Work Package 1 – Analysis of MDTV study programs in Kosovo/Albania and related EU studies
Work Package 2.1 – Reviewing and restructuring the existing bachelor MDTV curricula
The WP2.1 started with the activity Workshop on Learning from EU expertise in the MDTV area, during the Kick-Off meeting, where the European partners shared their better experiences and expertise in their study programs in the multimedia field. UAMD is the only university in Albania that offers a Bachelor study program in Multimedia and Digital Television (MDTV). The existing bachelor MDTV program was opened as a result of a previous TEMPUS project. The other WB partners, Epoka, UP, and UBT, offer courses that are related to multimedia in their bachelor degrees. All the partner country HEIs conducted a SWOT analysis of the existing bachelor study programs, to better understand the changes that had to take place. Each institution organized several meetings with the academic staff to decide the courses that will be part of the new bachelor curriculum. Based on the SWOT analyses, findings of Deliverable 1.1, the expertise of EU partners, and the inputs from industry, the bachelor curricula were modified to adapt to the new digitalization process that is happening in the multimedia sector.
- The new Bachelor in MDTV curriculum offered at UAMD has 15 courses renamed from the previous curricula; 19 courses were removed; 16 new courses were introduced and 12 courses remained the same. These changes were done in accordance with the new master curriculum that later had to be developed in three profiles such as 3D Animation, Production and Postproduction and Image Processing.
- For UP, the new DIMTV courses were added to the bachelor study program: 5 mandatory and 7 elective courses.
- EPOKA has revised and opened new courses for two Bachelor programs: Computer Engineering (CEN) and Electronics and Digital Communications Engineering (EDCE) study programs under the Department of Computer Engineering. 1 new course was added to the curricula and 3 other courses were revised at Bachelor level degree in Electronics and Digital Communication Engineering. 6 courses were revised at the Computer Engineering Bachelor level program.
- UBT decided to integrate the multimedia-related courses into four existing bachelor study programs: Media and Communication, Digital Art and Media, Computer Science and Engineering and Mechatronics Management. 1 course was updated from the curriculum of Mechatronics Management bachelor program; 6 courses from Art and Digital Media; 6 courses from Media and Communication and 9 courses from Computer Science and Engineering. The CSE bachelor study program includes a concentration of elective courses Computer Graphics and Multimedia.
After the new developed bachelor curricula were finalized in each WBs university, it was necessary to define the objectives, learning outcomes, and competencies of the new bachelor study programs for the respective updated/new courses/modules. Bachelor curricula with the objectives, learning outcomes, and competencies and syllabi were designed, printed and distributed to the interested parties, mostly to students. The electronic copies of these bachelor curriculum books are published on the DIMTV website in the Result Menu under the Curriculum books of multimedia-related Bachelor study programs post.
All the activities organized in the framework of WP2.1 and the detailed information for each of them were documented in reports and deliverables in both languages, Albanian and English.
Work Package 2.2 – Innovating MDTV master curricula
The work done under WP2.1 and the 3 EU study visits, helped the WBs institutions to develop and change their master study programs. After, the bachelor curricula were revised and updated, the work between the consortium members started on the development of the master degree curricula.
UAMD as the leading institution will offer the Professional Master (PM) in MDTV; furthermore, is the only university that will offer the three profiles. While innovating and developing the MDTV PM curriculum, partners from the multimedia industry were consulted to a high extent to harmonize the competencies of future experts with industry needs. Due to its expertise, University of Tartu (UT) especially suggested and revised the image processing module courses content based on the feedback collected to maximize the efficiency of the course for the students. In the end, was agreed that the PM curriculum will have 10 courses in total and each course has 6 ECTS. The courses offered in the first semester are common for all students of the three profiles, whereas the second semester is focused on one of the specializations (3D Animation; Production and Post-production; Image Processing). Each profile in the second semester will have 7 courses, 1 compulsory related to the profile and 6 electives.
EPOKA offered only the IP module-related courses during the implementation of the DIMTV project due to its expertise in this field and added some more additional courses to the list of electives. The master study programs where the new and updated courses related to multimedia are Master of Science in Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE), Master of Science in Computer Engineering (CEN) and Professional Master in Computer Engineering. The MSs in ECE study program included 5 compulsory courses, 7 electives and the final thesis. The courses integrated into the MSc in CEN, are 2 compulsory courses, 9 electives and the final thesis. The Image Processing module was implemented in a third second cycle study program, Professional Master in CEN where 2 compulsory and 6 elective courses are part of this one-year study program.
