Nye tider – Nye muligheder: Uddannelse indledes med e-læring

De nye tider med COVID-19 har ikke kun givet bekymringer verden rundt, men også været grobund for nytænkning. Da både Grønland og Danmark lukkede ned i foråret, tog det os ikke lang tid at nytænke forsvarernes grunduddannelse, så vi sammen med landsforsvareren kunne starte introduktionsmodulet til tiden i april ved at indlede med e-læring, der kan gennemføres sammen hver for sig og afslutte modulet med et kortere fremmødekursus i juli, hvor det er bliver muligt at mødes igen.

Heldigvis har vi i LEARN|RIGHT været godt rustet til denne tilpasning, da vi siden 2018 på vegne af landsforsvareren har udviklet en online læringsplatform til forsvareruddannelserne, som bl.a. omfatter e-læringsemner til alle grunduddannelsens moduler.

Som Maria Løkke Rasmussen, Direktør i LEARN|RIGHT, siger: ”Det er dejligt, at vi har kunnet trække på vores stærke erfaring med online uddannelse og de store mængder af e-læringsmateriale fra de sidste forsvareruddannelser, så vi hurtigt har kunnet omstille og tilpasse introduktionsmodulet uden at gå på kompromis med fagligheden på uddannelsen.”

Læringsmæssige fordele
Hvor introduktionsmodulet tidligere har bestået af 10 dages fremmødekursus med en afsluttende stopprøve, hvorefter kandidater der fortsatte på 1. modul, gennemgik e-læring der understøttede introduktionsmodulet, indledes GU 20-21 i omvendt rækkefølge med 10 ugers e-læring og afsluttes med 5 dages fremmødekursus og stopprøve. Det gør det muligt at udnytte fordelene ved flipped learning allerede på introduktionsmodulet, så kandidaterne selv sætter sig ind i emnerne forud for fremmødekurset, hvor der så kan bruges mindre tid på oplæg og mere tid til at komme i dybden med diskussioner og at træne kandidaternes praktiske færdigheder i at anvende de ting, de har lært om.

Samtidig bredes læringen ud over længere tid, og der arbejdes med flere forskellige læringsmetoder, som alt sammen giver nogle læringsmæssige fordele. Kandidaterne kan gå tilbage til de forskellige e-læringsemner og repetere dem igen og igen, så de føler sig klædt på til fremmødekurset, ligesom de kan gense emnerne f.eks. om aftenen i løbet af grundkurset.

Omstillingsparate kandidater
Den ændrede struktur har krævet en stor omstilling blandt kandidaterne, som gennemfører den ulønnede uddannelse ved siden af deres hovederhverv eller studie. For det første har de skulle tilpasse sig en ny kursusdato, som heldigvis var muligt for stort set alle. Men lige så vigtigt har de skulle finde tid til og sætte sig ind i at anvende en online e-læringsplatform med ca. 4 timers ugentlig e-læring med læsning, diskussionsopgaver og selvtest samt aflevering af skriftlige procedurer hver 14. dag. Selvom de kan arbejde forud i e-læringen, og de kan gennemføre ugens emne(r) om aftenen eller i weekenden, har det krævet nogle dedikerede kandidater.

Dertil kan det også være uvant og utrygt at sidde alene bag skærmen. Derfor gør vi meget ud af at være i dialog med kandidaterne bag skærmen og gennem feedback på opgaver og deres ugentlige ”hvad har jeg lært og hvordan går det”-indlæg samt lave en ugentlig opsamling på ugens opgaver. Som noget nyt har vi også indført en videokonference hver anden uge, hvor kandidater og arrangører får sat ansigt på hinanden, der øves procedurer og diskuteres i grupper og der samles op på ugens pointer og spørgsmål, ligesom vi har indført flere cases med aflevering af skriftlige procedurer.

Heldigvis har kandidaterne taget godt imod e-læringen og vist stor vilje til at sætte sig ind i alt det nye. Som Maria bemærker: ”Kandidaterne har haft stort gåpåmod med e-læringen, og vi har haft nogle rigtig gode videokonferencer, hvor vi har set hinanden i øjnene. Det er imponerende, hvor hurtigt kandidaterne har taget læringsplatformen til sig. Selvom både e-læring og mange begreber er helt nye, så klør de bare på!”

Der er dog også kandidater, der har forladt uddannelsen. Det er normalt med et større frafald, hvis f.eks. deltagerne får nyt job eller studie, eller fordi de finder ud af, at uddannelsen ikke er noget for dem. Da de denne gang snuser til uddannelsen tidligt, sker der et frafald inden fremmødekurset, og dermed inden uddannelsen har haft en stor udgift til at flybilletter og indlogering af tilrejsende kandidater.

