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Innovative didactics enabling activated learning for VET students
Start date: Aug 1, 2016, End date: Jul 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context:Syntra West is a vocational institution offering 4 types of training to a very diverse audience. More and more, we notice the demand of our audience towards fit for purpose learning solutions, either in our young individual customers as in our senior employees and employers. The learning landscape requires interactive learning, learning that is based on and linked to existing knowledge and skills. From a societal point of view, new requirements to VET include the inclusion of entrepreneurial thinking and intrapreneurship in every citizen and professional, and the triggered responsibitity to boost one's own life long learning process. From those points of view, Syntra West aims to support their trainers by investigating and integrating innovative didactical techniques, that enable the activation of learners, to become protagonists of their own learning experience. In other words, we aim to find ways to organise 'student-centered learning' that takes into account each student's interests, abilities, and learning styles, placing the teacher as a facilitator of learning for individuals rather than for the class as a whole.Objectives:Through a number of well-chosen mobilities, VET trainers of Syntra West will be trained in innovative didactical approaches and techniques that support activated 'student-centered' learning.Number and profile participants: In total 25 teachers will be sent out, accompanied by the trainer coach. They will be VET trainers who have lots of practical experience, and who have a special interest in innovating didactics. They will be trainers of Syntra West who are engaged in the continuous development and improvement of our organisation. Activities:Through 5 mobilities, optimal exchange of knowledge and experiences will take place: each mobility is a 3-day series of workshops offered by Syntra West trainer (coach) and partner organisations abroad. Day 1 will always focus on exchange from Syntra West, day 2 and 3 will focus on exchange by the host. Methodologies:Innovative didactics that will feature in the programme will be:1) Activating didactics for student centered learning2) Innovative didactics that get learners more involved in their own learning process3) Innovative learning environments that enable student centered learning4) The use of ICT and blended learning in activating didactics5) Entrepreneurial spirit and boosting life long learning beliefs in every studentResults:All mentioned techniques will be shared among the trainers of Syntra West. They will share their lessons learned internally through the trainer coach with their colleagues within and beyond the organisation.In general: VET trainers will dispose of an overview of innovative didactics with theoretical descriptions, examples, tutorials, case studies, etc. that they can integrate in their own teaching activities and furthermore in the wider policy of the organisation.Impact and longer term benefits:In this way, Syntra West aims to contribute to the ongoing process of quality improvement, whereby we offer our students a more 'student centered' type of learning and whereby we aim to 1) explain and convince them of the added value whereof and 2) we aim to continuously feed this process with qualitative, validated tools and instruments gained from projects like this.
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