About 40 DARE members in the field of accessibility, computer-mediated instruction, ICT, education, minority and administration took an active role in the CM held in Shota Meskhia State Teaching University of Zugdidi, Georgia. This meeting was aimed to train partners in the development of regular and accessible online courses/ blended learning courses and discussing management issues such as financial management, dissemination activities and QA related issues. During these four days we had some very interesting sessions: DARE partners presented the activities carried out so far in their institutions (more information in the presentations below), Georgian partners presented some information about their students’ learning difficulties (after employing the screening tools that they developed within DARE). This data will be used by DARE’s partners to form future recommendations and guidelines for the management of Georgian HEIs about possible ways to support students with learning difficulties. We also had a very interesting session on dissemination issues in which DARE partners provided feedback on the new design of our website and our new MAGADARE magazine. Second and third days were dedicated to learning from DARE experts how to develop fully online courses, blended learning courses (implementing e-units to a regular course) and how to make an online course more accessible. On the last day, we discussed the upcoming field-monitoring visit that will be carried out next year by the QA team at Georgian and Israeli HEIs. Partners were updated about the field monitoring protocol that will guide the visit ( the main issue that will be evaluated), what they are expected to prepare for the visit, timeline and logistic related issues.
Our hosts were AMAZING! The Rector of the University and the team of Zugdidi University prepared us a warm welcome with Jewish music and dancing, special dinner (with more dancing, great wine, delicious Georgian food and an amazing DARE cake!!!) and a tour in beautiful Zugdidi. We also had the honour to participate in a graduation ceremony, where we could really sense how students feel at home in the Shota Meskhia State Teaching University of Zugdidi. What an inspiring experience!