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What are we achieving with Learning Layers Y2 fieldwork – Part 1: R&D activities

November 7th, 2014 by Pekka Kamarainen

Some time has passed since my latest postings on the Learning Layers (LL) project on this blog. The reason has been obvious – we have been busy preparing the Year 2 deliverables for the review meeting that takes place at the end of the year. This has required a lot of energy to present what all we have done. Also, it has required a lot of effort to compress our message – to make it transparent. With this blog I want to use some extracts of these documents to highlight what we have been achieving in our fieldwork in the construction sector – in particular from the perspective of the (participative) R&D activities. (In the next blog I will discuss the achievements in stakeholder engagement.)

Shift of emphasis from Year 1 to Year 2

Work in the Construction pilot region in year two has been based on the following shifts of emphasis in the main activities: key points and main activities in the initial deployment and piloting of the tools:

  • During year one, partners working in the construction sector carried out a series of interviews and workshops with different stakeholders. A negative picture of the use of  digital media and web tools in the construction sector was confirmed and specified by critical feedback on scattered apps, tools and software solutions.
  • At the end of year one and during year two, the challenge has been to engage key organisations and user groups in more targeted co-design processes and capacity building measures. The main emphasis has been on an integrative framework – the Learning Toolbox –  and on capacity building initiatives,  in particular the Multimedia Training in Bau-ABC. With these activities, the project has supported the application partners in taking a more prominent role as multiplier organisations.

Steps forward in co-design activities

The main characteristics in the initial deployment and piloting of the tools have been the following:

  • The initial Design Theme “Sharing Turbine” was reviewed internally and  reworked (in January 2014) into proposals for Development project “Learning Toolbox” supported by parallel Multimedia Training programme with in-built co-design sessions. Parallel to this, the www.baubildung.net platform was launched to support the pilots in the construction sector. These new Development Projects and support measures were presented in the consortium meeting in Innsbruck (February 2014).
  • The initial development of the Learning Toolbox has been carried out in several iterations and sprints that have been followed by stakeholder engagement activities and participative workshops.
  • The Multimedia Training program (including 5 workshops between November 2013 and July 2014) has enabled trainers from Bau-ABC to launch three domain-specific blogs that deliver their training materials, literature recommendations and special tasks for continuing professional development. Also, the training has enabled the participants to produce their own video content and to become peer tutors.
  • In the next iteration the Learning Toolbox was equipped with a QR-scanner and linked to tools and apps for digitising analogical contents. These features were presented 100 apprentices and trainers in the Demo Camp event in Bau-ABC during the project consortium meeting (June 2014). This feedback event provided the basis for subsequent developers’ event in Graz (August 2014) to explore the integration of WordPress (Baubildung.net, trainers’ blogs), the Social Semantic Server and the Learning Toolbox.
  • As an alternative to an interim evaluation workshop the Bau-ABC team (with support from ITB) produced short videos on the uses of the Learning Toolbox in different working and learning contexts. In these videos the trainers also gave insights into their own progress in making use of web tools and multimedia and as peer tutors in supporting each others’ learning (see http://odl.learning-layers.eu/the-learning-tool-box-new-prospects-for-using-digital-media-and-smartphones-alongside-working-and-learning/). Based on this feedback the developers of the Learning Toolbox have had a Design Sprint event in Utrecht (October 2014).

I have given a selective glimpse into what we are reporting and I have focused on our cooperation with the training centre Bau-ABC. In the next posting I will focus on our progress with stakeholder engagement and interaction with users. Here again, Bau-ABC has played a major role.

More blogs to come …

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