The general objective of the Erasmus+ project “IN.APP.ME. WBL” project – Innovative and Applicative Methods in Work-Based Learning was to promote European VET School teachers the application of effective innovative teaching methods and tools in work-based learning contexts.
The project aimed to improve school performance and the satisfaction of VET school partner students in the implementation of WBL (work-based learning) courses. Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, School of Vocational Teacher Education was the project partner in this project. The project coalition included also partners from Italy, Turkey, and Romania.
Haaga-Helia´s responsibilities as a project partner in the project were to facilitate the curriculum design and the development of training materials for the implementation/application of a learner and collaborative-centered pedagogy in the WBL context.
Haaga-Helia was also responsible for two learning activities. The first learning activity contained a one-week training period in Italy before the Covid pandemic. The core idea of the training was to learn, reflect and apply pedagogical methods convenient in work-based learning. The second activity was organized online during pandemic focusing especially on the evaluation process of the project activities.
Haaga-Helia was also responsible for facilitating the development processes based on inquiry-based learning. Concrete development activities were implemented based on partner countries’ current needs. Partners in Italy focused on improving teachers’ skills when designing and implementing WBL paths for the students. Romanian partners focused on career guidance and counseling and in Turkey partners enhanced cooperation with industry and improved teachers’ pedagogical and field knowledge competencies through WBL.
Project outcomes and impacts
As an outcome of the project totals 48 teachers and 75 students including several companies tested, evaluated and put into practice curriculum and educational training materials as a part of the implementation of collaborative and learner-centered pedagogical methods in WBL. During the project, Haaga-Helia designed new VET teaching material to use for future needs in education export.
Project impact for Haaga-Helia refers to using the inquiry-based learning process as a frame in RDI project. A good example of this is the development task processes implemented in partner countries. The process started with analyzing the local needs for development, then choosing the approach and making an action plan for the development work. The process continued by implementation and documentation, assessment and quality assurance, and finally dissemination.
The other impact for Haaga-Helia was creating new VET material named “Best practices of Finnish Vocational Education and Training”. Within the competency-based and customer-oriented VET training, we introduced the personalization process as an example of best practice and the personal competence development plan process as a part of that.
Also, the process of on-the-job learning and collaboration between the teacher, student, and the workplace tutor was shared.