Category Archives: pilot testing

Learning Toolbox (LTB) Chronicle Vol. 3, 2016 – Overview

Construction pilot articles of the Learning Layers project (Year 4)

Pekka Kämäräinen

The Learning Toolbox Chronicle is a collection of articles on the work of the Construction pilot of the Learning Layers project. The co-design process that was initiated in 2013 by the project partners from the training centre Bau-ABC Rostrup has led to the development of the integrative toolset Learning Toolbox (LTB) to support online learning and knowledge sharing.

The articles of Vol. 3, 2016 report on the pilot activities of the fourth year of the Learning Layers project – on the major training campaign in Bau-ABC, on the pilot testing of Learning Toolbox and on reporting on the results.

Article 1/2016 Insights into “Theme Room” training on digital media in Bau-ABC

This article covers the launch of the Theme Room training campaign in Bau-ABC and the interim assessment of the implementation Theme Room workshops (in November 2015).

Article 2/2016 Peer learning and using digital media in Theme Room workshops

This article gives insights into peer learning in Theme Room workshops with focus on the themes ‘Social media’ and ‘Digital learning contents’.

Article 3/2016  Piloting with Learning Toolbox (LTB) takes off in Bau-ABC

This article gives a picture on the preparation, launch and early follow-up of the piloting with Learning Toolbox in Bau-ABC (from March 2016 on).

Article 4/2016  Piloting with other Learning Layers Tools in Bau-ABC – Learning Toolbox in good company

This article reports on the piloting with two other Learning Layers tools in Bau-ABC – the video annotation tool AchSo and the social augmented reality application SOAR.

Article 5/2016  New fields of piloting with Learning Toolbox (LTB) in Bau-ABC

This article reports on peer tutoring sessions with Bau-ABC trainers to promote the use of Learning Toolbox in new trades and in the overarching learning area ‘Health and Safety’.

Article 6/2016  Learning Toolbox for trans-national mobility – preparing stacks with and for Spanish apprentices

This article reports on a workshop with Spanish apprentices who are getting apprentice training in Bau-ABC within the Mobipro-EU project. In the workshop we explored the possibility to use Learning Toolbox as support for such trans-national mobility.

Article 7/2016  Recent reports on the use of Learning Toolbox in practice – in Bau-ABC training and at a construction site in Verden

This article reports on a recent findings on the use of Learning Toolbox in Bau-ABC training and on at a construction site supervised by Thomas Isselhard (from Netzwerk Nachhaltiges Bauen) in Verden.

Article 4/2016 Piloting with other Learning Layers Tools in Bau-ABC – Learning Toolbox in good company

Pekka Kämäräinen and Sanna Reponen

This  article provides insights into a working visit, during which Learning Layers partners have presented two new tools – the AchSo app for video annotation and the SoAR app for real time video communication in work environments. The tools were presented by our colleagues from Aalto University (Finland). Alongside the pilot sessions our colleagues from the University of Innsbruck (UIBK) collected feedback on the use of the LTB in the pilot groups that piloted with this toolset since March. Project team members from ITB and Pontydysgu accompanied the activities and supported the sessions.

1. Bau-ABC apprentices work with AchSo

Earlier development of and piloting with AchSo in Finland

Originally the video annotation tool is based on prior work done in RWTH Aachen – and they gave the name ‘AchSo’ to illustrate the learning effect when using the tool. Later on the Finnish partner Aalto University (shortly: Aalto) has taken further the tool development. The Aalto team has piloted with the AchSo tool with a Finnish counterparts in the construction sector. In the Finnish pilot the users of AchSo have been trainees in full-time vocational schools that have an obligatory workplace learning period (Praktikum) in construction companies. Their vocational school teachers are responsible for the final assessment of the learning at workplace as well. By using annotated videos trainees could document their working and learning tasks and demonstrate their learning achievements.

Introduction of AchSo to apprentices and trainers in Bau-ABC

The introduction in Bau-ABC was started with the group of apprentices that were specialising in well-building (Brunnenbau) but were having one week’s course period in metalworking. Firstly Sanna Reponen (Aalto) gave the background information on AchSo and how it functions. In this context we also clarified the data protection, privacy and sharing-related issues when using such tools. Secondly the apprentices installed AchSo on their own devices or got spare devices from Aalto for the session. Thirdly the Bau-ABC trainers introduced the project task – cutting a metal plate to a measure, filing the edges and marking spots at given distances for further processing. This ‘project’ is a traditional elementary exercise with which apprentices and trainees are guided to pay attention to appropriate use of tools and to paying attention to quality requirements.

After the introduction the apprentices started working with the tasks and – once they had made some progress – shooting videos of each others’ work at different phases. Parallel to this, one of the trainers also shot some videos on the work of apprentices. It appeared that some apprentices shot only one video, whilst some others tried to cover all major phases of work with short video clips. At the end of the day the videos were shown as a gallery and some exemplary videos were played.

