From March to June 2020, during the Covid-19 lockdown and the school transition to distance learning, the Agency for VET and Adult Education (ASOO) conducted a survey on the experience, attitudes and needs associated with distance learning in Croatia. They asked 1348 IVET and CVET teachers to assess digital competences, distance learning delivery and available support. Further surveys were also conducted among pre-tertiary and provider levels to plan support and different scenarios for education and training delivery in 2020/21.
In the VET teacher survey, almost 80% of teachers stated they had engaged in informal training to improve their digital competences for delivering distance education. Although about a half of VET teachers felt confident, more than a third were still insecure about their teaching methods in the virtual environment. Despite very short preparation time, over 40% produced their own teaching content; almost 65% shared teaching resources and the majority adapted content to learners with special needs (70%). A considerable proportion of teachers also delivered distance teaching and learning in real-time (over 50%). Most rewarded regular attendance and creative, problem-based assignments, and also tailored practical training to resources learners had at home. Over 80% of respondents expressed the need for further training in digital pedagogy, over 85% needed training in tools for creating digital learning content, and 88% requested further guidance on assessment in virtual environments.
Following the survey, the education Ministry’s recommendations, consultations with regional stakeholders, sector differences, VET provider resources and learner needs, ASOO developed specific recommendations for learning outcomes in 13 VET sectors in 2020/21. The recommendations proposed priority learning outcomes for each qualification that should be achieved to ensure the quality of qualification attainment under different modalities of delivery, with special consideration for learners with disabilities. Learning outcomes were grouped in thematic units to encourage teacher autonomy and innovation, joint and interdisciplinary teaching, and problem-based learning. The recommendations urged VET providers to focus on the quality of work-based learning as practical skills attainment in VET had been considerably affected by the spring 2020 lockdown. It was recommended to carefully plan and combine skills and theoretical training, and equally maintain regular consultations with regional stakeholders and the world of work. Recommendations on assessment also emphasised formative mechanisms that would ensure timely feedback and equal treatment of learners, as well as data on learning for assessing the quality of teaching strategies. In 2020/21, ASOO will continue supporting VET providers through guidance and digital pedagogy resources, as well as the development and delivery of a professional development module on teaching and assessment methodology in virtual environments and blended learning for teachers in IVET and CVET.
- Ministry recommendations - Models and recommendations for work in conditions related to Covid-19 disease in pedagogical/school year 2020/21
- Recommendations for the achievement of learning outcomes (in Croatian)