DUNES set up collaboration frameworks with industrial users by running focus groups with representatives of industrial players (external to the DUNES consortium) in order to complement the scope of the project. These focus groups have been created with the purpose of helping to ensure a mutual awareness of DUNES and the main avenues of thought and action in the industry, to warrant consistency of the developments in DUNES with state-of-the-art and the highest quality standards, and that user requirements in the field of e-learning service provision are adequately met.
The focus group is an additional means intended to consolidate the user requirements and system design tasks in DUNES. It is also expected to contribute to making e-learning procedures technically and economically efficient. In a series of focus groups, six to nine participants are expected to discuss issues and concerns regarding the use of DUNES systems and process. Several focus group sessions have been and will be organized, since the outcome of any single session may not be sufficient or representative. Written information including recruitment criteria, role expectation, and focus group guidelines have been sent to the contact leaders of the members involved. A typical meeting lasts about two to three hours and is run by a moderator.
These focus group sessions resulted in scientifically and technically high-level documents that may be used as valuable references in the future, both in industry and in academia. The focus meetings have been given attention throughout the whole life of the project, but especially during the four-months period following the implementation of prototype Alpha, before the work on prototype beta entered its critical phases.