Aqua RPL in Norway

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses

Why use response systems in VET?
Do you have students who do not participate in class?
Do the students really understand the goal of your course?
How do you give feedback to students so as to resolve misunderstandings and remove misconceptions? 

Pedagogical practices based up on the following principles:

Quick Survey and Evaluation System
The students answer quick survey and evaluation questionnaires set by the teacher, who gets an immediate overview of the students` opinion of the topic covered. The results are immediately displayed on a screen or board. The results be used as a stepping stone to give students a sense of ownership of the course, since each student’s active contributions may immediately influence the learning methods. It helps the teacher to resolve misunderstandings and to focus resources towards eliminating misconceptions experienced during the training session.

1. Surveys
- Run a survey: The teacher sends a survey to the students before course start-up; during the course, or just before a lesson. The question can be of multiple-choice type; ranking; or open text, and for instance measure knowledge or map attitudes. 

- Students respond: The students answer the survey using their mobile devices. 

- Immediate mapping: The results will be available before the teaching starts, and the teacher uses the student feedback to shape his/her training. Students get ownership of the learning process through their active involvement, thus creating engagement in class. 

2. Evaluation
- Run an evaluation: The teacher sends an evaluation questionnaire to the students. Questions can be multiple-choice; ranking, or open text, and for instance evaluate students’ opinions, or changes in knowledge or attitude.” 

- Students respond: The students answer the evaluation using their mobile devices. 

- Immediate evaluation: The results appear immediately for the teacher and the class. The teacher uses the results to resolve misunderstandings and eliminate misconceptions, to give students ownership of the learning process. 

Quick Evaluation Methodology
The training is optimizing the effect of VET by applying online response tools to gather data from multiple choice questions or open text.

WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE?
Both experienced and inexperienced staff from farming industry attends the same classes. 
Teachers need to know what is the students` knowledge as a group, to optimize the effect of the aquaculture VET

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?

  1. Before start up of course or lessons: Students receive quick evaluations consisting of multiple choice questions or open text input on their smartphone. Questions may for instance investigate if the students consider they know a certain subject area, to be followed by a subject specific control question that verify if they actually know this area. 
  2. Students work individually on the evaluation questions. It is recommended to include don`t know as an option in multiple-choice questions. 
  3. Students submit individual responses to the evaluations. 
  4. Teacher displays the results (histograms or word clouds) for the class and may decide to initiate several learning activities, including peer learning activities in the class:
  • The course plan is adjusted by spending more or less teaching time on specific areas in the curriculumn
  • Teacher decides to elaborate on a specific area or subject by inviting the students to take part in small group discussions, applying the displayed results as input. Teacher decides if a re-voting by use of SRS is needed. Results are displayed to the class. 
  • Teacher decides to elaborate on a specific area or subject by inviting the students to take part in open class discussions by applying the displayed results as input, e.g. by proposing the most relevant or important solutions for the farming and/or hatchery sectors. The teacher may write them down on the blackboard. This may be followed by a second individual voting, e.g. to rate what the class consider to be the most important suggestions. 
  1. Closure of session with thoroughly explanation by the teacher. This includes explaining why the correct alternatives are correct and why the incorrect ones are incorrect. 

Results

  • 50 aquaculture VET students from farming industry in Mid-Norway applied RPL in their aquaculture VET course during the school year 2018-2019.
  • 48 students participated in the national exam in aquaculture (June 2019).
  • 48 students passed the exam.  
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use, which may be made of the information contained therein.