Tag Archives: MOOCs

Article 5/2015 Learning Layers in dialogue with other projects at ECER 2015 (Budapest 9.9.2015)

Pekka Kämäräinen

The Learning Layers partners ITB and Pontydysgu have promoted the work of Learning Layers in the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) from the beginning of the project. In the ECER 2014 (in Porto) ITB and Pontydysgu had a joint symposium on the relations between participative design and accompanying research. For the ECER 2015 ITB and Pontydysgu prepared a symposium to present the work of three parallel projects on developing and using digital media and web resources in order to promote learning at the workplace and in work organisations. The symposium was based on the inputs of each project (with brief discussion after the presentation). Then there was a joint discussion supported by an invited discussant.

The first presentation by Falk Howe and Werner Müller focused on the ITB project Kompetenzwerkst@tt (‘Competence workshop’) that started as a curriculum development project to promote holistic approaches to occupational fields of activity (Handlungsfelder) and characteristic Working and Learning Tasks (Lern- und Arbeitsaufgaben) in vocational learning. In this presentation the main thrust was given on the role of e-portfolios as part of Kompetenzwerks@tt approach. The presenters showed, how the e-portfolios are used in retrospective sense (documenting already acquired learning gains) and in prospective sense (for shaping learning scenarios).

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Screenshot 1 and 2: Working with the Kompetenzwerkstatt e-portfolio for apprentices

The second presentation by Pekka Kämäräinen, Ludger Deitmer and Werner Müller focused on the Learning Layers with insights into the co-design processes and into the Learning Toolbox as an integrative toolset to support learning in the context of work. Then, the presentation shifted the emphasis from apprentice training (the current pilot context) to continuing vocational training (CVT). The presentation outlined a new project initiative to support the training of general construction site managers (Geprüfte Polier) with digital media and web tools. Finally the presentation discussed some barriers to and challenges for such project work in construction sector but also on emerging changes.

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Screenshot 3 and 4: Mapping the R&D context of the DigiProB project in continuing vocational training for construction professionals

The third presentation by Graham Attwell dealt with the Employ-ID project that focuses on the changes in the public employment services (PES) in Europe (with major pilots initiated in the UK). The background of the project is in the changing role of PES organisations due to changes in working life and occupations. Now these services are required to produce data of changing labour markets and analyse the employment prospects of different target groups. Based on these results they are required to propose employment promotion measures and initiatives for self-employment. One of the contributions of the Employ-ID project was to organise an adapted MOOC (using a social network platform based on MOOC technology) to stimulate community-based online learning of dispersed PES services.

In the joint discussion the participants drew attention to the complementary relations between the projects. In particular they emphasised the relevance of the e-portfolio of the Kompetenzwerkst@tt for the further work with the Learning Toolbox. Also, the discussion emphasised the relevance of lessons from the pilot MOOCs for forthcoming pilots in the field of vocational education and workplace training.

Learning Toolbox (LTB) Chronicle Vol. 2, 5/2015

Seven things we have learned about MOOCs

With the explosion of interest in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), both in numbers of courses and students, and in press reporting on the rise of MOOCs, it is worth thinking about the significance of all this. Here is a short version of five things that we have learned – a longer version (possibly) to follow.

  1. There is a huge pent up demand for education. MOOCs provide free and flexible access tot hose who could not previously take part in education. That includes not only from poorer countries with a limited education infrastructure but also from rich countries. And whilst some of the demand my be due to people wishing to improve their qualification, for many others the main motivation is personal interest.
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