The MobileBE international staff training was held on the three days from 26 to 28 August 2020.
16 adult education experts sent by the 8 organisations in MobileBE participated in the training. A documentation including presentations slides, and screenshots of the plenary sessions (video conference) are keept in the project's records.
Due to Covid-19, the staff training had to be held in a partly online mode: We had the plenary sessions online. But there were also phases of individual work and work in small groups done locally in presence form.
Part of the staff training was testing locally - in each city - available commercial escape rooms. The team in Sofia had a particularly rich selection available, as in Sofia there are currently (2020) close to 100 different commercial escape rooms available. Taking photographs inside is usuall not allowed as the owners want to keep the tension up for other customers. Therefore here our two participants in Sofia in the welcome ara of the "Kryptos" game.
Julia Fariz of AEWB (Agency of Adult and Further Education) in Hannover, Germany, presented her insights into the use of Escape Rooms in education. - Screenshot of her presentation during the staff training.
16 adult educators from 7 countries participated in the staff training.
Wednesday 26 August
13.00 Welcome - Introduction of participants to each other
13:15 Introduction to MobileBE - by Ch. Geiselmann, project coordinator
13:20 Presenting the programme of the staff training (Dragana and Zainab, from Sweden)
13:30 Escape Games in Basic Education - Presentation by external experts (Erik Springer of VNB Hannover, and Yulia Fariz of AEWB Hannover, Lower Saxonian Adult Education Authority)
15:00 Explanation of tasks for the home work (local work, group work)
15:15 - 18:00 (or longer as needed): Local teams explore Escape Games available their cities, with special respect to application in basic education for adults
Thursday 27 August
09:00-18:00 Work on the tasks as set out the previous day:
A) - Exploration of available escape games (about 3-4 hours of work) - Reflection on feasibility to use them in basic education for adults (1 hour)
B) - Review of the videos published by MobileBE (about 2 hours of work)
Friday 28 August
10:00 Welcome back
10:15 Participants present their experiences and findings from exploring Escape Games in their cities
11:30-13:00 Results of the review of videos - presentation and discussion
Prehistory: Planning and re-planning in the times of Covid-19
The International Staff Training was initially planned to be a physical training, to be held on May 11-15, 2020, in Sofia, Bulgaria. Preparations had been made (and actually finished) by December 2019, with a detailed plan and time schedule made for the three days training (2 days of the total of 5 were for travel), hotel booked, and a very good venue booked in Sofia in the "House of Science and Technology", a traditional and well-renound adult education organisation in the city centre.
The Staff Training in Sofia was planned to include
a) Getting staff acquainted with the new models for delivering basic education to adults in special situations (main activity of MobileBE)
b) Let staff do a deep dive into one of the new forms tested: the use of Escape Games to trigger motivation of learners to improve their basic skils, as the French partner had tested in one of his pilots. To this end, we planned to visit commercially available Escape Games in Sofia, Bulgaria (which is something like a European capital of escape games, with currently about 100 different rooms available to the public), and then, as main activity of the staff training, let participants in small groups develop their own concepts for educative escape games, under supervision of an escape game expert.
Then, in March 2020 ff, the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic urged us to cancel the May 2020 date. We agreed on asking the donor via its German representative to ask for an extension of the project term into autumn 2020 because we expected that holding the staff training then, belated but otherwise as planned, would be possible.
Therefore we re-designed the staff training and organised it in form of quickly scheduled staff training in hybrid form, with central (plenary) activities being done online, and group work in the various locations where staff resided to be done locally.