Picture of Rhonda Sofer
FInal Field Monitoring Report on DOIT's Impact and Rhonda's last official letter as coordinator
by Rhonda Sofer - Thursday, 4 August 2016, 10:17 PM
 

Dear DOIT's consortium,

With the messages that I am writing below, I will be officially completing my role as coordinator of DOIT.  

My first message is that I am happy to report that DOIT's appeal for Brussels to reassess the 30,000 EUROs that was moved from our printing and publishing budget line to Other Costs was accepted.  This means that the 30,000 EUROs now stays in the printing and publishing budget line category and that we have successfully managed the full amount of the budget without any penalties and illegible costs.  This is a GREAT acheivement and I want to personally thank our financial manager, Stan for his dedication and hard work during the whole project and especially during the period of the financial check when we needed to collect, print out and categorized over 6,000 pages of financial documents.

Second, below I am coping the official report from DOIT's last field monitoring that examined the impact and sustainability of our project.  The report speaks for itself and reflects the hard work and dedication of our whole consortium...each and every institution and member of the DOIT team.  

Finally, I want to sincerely thank all of you for one of the most meaningful professional experiences that I have had in my long career as an anthropologist.  When I began this journey of being a coordinator of a TEMPUS program, I really had no idea of what to expect as this was my first TEMPUS program.  Although there were challenges, you all made my job and responsibility as coordinator one of the high-lights in my career.  I never felt alone and I always knew that I had you to turn to when I needed advice or support.  THANK YOU.

Moreover, I want to express how deeply grateful I am for all of those truly special friendships and close relationships that evolved over the 4-5 years that we have been collaborating together.   It was my dear friend Nino Chiabrishvili who expressed to me that "I think that the most valuable outcomes of this project is the partnership and friendships that I believe will last in spite of everything, even the project itself."    And the fact is that although DOIT as a project has now ended, our partnerships are continuing. Today, we have 3 projects that unite Israeli and Georgian HEIs:  DARE, CURE and ABC.  Thus although one project comes to an end, new ones that are promoting important programs are running or are about to be launched.   What a great accomplishment this is for  DOIT, namely the birth of new programs which will enable some of us to continue to work together, learn from each other and contribute to our societies.

So my dear friends and colleagues, let us build on the special experience of participating in DOIT.  We have learned and experienced collaboration and a true sharing of knowledge at a very high level.  Our acheivements as validated in the report below reflect that with collaboration and working together there are no limits to what we can acheive.  

I want to encourage you all to take your visions and share them with others.  Do not be afraid to try.  Even if one does not succeed the first time around (as was the care with DOIT and with CURE), if you believe in the vision, try again.  And, if you gain the opportunity of implementing your vision, go forward with good people, professionals who are willing to share and who put the good of the project ahead of their own individual personal gains.  In DOIT we really DID THAT.

I thank you all for your support and hard work.

Wishing you all good health, happiness and fulfillment in your lives,

Your coordinator of DOIT, Rhonda Sofer

From: Roisin.MC-CABE@ec.europa.eu [mailto:Roisin.MC-CABE@ec.europa.eu]
Sent: יום ה 04 אוגוסט 2016 18:44
To: Rhonda Sofer <merc@Gordon.ac.il>
Cc: marissag@che.org.il; erasmus.georgia@gmail.com
Subject: Feedback from field monitoring of Tempus 530175 (DOIT)

 

Dear Rhonda,

As you already know, as part of our on-going monitoring of Tempus projects, a field monitoring visit to your project ‘Development of an International Model for Curriculum Reform in Multicultural Education and Cultural Diversity Training (DOIT)’ has taken place on 17 May, 2016. It was carried out by the National Erasmus+ Office in Israel represented by Marissa Gross Yarm and Dina Gallero.

The visit took place at the Gordon Academic College of Education, where the monitoring team could also meet representatives from the Sachnin Academic College and Kaye Academic College. It was also excellent that colleagues from ISU, CIIR, TSU, SSU and Telavi State College could join the meeting via Skype.  We would like to thank the members of the project team that were able to be present for the time they devoted to the discussions and for having provided us with updated information on the progress made towards the achievement of the project objectives. 

