only sets up and tests the didactic model throughout the project, but also establishes transversal activities in order to ensure the quality of the project’s processes and products (i.e.” Consortium Management” and “Quality & Evaluation” activities) as well as the dissemination and exploitation of results.
Utilization and distribution of results
Open and distance learning
Sectors Other Service Activities
open and distance learning
material for open learning
The main project’s products are:
- The report on MFIs needs (focusing on France, Italy and Poland) available in English;
- The integrated E-learning platform available in four languages (ENG, FRA, ITA, POL), including the learning objects for the “Foundations of sustainable microfinance” course and the Virtual Tutor learning environment;
- The Validation Report of the didactic model, available in English;
- The project Web site featured in four languages (ENG, FRA, ITA, POL);
- The articles about the Scientific Dissemination of Intelligent Agents applied to E-learning pathways, available in English;
- The project Press Release, Brochures and Poster, in four languages (ENG, FRA, ITA, POL);
- The Demo of the course, in four languages (ENG, FRA, ITA, POL);
- The final workshop to disseminate and exploit the project results.