One of the big challenges of this project was the comparison of the educational curricula of the different centers that participate in the project.These three educational centers are located in Bologna (Italy), Budapest (Hungary) and Pamplona (Spain). Coming from different countries, you can imagine how difficult might be this task, even more when harmonization of curricula systems still pending at an European level. However, one common goal has gathered us in the same project: to look for a new teaching method to involve students in the learning activities. The answer to this we found it at the Learning Playlist!
Starting the comparison: an arduous task
The first step was to focus on the educational level with which we wanted to work, for this, the European Quality Framework (EQF) was taken into account. In Let’s Play VET case the target group that would focus the comparison is the VET courses related to graphic design in the educational level EQF 4. However, in the case of the Hungarian center, they work with a group of students who will reach the EQF 5, which makes the development of the curricular comparison even more complicated.
Though the comparison was not easy, we keep working following our main goal: to focus on the learning outcomes of each educational centres curriculum. We had to leave behind names of titles and subjects and focus on the skills and competences acquired by our students throughout the course. It is surprising how by focusing on the learning outcomes it became much easier to find a common ground for starting the curricular comparison.
Once translated into English and compared the curriculum through an Excel table we had much more clear in which module and with which subjects we could work through the Playlist, the heart of Let’s Play VET project. After going through the curriculum comparison we have choose to work on the creation of the graphic product. The most interesting part of this module is that several subjects and task intervene in its development, so the Playlist can be used transversally during the course.
The development of our very 1st Playlist
For creating the draft of the first Playlist, we used many materials on gamification in the classroom, especially the documentation published by LRNG. So we focus on a project to create a graphic product and we went through it in steps.
The first and most important thing to start working with a Playlist is to contextualize it in the environment in which it is going to be used. There are four aspects that have to be explored as a prior basis to the creation of contents.
The questions we asked ourselves were the following:
- How does the playlist build on passions?
- How does the playlist foster relationships?
- How does the playlist emphasize the production of artifacts?
- How does the playlist unlock opportunities?
After an interactive session with students from the centres of Pamplona and Bologna we came up with the following answers:
|Expose youth to new passions, showing them the work and projects created by professionals in the field of graphic design.||Creating cooperative learning experiences based in projects.
Work in teams has a positive impact in youth. We could thing in some grupal activities to alternate with individual activities. (brainstorming, storm boards, discussions…)
|To find a way for learners to share their final products not only online but also through a personal presentation.
A kind of a final project meeting.
|Give them the opportunity to share their final product with other students involved in the Playlist platform. (Foro)|
These answers lead us to a round of questions which will guide indeed the development of our Playlists:
How will you reach undeserved youth?
Sometimes families are humble and the students don’t have access to a computer for creating graphic design, so it’s important to given them the opportunity of working a few hours a week in the school out of the official timetable.
How might you collaborate with other organizations?
For any VET school is important to sign agreements with other organizations and collaborate with them. In the field of graphic design a great idea is create this collaboration with not profit organizations, so the students can create publishing material for them like: calendars, posters, flyers, calling card.
But, what about the content?
Yes, it was time to start thinking about the contents for the Playlist!
But, what kind of graphic product we would like to create? Well, this was not that much relevant taking into account that there are few standard steps that have to be follow in order to success in the creation.
Therefore, we decided to divide the Playlist in seven steps, giving for each of them a a “Guiding Question” which will the guide to develop the following activities:
|Essential Understanding||Guiding Question|
|1. Briefing||What does my client expect from me?|
|2. Research||What do I know about my client?|
|3. Layout design||What fonts should I use?
What are the colours of my client?
How could I create an attractive design?
|4. Feedback||How could I improve my design?|
|5. Printing||How does it look my design?|
|6. Presentation||What do I what to show with my design?|
|7. Dissemination||Would I like to show my creations?|
This was just the first approach to the Playlist. In this very moment, we are working on developing of a new PlayList in which not all the tasks are lineal, some of the eXPeriences (XP) are thinked to be completed at any time and anywhere, using technological devices like smartphones and tablets.
Playlist: let’s revolutionize education
When creating a Playlist we have to keep in mind the legal curriculum of each country and subject, the interest of the students and the relationship with the surrounding environment.
So, we are changing the concept of the unidirectional teaching approach and the the teachers have to become facilitators of educational materials. It is ended the time in which the teachers had the knowledge, the knowledge is outside the classes and we, as a teachers, have to help the student to find it. The Playlist are a great way to work in and out the classes, creating XP but also events in which they could share their discoveries or creations. Open the school to the society and of course to the laboral market.
The skills and competences needed in the jobs are changing very quickly, so it is very important that the vocational training schools are in contact with the companies in their field of work. Schools need to know what needs companies have and companies will also have to make available means to specifically train future workers.
All this must be reflected in the Playlist to be a valid teaching system. If we only focus on the curriculum we will continue to see how school failure increases.
For all this I believe that the Playlist along with other teaching methodologies will revolutionize the meaning of education in the coming years.
LET’s PLAY VET.