The COVID-19 crisis led to more and more people questioning their career. Especially for disadvantaged people who found themselves deprived from their main source of revenue. As a matter of fact, a bigger demand for training and education arose. It has been found that people coming from a disadvantaged background or that are remote from learning have more difficulties owning their learning, they need empowerment and encouragement. This makes participatory methods an innovative way to get them to be involved in their learning and to make sure they feel at ease while learning.
The Erasmus project PARTICIPATE aims to develop a model for participatory approaches in adult learning, empowering learners to engage actively in their own learning. Through the organisation of focus group in Germany, Spain, Romania and Greece, we had the opportunity to talk with adult learners, about their expectations regarding participatory methods in adult education. The majority of the participants believed that it is better for the learner to be involved in the design of the training course. However, one prerequisite to do so would be for the learner to « have at least some basic knowledge on the subject ». When asked what they expect from their participation in the design of a training course, one participant expects to be fully involved in designing learning outcomes while others expect to be involved in secluded parts of the designing of the course (tailoring of the course; designing a course with multiple paths that can address different learning needs; gathering new knowledge from the process; contributing to the whole experience of the other participants).
The results from this focus group show that there is a demand to actively contribute in the courses and to claim them for oneself. These results also join Paulo Freire’s point of view who advocates for an education that is either an instrument to facilitate the integration of generations into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity to it, or a "practice of freedom", to allow men and women to deal critically with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world. Our case falls into the first scenario. Through participative education, adults with little educational background can integrate the functioning of the present system and therefore create their own space within this system.
Through a survey carried out in 2020, we aimed at capturing examples of participatory approaches, tools or instruments that have been effective in allowing the participant to have an input into their learning pathway. The results of the survey showed that the principal characteristics of best practices to involve learners were a course or group design flexible enough to take participant feedback into account and participants being involved in identifying their own learning needs. The courses were also designed in a way to include active learning methods such as group projects, role-playing games and workshops.
Following, these results, we could propose Malcolm Knowles’ Andragogy method as a participatory practice to implement in adult education. This method is based on the learner’s readiness for learning. There is no hierarchical organisation: the trainer and learners are equal, the trainer’s role is only to facilitate interaction, exchange of experience, etc. The whole training is based on people’s experience and knowledge, it is constructed as a moment for sharing and of mutual enrichment.
To conclude, implementing such methods can have many beneficial effects on learners. Indeed, the results of the survey show that it encourages universal participation, helps learners detect their needs and expectations from participating in the program, favours positive response and stimulates motivation, etc. Participatory methods create an environment that encourages initiative and empowerment for people that are not used to a scholarly environment.
More information on PARTICIPATE project at https://www.participate-project.eu/
The tracking of graduates from vocational education and training has recently become a policy priority in European Union. New skills agenda for Europe (2016) emphasized the need for EU member states to have a better understanding of performance of graduates. Similarly, the Council Recommendation on tracking graduates (2017) underlined the necessity to improve the availability of qualitative and quantitative information about graduates from vocational education and training in Europe. The recommendation proposes a new initiative on graduate tracking to improve information on how graduates progress in the labor market.
According to a recent study of European Commission (2017), only a few EU member states have established graduate tracking systems at national or original level, and only few measures for tracking graduates at the level of VET institute were identified, often ad hoc and non-systematic measures .
The project On Track proposed a systematic methodology for introducing VET graduates tracking system at the level of VET institute. The main features of the tracking VET graduates methodology, developed in On Track project are :
Check out the project website http://www.ontrack-project.eu/en/ for more information.
The project On Track is an European Commission funded project which aims to develop a tracking system for VET graduates of initial vocational education and training schools and institutes. The tracking system will gather qualitative and quantitative data from VET graduates, related to further education, employment, career paths, skills and competences required in the labour market.
The German Institute for Adult Education is organising a European conference in Bonn on 25 September 2018. The conference is titled "Course planning and course evaluation - two unjustly neglected key competences for teachers and trainers in adult education". It is organised in the framework of the project DEMAL.
