Title Masters level Opportunities and Technological Innovation in VocAtional Teacher Education
Project Number 07/0227-L/4008
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text The MOTIVATE project transfers good innovating practices and technical developments. The participating institutions carry out curriculum development and on-line common module deliveries in vocational teacher training at Master level. Detailed information and products are available: http://motivate.tmpk.bmf.hu
The MOTIVATE project transfers innovatory practices and developments to benefit the two Hungarian higher education institutions in the partnership. The innovation is twofold: the introduction of Masters level modules into the vocational and technical teacher education programmes, and the use of new and emerging technologies in the implementation of the developed curriculum. The other partners of the consortium have the necessary expertise to provide this innovation. The UK partner, with considerable prior experience of development and delivery of Masters level professional development courses in the VET field, will be the main provider of the innovation. All partners have a wide experience of VET curriculum development and technological innovation in its delivery.
Currently, VET teacher training in the UK is designated as ‘postgraduate’ but has not previously been delivered at Masters level, being postgraduate only in the sense that it is seen as progression into teaching for those with existing graduate status. This anomaly is being addressed by a current initiative to develop the Post Graduate Certificate in Education to be delivered at Masters Level. The development of Master Level modules in the UK has been identified as an opportunity to facilitate concurrent development in partner institutions across Europe.
Tangible outcomes will include development of common quality criteria for the qualifications and professional development of VET teachers and trainers in different learning environments and common core criteria for identifying their learning needs. This project will also contribute to the development of the European credit transfer system for VET to facilitate transparency and comparability of qualifications, transferability, validation and recognition of learning outcomes achieved by individuals in different learning contexts in different countries and at different levels.
Innovative solutions for sharing aims, objective and criteria will include the use of social software and collaborative Web 2.0 technologies which will facilitate the creation of a new online community of European partners. Platforms for the community will include Associate Online, Second Life and Edufilter (formerly known as elgg). Intangible outcomes include the potential to disseminate the expertise gained in order to widen this community so that it can encompass new partners or involve trainee teachers across different institutions and countries in similar collaborative efforts. One particular advantage would be the development of Subject Specialist communities for VET teachers that, because of the reach of internet based technologies, can facilitate much larger groups of subject specialists than are possible in face to face contexts.
The main impact of the project is to enhance the professional status of teachers in vocational and technical fields by the provision of a coherent programme of initial teacher training and continuing professional development, incorporating Masters level elements.
Among the Leonardo da Vinci General Objectives the MOTIVATE project supports project participating institutions to design their training and further training activities. The result that the Master level technical teacher training curriculum of all relevant partner institutions has been revealed and presented in a commonly agreed scheme is a good start to find the main criteria for further harmonisation. Due to agreed requirements regarding knowledge, skills and qualifications, a larger scale mobility can be expected resulting in employability and participation in the European Labour Market on the area of the employment of technical teachers in vocational training.
The essential innovation transfer in the MOTIVATE Leonardo project stems from the usage of on-line communities formed by vocational/technical teachers. The students of the in-service Master level technical teacher training courses in all partner institutions of the countries concerned have access to the Moodle virtual learning environment where threads are and will be initiated for those students who teach mechanical, electrical and IT subject matters mostly in technical secondary schools. In the discussion forum they can participate in methodological discussions and are able to share their experiences with other technical teachers of the same or other vocational schools in the same or other towns and in the same or other European countries. These opportunities contribute to an increased quality of training and the innovations widespread.
The common criteria for Master level vocational teacher training and the wider scope of co-operation by the use of virtual learning environment combined with Web 2. technologies provides similar conditions for learning across Europe. Due to the technical developments of the past years, the differences of virtual learning environments decreased and the providers of the software united (e.g. Blackboard and WebCT) because of the strong competition in the service area. The majority of higher educational institutions has decided to use Moodle because of its free access. In the meantime the standards (like SCORM in e-learning) have been developed supporting a really wide scale co-operation where the similar formats and platforms ensure the quality and a continuously growing volume in the number of participating institutions.
The in-service studies of vocational teachers is a form of lifelong learning. The MOTIVATE project directly contributes to the development of innovative ICT-based methods. Since these methods are taught for teachers of vocational schools the immediate secondary level dissemination is ensured. Their newly gained knowledge regarding innovative ICT based content, pedagogies and practice is radiated to all colleagues of the vocational training institutions. Furthermore the pupils of these vocational schools also benefit from the high level use of ICT pedagogies and get well trained to be able to use ICT based content throughout their vocational activities when entering the labour market.
The project addresses the training of teachers who are employees of vocational schools and already have a professional qualification (e.g. BSc level mechanical, electrical and IT engineering). Furthermore they might have a qualification of vocational teacher education at Bachelor level. The recent project provides continual training (further training), teacher training at master level for the vocational school staff with qualifications described above. The type of training (in-service training) allows the teachers to pursue their profession while they are completing the requirements of Master level vocational teacher training. Enhancing their knowledge and practical experience they can directly put into practice the new innovative methods gained due to the project achievements.
Digital competence is being directly addressed by the MOTIVATE Leonardo project. Almost all forms of teacher training are aware of the importance of digital competences. Technical teacher training institutions are always among the first ones who realise and are capable of introducing ICT methods which contribute most to the development of digital competence. These institutions having well prepared staff and well equipped laboratories organise staff development events/courses/programmes from time to time to keep pace with new technologies. So that future skilled workers could have high level digital competences, first their teachers should obtain them. Managers of Master level vocational teacher training institutions highlight the contents and methods in the course structure as it can be tackled in the curriculum for vocational teachers.
Learning to learn is in the focus of the module of Pedagogy within the Master level vocational teacher training course. Pupils in the vocational schools have to be taught for independent learning and various methods of utilising Internet based services and Web 2. technologies. Great care is taken to share good experience among teachers of vocational schools.
Utilization and distribution of results
Open and distance learning
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities
Information and Communication
open and distance learning
program or curricula
Curriculum development, module specifications and course materials are the main products of the project. A specific product will be the set of on-line communities for teaching a specialist subject. This provides opportunities for teachers to share their experiences on-line.
The book of case studies will include the main project results regarding the common module deliveries as well as technical papers and recommendations for future development. This book of case studies will include information for the professional publicity as well as for the management and decision makers.