Real Opportunities for Adult Online Education. The White Paper

The publication entitled Real Opportunities for Adult Online Education. The White Paper has been elaborated by a team of authors representing the project partners: Suomen eOppimiskeskus ry (Finland), Bibliothek Kőln (Germany), Information Society Development Foundation (Poland), Biblioteca Lucio Craveiro da Silva (Portugal), Fundatia Progress (Romania) and Peer 2 Peer University (United States). Its main idea is to support librarians and other educators who work with adults in developing their knowledge, improving skills and enhancing attitudes that are helpful in their work. The authors also wished to inspire authorities at various levels, stakeholders, or local leaders who seek effective and innovative ways to educate people and respond to the adults’ needs. 

The Learning in Circles in Libraries project is funded by the European Union Erasmus+ Programme (Key Action 2: Strategic Partnerships for adult education). Its objectives are: to facilitate access to online content useful to adults, to support  the adults in acquiring knowledge and to help them develop skills of lifelong learning. As a part of the project’s activities, we are preparing librarians from public libraries to launch a new service - the Learning Circles - and making available resources that are necessary in the process of learning on one’s own and creating the community of learners. 

The Real Opportunities for Adult Online Education. The White Paper report also contains general conclusions and recommendations for the countries that will run Learning Circles, as well as the 'national’ conclusions and recommendations, i.e. those that take into account each country’s perspective. 

A proposed Learning Circle is a group of people who meet face-to-face to learn something together. Every Learning Circle has a facilitator, who help to organize meetings and create an atmosphere of peer-to-peer learning. Facilitators do not need to be subject experts; the expertise comes from the online course and the community of learners (source: https://learning-circles-user-manual.readthedocs.io/en/latest/intro.html).

The Learning Circles methodology was developed and adopted by the Peer 2 Peer University in the United States of America.