New publication on technologies in vocational education and training

What role do learning technologies play in strengthening vocational education and training? This question is at the heart of the book published by a team of researchers from SFUVET, EPFL and University of Fribourg working together on the Dual-T project pursued by the Leading House “Technologies for Vocational Education and Training”. The book celebrates the success of this long-term research project and shares the insights with a wide audience.

Bild Cover Publikation: Educational Technologies for Vocational Training  Experiences as Digital Clay
Adobe Stock

Dual-T – Technologies for Vocational Training is a project that the SERI funded for 15 years (2007-2021) under the Leading House initiative launched at the beginning of the millennium to foster research on vocational education and training (VET).

Four research groups – coordinated by EPFL and including the Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training SFUVET, the University of Fribourg and at the beginning the University of Geneva – formed the Dual-T leading house, under the aim to answer the general question: “Which digital technologies contribute to the enhancement of vocational education?”.

15 years of project work for research and development on learning technologies

To find appropriate answers, this uniquely long-term research scheme has gathered over the years more than 50 research scientists, produced 13 doctoral theses, led to the development of multiple

digital learning environments and enabled dozens of empirical studies on thousands of apprentices and hundreds of teachers and company trainers. DUAL-T also developed a network of stakeholders, including vocational schools and companies, many professional associations and cantonal as well as national public entities.

An inspiration for scientists and practitioners

To give Dual-T a legacy, the research journey on the exploitation of digital technologies for VET has been summarized through a book for a wide audience and a website for practitioners.

When writing the book «Educational Technologies for Vocational Education. Experiences as Digital Clay», the authors paid special attention to describing their work in a way that would be meaningful beyond Swiss borders. Indeed, they believe that many of the issues that were tackled by Dual-T studies are relevant for any VET system worldwide and that the pedagogical approach that was developed by the leading house could be useful even beyond VET. The book is meant as an invitation to the international community in the learning sciences and in educational technologies to pay more attention to the VET system in their own country, even if it is differently structured. Therefore, the authors expect this book to generate ideas for many education scientists, whatever domains and countries are involved in their studies.

The book (in English) is available for free and is complemented by a website eduscenario (in four languages) where practitioners can find many concrete examples and materials on how to implement the Dual-T pedagogical model (called “Erfahrraum”) through several technologies. Moreover, they can find some of the augmented reality systems that have been developed during the project, now transformed into their Unity version, playable with VR headsets and available for free.