VOCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY ENHANCED LEARNING: DEVELOPING A EUROPEAN MODEL FOR POSTGRADUATE LEVEL TRAINING
With a growing emphasis on the digital economy, the use of technology in learning, on-line learning and e-learning is increasing due to advantages in flexibility, cost and improved experiences fit for modern mediated working practices. A study by Cegos (2010) demonstrated that learners want to see more technology driven learning developed with an emphasis on collaborative learning techniques. In a global educational environment experiencing rapid technological change, the effective transfer in learning approaches and techniques between higher education and vocational educational and training is increasingly important. This paper introduces a new project which aims to promote key competences in delivering vocational technology enhanced collaborative learning throughout Europe. Within the project, which involves participants from Wales, Bulgaria, Sweden, Greece and Cyprus, Higher Education Universities are working with the vocational training industry to develop postgraduate education that targets the vocational training industry – a Postgraduate Certificate in Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) for the vocational training industry. Using this approach, participants from the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector will gain skills and qualifications that address how training organisations can make use of technology to enhance their training products and access the greater market reach that technology provides. The strength of the project partnership for this development lies in its equal combination of grass roots private VET business organisations and Higher Education organisations with experience of using TEL for learning and who have delivered VET online across European borders. All the five participating countries provide partners with education or training as a primary business activity. Three of the countries' project partners from Sweden, Bulgaria and Greece are stakeholders from the target audience and the other partners are Universities that all have experience of VET. The development of the program will benefit from collaborative participation. The combination of equal grass roots involvement with that of highly experienced postgraduate and online learning at the tertiary level will make the development of the course, its piloting and evaluation more rigorous and likeliness for successful outcome. This paper outlines the nature of the project and describes the model that will be used as the basis for this development.