UP organized several meetings/workshops with the academic staff to reflect on the update and revise the current MDTV related courses, according to market needs and international best practices. In total at UP, 8 mandatory and 18 elective courses were included in the second cycle study programs. 6 courses are offered at study program IP module-related. Additionally, UP has developed a new study program in ICT/MDTV which started in the academic year 2021-2022 and is already accredited by the Kosovo Agency.
UBT offers several existing multimedia-related study programs, thus they mostly updated the existing courses according to the needs defined in Deliverable 1.1 of WP1 and based on the training and suggestions taken from EU experts. Two Master of Science (MSc) study programs are included, MSc in Computer Science and Engineering and MSc in Mechatronics Management. In total, 8 courses were included, 1 course at Mechatronics Management and 7 courses at CSE. Furthermore, UBT has added and updated the concentration (F-Multimedia And Visualisation) at MSc in CSE, a list of elective courses for the master curriculum according to the needs. Digital Signal Processing course is a compulsory course at Mechatronics Management study program.
After the new master curriculum was designed and the courses were chosen to be implemented, in each university, it was necessary to define the objectives, learning outcomes, and competencies for the study programs and respective modified courses/modules. These modules were designed for both increasing teaching and research collaborations within these countries and EU partners.
In the end, the master curricula book was designed, printed, and distributed in hard copy and electronically to relevant internal and external stakeholders for promotion reasons. For each of the courses, the syllabuses are prepared and published, including course objectives, learning outcomes, literature, content etc. The master curricula books were printed and distributed to stakeholders for dissemination purposes. The electronic copies of these master curriculum books are published on the DIMTV website in the Result Menu under the Curriculum books of multimedia-related Master study programs post.
All the activities organized in the framework of WP2.2 and the detailed information for each of them were documented in reports and deliverables in both languages, Albanian and English.
Work Package 2.3 – Enriching infrastructure and teaching methodologies
After the review, update and curricula development done respectively in WP2.1 and WP2.2, the major activities done in WP2.3 were the following steps to build capacities, innovate and improve for the better implementation of multimedia-related bachelor and master degrees. To support the new courses and study programs, the University of Ljubljana (UL), as the leader of this work package, managed to organize most of the staff training on modules and equipment at each WBs university. Training academic staff members from Albanian/Kosovo institutions, both in EU partner countries and in-home countries were organized regarding the offered specific modules. Students from the WBs universities were involved to achieve better learning outcomes and to gain knowledge on the practical subjects of the multimedia-related courses and laboratories.
In total were organized staff and student training where 10 training on modules and 4 training on equipment. From this training profited 30 academic staff and more than 45 students. UAMD academic staff and students organized more training on equipment due to the broad spectrum of equipment purchased and established in the computer laboratory and audio-video studio.
For the development of the Production and Post-production and 3D Animation profiles, the University of Ljubljana (UL) gave its expertise. A working group was established at UAMD to work on courses that will be offered in Production and Post-production(PPM) and 3D Animation Module (AM), regular discussions were held with EU partners on the courses’ structure and the content. These modules, offered in the second semester included 7 courses, 1 mandatory and 6 electives courses.
Each WBs university had to work on the equipment purchase as well. The tendering procedure had to be in line with the national laws on procurement and most of the partners had to change the list of equipment compared to the project application plan. The new list of equipment was revised by each partner country member based on their specific multimedia-related needs. Since amendments were done in equipment lists, each partner’s new list and the reasons for the changes were approved by EACEA representatives before starting the procedures. Furthermore, EACEA approved that due to differences in tendering procedures for public and private universities, each institution organized separate tendering procedures. All the technical specifications and standard documents necessary for tendering were published online. As part of the tendering equipment were also the books that were purchased to be used for teaching materials preparation. For this aim, all the courses contents, and teaching materials were developed and published. Teaching materials are prepared in line with EU, national and institutional standards and practices. They are prepared in form of paper books and electronic materials (presentations, teaching notes, lecture notes, etc.). UBT is the only institution that couldn’t buy the books due to the situation of the pandemic but UBT had guaranteed to the students access to a wide range of books used for teaching purposes through their libraries.
As a result of equipment purchase 4 modern laboratories were built in each of the partners for the multimedia-related study programs.
