The Vocational Training Centre of the Metal Industry (CENFIM) coordinated and concluded in 2017 LearnIT: learning tools and routes for individual training. This Erasmus+ project was launched two years ago and was a partnership between Portugal, Germany, Spain and Finland.
This innovative education project was based on a new educational training paradigm which meets individual and enterprise training needs in an increasingly customised way. It prioritises learner availability and learning goals, without underestimating the obvious pedagogical, logistical and financial constraints that arise with a model based on individual training. The training field where modularisation and individualisation of learning are more widely applied is computer numeric control (CNC) in the metallurgy sector.
To achieve the best possible outcomes, even in a traditional training environment, the partnership selected a complex workshop training context composed of different practical activities. The fact that trainees with diversified competences were participating in the same workshop made the exercise more demanding but also more rewarding.
This project aimed to rebuild the training environment using innovative layouts, adapting existing didactic resources and creating steering tools. Consequently, trainees could enjoy more autonomous learning and develop tools for recording and monitoring their individual progress. Trainers were stimulated to prepare new approaches, as this multi-learning environment entails different and demanding approaches away from the traditional pedagogic method.
The new learning paradigm redesigned all the main factors of vocational training in an innovative way using:
- conventional and non-conventional didactic and evaluation resources, and tools supporting more autonomous learning;
- e-learning platform and open education resources adapted to classroom learning;
- specific ICT tools;
- a guidebook for teachers and trainers and new pedagogical approaches for teaching in complex training environments (tutors had to perform multiple tasks including being an instructor, facilitator, e-trainer, trainer);
- redesigned workshop layouts and recommendations for a new training model, which incorporated concepts such as ‘learning islands’ and ‘kiosks’ as hubs of didactic resources needed for certain stages of learning.