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Visual Technologies to Bridge the Gap Between School and Workplace in Vocational Education

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Digital Workplace Learning

Abstract

The combination of different learning locations such as schools and workplaces is a core concern in nowadays discussion regarding the requirements of digitalized and globalized economies. The alternation of school-based and work-based tracks is also a key characteristic of many well-developed dual vocational education and training (VET) systems, for example, Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. However, even in these systems, it is not always easy for the actors to conceive and fully understand the relationships among the different learning locations, and there still persists a gap between learning at school and learning at the workplace. The aim of this chapter is to show how technologies in general and visual technologies in particular can help to bridge this gap. More specifically, we adopt a connectivity and boundary-crossing perspective of teaching and learning in VET. Against this background, we outline a VET-specific pedagogical model, the so-called Erfahrraum (space for reflection on experiences), which views technologies as boundary objects that could support teaching, learning, and communication across the sites. In addition, we exemplify how this model was put into practice in initial VET of chefs, butchers, and scrub nurses. The chapter ends with a discussion in which we will summarize our considerations, outline key learnings, and provide an outlook for future research and development.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The “Dual-T” project of the Leading House “Technologies for Vocational Education,” coordinated by EPFL and actually including the University of Fribourg and the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training – SFIVET. Formerly, the University of Geneva was also included.

  2. 2.

    The study reported in Motta, Cattaneo, and Gurtner (2014) shows that apprentices liked the system, which was considered easy to use and useful to learn. Cattaneo et al. (2015) further show that the production of LDs increased constantly over time that the declarative knowledge acquisition assessed through learning tests was significantly higher than in a control group; the same holds true when measuring the quality of the LDs texts, coded with respect to the development of metacognitive skills. Finally, in Hämäläinen and Cattaneo (2015), the use of the LDs in the class is documented: the teacher built his lessons using the LDs as the starting point of the learning activities, in different scenarios.

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Acknowledgments

The first case is part of the Leading House “Technologies for vocational education,” supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI). We thank Valentina Caruso and Elisa Motta for their contribution in implementing the project, respectively, within the clothing designer and chef domains. The second study is framed within the SFIVET project “iVideo.education”; we thank Elena Boldrini, Francesco Lubinu, and Michela Malugani for their contribution in realizing it.

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Correspondence to Alberto A. P. Cattaneo .

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Cattaneo, A.A.P., Aprea, C. (2018). Visual Technologies to Bridge the Gap Between School and Workplace in Vocational Education. In: Ifenthaler, D. (eds) Digital Workplace Learning. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-46215-8_14

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