CALIBRATE was a 30-month project (October 2005 – March 2008) with six work packages:
- WP1 Improving the Semantic Interoperability of Learning Resource Descriptions
- WP2 Facilitating take-up of a European Learning Resource Exchange
- WP3 Development of an Open Source Learning Toolbox for Collaborative Learning
- WP4 Validation of the CALIBRATE LRE and Learning Toolbox (v4 of the Portal)
- WP5 Dissemination and Exploitation
- WP6 Project Management
Deliverables and results from the three technical work packages (WP1, 2, 3) were brought together in WP4 and made visible to teachers via. development of a CALIBRATE Learning Resource Exchange or project portal.
The CALIBRATE Learning Resource Exchange was only open to schools that were invited to participate in the project – a total of 100 schools in seven countries. Initially the portal provided a working demonstration of federated searching for learning resources (v1, month 2), FAQs and other information materials to help introduce the project to teachers that took part in the project validation.
The CALIBRATE Learning Resource Exchange built on the ‘Brokerage System’ (BS) or technical architecture that was developed in the earlier CELEBRATE project. Three expanded and improved versions of this Brokerage System were to be integrated into the CALIBRATE LRE portal in months 12, 18 and 24.
The CALIBRATE project portal was also the area where prototypes and later versions of the learning toolbox were made available (together with teacher support materials). The first major version of the toolbox was to be implemented as part of the LRE portal in month 12 ready for evaluation by a focus group of teachers in months 13-14. The final version of the toolbox was to be implemented as part of the LRE portal by month 24, ready for evaluation by teachers in months 25-26.
Major milestones in the project corresponded to the launch of version 2 of the CALIBRATE LRE portal in month 12 and the launch of version 4 of the portal in month 24.
As in all development projects, the pressure on end-users to test outputs and provide feedback on the usability and value of products under development increased as the end of the project approached. CALIBRATE was no exception and the schools in eight countries involved in the validation work were very busy trying to meet all demands and to ensure that user needs were built into the CALIBRATE tools and services.
The main activities of schools in the final six months of the project were as follows:
The results of their work was made publicly available towards the end of the project.
- To use the CALIBRATE portal and LeMill to search for useful resources for lessons and provide feedback to developers in other WPs
- To produce several lesson plans a month in which they described what they found and how they used it.
- To organise national validation days in which teachers new to CALIBRATE and less e-skilled explored the project's tools and services and provided feedback.
- To carry out further work on the school of the future
- To contribute ideas and lesson plans to the pedagogical section of the portal in order to help and inspire other teachers using the system.