Learning Lab(oratory): quality non-formal education in the digital world


The idea

With the Learning Lab(oratory) project, we aim to improve the quality of non-formal and informal learning aspects of volunteering activities in our organisations, in both physical and online formats.

We are a partnership of 9 organisations: SCI Austria, CVS Bulgaria, SCI Belgium, SCI Germany, CID North Macedonia, Para Onde? Portugal, VCV Serbia, Zavod Voluntariat – SCI Slovenia and OWA Poland.

Why do we do it?
* we all want to maintain a high quality of our non-formal activities (workshops, webinars, workcamps…);
* for this, we need to ensure constant training of less experienced volunteers and activists;
* our organisations are learning how to adapt to the new world of digital education and volunteering;
* we want to better include persons with fewer opportunities in our activities – also through the new online formats.

The activities

The project has 5 main components:

  1. Learning Lab(oratory) Training Course (7-14.07.2022, in Bulgaria) on organising and running high-quality learning activities in both in-person and online environments. (Impressions from the training you can read here)
  2. Three thematic webinars (May-October 2022) on inclusion, visual facilitation and impact measurement.
    Webinar: Visual Facilitation for Boosting Learning – how to apply visuals in our in-person and online educational activities– 17.05.2022
  3. Learning Lab(oratory) Pro Training Course (October-November, in Poland) – getting more in-depth on the topics of inclusion and new tools and trends in learning and development.
  4. Practice time (July-December 2022) – organising learning activities on a local level.
  5. Publishing resources for educators (December 2022) – Facilitator’s Cards and Infographic for Inclusion.

The activities will be implemented in the period 11.2021 – 2.2023.

The first training

The training course “Learning Lab(oratory)” took place between 7 and 14 July 2022 in Emen village, near Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria!

Join our next training course on quality learning!

Call for participants for the Learning Lab(oratory) Pro training course and apply for the training here.

Deadline for applications: 2 October 2022.

The resources

We are working on 2 resources for educators and volunteer coordinators that will support high-quality, inclusive learning processes in your projects.

* Facilitator’s Cards – a checklist on how to organise a good learning process. They will include important/key aspects of organising any learning process (from needs analysis to concrete activities and evaluation). Each card will tackle a different step of the process. There will be some useful information on the card topic, and a possibility to write personal notes. The cards will be laminated and envisaged for multiple usage thanks to the wet-erasable technology used.
* Infographic on Inclusion – it will tackle the topic of how to make our non-formal learning activities more inclusive. It will collect and summarize the practical information and tips & tricks shared during the project activities and will give specific advice on how to equally include participants with fewer opportunities.

These resources will be launched during the Open Webinar in December 2022.


The planned results of the project include:

  • 56 trained educators, volunteers and youth workers, with knowledge and skills allowing to conduct high-quality educational activities, also in remote and hybrid mode;
  • increasing the capacity of 9 project partner organisations in organising and delivering high-quality educational activities as well as developing their network of international contacts and possibilities of joint projects;
  • at least 100 European youth organisations will use our Facilitator’s Cards and Infographic in 2022 or take part in webinars organised within our project.

Additionally, thanks to new opportunities offered by remote education and new technologies, we will be able to involve more persons from rural areas and representatives of groups with fewer opportunities in our activities. We will enable them to organize international meetings and cross-border cooperation in a formula that was not possible a few years ago!

The Learning Lab (oratory) project will support the development of civil society, with people who can learn from each other and want to share their knowledge for the benefit of others – through high-quality non-formal education.

The team

The project coordinators are Goska Tur (SCI Poland) and Natalie Jivkova (CVS Bulgaria).
You can contact them at learning@poland.sci.ngo.

The donor

Our project is co-funded by the European Union. We are very thankful for making our idea possible to realise thanks to this support!

Project number 2021-1-PL01-KA153-YOU-000018791