 

The project was implemented as planned and went above what was proposed in the original proposal. The objectives of the project were reached and are still valid.

 

It was positive to note the impact the project has had and is continuing to have since it finished:

 

- The project created 5 courses that are being taught at Israeli and Georgian HEIs. The courses used a template that the consortium developed based on the main principles of the Bologna Process (e.g. Learning Outcomes, ECTS). The courses were made up of modules or units that could also be integrated into existing courses that were part of the curriculum (which assists with sustainability). Interactive and experiential pedagogical approaches were built into the curricula to foster a student- centred learning approach.

 

- 97 pilots were carried out in 13 partner HEIs. Learning materials & handbooks were compiled for the use in these courses and beyond. All courses and materials were reviewed by the Quality Assurance team to ensure high academic quality.

 

- Materials for the courses developed were translated into Georgian. In addition, readers were compiled for new courses in English, Georgian and Arabic. Additional materials were also translated into Arabic. These materials are being used at Sakhnin College, but have the potential to be used in other Arab institutions in Israel and throughout the Middle East.

 

- New educational programmes were established as a result of DOIT in 2 Georgian HEIs and 1 Israeli HEI. These programmes focus on multicultural education and utilize the courses developed in the project. They have been submitted for accreditation from the local bodies.

 

- The courses developed in the framework of the project have been integrated into partner institution curricula in four different ways: 1) as newly officially approved curriculum education programmes 2) as required courses within existing programmes 3) as elective courses in existing programmes 4) integrating study units from specific DOIT courses within existing courses are already part of the curriculum.

- Student activities were carried out over the course of the project, which focused on creating inter-cultural understanding between students of different backgrounds. The student group at Gordon Academic College created a video clip, which is being used by the institution as a promotional video, about multiculturalism.  Student activities were extremely meaningful for their participants, and in many cases the activities are now being sustained by the students themselves.

- Furthermore, the dialogue that was created in the institutions on the subject of multiculturalism, in some cases exposing faculty and students to these ideas for the first time, is critical to advancing these values within the higher education institutions in Israel.

 

- Another best practice was the involvement of students in project activities. Students were seen as an integral part of the project and its processes. They participated in many meetings and were active in developing the contents of their activities. Students involved in the project spoke of the deep influence the project had on their studies and on themselves as people. These students testified that the courses changed the way they think about themselves and about the other students/people in society. This was particularly apparent between the Jewish and Arab students who generally do not have as much interaction on campus.

 

- In some of the institutions, faculty members themselves (who were not originally part of the project) didn’t truly understand the meaning of multicultural education. Following the DOIT project, there are several courses in each institution, with a variety of lecturers, who teach on these subjects. As a result of the project, several of the faculty also stated that they now include new perspectives in their courses.

 

- 78 presentations of the project were made to stakeholders within the partner institutions including to faculty members, rectors and more. Representatives from the Ministry of Education and Council for Higher Education were also present in some of these meetings.

 

- Close collaboration and true partnerships were created between the Georgian and Israeli institutions during the project. Understanding of the local contexts was another integral element of the project’s success. Best practice that this project exemplified was the collaborative approach to management adopted by the coordinator. The fact that the project was based on shared values helped ensure the dedication and ownership of participants. These relationships are being continued and furthered through additional Erasmus+ projects.

 

We thank you for your hard work, congratulate you on the achievements of the project and wish you the best of success with future activities to ensure the project's sustainability and continued dissemination of results. 

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me of the National Erasmus+ Office in Israel with any questions you might have or clarifications you might require.

 

We would be most grateful if you could forward this feedback to the other partners on the project and particularly those who participated in the field monitoring visit.

 

Best wishes,

 

Róisín

 

 

RÓISÍN MC CABE
Programme Manager
 

European Commission

Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA)
Managing programmes and activities on behalf of the European Commission

 

Erasmus+: Higher Education – International Capacity Building (Unit A4)
BOUR 02/05

Office Address: Rue Colonel Bourg 135-139, B-1140 Brussels
Postal Address: Avenue du Bourget 1, BOUR 02/17, B-1049 Brussels

Tel: +32 229 860 92

Fax: +32 229 945 30
E-mail: roisin.mc-cabe@ec.europa.eu

http://eacea.ec.europa.eu