SIMULATION TOOLS AS SUPPORT TO ONLINE TEACHING IN VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:The accelerated incorporation of new information and communication technologies (ICT) in the educational field as a consequence of the health situation caused by COVID-19, had a direct impact on the learning process of the student, in the role of the teacher, in the contents taught and in the evaluation methods. The non-face-to-face teaching modality has obligatorily involved teachers and students in a process of rapid digital transformation. This has allowed the development of multiple collaborative platforms and software to energize classes, trying to replicate in a virtual way a learning environment like that generated in face-to-face teaching. However, it is known that this online teaching has affected unevenly according to the sociodemographic profile of the students, since certain competences are very difficult to train outside the classroom and even more so if there are limited resources.
In the specific case of the vocational training, an important part of the training received at the centre is practical. For this purpose, the traditional way of imparting these contents was through previously defined workshop practices, in which the student's ability to perform tasks that were related to the theoretical contents explained in the theory classes was evaluated. This means that the realization of these practices allows the teaching staff to evaluate the competences that the student must acquire before finishing their formation.
In the context of vocational training, it is assumed that practical face-to-face classes in the classroom are fundamental, as stated in the training plans for these studies. This premise gives us an idea of the difficulty of convert a traditional vocational training education to a virtual environment in which students learn from home. For this reason, many teachers have been forced to find ways to redesign their classes and have the least possible impact on the training that students demand.
This work shows how it is possible to make online teaching compatible with the practical training required in vocational training. For this, “Machining” subject of the Higher-Level Mechatronics Training Cycle has been taken. In this way, a course has been designed in which face-to-face lathe and milling practices are replaced by simulation practices using WinUnisoft © software. This software is commonly used in numerical control machines (CNC). The results show how this type of online simulation tools can be very useful for the design of non-face-to-face professional training subjects, favouring continuous assessment and the teacher receiving constant feedback from the exercises carried out by the students. The evaluation rubrics designed for an online machining course are also collected, as well as some of the practices used during the course that contemplate the contents that were previously taught in person. With all the above, it is intended to provide professional training teachers with a practical example of redesigning a face-to-face practical subject, towards a distance education model which we are increasingly forced to coexist with.
Keywords: Online learning, innovation, professional training, simulation software, practical teachings.