The inauguration of the Multimedia laboratories was a grand event organized by UAMD where were invited many representatives of the university, industry and the major representatives. Students and lecturers worked together for this event. The inauguration was transmitted live in Facebook with the new purchased equipment.
All the activities organized in the framework of WP2.3 and the detailed information for each of them were documented in reports and deliverables in both languages, Albanian and English.
Work Package 2.4 – Implementation of professional studies program
During the WP2.4, the implementation of professional studies was realized in each of WBs partners. Due to the changes that occurred in the respective bachelor and master curriculum, in the framework of the DIMTV project, all universities from the WBs region has to undergo the process of accreditation.
For the accreditation process, a working group was established at the UAMD Department of Information Technology, to prepare the required documents. After submission of the necessary documents, were organized meetings at the premises of UAMD with the Agency of Accreditation and their expert team, and the accreditation process ended successfully. The Multimedia and Digital Television Professional Master program was successfully accredited for 4 years (2020 – 2024). Currently, UAMD is preparing the documents for the accreditation of the Bachelor in MDTV study program.
Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering, ICT department staff has developed and prepared a new study program master in ICT, with new DIMTV-related courses, both mandatory and elective. The faculty has prepared self–evaluation reports and other necessary documentation for application for accreditation in Kosovo accreditation agency. During 2021 the ICT/MDTV offered at UP underwent the accreditation process where in the 1st of September the Commission released the Certificate of the Accreditation for these programs offered by UP. According to the Certification and the decision, this program offered by FECE/UP was accredited for the following 3 years (2021-2024).
The Bachelor and Master programs at EPOKA have received the accreditation from Quality Assurance Agency in Higher Education in Albania. The Master of Science (MSc) study program in Computer Engineering and Professional Master (PM) in Computer Engineering (CEN) is accredited until 2023. The master program in Electronics and Digital Communication Engineering will go under accreditation in the academic year 2021-2022.
UBT is accredited by the Kosovo Accreditation Agency as a UBT College. The accreditation process has encouraged UBT as a higher education institution to implement the Standards to ensure the European Quality Assurance. The institution has undergone several local external accreditations (both institutional and study programs).
All the accreditation certificates for each partner can be found in the Result menu of the DIMTV project website, under the Accreditation of multimedia-related study programs post.
Student enrollment in the multimedia–related study programs, for both bachelor and master study programs is very important. In total 4423 students benefitted from the new/updated curricula in the WBs university, 177 in UAMD; 387 in EPOKA; 320 in UP; and 3539 UBT. During the implementation of the multimedia-related study programmes, both bachelor and master, surveys and questionnaires were used to get feedback from students on the quality of teaching, teaching materials and the overall realization of the process. A questionnaire was prepared and distributed at the end of each semester for the three academic years. Feedbacks were collected, analyzed and published to each of the Albanian and Kosovo institutions. The student’s suggestions were taken into consideration and in the final step of the project, syllabuses of most of the multimedia-related courses were updated according to the needs, suggestions given, feedback from students, challenges faced and the new developments in the field.
All the above-mentioned activities were done to achieve Academic sustainability and to increase the sustainability of the study program offered. During the project implementation, all the partners of the consortium have worked intensively to ensure sustainability. A special report was prepared and published at the project website Results menu under the Project Sustainability Plan post. For these purposes, 4 elements were considered to achieve Project outcomes sustainability: financial, organizational, operational and multiplicativity.
All the activities organized in the framework of WP2.4 and the detailed information for each of them were documented in reports and deliverables in both languages, Albanian and English.
Work Package 2.5 – Fostering collaboration with industries and MDTV experts
WP2.5 included all the stakeholders in the project, such as industry members, university representatives and EU members. During this work package, memoranda on cooperation with industry partners and other broadcasting enterprises were signed. But the collaboration with the industry will go on even after the project is finished. Other 4 MoUs were signed after the project closure added value to sustainability. The WB HEIs have built the necessary capacities and resources to build their networks in multimedia-related areas and to ensure the student internships in their modern laboratories. In total, there were signed in total 12 MoUs at the institutional level among consortium members, for academic staff and student exchange, and with the industry in both Albania and Kosovo. All the partners had worked to collaborate, to create strong and lasting relationships between universities and industry.
