A major priority for the project is to improve the quality of VET and to modernise VET. Critical to this is the introduction of new technologies for teaching and learning. This is dependent on the competence and confidence of teachers and trainers to incorporate the use of technology in both school and work based VET. Research suggests that teachers and trainers in VET need new pedagogical approaches of how to use technology in practice. Secondly they need competences and skills to develop digital resources and learning materials. This requires systematic approaches to the initial and continuing professional development of VET teachers and trainers in both school and work based settings.This is a key focus for the IDC-VET project.

Traditional face to face training programmes are not sufficient in providing professional development opportunities for all VET teachers and trainers including part time trainers and trainers in work. This requires new and innovative approaches to open education including on-line learning, MOOCs and non-formal activities, working methods and tools that all VET teachers and trainers can access for professional development.

Finally, supporting the use of digital technologies and online delivery to improve pedagogies and assessment methods is a central goal for the project in order to improve the quality of teaching and learning and to modernise VET.

The project aims to support the development of innovative practices in a digital era. The need for such practices has been starkly demonstrated by the COVID 19 crisis which has both speeded up digtalisation in enterprises but also demonstrated both the potential and the need for online learning. The project also aims to support educators, both VET teachers and trainers, in developing and implementing the use of technology for learning in VET.

The overall aim of the project is to develop a series of resources for professional development for teachers and trainers in VET for planning and delivering professional development for effective digital, open and innovative education and pedagogies.

Αn online tool for mapping and assessing teacher digital competencies will be developed to help VET teachers to understand their personal strengths and weaknesses, by assessing their level of digital competence development and bridge the gap between school assessment (SELFIE) and individual assessment. The tool will contain sets of descriptors for 22 competences that will be organised over six stages of the progression model of DIGICOMPEDU.

The specific objectives of the project will be to:

  • Examine the needs and priorities for professional development for teachers and trainers by developing an online self assessment tool to be used supplementary to SELFIE tool.
  • Develop learning scenarios for different sectors in VET, and to test the scenarios and associated technologies within VET schools or the workplace
  • Develop a digital repository of Open Educational Resources and best practice exemplars of using technology for teaching and training in VET in school and workplace settings
  • Develop innovative learning opportunities and provide learning materials for professional development for VET teachers and trainers
  • Develop and test different models and practices in delivering professional development for VET teachers and trainers (e.g. self evaluation tools)
  • Develop a Community of Practice in the use of technology for Open Education and training in VET in Europe

The project will focus on three key sectors in VET: metalworking and machinery production, social care and hospitality. Through our focus on pedagogy, assessment and the development of digital learning materials we aim to develop new models and programmes which can support teachers and trainers in the use of technology in all sectors of VET practice.

Through the activities of the project we can develop models and exemplars which can be transferred to a wide range of different actors, and establish a community of practitioners as the basis for taking forward the project post funding. To do this we propose to bring together experienced researchers in VET in Europe with managers and practitioners from vocational schools. The European perspective is important in allowing us to develop models and solutions which will have applicability in the wide range of VET systems and contexts.