Training method

Prior to the course(s) the vocational education and training (VET) school establishes a school-industry partnership together with the company. This includes a plan for the training needs. The training is delivered as problem based learning, where an external customer delivers a set of drawings to the class and asks them whether they can deliver a product based on the specifications.

A customer specifies a product and delivers it to the class as an order when the course begins. The product must be produced, inspected and delivered to the customer within the deadline in the order, with documented quality. The students inspect the quality of the various components according to the specifications in the order. The customer checks if the quality is according to the specifications in the order, before they receive it.

The training follows the industrial production process. Theoretical knowledge is immediately transferred into work-based learning. The students must actively evaluate and figure out how to inspect and check the various components, before they are joined together into a final product. This includes learning new theory. The training method combines cases, modern teaching tools and interactive learning services that highlight, demonstrate and initiate discussions among the students.

A class consists of many students that have obtained different backgrounds from industry. They have different experiences from the production when they start a course, whereby they have got various type of skills. Some students will have a lot of knowledge from previous experiences, while others will have relatively fresh knowledge and less experience. In order to make the teaching process more effective, the teacher can apply online tools and services that help recognizing students` previous knowledge and skills. With the help of quick surveys, the teacher will better adapt the teaching to the students’ needs. At the same time, the students will benefit more from the teaching practices.

Before the course and before the competence units, students can answer a quick evaluation survey that investigates the topics they going to go through during the upcoming training process. The teachers` can use this feedback to focus their teaching towards the problematic areas. This includes applying cases like multiple choice question sets, open text feedback, or text and multimedia to trig and provoke discussions in the class. In this way inexperienced students can directly learn from experienced students production skills.

A key element will be to provide feedback that is linked to practice, by applying industrial cases that is designed to include four main learning activities:

  • Individual thinking period with anonymous collection of suggestions for answers to the cases
  • Small group discussions: Pick out the 5-10 most relevant answers.
  • Class discussions: Create a common solution containing the 5-10 most relevant answers.
  • Verification from teacher: Explain why the correct solution is correct, and the wrong alternatives are incorrect.

The ambition is to incude and start applying recognition of prior learning in order to help delivering teaching that is adapted to the level of experience and knowledge in the class. For the teacher, it will be easier to adapt the teaching to the needs of various classes, because the students complete quick pre-tests or mappings. One goal is to let students better be able to help each other. The students will get better benefit of the teaching hours precisely because they can give the teacher feedback on what skill level they are at. n addition, additional students receive a qualification.

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.