Ministry of Cohesion and Regional development Iceland Liechtenstein Norway grants

Pedagogical solutions

In this work package, we deal with the question of how to implement blended learning in practice. It is about concrete activities of teachers: how to plan, how to conduct lessons …

The work consists of several phases:

1. Defining Elements of Blended learning and the competencies needed to carry out blended learning in vocational education and training

The document “Elements of blended learning and teachers’ pedagogical and digital competencies” was created, prepared by university partners from all three partner countries. This was the starting point for thinking and planning further activities.

Elements-of-blended-learning-final-1

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Three points of interest from the document:

2. Preparation of the training plan

Based on the starting document and needs analysis, we defined topics for teacher training. They are collected in the “Training plan” document, which is a guide for the design of the teacher training on the topi cof blended learning. Each of the three countries also produced a more detailed plan that took into account the characteristics and needs of the teachers there.

3. Teacher training

Blended learning is often the domain of individuals who are excited about this type of work, but we also have to think about the ones who are not (yet) familliar with this kind of teaching. Blended learning requires different competences than traditional approaches. The differences start at the reflection that teachers do when planning and continues with implementation, for which some teachers also need to sharpen their digital skills.

The teachers of all partner schools took part in training, where they learned about the basics of blended learning and where they also experienced blended learning firsthand.

As part of the training, the teachers prepared teaching materials that took into account the peculiarities of the blended form of teaching. When using online learning tools, it often happens that they remain just an addition/enrichment. When planning the blended form, it is therefore crucial to define which learning goals the students achieve in school, which at a distance and which in a combination of both. Lessons where all learning objectives are achieved in school are not blended lessons, but are only supported by ICT technology.

The programme expanded after the initial delivery of teacher training in autumn 2022. Additional instructors from Slovenia joined the programme in January 2023, while a group of teachers from Norway will begin in October 2023, showing the project’s success and growing interest in blended learning.

4. Piloting Blended Approaches in the Classroom

After defining the aspects of blended learning and developing the training plan, the instructors who received training began the critical phase of piloting blended approaches in the classroom. The goal of this phase was to put theory into practise and assess the efficacy of blended learning in vocational education and training. Teachers not only created blended learning materials, but they also participated in blended learning. This hands-on experience helped them better appreciate the limitations and advantages of this educational approach. It was an excellent opportunity for teachers to reflect on their teaching approaches and adjust to the changing educational landscape.

Teachers will continue to test the blended learning approach in chosen subjects as time goes on. Their experiences will be thoroughly evaluated, and an evaluation report will be prepared. Furthermore, teachers’ lesson plans are being compiled into a compendium, which will serve as a great resource for educators interested in implementing blended learning methodologies.

What follows?

In 2023, teachers continue to test blended learning in selected subjects, while data from both teachers and students has been collected for the Evaluation report. The report will analyze this data, providing insights into the impact of blended learning on teaching and student outcomes. Simultaneously, a Compendium of good practices is in development, serving as a resource for educators seeking best practices and lesson plans based on real-world experiences.