Immediate feedback on working with AchSo

On the whole the apprentices were positive about shooting videos – although it was an additional task and required cooperation. In general, their project tasks are individual and each one had to complete it on his own. In the discussion the apprentices emphasised that they paid more attention to different phases of work when selecting, which of them to be documented with videos. The trainer emphasised that videos shot by apprentices gave him a better overview on the work of apprentices (instead of just going around the workshop and monitoring them individually in the short time). Secondly, it was agreed that such a documentation of training in Bau-ABC workshops makes it easier to inform the vocational school teachers and the companies on tasks their learning gains in the training in Bau-ABC.

Azubis_Metall_AchSo-PilotAzubi-LWM_AchSo-Pilot

Screenshot 1 and 2: Apprentices in metalworking workshop presenting videos to trainer

Altogether, we had the impression that the introduction of AchSo in this group worked well. This impression was confirmed during the next day when a new group of apprentices started with AchSo. The first video by an apprentice was uploaded already during the introductory presentation.

2. Introducing Augmented Reality to construction vehicle drivers

The idea of Social Augmented Reality (SoAR)

The second tool – the Social Augmented Reality (SoAR) – has also been developed by the Aalto team to support real time video communication in working environments. This tool uses at the same time different functions of mobile devices: speech, video and tagging (drawing). When using SoAR in mobile phone calls, the counterparts can see each other and talk to each other (like using Skype), they can switch the screens that they are viewing and they can tag live videos by drawings. Finally, they can save the recordings on their devices.

The introduction of SoAR in Bau-ABC

On the third day of the working visit SoAR was introduced to apprentices specialising as construction vehicle drivers (Baugeräteführer) who had used AchSo on the day before Sanna Reponen presented the functionality of the tool at the outdoor training areas and the testing started immediately. Normally, the driving and operating of construction site vehicles (caterpillars with different additional features) is organised in groups – one is the driver, two others are supporting the lifting and adjusting operations while others are waiting for their turns. The supervising trainer is not all the time present. Now, the trainer got a mobile phone in which SoAR was uploaded and one of the apprentices got another one. In this way the trainer was able to rotate between different training areas and his office without losing contact with this group of trainees.

Baugeräteführer_ Training-areaBaugeräteführer_AchSo-video

Screenshot 3 and 4: Construction vehicle drivers using AchSo and SOAR in their training

During one of the first test calls there was a real problem case, when the cylinders of the caterpillar started making unusual noises – just when the trainer was out of sight. Thanks to the use of SoAR the apprentices could show him the case and from the noise he could conclude, where the problem might be. And he could give in real time advice, what measures to take to solve the problem (or at least to avoid any damage). After this ‘real’ case, several other apprentices made similar test calls and the trainer responded from different locations. Altogether, the communication worked well but the background noise from the engines of the vehicles was a major disturbance.

At the end of the day we had a feedback session with the apprentices. They gave very positive feedback on the test situation and were interested to learn more of the tools. In a similar way the trainer had made a very positive experience with his testing. Altogether – after all these sessions – we concluded that AchSo and SoAR are very positive complementary tools to be used within the Learning Toolbox toolset.

Learning Toolbox (LTB) Chronicle Vol. 3, 4/2016

Article 3/2016 Piloting with Learning Toolbox (LTB) takes off in Bau-ABC

Pekka Kämäräinen

In February and March 2016 the Learning Toolbox (LTB) was introduced into the apprentice training of Bau-ABC. As has been indicated in previous articles of this series, the Theme Room training campaign (in November 2015) had already provided a good basis for the pilot activities. This third article gives firstly insights into the preparation of the piloting by Bau-ABC trainers – supported by Learning Layers (LL) partners. Secondly it provides a brief report on the kick-off event and on a follow-up visit of LL partners. The point of the interest is to see, how trainers of Bau-ABC develop their own patterns of using the LTB.

1.Preparation of pilot activities by trainers: three exemplary cases

In the preparatory talks Bau-ABC trainers presented three exemplary cases for implementing LTB in their training.  The first case focuses on the trade of well-builders. The second case deals with the learning area ‘health and safety’. The third case presents a joint project of two trades – carpenters and bricklayers.

a) In the trade of well-builders (Brunnenbauer) the use of LTB is being brought via support materials and activities. The responsible trainer Lothar Schoka is creating stacks that provide access relevant guidelines and instructions (e.g. extracts of DIN-norms). Also, the apprentices can access digital worksheets (lists of tools and materials) via LTB.

b) Regarding the theme ‘health and safety’ (Arbeitssicherheit und Gesundheitsschutz), the competent body in the construction sector (BG Bau) provides a comprehensive set of modularised reference materials (Baukasten) and a special materials for young craftsmen. In addition, Bau-ABC uses a brief compendium for trainers (KomPass). These materials are available on the net. Moreover, when starting their training project , the apprentices have to fill a risk analysis form related to the tasks (Gefährdungsbeurteilung). The potential benefits of using LTB is that it can provide

