The goal of project OZO is to increase the psychosocial integration of participants within society so that they can live a more meaningful life. The means to achieve this is an online self-help tool.
After the small-scale pilots participants overall confirmed in informal qualitative evaluation dialogues that both their experience of belonging and of autonomy had been enlarged. The pilots were too short to affect their experience of achievement.
After the pilots in Greece, just as after the first OZO pilots, effects of the OZO 2 pilots could be observed: participants when seen meeting offline behaved more courteous and respectful towards each other. The division between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ had blurred somewhat.
Unfortunately, the pandemic aborted project OZO 2 prematurely.
The premature, small-scale OZO 2 project outcomes, together with the earlier project OZO outcomes, lead us to assume nevertheless for the moment that the project has a positive effect on a set of competences for people of all ages as defined within the LifeComp framework (pdf) by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), in collaboration with the European Commission department for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (EAC):
- Growth mindset[i];
- Critical thinking;
- Managing learning.
It would need a larger project with corresponding funding to test this assumption on a large scale.[ii]
Based on the small-scale pilots it is also assumed that project OZO increases participants’ resilience – as understood by educational scientist Pedro de Bruyckere:
- Self-control/ self-management;
- Social awareness;
- Social management.
Again, the testing of this assumption would need a larger project.
In this optional future larger project also funds should be allocated to operationalize the measurement of increases in participants feeling safe, feeling seen, experiencing autonomy, experiencing achievement, and achieving belonging. This way the OZO tool could evolve into an full-fledged evidence-informed tool.
[i] It is interesting that the LifeComp framework uses the competence ‘growth mindset’ while this competence has lost much of its relevance within the field. See f.i. Neelen & Kischner: https://3starlearningexperiences.wordpress.com/2020/06/02/goodbye-growth-mindset-hello-efficacy-and-attribution-theory/, accessed 9.5.2021
[ii] Unfortunately, currently there are simply not enough high-quality program evaluations, especially randomized controlled trials, conducted in the field of distance learning, even though distance learning is mainstream and big business: https://pedrodebruyckere.blog/2021/01/28/wat-werkt-in-online-afstandsleren-nieuw-rapport-van-het-what-works-clearinghouse-geeft-teleurstellend-resultaat-maar-niet-wat-je-denkt/, accessed 13.5.2021. So, even in a larger project good evaluations will not be easy. But what we do know is that in principle professional development can be supported effectively remotely. Coaching and mentoring when delivered remotely can improve skills of individuals: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/public/files/Publications/Rapid_Evidence_Assessment_Summary_RPD.pdf, accessed 13.5.2021
[iii] Unfortunately, currently also studies examining the effect of distance learning programs on sSEL are currently lacking: https://pedrodebruyckere.blog/2021/01/28/wat-werkt-in-online-afstandsleren-nieuw-rapport-van-het-what-works-clearinghouse-geeft-teleurstellend-resultaat-maar-niet-wat-je-denkt/, accessed 13.5.2021