The European instruments, like EQF and ECVET have an impact and force the training organizations all over Europe to engage in re-design their operational learning environments to reply to this new dimension and requirements of training.
The easiest and superficial approach to face this change suggests no more than a splitting of the former and more extensive training courses, into more basic and short training activities, which are then grouped into training paths. It’s just like if somehow we could cut in the curricula, the teaching resources and the learning time in small parts from a whole course, and, actually, this has been the reply from most of the training organizations. However, this conservative response will prove ineffective to deal with what will be the new pedagogical paradigm: the individualized training, where the student is encouraged to find at his right time the training requirements that match with his own needs of qualification, for which it’s necessary to develop flexible learning pathways, over the traditional learning environments.
For this goal, the project intends to define a set of activities that promotes the development, testing and implementation of innovative teaching practices, to propose to rebuild the training environment with innovative layouts, to redesign didactic and assessment resources, to develop navigation and to track devices along the learning pathways, so the trainees may have a more independent learning process and, finally, to prepare the trainers for the new profile that will be required in this multi-learning environment, which requires a quite different and demanding pedagogical attitudes and skills.
To reach a more extensive response, the project partnership proposes and agrees in choosing a typical traditional training environment, in a complex training workshop context, with practical/technological teaching activities, where learning levels would be very diverse but the training is made in simultaneous, therefore more demanding but also more profitable for the (future) exploitation of the project. The CNC – Computer Numerical Control, in the field of metalworking (the chosen subject for the 4 VET Entities in the partnership), is definitely a training area where modularization and therefore individualized training have a great significance considering the previous premises. There is no doubt that applying these concepts and methodologies to the CNC is a huge challenge, not only by the specificity of the area – practical and workshop environments, but also due to the profile of trainers and trainees that are still very connected with a rigid and traditional models of learning.
So, having the CNC as a pilot training area, the project will seek to develop their objectives in order to: achieve new pedagogical strategies and approaches, tools and teaching resources to support a flexible pedagogical environment, composed by different and simultaneous individual learning pathways (a very explicit dynamic presentation of the expected impact of individualized training in traditional training environments and the readjustments that this project will have to achieve, is attached to this application). The developments of all these resources are the main phase of this project, and will be detailed in this application through the ‘Outputs’. This application, furthermore, refers to a “project contract”, the way we use to characterize the training requirements/constraints that are intended to be validated, which will serve to test in real conditions the achievements of the project, by conducting and evaluating a pilot training program.
The third and final phase of this project intends to validate the results achieved; collecting and arranging them in a handbook and didactic kit that constitute the bulk of the Open Educational Resources for dissemination and exploitation. Moreover, the transferability of results is one of the great expectations of the Project, not only for the relevance we devote, but because the participation of the two National Agencies for Vocational Education and Training in the partnership, which will be an important support for ratification of its results at a National level by referencing them to the European Qualification Frameworks, what will facilitate the transfer and applicability to other training areas, organizations and/or countries. The presence of these Organisms will not only reinforce the effort of dissemination/exploitation as referred above, but also brings a greater level of expertise in the design of Competence and Training Units, that allows the use of ECVET and promote the use of learning outcomes which will define and describe the qualifications and curricula as starting references of the Project.