Category Archives: TEL

Once more Learning Layers – Part Three: Reflections on parallel pilots in construction and healthcare

In this series of posts I am working with one of the final tasks in our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project – analysing the work in the two sectoral pilots – construction and healthcare – from a comparative perspective. At the end of the work it is necessary to consider, what we have learned from parallel pilots and what conclusions we can draw on the basis of comparative analyses. In this respect I am presenting extracts from a joint draft document on which I am working with my colleagues Tamsin Treasure-Jones and Graham Attwell. With these posts I try to ‘blog into maturity’ the preliminary thoughts we have put into discussion. In the previous posts I presented some starting points and insights into the processes. In this post I present our reflections on the parallel pilots – to be continued in the final post with conclusions across the pilots. (Here, Continue reading

Once more Learning Layers – Part Two: Comparative insights into both pilot sectors

In this series of posts I am working with one of the final tasks in our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project – analysing the work in the two sectoral pilots – construction and healthcare – from a comparative perspective. At the end of the work it is necessary to consider, what we have learned from parallel pilots and what conclusions we can draw on the basis of comparative analyses. In this respect I have been working with my colleagues Tamsin Treasure-Jones and Graham Attwell with a joint draft document. In this series I present extracts from our document as ‘loud thinking’ to ‘blog them into maturity’. In my first post I presented our approach and the starting points of the sectoral pilots. In this post I present some insights into project work in the two pilots. In the final posts I will present our reflections and some emerging conclusions. (Here, Continue reading

Once more Learning Layers – Part One: Learning lessons from both pilot sectors

Twice I have already tried to say goodbye to project work in our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project – in vain. Having completed the reporting on the construction pilot with the the forthcoming web documents (impact cards, learning scenarios and methodology documents) I thought that I could step to a follow-up phase. However, at that point I had not realised that there is one more pending task that we need to address in the context of our reporting. We need to have a closer look at the efforts, achievements and experiences in the two sectoral pilots – construction and healthcare – with a comparative view. We need to see, what specific lessons we have learned in each of them and what conclusions we can draw on the basis of both sectoral pilots. So, now I am working with my colleagues Tamsin Treasure-Jones and Graham Attwell to summarise the picture of Continue reading

Four years blogging on, with and for the Learning Layers project – looking back and looking forward

During the four last years I have been blogging intensively on our ongoing EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project. Now the time has come to close that chapter. I have three reasons to make that statement:

  1. The project itself is at its final stage and our field activities are being closed.
  2. My contract with the project has already come to an end. At the moment I have not been yet been engaged in the follow-up activities that are still in the process of getting shaped.
  3. Due to health issues I am no longer available for field activities in the same way as before.

So, with all the good time passed with the LL project and with all due optimism vis-à-vis the open questions, I am well advised to to take a look back at my blogs and see, what all comes up there.

1.  Blogs of the years 2012 and Continue reading

‘Methods’ or process innovations in Learning Layers research – Part Two: Reflections on training innovations

In my latest blog I started yet another series of posts on our contributions to the final deliverable of our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project. I might be repeating myself but it is worth reflecting, what kind of learning experience we have made with our partners in the Learning Layers Construction pilot. At the end of the journey  we are able to highlight what all has contributed to the innovation processes we have been working with. In my previous post I discussed this with focus on the role of accompanying research in a process of multi-channeled research & development (R&D) dialogue. In this post I focus on the role of training interventions in our project experience.

Here I have been working with a similar question (as in my previous blog), how to present our training interventions as a contribution to the innovation process (that we have gone through together with our Continue reading

‘Methods’ or process innovations in Learning Layers research – Part One: Reflections on accompanying research

During the last few weeks we have been preparing our contributions to the final deliverable of our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project. And obviously, my recent blogs have included a lot of ‘loud thinking’ on these contributions. Due to the fact that we have had a complex innovation process in the Construction pilot to report, I may have been repeating some issues when discussing in different posts our various deliverables (Impact Cards, Learning Scenarios and Research Methodology documents). Also, I have noticed that with several iterations in writing I have got the message clearer. Thus, I have been able to highlight the characteristics of the innovation processes and the way different parties worked together to make them happen.

In the final phase I have been working with the question, how to present our research work as a contribution to the innovation process (that we have gone through with Continue reading

Presenting Learning Layers training experience – the Theme Room moodle application

In my recent blog I reported on a fresh web publication – the Learning Toolbox Chronicle – that is available on the website of our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project. The articles published one by one on the project website and its section for the Construction pilot have been rearranged as a collection that consists of three volumes.

