3.4. CONTENT AND RESOURCES
Digital learning resources are digital tools, resources and materials used for learning. This includes digital content, software tools and internet services that allow the production, usage, and distribution of content, and implementation resources (e.g. copyright licenses).
In addition to the resources that each institution can create, we have at our disposal an infinite number of Open Education Resources (OER): “are learning, teaching and research materials in any format and medium that reside in the public domain or are under copyright that have been released under an open license, that permit no-cost access, re-use, re-purpose, adaptation and redistribution by others” (UNESCO).
Examples: CDs and DVDs, educational programs and videogames, internet audio and videos, simulations and animations, blogs, web pages wikis, webquests and treasure hunts, video conferencing, chat, forums, online courses, collaborative platforms, etc.
The quantity and diversity of resources for learning is nowadays incomprehensible. Likewise, companies use tools that can be of general use, but also very specific to their task.
D-WBL stakeholders mentioned several resources as relevant, which we can group into:
USUAL DEVICES: “Like laptops, DVDs, interactive whiteboards or digital video cameras and PHYSICAL ELEMENTS: 3D printers, avatars, joysticks, oculus…” (PANKO Teacher),
COMMUNICATION/COOPERATIVE TOOLS: “Working in a project,… I remember one statement especially well, which is that the students, concerning digital tools for communication, working together, learning, work with their own infrastructure, through easily usable tools” (DHBW Teacher).
The use of DIGITAL PLATFORMS (E-PORTFOLIO) is mentioned as a good solution to bring together and manage the teaching-learning process among all the people involved.
SIMULATORS: “The digital environment offers the great advantage of being able to make mistakes, it consumes pixels and not physical materials…The concept of interaction, immersiveness and thus creating the conditions for the user in a virtual training to have similar experiences to those in a real environment is a big challenge” (CIS Teacher).
Simulators can be used for technical knowledge as Electronic/Electric Network Simulator, but also for other disciplines, such as simulation of conflicts. social or economical processes.
VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY: “augmented and virtual reality have great potential to help students visualize abstract scientific concepts” (PANKO Teacher).
VIDEOGAMES: “Game-based learning, the use of videogames is a major new trend. Digital gaming, however, can be costly, involving significant investment in design and may struggle to engage learners used to the immersive, highly realistic and sophisticated world of commercial videogames (PANKO Entrepreneur).
Due to the amount and variety of options, it is therefore essential to establish criteria to select the most appropriate content and resources in each case.
Following Guitert and Romeu (2020), “during the conceptualization of a course it is necessary to define what learning resources will be used and how they will be presented in the classroom. It is also necessary to assess whether they are new resources or are already on the network. When it comes to choosing, it is necessary to be selective and effective, that is to say, it is necessary to show only those resources that are adapted to the contents of the course and provide quality, accessible and intelligible content, taking into account the level and context of the students. Figure below shows the parameters to analyze to choose a good resource:
How to choose a good resource: parameters to analyze. From Guitert and Romeu (2020).
From the stakeholders participation in the D-WBL, arised some key elements to take into account when creating or selecting Content and Resources:
3.4.1. VARIETY OF TOOLS AND FORMATS
The use of a variety of tools and formats helps the global acquisition of digital skills at the time makes the learning process more attractive.
In one subject the teacher was very creative and she gave us different tasks during the semester which developed our digital skills, so there were gamification and playful exercises. (IPOSZS3)
But it’s also necessary to avoid the excess of tools, searching an equilibrate use of them
It is important not to overload the classroom -and therefore the study of the participants- with tools that simply adorn the course content and do not add any value and that, instead of facilitating study, hinder the learning process of the students. (Guitert and Romeu, 2020)
- The analyzed practice proposes the use of varied tools and resources in a balanced way to the dedication they entail.
3.4.2. LEARNING OBJECTIVES AND CONTEXT
It is also important to keep the attention into the learning objectives and context in which it will be applied and its integration into the virtual learning environment, thinking also in the applicability of the resources in the internships.
The quality of a learning resource depends on context, such as time, place and human relationships. This means that quality is not only dependent on the properties of the learning resource. Quality in this context is also closely connected with how the resource is used, when it is used in the individual learning situation and in relation to whom. (Senter for IKT i utdanningen, 2018).
I think teachers should choose teaching material format according to the learning objectives and outcomes, target group and content. (PANKOT1)
- The proposed resources are accessible, replicable to different contexts, and the learning investment in them is cost effective.
3.4.3. AVAILABILITY AND REPLICABILITY
There are many characteristics that common sense tells us a good resource should have, such as: ease of use, intuitiveness, free to use, cost-effective, etc.
Let’s see more examples of this general characteristics from the research and stakeholders contributions:
Technological reusability: Interoperability (i.e. metadata accuracy; compliance with the main import/export standards)… Cultural and learning diversity (i.e. adaptability, flexibility, possibility to modify, … design of controls and presentation formats to accommodate disabled and mobile learners). (Kurilovas, E., Serikoviene, S. and Vuorikari, R., 2014).
Open digital resources for VET are very useful. Teachers and trainers can use, adapt and share these resources. Open digital resources increase access to learning materials, promotes and enables personalized learning. Unfortunately, there are not many resources for VET. (PANKOT3)
- The proposed resources fit with the learning objectives and are suitable with the teaching-learning context.