As the wind and rain subsided across the Netherlands, the Pro-VET team descended on the small university town of Wageningen some 93 kms southeast of Amsterdam. This was our 4th transnational meeting and our genial hosts this time were colleagues from Aeres University of Applied Sciences – or in Pro-VET speak, P2 (AHW). For five days, from Monday, 27th to Friday, 31st January 2020, the project consortium set about its business with verve and alacrity.
Our programme for the week centred on the project’s main deliverables, the vocational open online courses (VOOCs) that we need to create. With the planning cycle being completed in Tver, Russia last October, we were able to devote our time to creation process. Colleagues from the Russian and Serbian partner institutions worked hard alongside colleagues from European partner universities to begin building their own VOOCs.
By the end of the week and under the guidance of teacher educators from JAMK’s School of Professional Teacher Education, Aeres UAS, Warnborough College Ireland and the Institute of Technology and Education, University of Bremen each development team had its course in outline sitting quite comfortably on either a Moodle or Canvas LMS platform. Yay, well done team!
The consortium’s development teams will continue working on their own VOOCs with help being available from their European partners, including teacher educators from JAMK’s School of Professional Teacher Education, on demand and as necessary until the consortium meets again in Bremen, Germany in March 2020.
For us foreign visitors to the Netherlands it was important to learn how the Dutch culture affects VET in that country.
Our programme was therefore interspersed with cultural activities such as pancake making and visits to a historical local castle as well as the extremely impressive Vakschool Wageningen. The Vakschool is a facility where learners can practice their practical skills in catering, hotel services, facilities management and event management. It is open to the public and so is a really useful part of VET education as it offers the opportunity to practice while almost being in the commercial marketplace.
Graham Burns, project manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, JAMK University of Applied Sciences, School of Professional Teacher Education
Text and photographs: Graham Burns