Title Dissipation of the FWBL Methodology to Innovative Continuing Professional Development
Project Number LLP-LdV-ToI/ 2008/806
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Facilitated Work Based Learning - FWBL provides methods for designing tailormade continuing professional development of individuals or groups of employees consistant with the company needs, project schedules and workload of the employees.
This innovative approach to Continuing Professional Development is in this project transferred to the VET-sector and to HE institutions in different european cultures.
SME’s in Europe play’s a very essential role in manufacturing of goods and services. To keep pace with and be up front in the global competition, continuing development of knowledge, competences and skills is very important. Traditional short courses are however very difficult to match with the SME’s needs. Tailor-made courses or learning programmes that fits with SME’s needs and time schedule will be more beneficial for industry and for society. Teachers from HEI and VET are in general not trained in planning programmes based on industrial needs. This project will address this situation:
In the project we will develop, test and improve a Teacher Training Programme (TTP) that will support HEI and VET teachers in planning and facilitating tailor-made continuing professional development. A number of SME’s will be involved as test cases.
HEI and VET teachers from project partners will be introduced to tools and guidelines to negotiate with SME’s on identifying needs, specifying learning objectives and facilitate a tailor made learning process, based on the applicants experience from earlier projects with SME’s.
An important aspect is to plan courses matching the learner’s background and knowledge level from education and work experience. One of the partners will bring experience with Recognition of Prior Learning into the project and into the TTP. Another partner will contribute with processes and methodology for Quality Assurance of tailor-made CPD.
With the different partners we will involve SME’s with needs on different educational level and from different marked situations.
As outcomes from this project we will have a training programme that will qualify HEI and VET teachers to be involved on close cooperation with SME’s on tailor-made knowledge transfer and skills and competence development. The TTP will we applicable in different European contexts and different industrial sectors.
This way of involving HEI and VET institutions in cooperation with SME’s on continuously improving the industrial knowledge level, is a big step towards the European Union’s strategic goal to be the most competitive and dynamic knowledge based economy in the world.
The European Council 2000 concluded that it is a strategic goal for the European Union (EU) to be the most competitive and dynamic knowledge based economy in the world. To fulfill this strategy – education and not least continuing education (CE) (life long learning) has a very high priority.
In the enlarged EU there are 23 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) representing 99 % of all EU enterprises and employing more than 75 million people, according to “The new SME definition – user guide and model declaration”, 2005. The importance of the SME’s in the European economy is enormous and in an ex¬tre¬mely competitive global market the continuous exploitation of knowledge will have a significant impact on the prosperity of the member states and the European Union.
To meet the strategic goals of the EU and to create a competitive advantage, the SME’s needs continuously to develop the skills and competences of their employ¬ees. Known barriers between educational institutions and SME’s have to be reduced in order to establish fruitful collaboration.
Traditional and general pre-defined CE courses are often not fully covering the re-quirement of the SME’s for continuing education. The SME’s will benefit much more from the knowledge provided by educational institutions if the course acti¬vi¬ties are based on understanding the needs for knowledge from the perspective of SME’s, and that course activities therefore will be tailor-made to the individual SME and the individual employee.
Traditional continuing education courses offered from VET and HEI institutions in EU are very often curricula oriented, i.e. with a content defined by the teachers and with an aim for the individual learner to gain new skills and Credits.
In tailor-made CPD the content is defined based on identified needs for new compe¬tences in the SME, and for new skills to the employees. The primary aim of tailor-made CPD is not to transfer knowledge to individual employees to improve her/his personal CV - the aim is to raise the competence level within the enterprise.
The need for continuing education is still increasing – but time made available by SME’s is on the other hand limited. Integration of continuing education into the everyday working task might be an answer to that problem, as tailor-made CPD activities match the needs of the SME to a much larger extent than traditional courses. By integrating the learning processes in the daily work, a much more effective continuing education will take place.
