02 SES 06 C, Motivating Learners
The transformation of the labor market, especially after the Millenary, made it rather clear that the traditional systems of professional qualification were no longer able to shape the system of employment. Most of the work activities contain rapidly changing elements determined by technological and economic aspects (Beetham, H. and Sharpe, R. 2013), and the dynamics of the changes are difficult to be forecasted. There is a transformation turn going on in VET, the old structures are no more able to respond to the new challenges (Nore, H. 2015). We are less and less able to manage these changes within the rigid frameworks of the qualification systems and closed structures. This topic has strong VET didactical features (Gessler, M.; Herrera L. M.; 2015), and is partly connected to the endeavours which strive to shape the alternatives of the traditional VET curricula in a learning environment determined by modern ICT in the learning process and also in the construction of the curriculum as well (Colons, A.; Halverson, R. 2009; Benedek, A.; Molnár, Gy. 2014, 2015). Developing Open Educational Resources (OER) with students’ participation means a potential of content and methodology and the applied ICT solutions (open source and ICT supported Learning Management System (LMS), memory independent management of complex visual elements and the flexible management of micro-contents) is capable of surpassing traditional, school- and notebook based teaching. According to our research activities the Open Content Development (OCD) model, which was based on the results of several learning content digitalizing projects, was built upon the recognition of the change in the teaching-learning paradigm presented above. In addition to the appearance of the new learning functions, the ICT environment offering us new opportunities so we started the mid-term dissemination of the OCD model in the frame of a technical university where the vocational teacher training gives us parallel to improve the methodological knowledge the new vocational teachers and to implement in the VET institution the OCD model in the teaching and learning practice.
Our young students in VET system who gain network knowledge in a variety of ways in today’s ICT environment are not sufficiently motivated to learn and elaborate traditional learning materials. This finding is especially important as young people’s communication practices, including communication amongst themselves, using the services offered by community applications (e.g. Facebook), reading news or blogs, etc., are dominated by image messages. The new multimodal environment represents new possibilities of education and demonstration such as learning based on playing, virtual worlds and the development of customized learning environments with permanently attached forms of communications such as thematic blogs and professional e-portfolios providing information on one’s professional activities.
Our research deals with the questions of seeking a new teaching paradigm related to the idea, indeed the imagination. ‘Systems and control are all around us’. During our efforts to develop Open Education Resources (OER) within the framework of our experiment implemented between 2015-2017, we found that student participation offered great potentials in relation to the content and the methodology as well.
In developing new vocational training concepts, from both side – inclusion the youth who are difficulties in the learning process and exclusion the gifted ones especially in point of view the vocational activities - a personalized approach is generally applied. Vocational training has a unique position in progressive educational systems, mostly as the duration of training is much shorter than in non-vocational programs. This uniqueness is manifested in the way vocational programs prepare students for the social division of labor in the broadest sense.
Interdisciplinary approaches are increasingly acknowledged; however, we should note here that accelerating technical development results in the continuous restructuring of technical culture and educational contents. These traditionally focus on information, so a strong competition may be foreseen between traditional curricula focusing on quantity and new ones representing a more complex approach. This contradiction may only be resolved by educational institutions if they are willing to modernize their knowledge transfer system that is traditionally rigid and divided into subjects and to create the didactics for the new, integrated approach. Regarding its nature, our methodological research is an action research. Of course, it also includes theoretical analyzation that uses the latest results of the topics of the learning environment and interactive-collaborative online learning as the base for the process of open content development. In the traditional didactical triangle (Resource–Teacher-Student), this process does not consider the Learning Resource – exactly because of its chronic lack or its dynamic transformation/development in VET – as a ready and instant content description, and so opens or takes the process of content development as open. In this process, the (practicing) teachers, and what makes an outstandingly important interaction potential, the students can participate and create micro contents connecting to the learning units fixed by the curricula. Our action research can also be called a network research since in the first phase of the research a voluntary based cooperation network of the ten VET institutions ready to implement the research concept was established; 6-8 teachers of each institution were trained in the general methodology of open content development and the construction of micro contents within the frames of a 30-hour blended learning course. The training that was implemented in a 30:70 percent contact-distance education form was supported by an educational platform (Moodle) where the learning materials, methodological support and the contents developed by the participants were uploaded. This process allows permanent evaluation and feed-back. In the following phases of the research, the teachers in possession of the methodology invite their students to join in open content development during their own classroom lessons. The action research does not only aim to complete the already existing content elements with learning units and micro contents of a new type but to develop the teachers’ methodological knowledge, as well. Another important aim is to examine the micro contents that were created through new procedures from the aspect of genre and multimodality.
Owing to the nature of action research, the expected results of the research can be perceived already in the first phase (2017-2018). The evolution of the VET schools’ network is much more dynamic than expected before, the network of 12 schools that was planned to be created during three years has already been born, which indicates the interest in this process. 74 teachers joined the 30-hour blended training that was determined as the precondition of formal participation, which means that 5-7 vocational teachers joined the development program in each school. The number of the microcontent units related to the vocational learning units elaborated by the teachers is now over one hundred, and as a result of the teachers’ work, the first results of the students’ learning content development have also appeared in our model of open learning content development. On one hand, the representational characteristics of the micro contents created within the frames of open content development have become searchable in several dimensions. On the other hand, the nature of the micro contents, the applied presentation methods (e.g. adopting dynamic pictorial presentation – flashes, videos) and the illustration of structures on mind maps clearly indicate characteristics that point perceivable differences regarding the age and educational parameters of the teachers’ and the students’ population. Our examination in the field of school system VET offers well adoptable methodological potentials in the topic of Inclusion and Exclusion. It eases the activation of the disadvantaged students potentially dropping out – some of them with social disadvantages while others with learning difficulties having evolved in the previous school grade – as well as their joining in the development processes, and offers the opportunity to apply the cooperative pedagogical methods in the teaching process of vocational subjects.
Beetham, H. and Sharpe, R. (ed.) (2013). Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age: Designing for 21st century learning (2nd edition). Abingdon: Routledge. 352. See more: http://www.dtransform.eu/ Benedek, A.; Molnár, Gy. (2014). ICT in Education: A New paradigm and old obstacle In: Arno Leist, Tadeusz Pankowski (eds.) ICCGI 2014: The Ninth International Multi-Conference on Computing in the Global Information Technology. Sevilla, Spain, 2014.06.22-IARIA. 54-60. Benedek, A.; Molnár, Gy. (2015). E-teaching and Digitalization at BME. In: New Technologies and Innovation in Education for Global Business: 19th International Conference on Engineering Education - PROCEEDINGS. Zagreb, 2015.07.20-2015.07.24. ( the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics & Business) Zagreb, 349-356. Benedek, A.; Molnár, Gy. (2015). New Approaches to the E-content and E-textbook in Higher Education, In: L Gómez Chova, A López Martínez, I Candel Torres (eds.), INTED2015 Proceedings: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference. Madrid, Spain,: International Academy of Technology, Education and Development (IATED), 2015. 3646-3650. Gessler, M, Herrera M,L.(eds.), (2015) Special Edition: Vocational Didactics, International Journal for Research in Vocational Education and Training, Vol. 2, No. 3,152-160. Colons, A.; Halverson, R. (2009) Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology. Teacher College Press, New York. Nore, H. (2015) Re-Contextualizing Vocational Didactics in Norwegian Vocational Education and Training. International Journal for Research in Vocational Education and Training (IJRVET) Vol. 2, No. 3 (Special Issue): 182-194.
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