During the week 9.9.-13.9.2019 a learning activity for the PEOPLE IN WBL project was held in Kranj, Slovenia, dedicated to the new model developed by the project partners to validate students learning in the alternating school-work paths. A week full of meetings, comparisons and practical exercises where the partners were able to test all the tools built in the previous months to verify their concrete applicability. The cooperation between school and company remains at the base of the built model and all the tools implemented foresee a joint work to ensure that the results are validated with the effective involvement of all the actors involved. The objective of a greater involvement of companies in the validation process has pushed the partnership to build a “company-oriented” model that takes into due consideration the business needs, which are too often little considered.
At the end of the learning activity each partner received a survey with questions about the success of the event, progress of the project, advantages and obstacles of the proposed model. The answers give us a good insight of the problems that the project is facing and also the advantages that a successful implementation of the model could bring. The questions and answers are given below.
Which elemts of the learning activity did you like the most?
- Working together on the tool in mixed nationality groups; Teachers sharing ideas with the company partners to create an effective evaluation tool.
- The practical activities, I think they fulfilled the objective of having everyone involved and helped to understand the concepts using practical examples.
- Workshops and good explanation of the subject.
- Practical exercises on tools proposed. In order to provide a good training and understand how the model is built it was absolutely necessary testing the tools proposed. In this way we decided to make some changes to the model for easier use.
What are the main advantages of the model for the validation of learning outcomes?
- The tool is simple to use and meets the needs of the companies, who do not have time to spend on long, detailed evaluation schemes; but it also responds to the evaluation of the learning process which is essential for schools.
- It follows a logical sequence and facilitates the process by using common language and providing guidance through all steps involved.
- Good feedback information fot the school easier assesment for mentors in the company.
- It is a practical model, built on the basis of company needs – it is smart and easy to understand.
- If well used, the validation can be very close to the reality. Giving not just the point of view of the school but also the point of view of the company. This is what WBL should mean.
- Transparent tool to use.
What are the biggest obstacles that the model will have to overcome to be succesfully implemented in each country?
- Lack of adequately prepared staff.
- Lack of time and interest in in evalutating.
- The already established models in each country.
- To involve other teachers in the school to cooperate with companies to involve company side (mentors) more to define learning outcomes for students in WBL.
- The involvment of companies in using the tools – the cooperation between school and company: two worlds speaking different languages.
- The know how to manage all the documents for each student. How to motivate companies to use the proposed tools.
The project aims to bridge the gap in cooperation between schools and companies in validating the learning outcomes in work based learning (WBL) – two worlds speaking different languaes.