LEARNING DESIGN FOR VOCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY ENHANCED LEARNING (VOCTEL)
The paper presents the Vocational Technology Enhanced Learning (VocTEL) programme which aims at improving access and participation in lifelong learning but also leverage the VET training sector to reach new markets beyond its region and to enhance their exiting services and products using digital communication and media technology. Educational research experts and vocational trainers from Greece, UK, Sweden, Cyprus and Bulgaria are collaborating to build European technology enhanced learning level 7 programme for the European VET sector.
The learning design for VocTEL is a very daunting process facing two major obstacles: information obesity and decay. On one hand, information decay has not only to do with the disappearing of digital data but also with knowledge which is made obsolete faster and faster (Rajaram et al., 2014). On the other, information obesity is a failure to turn information into knowledge, and thus use it to sustain personal and professional life-long learning. It may be caused by reductions in the quality of information, a lack of skills, training or even external pressures, whether from "information industries", peers, or organizations within which people work, to consume information before they have properly judged its worth (Whitworth, 2009). Research contacting for the EU: Leonardo Da Vinci project-VocTEL concluded that companies are looking for ways to use technologies to serve their needs and market demands. Firstly, they need to use platform to train their employees with less time consuming processes and more practical ways. Secondly, business executives need to be less fixed in the office and need freedom to work from home or any other place in the world. Companies of commerce or industry have to promote services and products which based on customers feedback. Finally, they human resource managers have the responsibilities among others to disseminate the business philosophy in order to build trust with their potential customers and professional networks.
The proposed learning designed is based on better structures and less instructions. The core of learning is the sharing of professional experiences to face real-life incidents and the continuous need for change and adaptation. Learning design starts with what professionals want to learn, the instructors design the experiences that will cause them to learn it, build in some checks that this is happening along the way and has happened by the end (Race, 2010). If learning is all about being able to apply what students have learned in different contexts then perhaps instructors should do as Race suggests, and ‘start with how’; how are learners going to demonstrate their learning, what are they going to do, and what will it actually be useful for. Rather than starting with the abstract learning objectives such as ‘understand’ or appreciate’ which is difficult to define especially for cultural diverse- learning audience, maybe instructors should start with the objectives of the learning (Race, 2010). Therefore, the core framework for the two modules sponsored by EU Leonardo Da Vinci Agency is: running the design and structure the experience with communication technologies in real learning context, evaluating, refining and sharing again the design to make sure it works for others too.