The conference addresses two professional tasks of adult teachers which tend to attract less attention than the “actual teaching”. However, planning and evaluation of adult learning activities are of equal importance for the quality and the success of these activities. At the conference new European approaches to define and develop these two key competences will be presented and further development needs will be discussed. Besides a general introduction to the topic, three aspects will be explored in greater depth in parallel workshops:
The conference targets practitioners and researchers in the field of adult learning and education. No conference fees will be charged. Travel grants are available to a limited number of participants from Europe. If you are interested, please contact the organisers.
IDEC participates as partner in the project DEMAL that developed two e-learning courses for staff in adult education sector:
The first course on Design has been launched and will run until the 20th of May 2018. The course consists of six units of learning outcomes, plus a closing and requires approximately 24 hours of self-learning, spread over a period of eight weeks. The participants that will complete the course and pass all assignments successfully will get a certificate of attendance. If you are interested to register and attend the course, follow the instructions below:
The course is structured in units. Each unit includes an introductory presentation, the core learning material, additional learning material, a closing presentation and one of more assignments. Some assignments are compulsory and you have to complete them, before the end of the course, before 20 of May. After that, you will still have access to the course material, without the option to do the assignments and get a certificate.
The course language is English and it will be attended at the same time by participants from five countries. It will give you the opportunity not only to access the learning resources, but also to discuss with other participants and exchange your experiences in adult learning. The second e-learning course on Evaluation is expected to start in April and there will be a separate invitation.
We wish you a nice e-learning and we expect to meet you online.
Kahoot! is a web-based game created to add fun in a students assessment. Kahoot Quiz is a web-based quiz that is prepared by a teacher, consisting of multiple choice questions. The students - gamers assess the game from any electronic device (PC, laptop, tablet, mobile phone), through a game PIN, using nicknames. The game is played on real time. For each question, the gamers have to select the right answer. The score is calculated automaticaly taking into account, the right replies and the time needed to reply for each gamer. At the end of the quiz, the winners are announced. We have tested the kahoot game in the final seminar of the Qual4T project. It was fun, engaging and stimulating. The game can be used also as an ice-breaking activity in a workshop/seminar or as a short break between lectures.
Very often, quality assurance is seen as the task of a designated person ‘the quality officer’ or the relevant department ‘the quality department’. Teachers, trainers and students in schools and training organisations are barely involved in quality issues. They follow quality procedures, they fill-in some forms and questionnaires and that’s it. They do not really engage themselves and in fact nobody asks from them to be more actively involved.
However, the creation of a quality culture in an organisation requires active involvement of all affected persons, not only in the implementation phase, but also in the planning, evaluation and review phases of the quality cycle.
Acknowledging the importance of active involvement of staff and students in quality improvement, the project Qual4T organised a seminar, in which these issues been discussed: How to involve students in quality improvement? How to keep everyone in a school/workplace involved in quality?
The project ECVET for Permeability and Transferability between the Non-Formal and Formal VET System (ECVET PERMIT) aims to implement the European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) methodology in the curricula of VET study programmes within the non-formal and formal VET system, at national and EU level, in an effort to increase the permeability and transferability of the learning outcomes achieved within different learning contexts.
Specifically, the project aims to apply the ECVET methodology for describing, assessing and validating learning outcomes in the VET study programmes of three non-formal technical specializations: plumber, automotive mechanic and electrician, in order to test the transferability of credits from the non-formal to the formal VET system, firstly within the national boarders and secondly on a European level.
The DAVE project has produced an adult education trainer competence profile and a methodology for validating competence of Adult Education Trainers (AETs), called Expertise Check up. The competence profile is based on desk research on existing competence profiles at OECD level and on a need analysis carried out in a number of adult education providers including the partners.
With the QUAL4T project seven European partners aim to provide teachers and trainers high quality materials to help them with improving quality in education.