Vocational education approach: New TEL settings—new prospects for teachers’ instructional activities?
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This study focuses on vocational education teachers’ instructional activities in a new technology-enhanced learning (TEL) setting. A content analysis is applied to investigate teachers’ and students’ interactions in a 3D game context. The findings illustrate that when teachers’ and students’ interactions are mediated by a game, teachers seem to apply different discussion activities to empower vocational learning than they do in traditional classroom settings. Additionally, the present study shows that teachers spontaneously develop new ways of supporting vocational learning processes. In more detail, two main types of instructional activities were identified: a “knowledge-providing” approach and a “joint problem-solving” approach. Additionally, findings illustrate how teachers using different types of instructional approaches are followed up with different processes by students. The article is concluded with a general discussion of the emerging challenges regarding the technological and pedagogical development of vocational education and teachers’ instructional activities in new TEL settings based on a more long-term design-based research project (ongoing since 2004).
KeywordsVocational education Teachers’ instructional activities 3D game Design-based research
This research was supported by the Academy of Finland (Project 258659). The development of the 3D environment was supported by the EU Structural Funds and nationally by the State Provincial Office of Western Finland from the administrative sector of the Ministry of Education. Special thanks to Kimmo Oksanen, Hanna Laakso, Maarit Arvaja, Mikko Niilo-Rämä, Antero Malin, Ludocraft Ltd, Äänekoski College and Jyväskylä College for their content expertise, excellent ideas, and smooth cooperation.
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