R. Støckert, J.B. Stav, B. Voaidas

HiST Sør-Trøndelag University College (NORWAY)
New online Student Response Services (SRS) have recently been developed to enhance students communication and collaboration in vocational education and training, and in higher education courses. SRS may be used on modern wireless mobile handheld devices with pressure sensitive screens such as iPod, iPad, Smartphones, as well as PC.

This paper aims at describing the experiences after using SRS in combination with an Activity Based Training (ABT) environment in a number of European Countries. ABT follows the industrial production process, and offers flexible and pedagogical delivery of level specific manufacturing industry process training to Vocational Education and Training (VET) schools and SME organizations. It disseminates new methods for delivering in-company skills upgrading processes, and enhances production competence and know-how transfer to VET schools

ABT closes the traditional gap between VET training and the industrial production process workflow. The methods are generic, whereby they are applicable to European wide manufacturing industry sectors. They facilitate a innovative solution for cost- and time effective transfer of industrial production process know-how and technology knowledge to SME at a just-in-time basis.

The article outlines how the deployment of product- and process oriented training, like the ABT environment, has been transferred to VET schools and companies that certify industry personnel in countries like Romania, Hungary, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia and Norway. This includes rising awareness and delivery of instructor training processes, delivery of training courses to industry specialists, and transfer of experiences related to pedagogical practices. The experiences include 5 main components:

• Specifications of a product or process, which is delivered to the students in the form of an order from an external customer or organization. The order must be completed within a predefined deadline.
• The product or process is divided into subcomponents and produced in an “industrial-like” production flow, in which theoretical training is immediately followed by practical work where the theoretical training is applied.
• Use of multimedia material, modern learning tools and/or interactive mobile learning services that highlight, demonstrate and initiate student discussions by addressing “Do’s” and “Don’ts”.
• Introduction of quality assurance in the training path is obtained by checking if the quality of the subcomponents or sub processes follows the specifications in the order.
• Customer verifies that the quality of the product or process is according to specifications in the order, before product is taken over.

The experiences obtained from using SRS and ABT in many disciplines include:
• At the end of a course the students have produced a real physical product or designed a process based up on specifications provided through an external order.
• Students participate in a practical problem-solving process where they must decide in which sequence they are going to produce and assemble the components, in order to comply with the specifications in the order. During this process they develop an understanding of the importance of obtaining both practical and theoretical knowledge!
• Engaged students that use an attractive learning framework.
• ABT may be used in high schools, vocational education and training, as well as higher education.