Uddannelsen fremadrettet
Vi tror på, at det i år er endnu stærkere kandidater, der går til stopprøven efter fremmødekurset i Nuuk i juli, og dermed fortsætter på forsvarernes grunduddannelse. Udover introduktionsmodulet består uddannelsen af to moduler samt et mellemliggende praktikforløb, hvor kandidaterne fører simple kriminalsager ved kredsretten med støtte fra landsforsvareren. Den afsluttende eksamen afholdes i marts 2021 hvorefter kandidaterne indstilles til at blive autoriserede forsvarere af dommeren ved Retten i Grønland.

First group on blended-learning education ready to defend their clients

 LEARN|RIGHT congratulates the first group of criminal defenders who has passed their exam on the new education. We have assisted the National Defender in Greenland in the process with the development of a curriculum and the planning and implementation of the education through an online learning management system with weekly e-learning topics in between the face to face courses in Nuuk. 

Huge congratulations to the newly educated candidates who after almost one year’s education passed their exam 1st of November 2019 on the new criminal defenders’ basic education. The National Defender in Greenlandare now able to nominate the candidates to become authorised criminal defenders at Greenland’s 1st instance courts. Here they will be ready to support their clients in criminal cases and contribute to a well-functioning justice system and access to justice in Greenland. 

There is reason for the candidates to be proud, it has not been an easy journey they have been on. As an outset, judges, defenders and prosecutors at Greenland’s 1st instance courts do not have law education, but are ordinary citizens educated in special designed practical education programmes. Thereto comes, that their defence job typically is carried out as a subsidiary occupation next to the defender’s primary occupation. This means, the candidates will carry out the education beside their main occupation and will have to take holiday or unpaid leave to participate in the face to face courses. And then the education is unpaid. 

Strengthened educational framework and contact to learners
It has been a positive surprise how well the online learning platform has worked as a unifying factor for an education spread over time and geography. The learning platform has contributed with an overview of and a common thread by collecting all information and communication in one place concerning e-learning, face-to-face courses, in-service training and exam at one place. It has indeed been a virtual classroom where candidates and the team behind the education, could tap into and be present together independent of where and when they were logged in. 

The candidates have been able to follow each other’s progression and answers and has appreciated the ongoing feedback on assignments and the helping hand from the other side of the screen on the way. We have on our side ensured regular and foreseeable feedback as well as done our best to answer quickly to inquiries and to cheer and motivate along the way. In the team behind the education we have from both Denmark and Greenland continually been able to follow the candidates progress in the e-learning and e.g. when they were assigned by the courts to carry out the 10 in-service training cases they were to handle.

The weekly wrap ups have contributed to driving the education forward and tie together an otherwise very scattered and individual education. As part of the wrap up of each week, the candidates wrote their main learning points and gave feedback to the content and form. Afterwards we as co-organisers wrapped up the week with their main results, what they found difficult and as well as introduced to the following week.

Challenges: Broken sea-cables and language 
The distribution of sea-cables and flat-rate internet in Greenland has made e-learning a far more attractive means of learning in a country where great distances between cities makes face-to-face learning cumbersome and expensive. But it has not been without problems. 

Along the way, several breaches of Greenland’s sea-cable supplying the internet traffic made the learning platform either slow or unavailable to the candidates. It sometimes delayed their work on the platform and at one point it transformed the e-learning into a letter course with content and assignments sent back and forth over e-mail.

Another challenge has been how to assist the candidates in carrying out their legal cases in Greenlandic. In Greenland the legal language is both Danish and Greenlandic and while most documents are presented in Danish, most legal cases in 1st instance courts are conducted in Greenlandic. Candidates in the programme are bilingual, but that does not necessarily mean that they know the terminology used in court. To reinforce that, in an education with primarily Danish-speaking teachers and developers, we created a version of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Criminal Code where the provisions are found side by side in the two languages. Also, we developed a series of videos in Greenlandic and held role plays in Greenlandic with interpretation. In addition, the candidates have submitted several written pleas in Greenlandic on the learning platform. What the candidates have most appreciated in this regard, however, have been videos of pleas in Greenlandic presented by experienced defenders, on case descriptions, to which the candidates themselves have previously submitted their own plea.

The Education of Criminal Defenders in the future
With so much material developed, the National Defender can easily build on the learning platform in future education.

For the time being, we have developed the basic education e-learning into a knowledge bank for the authorized defenders. Here they can look up their questions as needed, and we can use the bank as part of the ongoing in-service training.

Perhaps e-learning on the learning platform could also play a greater role in the abbreviated education for criminal defenders targeting graduates with a specific relevant background, as it has proved difficult to bring these candidates together in the face-to-face courses.

