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First cycle of Multimedia Training in Theme Rooms – Part 3: Preparing digital learning materials for vocational learning

December 5th, 2015 by Pekka Kamarainen

With my two previous posts on the EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project I have started a series of reports on the Multimedia Training of the training centre Bau-ABC with the concept “Theme Rooms”. The concept was initiated by the training staff of Bau-ABC.  In my first blog I reported, how we (the LL teams of Bau-ABC, ITB and Pontydysgu) adjusted the concept in planning meetings. The second post focused on the work with the theme ‘Social media’. This post focuses on the theme ‘Preparing  Digital Learning Materials’. The groups that that started with this theme gave primary attention to preparation of exemplary digital contents (videos, GoConqr quiz-tests and mindmaps) and put the emphasis on editing processes. The groups that had started with the theme ‘Social Media’ put the main emphasis on working with blogs (and integrating the preparation of digital learning materials to work with blogs). Therefore, the picture of these groups is more differentiated than of the previous ones.

Working with videos and particular GoConqr tools

The two pioneering groups working with digital learning materials put the emphasis on hands-on exercises. In this respect they engaged the participating trainers in producing short videos and preparing exemplary exercises (interim tests) with GoConqr quiz tools. in this way the participants got direct insights into working with these tools. In this context these groups were confronted with the limits provided by ICT infrastructure, old laptops and software bugs. However, in the context of continuing group dynamics these difficulties did not bring the learning processes into standstill. Moreover, the groups used the brainstorming phases to consider the usability of videos and GoConqr applications in training. When continuing to social media, these groups discussed the role of blogs as instruments for presenting such exercises for apprentices.

Working with blogs

The groups that put more emphasis on blogs had somewhat different approaches. In one group the trainers were engaged to create completely new blogs and to use them for posting and commenting messages. In another group the main attention was given on the existing trainers’ blogs that had been created during the earlier Multimedia Training workshops provided by the LL project. As a result, trainers in four occupational domains had started blogs that were used to present comprehensive sets of training materials that covered different contents areas and different phases of apprentice training. When exploring the existing blogs the workshop discussed, how to engage the less represented occupational areas into such work.

However, these explorations and hands-on exercises triggered a lively discussion on the potential benefits and limits of blogs. This discussion was taken up by creating GoConqr Mindmaps that outlined pros and cons of using blogs from different perspectives. In a next step a further question on optimal uses of blogs was again captured with GoConqr mindmaps. This latter step brought more closer to each other the trainers that had created their blogs and the ones that had not been involved. Furthermore, the discussion brought forward the idea of integrated ‘packages’ that link different elements (text documents, photos/drawings/videos, quiz tests and links to further instructions) as building blocks of trainers’ blogs. The results of this discussion were documented in the updates (comments) added to the mindmap.

In this way the work in the workshops not only supported individual learning but provided a basis for discussing the organisational approach to working with web resources and digital learning materials. Such issues were also taken up in the joint concluding session that discussed the progress during the first cycle of workshops. This discussion will be covered in the final post to this series of blogs.

More blogs to come …

 

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