In the stunning Parco Jalari, situated in the mountains next to the town of Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto in Sicily,Italy, the project’s partners met with an external evaluator to assess the progress of the GAMVET project during the first year and coordinate their actions for the next year. There were 9 partner representatives from Turkey, 5 partners from Bulgaria and 2 from Italy plus Mr. Daniel Weiss from Ciberspacio SL – Spain, who has been conducting the training sessions for the professors in each country.
To being,the evaluator asked a representative from each country to explain what had taken place during the workshops in their country. Had the professors understood the game? Had they been able to create and disseminate the games on an online platform? As one would expect there had been different levels of comprehension and completion of the games in each country. Nevertheless, it was apparent that in all the countries the second work package, the GAMVET training session, had been completed.
Following the discussion of the second work package, there was a break for lunch in the park’s art filled restaurant which has a view of the town, ocean and mountains. The representatives conversed about the project and their countries over a variety of traditional vegetarian Sicilian food. After a coffee it was back to the conference hall to discuss the methodologies and prepare for work package three.
The evaluator identified the main challenge for work package three as how and where to conduct another round of workshops? It was decided that national workshops would take place with 30 teachers to discuss how to implement and conduct tests of the pilot games. The tests are vital to the creation of a methodology because the teachers and students will provide feedback about the games. The main output of the project is the GAMVET teaching methodology which can be used by other professors in these countries.
The coordinators then agreed on a timeframes the next stages. It was agreed that the games would be ready for testing by January 1st, 2014. During the January-February the workshops with the teachers would be held, during March-April the pilot games would be tested with small groups of students in order to get feedback on the overall functioning of the games, and finally during May-June the data would be collected and a methodology produced.
Once the deadlines were settled, there was short coffee break during which outstanding questions were discussed with the evaluator or Daniel Weiss. After the break, the dissemination plan was discussed. The evaluator gave some suggestions for the website including a focus on the audience, which is the teachers. He advised them tosimplifyit, describe the games in a visual way, present process and results of the project, while keeping it realistic, short and simple. He also recommended adding links to the Facebook pages of each country and the partner associations. In order to disseminate the work, newsletters and 18 press releases would be produced, social media and the website would be made visible and the GAMVET teaching methods platform developed.
To wrap up, a presentation of the evaluation process was given by the evaluator and Victoria Hristova from Bulgaria. They explained that there would be the internal and external evaluation process by teachers, coordinators and the national agencies. The evaluator explained his role which is to give recommendations in order to help the project achieve its promised end result. Lastly, the deliverables which had been set were reviewed. At the conclusion of the meeting, evaluations about the productivity of this meeting were filled out.
The meeting was productive in getting the project on track for the next year. It was made clear what was expected from each partner and any doubts about the GAMVET methodology were cleared up by Daniel Weiss. It is expected that for next year the last workshops will be held nationally, the methodology of the games will be developed and disseminated,there will be feedback from the teachers and students about the effectiveness of the games and that all this information will be shown in an interactive, attractive way for any teacher to use to develop their own games.