Digital Futures, en
1.3.2022 – 30.11.2023
1. The aim of the project was
- integrates well into teaching; implementation requires only minor additional resources
- enriches pedagogy
- is student-centered
- can be simulated in other vocational fields or implemented with other partners.
2. to establish partnership between organizations to ensure the continuity of digital cooperation and the exchange of know-how.
3. to improve the digital and international skills of the staff.
4. to enhance students’ international competence.
1. The international implementation of three digital field-specific projects in the fields of Tourism, Catering, and Hair and Beauty.
2. Two project meetings: in Finland in the autumn of 2022 and in Ireland in the autumn of 2023. The goals of the meetings were increasing knowledge about the partner, pedagogical exchange, outlining (in the kick-off meeting) and evaluating (in the closing meeting) the digital projects and making plans for future collaboration.
3. Dissemination of results specifically to the staff of participating organizations but also to other education providers potentially interested in digital cooperation.
Digital cooperation is a beneficial way to enforce internationalization-at-home and to support involvement in international activities. All students of the groups took part in the digital projects, whereas the number of students participating in physical mobilities is in general considerably lower. In digital projects, students could take on different roles and contribute in relation to their capabilities. Indeed, many students in this project were empowered and students who had never considered themselves as potential participants in international activities, started reflecting on the opportunities offered by the Erasmus+ program from a personal perspective. The students usually remaining in the background had a chance to stand out in a positive way.
Both students and staff found the field-specific digital activities in this project motivating. The project ignited curiosity towards the language and culture of the partner country and aroused interest in learning to know the students and teachers at the partner institution. As a result of digital cooperation, the students’ competence in working in an international environment was improved and they showed broadened interest in their own internationalization possibilities. The results are surprisingly positive, considering that the project did not include any physical student mobilities.
Digital cooperation in an international setting is an effective way of improving one’s digital and linguistic skills. Both are being rehearsed in an authentic needs-based situation. Participants have a need to communicate with their counterparts at the partner institution, for which digital environment provides the tools necessary – instead of representing new arduous learning assignments imposed from the outside.
In teachers’ view, digital cooperation was easy to integrate into everyday teaching. The staff found pedagogical exchange enriching. This exchange occurred primarily during physical meetings but was present throughout the collaboration process. Especially for the Irish partner the field-specific projects allowed to experiment on more student-centered methods and to give students more responsibility.
As a result of this project, the partners reinforced their cooperation. The plan is to continue digital collaboration at least in Tourism and Catering sectors. In the next application round new staff mobilities will be applied for in order to continue pedagogical exchange and to extend digital cooperation into new vocational fields. While learning more about the partner, we paid attention to the vast amount of knowledge that could be shared both ways. The project also resulted in a group exchange of tourism students.
Model of Digital Co-operation
Check-list for Digital International Projects
The staff and students of partner institutions.
Dunboyne College of Further Education
Sirpa Uotila, sirpa.uotila(at)sasky.fi
Erasmus+ for Vocational Education and Training