In a similar way I have prepared a new web document on the two training programs that we have organised as a part of our project activities: the early Multimedia training (2013-2014) and  Theme Room training (2015) in the training centre Bau-ABC. I have prepared a comprehensive overview on the programs, their implementation and on the training materials used as the Moodle application “Theme Room Training 2015”. Below I present firstly an overview on this moodle application and then some reflections on the role of this training experience in the final phase Continue reading

Presenting the Learning Layers experience – the Learning Toolbox Chronicle

One of the final efforts of our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project has been the rearrangement of the dissemination articles that we had published on the LL website, section “Construction”. At the end of the project we felt that we should make it accessible as a more structured documentation of the process we went through with our construction sector partners. However, we knew that we cannot make intensive editing operations – the materials were already there and we could at best make them more attractive by providing easier access to them. Secondly, we needed to think beyond our project experience and to open perspectives for follow-up activities. This gave rise to present the history of Construction pilot as the story on the making of its main result – the Learning Toolbox. And so the articles of past years were give a new life as the “Learning Toolbox Chronicle” and as Continue reading

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

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

Pekka Kämäräinen

The first article of this series gives an overview of the Theme Room training campaign that was implemented in the training centre Bau-ABC in November 2015. This second article gives insights into the processes of peer learning and into use of digital media during the workshop sessions. Below the two main sections inform of the activities and learning experiences with the themes “Social media as support for learning” and “Preparation of digital learning materials”.

Here it is worthwhile to note that these observations refer mainly to the group in which the author served as a co-tutor. In addition, some general remarks are made on the group dynamics in the parallel groups (based on knowledge sharing between the tutors).

1. The role of Social Media as support for learning

In most groups the tutors from Bau-ABC were hosting Facebook groups for their trade and the apprentices were actively involved as contributors and readers. Yet, not all training staff was in favour of using Facebook. However, it was acknowledged by the participants that the existing Facebook groups of Bau-ABC have played a positive role. Therefore, the exercises  with Facebook served as a natural ‘starter’ for this theme – to be followed by other media platforms and networks.

The uses of Facebook – and the importance of getting hands on Facebook

The learning exercises started with creating/activating accounts and getting informed of the settings. Here, some groups put more attention on the privacy settings, whilst others worked with sharing contents between individuals and groups. Altogether, these exercises helped to overcome the gap between users and non-users.

Getting a broader overview of social media, platforms and networks

The aim of the training was to get introduced to a wider range of social media and to get a picture of their usability in apprentice training. For this purpose, there were brief demonstrations and a brainstorming session for discussing the pros and cons with different media. In this way we covered the use of Twitter, blogs, YouTube and other media. Finally, the participants were invited to indicate their own priorities for using social media and to explain, for what purposes and with which target groups they are suitable.

2.  Preparing digital learning materials for vocational training

With this theme we had somewhat different approaches in parallel groups. The groups that began with this theme started to prepare exemplary digital contents and emphasised the production and editing processes. The groups that began with the theme ‘Social Media’ put the main emphasis on working with blogs and integrating the use of different tools to their work with blogs (as digital learning environments).

ScrShot_Video-ProdScrShot_Video-Prod2

Screenshot 1 and 2: Production and editing video material in Theme Room workshops

Working with videos and particular GoConqr tools

The two pioneering groups working with digital learning materials engaged the participants in producing short videos. In addition they prepared exemplary exercises for apprentices with GoConqr quiz tools. These groups used the brainstorming phases to consider the usability of videos and GoConqr applications in training. When continuing to social media, these groups discussed the role of blogs as instruments for presenting such exercises for apprentices.

ScrShot Blogs-StartScrShot_GoConqr

Screenshot 3 and 4: Working with trainers’ blogs and GoConqr Quizzes

Working with blogs

The groups that put more emphasis on blogs had slightly different approaches. In one group the trainers were engaged to create completely new blogs and to use them for posting and commenting messages. Here the participants became familiar with the processes, techniques and editing options.

In another group the main attention was given on the existing trainers’ blogs (in particular the Zimmererblog and the Brunnenbauerblog). When exploring the existing blogs the participants discussed, how these pioneering blogs could be used as  a basis for introducing similar solutions for other occupational areas. In a next step, the question of optimal uses of blogs was taken up again. The group prepared jointly a GoConqr mindmap presenting arguments for introducing different contents via blogs and for making them public or private.

The work in both groups brought more closer to each other participants who had already worked with blogs and the others who had not had experience with blogs. Furthermore, the discussion in the latter group brought forward the idea of integrated ‘packages’ as building blocks for further trainers’ blogs. These packages could link to each other text documents, photos/drawings/videos, quiz tests and links to external materials. In this respect the session paved way for introducing the Learning Toolbox.

Learning Toolbox (LTB) Chronicle Vol. 3, 2/2016