An Open Source e-Learning Platform for Training Vocational Students, Apprentices and Graduates on Web Design and Development

VET is identified as a driver for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training, notes that in a rapidly changing world, life-long learning needs to be a priority, it’s the key to employment, driving company and economic performance and success, allowing people to participate fully in society. The low-skilled are more vulnerable in the labour market and can be struck first by the crisis. Upgrading skills is not just a luxury for the highly qualified in high-tech jobs, it is a necessity for all. However, VET has been weakened in many European countries, discouraging compalsory education graduates from choosing technical and vocational schools. The low attractiveness of VET can be alleviated by adopting specific educational VET tools that will offer to VET graduates advanced, quality learning experiences and equal working opportunities.

In this context and in response to the ERASMUS+ call, the current project lays particular emphasis on developing VET educational practices that lead to financially sustainable societies through active communities of practice and supports the creation of a reliable, flexible and cost effective e-Learning model in VET as a key challenge for:

– Further strengthening key competences in VET.
– Enhancing access to training and qualifications for all.
– Opening innovative practices in the digital era.
– Strengthening and empowering the IT VET field, as a field with important European prospects.

The Project objective is the design and development of 3 eCourses on a Moodle platform for the subject of “Web Design & Development”, targeted to IT students of the Vocational Secondary School, as follows:
• “Web Design and Development for beginners”, for the 2nd year IT students of Vocational Secondary School (10th grade).
• “Advanced topics for Web Design & Development”, for the 3rd year IT students of Vocational Secondary School (11th grade)
• “More advanced topics in Web Design and Development”, fo rthe 4th year IT students of Vocational SecondaryUpper School. This eCourse can also be used by IT VET graduates, IT employees and IT internships of Vocational Secondary School.

The Project duration will be 3 years for developing a Moodle-based e-learning platform based on the most current educational methodologies and pedagogical concepts. The educational content of the platform will be properly structured and will include the state of the art principles and tools in the field of Web Design and Development.The Project idea has been adopted and strongly supported by the current strategic partnership, consisting of 3 universities, 3 VET schools, 2 enterprises and 1 business network, from Turkey, Romania, Republic of Northen Macedonia, Greece and Spain. Duzce University , will have the main responsibility of the Project management, development, coordination and dissemination. The UMFSTof Târgu Mureş, Duzce University and DIAS VET will participate in designing the structure of all 3 eCourses and formulate their educational contents in cooperation with the school partners and the private enterprises, combining (a) the current IT educational approaches, (b) the analytical schools curricula of the participating countries and (c) the current tools in the Web Design & Development field. UMFST will also be responsible for the evaluation and quality assurance of the project results in cooperation with Duzce University.

The partner schools will help to shape the educational content of the three eCourses, taking advantage of their educational experience and knowledge in curricula in “Web Design and Development” subject. They will also be used as end-users to test and evaluate the eCourses. DIAS VET, with the cooperation of the partner enterprises, will help to shape the educational content of the “More advanced topics for Web Design and Development” eCourse, taking advantage of their market experience and knowhow. This eCourse is expected to be a comparative advantage for internships and apprenticeships, since it will be designed by active IT labor experts. They will also be used as end-users to test and evaluate the above eCourse, and will be the hosts of the Project’s training activities.

The eCourses will be tested in 2 phases, first by IT teachers and afterwards by IT VET students, internships, graduates and IT experts. This procedure will allow corrections and will help the dissemination of the eCourses. The dissemination will also include transnational meetings and social media posts. The Project’s material will be a technologically and pedagogically innovative educational material, fully upgraded to utilize all novel web technologies, suitable for IT VET students, graduates, teachers and employees. The material will be a valuable auxiliary educational tool during the educational process, but it can be a key educational material, a major rehearsal learning tool for internships and a wide range of IT practicioners.