Dual-T – Phase III: Project 8 – Technology-enhanced Learning Journals
Most Swiss VET ordinances include a paragraph on a learning journal (LJ) that apprentices have to produce during their training at the workplace to regularly document their professional development. However, the role of this LJ seems to be still limited: it is supposed to be kept by the apprentice and regularly checked by the apprenticeship trainer.
In line with our Erfahrraum model – which focuses on the use of technology to encourage learning through reflection on professional experiences – the ambition is that the LJ is not limited to workplace experiences but that it can support interactions between learning locations, i.e. vocational schools, host companies, and branch training centres. Technology could increase such a potential to make the learning journal really become an interface between VET learning locations.
With this aim in mind, the project addresses the following research questions:
- What are the generic requirements for a Technology-Enhanced Learning Journal System (TELJS) to be suitable for most VET programmes?
This phase involves analysis, conceptual work, planning, development and usability study of a technological solution which can satisfy the needs of several VET stakeholders.
- How can a TELJS support knowledge developed at school, through exploitation of workplace experiences, to be brought (back) to the workplace and validated there? What conditions enable a TELJS-based learning scenario to easily support this validation process?
This phase focuses on the design and testing of pedagogical scenarios based on the use of TELJS and it aims at fostering both (i) the completion of the Erfahrraum model, and (ii) effective coordination among the VET stakeholders in the three learning locations.
The project uses a design-based research approach (Brown, 1992; Collins, 1992; DBRC, 2003) and includes the following main steps:
- Identification and analysis of user requirements. Different stakeholders from different occupational fields in the VET system will be interviewed.
- Use of a questionnaire to generalise and confirm the results of the qualitative analysis.
- Development of a “polyvalent learning journal” (i.e. Realto) which includes the functionalities identified in the first phase.
- Usability test of the prototype Realto with four selected occupations (i.e. clothing designers, multimedia electronics, florists, and carpenters).
- Identification of the pedagogical conditions for effective implementation of Realto; design of learning scenarios encouraging interaction between learning locations and supporting validation practices in the selected occupations.
Iterative replications of the study with refined scenarios. Longitudinal measures concerning reflection and transfer of experiences across learning locations.
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