Finally, we look forward to reuse the learning platform and develop it into more basic education programmes in the future, so we can say congratulations to even more blended-learning trained criminal defenders.

LEARN|RIGHT take part in presenting new learning material at The People’s Meeting 2019

Last week LEARN|RIGHT participated in “The festival of democracy” as The People’s Meeting (Folkemødet) taking place on Bornholm, is also known as. The purpose with LEARN|RIGHT participation on Bornholm, was to present the new learning material Left out (Udenfor) and discuss the dilemmas in the movie Little terrorist (Lille terrorist) which LEARN|RIGHT assisted Amondo and Candofilm in developing.

The presentation took place at a workshop on The Danish association of teachers “rock-stage”, located next to Allinge Harbor. It was not completely coincidental that the launch of the material took place in this sunlit rock scenery: As it were teachers from Bornholm that participated in the development and testing of the teaching material: we quickly agreed that a launch of the material should take place on ‘The People’s Meeting’’ on Bornholm, Maria Løkke Rasmussen, CEO of LEARN|RIGHT expresses. She was also happy to notice that one of the teachers, despite a busy schedule, found time to contribute to the workshop, with her experiences with the test-run of the material. Also, amongst the participants was Lene Poulsen, from the municipality of Bornholm, who was the coordinator of the participating test-schools.

The materials was well received by the attendants of the workshop, who saw and debated the movie and tried multiple exercises from the material. There was a broad consensus amongst the participants that the material seemed very inspirational and the printed copies were quickly snapped up. The two facilitators of the workshop Mette Wybrandt from Amondo and Maria Løkke Rasmussen from LEARN|RIGHT were very pleased with the day and conference over all: It is certainly not the last time we are participating in the conference of the people! they expressed unanimously.

The learning material Left out gives the teachers from the 6th to the 10th grade an opportunity to team up with their students and work interdisciplinary on democratic development. This with a point of departure in the three values, trust, equality and freedom. The material consists of the movie Little terrorist and 20 interactive exercises, that are very straight forward and can be combined in a variety of classes per example, history, religion, social studies, complementary teaching and in the general, work with welfare in the classes.

LEARN|RIGHT has contributed since the Spring of 2018, both in the development and test-phase of the teaching material. The material can be accessed for free at publications her på siden or directly as www.udenfor.info

The criminal defender education has jump-started!

On January the 19th a whole new class began the Greenlandic criminal defender education and LEARN|RIGHT had the pleasure of greeting them in Nuuk along side with The National Criminal Defender of Greenland.

It has been 10 years since the last criminal defender education took place and there has been a high demand for more criminal defenders to cover the criminal cases in this country and its huge acreage for a long time.

A unique education
The criminal defender education is something very distinctive greenlandic as the defenders as well as judges and prosecutors on circuit-court-level does not have a degree in law but are common citizens with a special education adjusted for the greenlandic system. When it comes to the criminal defenders, they often practise criminal defence as a job along side their main profession.

The criminal defender education therefor has to be tailored to educate non-lawyers to carry out the best interest of their clients in the criminal cases whilst having to complete their education and keep their main profession. LEARN|RIGHT is very proud to be able to participate in the development of the education with the aim of making the education even better to contain its special demands.

New initiatives: Curriculum and e-learning
As something brand new there has been reached an agreement on the curriculum for the education which outlines what the candidates have to learn and describes the frame and form of the education. LEARN|RIGHT have contributed to the first draft to the curriculum and the final version was issued by the ministry of justice in 2019.

Another new part of the education that will be conducted this time is ‘blended learning’ with partially 5 courses with attendance and partially e-learning in the intermediate periods between the courses.

“It provides the necessary flexibility so the candidates can complete the education along their main profession or studies” says CEO of LEARN|RIGHT Maria Løkke Rasmussen and continuous: “and it is maybe even more beneficial that ‘flipped learning’ can be used so the candidates can be taught the heavy subjects through e-learning before the courses and then use the time at the courses for activities where they try it out in practise sceneries and learn how to have client conversations, testimonies, courtroom games and prosecutions.

Finally there is also a practise periode between the educations first and second semester where the candidates have to complete 10 cases under supervision and guidance from the The National Criminal Defender of Greenland. The duration of the educationi 1 year, they also have to complete a stoptest after the introductory course and conclusive a final exam.

“It is great to be able to bring the education further” Maria says, she has worked with the criminal defender educaction since 2007 where she was posted to help the greenlandic high-court with the education. “I am pleased that we with the curriculum and e-learning have made the framework and are developing the online knowledge portal for the criminal defenders, so we have the groundwork we can use and keep building on top of many years to come.”