Student internships with industry partners were realized within the framework of this work package. Undergraduate and graduate students from Albanian and Kosovo universities had completed these internships before they finished their studies. These activities helped students to learn and know how to react in different work environment scenarios. 18 students had their internship period at RTSH. The same applies to Kosovo, where 85 students from UP in collaboration with RTV Tema or Kosovo Telecom Company Tre CIS have benefitted from internships. UBT has obligatory courses to ensure students internships and within the courses, some subjects should be organized by invited lecturers from the industry.
6 open lecturers were organized onsite n collaboration with RTSH, UL, UBT and Epoka University at the premises of UAMD. 2 guest lectures were organized for ICT master students. The guest lecture was an expert from the industry, which exchanged experiences with students on Visual Effects and the 3D animation world. Due to pandemics and since it was not possible to have the lectures onsite present, most of the lectures were organized online and the event was named as Online Multimedia Seminar Series and there were 9 topics organized as guest lectures with invited lecturers from consortium members such as UT, VSB-TUO, UL, UP and RTSH. This series will become a traditional event of the MDTV study program and will continue after the project lifecycle as well to keep and increase collaboration with researchers working in this area.
All the activities organized in the framework of WP2.5 and the detailed information for each of them were documented in reports and deliverables in both languages, Albanian and English.
Work Package 3 – Quality Plan
The newly developed/updated bachelor and master study programs at each WBs institution, have to guarantee quality assurance and to meet the needed European standards.
After the accreditation process at national levels, all the partners of the consortium had to guarantee the Internal quality assurance of all the MDTV-related bachelor and master programs. Course evaluation was done at the end of each semester, as soon as multimedia-related study programs were opened/revised. During this WP, 6-course evaluation reports were prepared for the new PM at UAMD and evaluated and suggestions were taken into consideration at the end of the project period, which resulted in the update of course syllabuses. For the bachelor study program, was distributed a questionnaire to students for the overall evaluation of the courses, lecturer and teaching methodologies. Moreover, two experts in the MDTV area, Prof. Marcin Niemiec and Prof. Peter Pocta, were suggested by Prof. Miroslav Voznak from VSB-TUO and approved by the SC of the project, evaluated positively the PM program at UAMD and their results were published on the project website as well and distributed to the interested parties.
In addition to what was planned, upon recommendation of NEO representatives, the preparation of the Quality Control and Monitoring Manual (QCMM) was added to WP3 activities. QCMM was drafted, approved by Steering Committee and has been implemented successfully during the project lifetime. The Quality Control and Monitoring Manual outline the main rules to be followed by the partners of the DIMTV project to ensure the highest possible quality of project activities, outputs and outcomes and project management. All procedures defined in this Manual are harmonized with the document “Guidelines for the Use of the Grant” and are in full compliance with the DIMTV project Grant Agreement and DIMTV Partnership Agreements. The Manual defines also the quality expectations regarding the project deliverables, i.e. reports and documents, organization of events/workshops/training/meetings as well as procedures for internal and external quality monitoring. The Manual sets the minimum principles, requirements and processes needed to implement an effective internal and external quality assurance and control of the DIMTV Project. It also provides the templates which are used for project documentation.
All the activities organized in the framework of WP3 and the detailed information for each of them were documented in deliverables in both languages, Albanian and English.
Work Package 4 – Dissemination and exploitation of results
WP4 is focused on the promotion of the project and its participants and the raising of public and industry awareness of the potential benefits of project outcomes. Dissemination and exploitation are some of the most important aspects regarding the visibility of the project. For this purpose, all the consortium partners worked to develop the Dissemination and Exploitation Plan which is published online at the DMTV project website in the Results menu. The plan laid the foundation for the strategic approach of the project to disseminate and promote the activities.
The most common way to promote the project was through the internet and social media platforms. First, it was designed the DIMTV project website (https://dimtv-project.al) to provide a full overview of the project activities, events and results. The website has 8 menus for different purposes:
- Home menu describes a summary of the project, aims and general and specific objectives.
- Consortium menu s composed of clickable logos that redirects to each project partner institution’s official websites.
- Activities menu displays all the implemented project activities accompanied by a short descriptions and an image.
- Work packages (WP) menu provide a detailed description of each WP. A progress bar is shown to display graphically the progress of each specific WP during the lifecycle of project implementation.
