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 Resources that travel well 

A "travel well" resource

 

An important issue for the LRE is the extent to which resources are able to travel well and lend themselves to cross linguistic and cross border use. The results of MELT questionnaire data revealed that about 25% of all used content was used across languages, with figures of 20 per cent for learning objects and about 60% for learning assets. The log data revealed a much higher proportion of cross-linguistic bookmarking. In total, more than 60% of all bookmarks were saved across languages.

Most of the resources that had been used or stored by teachers in the project for a later use were used across borders. Most frequent uses were of Iceland resources by Belgian users, Austrian resources by Estonian users, and Swedish resources by Estonian users. Moreover, Irish resources were used by Finnish users, and Spanish resources were used by Belgian, Estonian, and Austrian users – just to name the most frequent exchanges among countries.

Interviews revealed that teachers highly valued the availability of an international portal containing learning resources within a European context. They thought, for example, that an international portal provided an important opportunity for cultural exchange and could help teachers find new teaching ideas from other countries.

Of course, diverging educational systems and language barriers still represent challenges, particularly if the text of a resource is in a language the user does not understand. However, MELT showed that, in many cases, the translation of basic points in English are sufficient in order to be able to use a resource successfully. It is difficult to generalise here but the MELT evaluation points to the conclusion that the investment (by teacher, author, or publisher) required for developing a travel well resource might well be less than originally thought.