  • easy access to Internet documents (to be checked later on),
  • Immediate access to compressed information (checklists, extracts of information sheets, model solutions with feedback),
  • access to quiz tools (ordinary quiz or specific variants for detecting errors).

c) The joint project of carpenters (Zimmerer) and bricklayers (Maurer) is based on a traditional technique of building houses with wooden frames and brick walls (Fachwerkhaus). The apprentices’ project with a small construction using this technique provides cooperation opportunities for these two trades. The trainers of these trades (Markus Pape and Kevin Kuck) see the advantage in using LTB and in creating joint stacks in the following way:

  • LTB gives an overview on the common project (as a whole) and on related standards.
  • LTB stacks help to organise the exercises of the two groups (carpenters and bricklayers) in each others’ tasks.
  • LTB stacks help to coordinate the collaboration between the groups during the project.

ScrShot_Holzrahmenbau-1ScrShot_Holzrahmenbau-2

Screenshot 1 and 2: Building LTB-stacks for a joint project of carpenters and bricklayers

2. Observations on the Kick-off event 14.3.2016 and during the follow-up visit

On the 14th of March a kick-off event was organised for the pilots with LTB in two trades – the carpenters and the well-builders. Several LL partners supported the event with their contributions. Some time later, a group from ITB and Pontydysgu visited Bau-ABC to collect feedback and to discuss further steps in the  piloting with the Learning Toolbox (LTB).

Below I give firstly some insights into the work with the group of carpenters (Zimmerer) during the kick-off event. Then I give a brief report on the follow-up visit and on points that were raised in our discussions with Bau-ABc trainers.

Kick-off of LTB pilot with the carpenters

In the group of carpenters the LL partners presented firstly the project and the functionality of LTB as an integrative toolset. Then, the apprentices installed LTB on their smartphones. Once this was achieved, the trainer Fidi Bruns gave an overview on the above mentioned training project. In the next phase the trainer Markus Pape presented the LTB stacks with which the apprentices are expected to work (and how they can be used).  After these instructions the LL partners organised a group discussion. In this discussion the apprentices gave feedback on the new toolset and what benefits they could immediately see in using it.

Building upon the work of the pioneering trades

As has been indicated, the carpenters and bricklayers started immediately with a joint project. A similar cooperation opportunity was identified with the pioneering group of well-builders. In the next phase they will continue in Bau-ABC with the trade of machinery and metalworking (Maschinen- und Metalltechnik). Lothar Schoka agreed to work with his colleagues in this trade to develop stacks for them and to advise them in the use of LTB. Likewise, we discovered that the trainers working with road-builders (Strassenbauer) and pipeline-builders (Rohrleitungsbauer) can work together to develop new stacks on the basis of existing pilot stack for road-builders.

ScrShot_Overview_BrBScrShot_Overview_RoLeB

Screenshot 3 and 4: Building closely matching LTB-stacks for the pilot group getting taining in neighbouring trades (well-duilding, pipeline-building)

In this respect we saw that LTB pilots can be brought further via natural cooperation between the neighbouring trades. However, we also noted several challenges and hurdles that need to be taken up in Bau-ABC and in the LTB developers’ team. And we saw a possibility to proceed to a new phase of Theme Room training with the use of LTB as one of the themes.

Learning Toolbox (LTB) Chronicle Vol. 3, 3/2016

Start of year 2016 with Learning Layers – Part 3: Preparation of the consortium meeting in Innsbruck

In my two previous blogs I started a series of reports on the ‘start of the year 2016′ meetings in with our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project. In the first post I reported on the meeting of the LL teams of ITB and Pont, and in the second post on our working meeting in Bau-ABC. In this third post I give an account on the video conference in which the Work Package Leaders of the LL project discussed the preparation of our next consortium meeting in Innsbruck (2.2.-5.2.2016).

Below I try follow the reconstruct the discussion based on the recording of the meeting (in which I could not participate). I try to put an emphasis on the thematic blocks (and on the specific accents) that were set for the preparation of future activities. I do not try to give a comprehensive report but rather limit myself Continue reading

Start of year 2016 with Learning Layers – Part 2: Catching up with the fieldwork in Bau-ABC

In my previous blog I started a series of reports on the ‘start of the year 2016′ meetings in with our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project. The first post reported on the first meeting of the local LL teams of ITB and Pont in Bremen. This second post reports on our first working visit to Bau-ABC to discuss the current tasks in our fieldwork. From ITB Ludger Deitmer and I participated, from Bau-ABC Melanie Campbell and Kerstin Engraf. (A more detailed report on this meeting is available (in German) in the Learning Layers Google Drive document https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lgL4hCjkaRZnrY17E0swQcvxWqR7XvrkmaK2fnUhh_s.)

Firstly we took up some issues that were already discussed in the ITB-Pont meeting, in particular the situation in the development of Learning Toolbox and the timeline for pilot testing and evaluation. Our conclusion was that it is crucial to get the interactive communication channel and the group functionality (in Continue reading