About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4964-4974
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain

COMBAR – AN INNOVATIVE E-LEARNING METHODOLOGY TO OVERCOME COMMUNICATIVE BARRIERS IN VET -EDUCATIONS

L. Ziska1, P. Thomsen2

1Language Centre / e-forum.gl (GREENLAND)
2Greenland Business School (GREENLAND)
Background and results
Many European countries face the problem that recruiting into the VET system is unbalanced and not representative to the demographic and cultural composition of the Member States. The accessibility to VET for learners in remote or peripheral regions and/or from cultural and linguistic minorities is restrained by a number of communicative barriers. Communicative barriers can simply be geographical distance to learning opportunities, but also cultural barriers e.g. in terms of perceptions and understanding of the learning situation. Finally a common communicative barrier is the fact that VET education is often only provided in the common language of the nation. As a result of this, many learners in remote and peripheral regions cannot participate in vocational education and training on equal terms with workers in more central and populated areas. In turn, this uneven access to education leads to uneven development of European societies, where most of economic development is centred in and around the major cities - which results in depopulation, unemployment and economic stagnation of peripheral regions. Peripheral and remote regions are often very dependent upon traditional industries and upon high-quality VET to ensure a balanced economic development and overall cohesion.
To overcome this, an innovative learning methodology, under the lifelong learning programme LDV, was piloted in Greenland. Implementing the methodology in extreme learning environment situated beyond the Polar Circle would test its applicability and soundness to the limit. The assumption was that if it works there, it is very likely that it could work anywhere. In the pursuit of avoiding learners dropping out of their VET-education, during the 5 months test period, results showed statistically a total absence in trimester was reduced by 25% and drop out in training reduced by 90%.

Aim
The aim of the COMBAR-project was to develop a pedagogical concept and tools to overcome the communicative barriers faced by VET learners in the peripheral and remote regions. The COMBAR concept was based on the combination of situated learning and the introduction of local counsellors and mentors in the learner’s daily environment combined with state of the art e-learning solutions.

Primary target group
The establishment of mentor networks for situated learning in the daily environment of the learner was an entirely new concept, which required a new set of competences for the VET educator and for the key persons in the mentor network. These competences involving a long list of pedagogical, practical and didactical considerations was imperative and condensed into a 5 day outdoor training course for the educators in the VET institutions. The test group (secondary target group) was 1 year carpenters apprentices and these too had a constructed 5 days outdoor introduction course presenting the requirements and tools for the COMBAR concept.

Conclusion
The project did not revolutionize the educational world, but made a certain impact in the use of the joint assignment in traineeship combined with the use of VLE.
The pedagogical model takes the learner by the hand from start to finish of a school trimester and secures communication in the learners network. It is recommended to approach COMBAR, due to the comprehensiveness, only as an inspirational guideline in a generic context for any potential user in distant or remote areas.
keywords: vet, barrier, learner.
@InProceedings{ZISKA2009COM,
author = {Ziska, L. and Thomsen, P.},
title = {COMBAR – AN INNOVATIVE E-LEARNING METHODOLOGY TO OVERCOME COMMUNICATIVE BARRIERS IN VET -EDUCATIONS},
series = {1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN09 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-9801-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona ,Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {4964-4974}}
TY - CONF
AU - L. Ziska AU - P. Thomsen
TI - COMBAR – AN INNOVATIVE E-LEARNING METHODOLOGY TO OVERCOME COMMUNICATIVE BARRIERS IN VET -EDUCATIONS
SN - 978-84-612-9801-3/2340-1117
PY - 2009
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2009
CI - Barcelona ,Spain
JO - 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN09 Proceedings
SP - 4964
EP - 4974
ER -
L. Ziska, P. Thomsen (2009) COMBAR – AN INNOVATIVE E-LEARNING METHODOLOGY TO OVERCOME COMMUNICATIVE BARRIERS IN VET -EDUCATIONS, EDULEARN09 Proceedings, pp. 4964-4974.
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