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.
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.
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.