A new methodology for transfer of knowledge to SME’s has been developed and tes¬ted in an earlier LdV pilot project (www.elite.aau.dk\cee_as_wbl). The metho¬dology named Facilitated Work Based Learning (FWBL) has been dissemi¬nated at several conferences and workshops, always with large interest from both SME’s and educational institutions.
The learning in FWBL takes place in the enterprise and the learning objectives are defined to match the competence strategy of the company. The aim for the learner is to be better qualified for her/his job. The FWBL very well target the success factors for learning in the workplace that Ellström and Høyrup identifies in their recent report to Nordic Counsil (Per-Erik Ellström og Steen Høyrup: Arbejdspladslæring – forudsætninger, strategi/metoder og resultater, Nordisk Råd, 2007)
The process of FWBL does not follow a rigid scheme such as a standard five day course. The FWBL course will normally run for more than half a year and often much longer depending on the extent and depth of the learning objectives and the time frame of the project in which the FWBL is incorporated. The FWBL course will be less intensive, and the learning will be integrated directly in the learner’s work tasks. The FWBL process can be described in 5 continuous phases:
specifying learning objectives
prepare the learning contract
implementation of FWBL
FWBL has primarily been tested in Denmark and within the HEI-system.
The primary aim with this project is to develop and test a Teacher Training Program (TTP) to prepare teachers for individual and tailor-made continuing education aim¬ing at various sectors within EU.
In addition to that we also want to improve the FWBL methodology by transfer of experience with Recognition of Prior Learning and experience with Quality Assurance Systems in CPD into the FWBL methodology
A Teacher Training Program (TTP) will be developed to meet the need of the teachers to be able to teach FWBL – act as a learning facilitator. A teacher in FWBL need basic skill and knowledge of SME’s (how to interact with SME’s, the industrial context, etc.) and a thorough knowledge of the pedagogic methodology of FWBL. In the LdV pilot project CEE as WBL, survey within the area of teacher training programs was carried out. The results were very clear - teacher training (pedagogical and didactic) within HEI are very unusual.
In some of the European universities a basic course in university pedagogy is mandatory within the first years of employment, but in other universities pedago¬gical courses are non-existing and leaving the new teacher to talent and courage. In any case the special circumstance in continuing education is not at all mentioned.
Teachers at the Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Higher Education Institutions (HEI) are key persons in keeping the close cooperation between SME and educational institution that is necessary when CPD is to be integrated in the working life of the SME. CPD is very different from teaching a homogenous group of young fulltime students, however, and it is a shift in paradigm to turn your pedago¬gical and didactical practice into a need oriented and enterprise oriented tailor-made learning course. To be involved as teachers or facilitators in tailor-made CPD, - the teacher must acquire new knowledge in addition to the academic knowledge. He must posses knowledge about the learning context, understand the SME organiz¬a¬tion and activity and be able to communicate with and have a general understanding of the industrial partner. A teacher training program should be developed and should be mandatory for VET and HEI teachers – the facilitators of FWBL.
The measures adapted for testing the methodology on target users will primarily be case studies of planning, design and implementation of tailor-made learning courses, in which the teacher training will be put into practice by the teachers. The test will primarily be focused on the TTP and the participating teacher’s ability to run a tailor-made course after going through the TTP. Several cases will be introduced to test the TTP in different contexts and different issues will be developed through the project.
The target groups (end users) of tailor-made courses will be SME’s in Europe. The short-term impact on SME’s will be ‘just in time’ development of new competences. A more long-term impact will be a wider possibility for success in the global competition. And greater opportunity to continue collaboration with educational or research institutions for a more continuous transfer of knowledge and at the same time keep a door open for just in time competence development - if needed.
The indicators to be used in measuring the progress will be the number of case studies and the number of learners who are involved in tailor-made courses. To measure the SME’s satisfaction with the tailor-made learning course and the competences gained through the course will be of most importance.
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities
procedure for the analysis and prognosis of the vocational training requirement
program or curricula
Product information All background readings, educational and teaching material and research papers are available at the project website www.cpd.aau.dk/facilicode