Title Teaching and Training Quality Management
Project Number 2011-1-IT1-LEO05-01873
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
This proposal aimed at promoting a culture of quality improvement and assessment in education and training processes through the use of ICT tools.
The Recommendation of the European Parliament and the Council of June 2009 on the establishment of an European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for Vocational Education and Training, identified a number of indicators to assess the quality of education and training, including investments in training of teachers and trainers as a way to promote ownership of teachers and trainers in the process of quality development in VET.
“Teaching and Training Quality Management - TQM” project involved seven partners from four countries. In the framework of the actions promoted by the Italian Ministry of Education (Law n.150/2009), the initiative aimed to evaluate methodologies of teachers and trainers performances with the purpose of test and improve standards in the quality systems in VET, as from EQUARF recommendation. TQM transferred two significant evaluation experiences: the Grundtvig "SEALL – Self-evaluation in Adult Life Long Learning" project, and "Te-Pni" project. The common denominator between the two projects was the methodological approach considering self-evaluation as a training process. Through a punctual research action with the involvement of significant stakeholders and trainers, the products and action model of good practices identified was adapted to the Italian context and tested with a significant sample group of trainers. TQM contributed to the discussed subject of the evaluation of trainers by validating a bottom-up action model, consisting of a training process for teachers/trainers and a prototype of e-portfolio. At the end of the action, a change has been observed in the attitude of trainers with reference to the evaluation: before the project experience, the teachers considered the evaluation of thei work as a tool for measuring their own professionalism: during the life of the TQM project, partners and participants tried to define a different state-of-mind and process which, through self-reflection and dialogic reflection, could improve teaching efficacy and didactic quality.
TQM project has been promoted by the Telematic University “Leonardo da Vinci” (acronym UNIDAV, IT), which has been working for years in pedagogical research and high education of trainers, and which coordinated the activities and tests in Italy. Universities of Ulster (UK) and EVALITAS (AT), as holders of the good practices to be transferred, were involved in the consortium with the task of transferring the products and methodologies, participating in the research team for adapting and training the teachers/coaches working on test performance. In Austria, a control team consisting of 36 teachers has been activated to test the e-portfolio application. Ud'Anet srl (IT) kept responsibility for customizing the e-portfolio application and creating ICT tools to support the dissemination.
EFQUEL (BE) ensured the consistency of the activities with the political lines for quality assurance at the European level and coordinated a call for paper aimed at gathering contributions from all overe Europe on the topic of VET quality and teaching evaluation systems. INVALSI (IT) has been charged of coordinating the research activities and the data analysis. Insight srl (IT) was in charge of project monitoring.
TQM project was divided into 8 WPs, each of them included activities developed in synchronism. Training tools used in previous projects "SEALL" and "Te-pin", managed by by EVALITAS and UNIVERSITY of ULSTER, partners in TQM Project) have been adapted to the current target groups/countries. After an “Analysis and adapting” phase that aimed to identify the model to be used, model has been transferred to a group of three tutors during two training sessions; technical partner Ud'Anet (IT) developed an online application for the creation of an “e-portfolio” model for teachers and trainers as well as an executive plan of laboratories. The pilot activities have been carried out in Italy by applicant UNIDAV and in Austria by EVALITAS.
In each country, a group of teachers (54 teachers in Italy and 36 in Austria) has been involved in didactic laboratories for the training on evaluation, self-evaluation and the use of the platform/application for the building of their own professional e-portfolio. During the didactic laboratories and the online activities on the e-portfolio platform, each teacher's group has been coached by a trained group of tutors (3 in Italy, supported by 3 assistants and a coordinator, 2 in Austria). Two online surveys have been carried out: one before the pilot and the other one after its conclusion. In Italy, 189 schools, belonging to the national INVALSI sample, have been contacted to take part into the first survey. After gathering school and individual teachers’ accessions, 2533 teachers and trainers have been invited to fill in the online survey. 1041 questionnaires have been collected. The same survey has been filled in by 54 teachers who participated in the didactic laboratories and who, after the pilot, filled in the second online survey and took part into a Focus Group session.
In Austria a group of 36 teachers participated in the two online surveys and the pilot. The teachers, as for their membership into professional networks and systems affecting the national and European educational systems, played the role of facilitators acting as multiplying factors for the transfer, adoption and implementation of the good practices from original projects.
Once concluded the pilot phase, the comparison between data from the two surveys allowed to evaluate the results and the impacts of the actions. The teachers’ attitude on the evaluation evolved from a tool for measuring the teacher’s professionalism to a global process which involves the whole teaching system to improve the quality of the didactic. In the teachers' opinion, the evaluation became therefore a tool to support the teaching activity.
After the call for paper launched by EVALITAS with the aim to collect international papers on the themes of VET quality and evaluation systems in different countries, partnership carried out a Digital Journal “Improving quality of vocational training tools, frameworks and current practices” (available online at the link: http://papers.efquel.org/index.php/tqm-book/index) which allowed to promote at European level the scientific research on the themes touched by the project. The project’s activities have been presented in several international conferences, as the EARLI conference, DIDAMATICA and the EFQUEL conference. Promotional actions and activities were carried out all along the initiative in order to achieve exploitation and diffusion of results and products. Particularly, 6 thematic workshops and 2 seminars have been held to focus different aspects of the evaluation and e-portfolio issues in order to provide information about policies, tools and good practices. In these occasions, a large diffusion has been achieved within teachers and workers in the VET sector. The evaluation of project activities has been performed by partner Insight & Co (IT) which monitored all the training and diffusion events as well as all the project meetings through a number of satisfaction surveys.
Open and distance learning
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities
Information and Communication
open and distance learning
procedure for the analysis and prognosis of the vocational training requirement
material for open learning
The project activities have been developed by each partner on the basis of roles and tasks, designed by the whole partnership during steering groups meetings.
Information and updates have been disseminated via the project website as well as a newsletter issued in 4 editions. In order to ensure a wide promotion to TQM initiative, partnership participated in international conferences (EARLI Conference, DIDAMATICA and EFQUEL Conference). As for the arrangement of a pilot action in countries involved (Italy and Austria), a questionnaire has been released to collect data from beneficiaries of the experimentation, to detect propensity, participation and attitude towards self-evaluation in vocational and educational training: data collected, supported by an international study on institutional educational frameworks and laws in the countries involved in the project (Italy, Austria and Northern Ireland), have been used to compose a report on the good practice on "Comparative study of the normative and institutional framework concerning self-evaluation within VET in n countries”. The report also describes the experimentation actions carried out during the project TQM and the software/platform implementation process to create a customized "e-portfolio" for the self-evaluation of skills and competences.
Final reporting documents of the project describe results extracted from questionnaires and assessments, as well as approach and attitudes of the pilot target groups (teachers and trainers), methodologies adopted to define a self-evaluating system built on an already existing model.
Also a guide to the use of the "e-portfolio" software was carried out (text and video tutorial: http://eportfolio.tqmproject.eu/clients/tqm/tutorial/video_tutorial/tqm-eportfolio.html) to support a general agreement on good practice in self-evaluation of teachers and trainers in VET, both in national and international systems.