May 2023
ESMERALD consortium developed digital and multilingual training content aimed at reinforcing the role of Vocational Education and Training as means to revitalise and make more resilient SMEs across European economies and societies through newly established Open Educational Resource, a focal point for support of the VET and entrepreneurship support ecosystems. A total of 24 trainings were provided in digital, multilingual and ready to use format via project open education platform. These trainings covered many aspects of organisational life recognised as relevant during initial needs analysis and subsequent mapping of enterprise behaviour, responses to external shocks including Covid as well as obstacles encountered by SMEs on this path. To this end, enterprises are given tools that should allow them to cope with challenges in areas of i) public financial and legal support for enterprises, ii) business models transformation in changing technological setting, iii) development of new commerce channels and customer management in digital environment, iv) online safety and security, v) health and work-life balance disorders, mental well-being and psychological needs in digital environment, vi) rules of online business behaviour and net-iquette.

The development of courses involved interaction with representatives of target groups through testing, validation and dissemination activities. Feedbacks collected this way have allowed consortium to fine-tune initial drafts of training materials and bring them closer to the needs of beneficiaries. These activities served additional purpose of collecting inputs that can be of use for all those interested in applying trainings developed within Esmerald in their future educational activities. In particular, the inputs collected have touched upon topics of organisation of trainings, target group management and motivation, delivery of content, collection of feedbacks and alternative scenario recommendations. Building on these foundations it was possible to develop a set of guidelines for use of our materials across different contexts.

The experiences embodied in these guidelines aim to provide users with practical insights based on experience accumulated through piloting, validation and dissemination activities. Particular attention was given to topics of blended learning and options for online delivery of our trainings. As Covid pandemics revealed, such experiences are pivotal for the delivery of trainings in periods of isolation and lockdowns. While providing starting point the recommendations provided in these guidelines should not be taken as definitive rules for implementation of Esmerald trainings. From its inception, Esmerald was envisioned as living tissue, focused on growth through co-creation. Prospective users are encouraged to experiment and enrich training content and guidelines for their delivery with their own ideas. With that in mind we provide guidelines for efficient implementation of ESMERALD toolkit.

The collected experiences constitute the pillars of this document – the guidelines for the use of project results, the main output of IO4. Their aim is to provide prospective users with some practical, experience-based insights gathered through piloting and initial implementation of developed materials. The guidelines cover a wide range of topics from organisation of training over tips for communication with target groups and participants, recruitment and group management. Particular attention was given to issues of blended learning and experiences gathered through online transmission of training. These experiences are crucial for delivery of trainings during challenging periods such as recent Covid pandemics or in groups of remote participants. Finally, the guidelines provide advice on increasing participant motivation as well as lessons learned through collection of participant feedback. While providing starting point, these guidelines are not definite rules for implementation of ESMERALD trainings. Prospective users are encouraged and invited to experiment and enrich with their own ideas. As a living tissue ESMERALD is intended to grow and develop through implementation and co-creation.

The link to guidelines can be found below.
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