- Project Outputs menu is divided into two submenus: Deliverables and Results. In the Deliverables sub-menu, you will find detailed information about the reports/deliverables (pdf. format) in bilingual, Albanian, and English, which describes in detail how all work-packages tasks are fulfilled by all the consortium partners. In the Results sub-menu, you will find all the achievements during the project implementation.
- Events menu show all events concerning promotion, students internships, activities, workshop organized and will further continue to be enriched even after the project ends.
- Gallery menu includes photos and videos of project activities, which are published on the Flickr platform as well.
- Contacts menu comprises the contacts of the legal representatives and contact persons of each partner. A general map showing the connection between consortium members is provided. The formal Project-related communication s done via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to these menus, the project website is connected to all other social media links such as:
- Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/dimtval/),
- Multimedia Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/multimedia.fti.uamd/),
- Twitter (https://twitter.com/dimtval_Albania/),
- YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoIbzG3NCOmQHxKZvpPDMWg/featured/)
- LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/dimtv-albania/)
Students are actively engaged in project activities and the promotion of events and materials at national, regional and international level.
Promotion is not done only through the official website and social media but also through local media portals like durreslajm.al, UAMD website and social media. Regular news are prepared and published by each of the partners of the consortium and are published online in their respective websites and on all social media. DIMTV project was mentioned as a successful project in the regional research study “Education and research in Western Balkan Region: An assessment of countries’ experiences and their performance in EU funded programmes (Case study: Albania, Kosovo and Serbia)’ held by European Movement Albania”.
All the partners prepared and shared marketing materials like wristbands, folders, posters, pens, booklets, newsletters, notebooks, t-shirts, bags and roll-ups with the DIMTV logo during the promotion activities. Different project promotional spots were prepared by RTSH and it was published before and during the period of student registration. A special attention within this WP is the promotion of the developed bachelor and master study programmes among potential students. Each Albanian and Kosovo partners created their specific working groups to realize the promotion within their institutions, other universities and especially with the high school pupils. Either visit to high schools or organizations of other promotional activities are done to expect an increase number of students.
All the activities organized in the framework of WP4 and the detailed information for each of them were documented in reports in both languages, Albanian and English.
Work Package 5 – Project management
Project management is focused on the project progress regarding expenditure, use of resources, implementation of activities, delivery of results and outcomes, and the management of risks. To achieve the wide and specific objectives of the project, the project team systematically collected, analyzed, and used relevant information about project progress. Systematic reviews and control ensured the possibility to reflect on the progress of the project and the content of progress reports in case any problem occurs. Continuous communication is the most critical factor for efficient and effective leadership. Organization and coordination of project activities were reported yearly. During the project implementation, 8 Steering Committee meetings were organized, where two of them online due to the pandemic situation. The request, with an amendment for extension and a new travel plan for Year 4, was approved by EACEA and the remaining activities were realized during the last project year. Moreover, a monitoring visit was organized to Kosovo where UP and UBT partner representatives were met to discuss in detail the implementation of new PM modules. Continuous communication onsite or via online platforms and emails was done with all partners. Furthermore, 3 monitoring visits were organized, 2 by NEOs and 1 by EACEA in Albania and 1 in Kosovo where the feedbacks were very positive with some recommendations which were taken into consideration and on time.
The major decision-making body of the project is the Steering Committee (SC), which was established by selecting one representative member from each consortium member. Another important organizational body of the project is the Project Management Board (PMB), which deals with the organization and operative decisions of any activity related to the project. Most of the members of this body are from the leading institution since it has to do with the division of responsibilities and tasks to assure effective and efficient project management. PCB members usually met four times a year, while Steering Committee (SC) twice a year. Risks related to the management are predefined, managed, and controlled during the whole project.
Financial management of the project was a process continuously controlled by the project coordinator and in very good collaboration with each partner representative. For this aim, financial reporting was asked every 6 months, where each partner had to prepare its budget spending report. All the documents were checked before they went for signature and after they got approval from the coordinator they finalized the procedure. Finally, a scanned copy of all documents related to financial issues and supporting documents were shared in the common DIMTV project folder. There was a delay in staff cost reporting procedures and payments till the second instalment as most of the partner countries budget went to equipment, thus some of the work done was reported and paid to staff at later periods.
In the Final Report, all the necessary project-related documents have been collected by the project leader and each partner gave input on their contribution at each WP.
All the activities organized in the framework of WP5 and the detailed information for each of them were documented in reports in both languages, Albanian and English.