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Preparing for the LL Design Conference – Part 2: Bringing the Learning Toolbox forward

March 6th, 2015 by Pekka Kamarainen

With my previous post I started a series of blogs that focus on the forthcoming Y3 Design Conference of the Learning Layers (LL) project. In the first post I compared the situation of the project before the Y1 Design conference (two years ago) and before the Y3 Design Conference (currently). I also presented my interpretation, how the project has worked forward from the results and groupings that were achieved in the Y1 Design Conference. In this second post I will focus on the tool (or set of tools and apps ) with which we are working with our construction sector partners – the Learning Toolbox (LTB).

As a part of the preparation of the Design Conference the host organisation (Aalto University) set up a wiki page to collect information on the development of our main sets of tools and of current pilot activities. I got the task to submit the information on LTB and found interesting to give a compressed situation assessment, where we are and what we are fecing next. Therefore, I want to share this information (questions and answers) via this blog:

1) What has been done?

The development of the Learning Toolbox (LTB) was started in January/February 2014 as a second iteration of the design theme “Sharing Turbine”. The approach shifted from digitization of training/learning materials (the White Folder of Bau-ABC) to a framework of mobile tools and apps for apprentices, skilled workers and professionals in construction sector. This second iteration has been carried out as ‘development project’ with co-design workshops (in Bau-ABC) parallel to Multimedia Training (in Bau-ABC) and stakeholder engagement activities (hosted/supported by Bau-ABC).

2) Who has done?

The technical development of LTB has been initially led by Pontydysgu (Pont) and supported by CIMNE. Once the administrative processes of replacing the software house Tribal by RayCom had been completed, RayCom took the lead of the Learning Toolbox development group. The Multimedia Training and the Co-design workshops have been run jointly by ITB and Pont with shifting responsibilities. The stakeholder engagement activities have been organised by ITB, Pont, CIMNE and Bau-ABC.

3) When? and 4) How has been done?

The technical development proceeded from the initial phase in Spring 2014 (wireframes, power points, mock ups on mobile devices) to a phase of integration meetings in Summer 2014 (Bremen in May, Graz in August). In the Autumn 2014 there have been smaller design sprints in Utrecht that have contributed to the more integrative Alpha Beta Camp in February 2014. The Multimedia Training was started in September 2013 and was continued as series of hands-on workshops from November 2013 to July 2014. During this period the training became capacity-building for using/developing the LTB and the platform Baubildung.net.

Parallel to this and partly integrated into the training sessions there have been co-design sessions with focus on LTB. The stakeholder engagement activities have been partly intensive discussions with company representatives (Brunnenbauertage, pilot workshops) and groups of trainers & apprentices (the Demo Camp in Bau-ABC). Partly they have served the purpose of getting wider range of companies and stakeholders involved in forthcoming pilot activities (the visit at NordBau trade fair, visit at Ostfalia FH etc.). Finally, as a support for the development of LTB, Bau-ABC produced a set of videos to highlight potential uses and benefits of LTB.

5) Why in this way?

Originally the Sharing Turbine design team was expecting support for software development from the software house Tribal. However, in a short while the contact persons left the organisation and were not replaced. After some time Tribal announced its withdrawal from the consortium. Then, after a relatively quick process of finding the replacement, the contracting process of RayCom was delayed several months. Therefore, the technical development was brought further by substitutes (with limited resources).

Thus, the integration meetings, design sprints and the Alpha Beta Camp have been catching-up events to bring the development process further. In spite of backlog in the technical development, ITB and Bau-ABC have continued the dialogue with stakeholders/ potential users has been continued to get feedback and impulses for further development. Yet, this kind of dialogue has reached its limits and can only be continued with a prototype version of the LTB (which is due to the Design Conference).

6) What are initial findings?

The purpose of this document is to collect background information and interim results of Y3 field activities. In the case of the LTB these have not yet been started. Some links to documents from earlier activities, to the Bau-ABC videos and to working documents for preparing the forthcoming Field Workshops are given below:

  • Google Drive folder for documenting Year 2 Stakeholder engagement activities: [1]
  • Introduction to articles and Bau-ABC videos published on the LL website: [2]
  • Working documents (EN and DE versions) for preparing the Y3 Field Workshops [3]

7) What are key issues at the moment?

At the moment the main issue is to bring the recent technical development work, the parallel plans for exploitation actions and the parallel plans for real-time evaluative measures into a coherent piloting approach. This requires also decisions on the role of complementary tools (AchSo! etc.), platforms (Baubildung.net) and services (Recommender service?) in the forthcoming pilot activities.

(…)

8) What are key insights at the moment?

The pilot activities will be started immediately after the Design Conference in Bau-ABC with an introductory workshop with the trainers. This is followed by Field Workshops in the training areas of different trades with an aim to integrate the use of LTB to apprentices’ projects in their training in Bau-ABC. Once the first results have been achieved, bilateral/trilateral talks will be started with companies that have been contacted last year and who have agreed to start such pilots.

So, with this situation assessment we are heading towards the Y3 Design Conference. Let us see what all we can bring forward with our working days in Espoo, Finland.

More blogs to come …

 

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