Do not just repair, but renovate 
your Vocational Education with a modern LMS

The Team Readiness Scan as a starting point for more digital learning

In this blog we would like to offer Institutes for Vocational Education a guide on how they can make a big step forward within their institution. Collective as an institution, but with room for differences between the educational teams within it.

In its annual “State of Education” the Education Inspectorate was this year quite explicit about the task of secondary vocational education: The Corona crisis has created a backlog among students.

Of course this is stating somewhat of the obvious. Every school has an educational strategy containing the words “more differentiation & customization”. And every teacher knows that you only have real customization if you can teach 1 on 1. A call for more personalization is therefore not special and is timeless.


Optimism about Blended Learning

What is different now however – with the end of Covid in sight – is the great optimism among teachers and managers in secondary vocational schools about the capacity of this type of education to work and learn more digitally. In the past Corona year, education has brought a lot to digital education. The Vocational Education institutes can rightly be proud of the way in which literally the entire education was changed in a few days during the first lockdown. We've all learned MS Teaming in no time this year. We now all know the pros and cons of online teaching and digital tutoring and mentoring. Change experts sometimes argue that real change only occurs when the urgency is high enough. Well, there was a crisis. You cannot think of a higher urgency. And how much we have changed!

It is that I hope never to experience a health crisis like this again, but - unlike the financial crisis, the Internet bubble or the oil crisis - this is a crisis with a visible impact on educational innovation. In a positive way.

We also learned what does not work digitally. Listening between the lines, for example. Or really hearing and seeing someone during lessons and making a real connection is much more difficult through a screen. But we have also experienced the benefits. No travel time, for example. Never before have so many colleagues attended all team meetings. And the “record” button during direct instructions, so that students can view the recording again if they wish. 

Renovating through digital learning, blended, student-driven and remote

But what did the Inspectorate mean by “not just repair but renovate”? A quote from the Education Inspectorate yearly report “The State of our Education” (p 157):

"Yet most institutions agree that (digital) distance learning also has advantages. It potentially offers many opportunities for differentiation and more personalized education. Some students benefit from the freedom to work at their own pace on challenges at their own level, as the Corona period has shown. These students find it positive that they have more control and ownership over their own learning process. Also because of the logistical advantages of distance learning, a sustainable transition to an educational concept with a balanced balance between education at the institution and at a distance can be promising. This requires boards and training teams to have a clear vision of the conditions under which the different ways of education can reinforce each other. One condition is without a doubt the further development of didactics in teachers' digital education."

Digitization can therefore help education further. In the crisis turnaround, we learned a lot from what works and what doesn't. The trick is, of course, now that we are slowly returning to normal, to preserve the good of the old, to let go of the hasty new and to look for the right “balanced balance”.

The exact location of this “balanced balance” will differ for different institutions. In fact, where the right balance lies, will differ within those institutions, from educational team to educational team and even within different parts of the same course. Online distance education will not work for the practical components, for example. And we have also learned that online mentoring for disadvantaged youth is difficult. You need wifi and a device to participate. In short, searching for the new balance between distance or proximity, digital or folio and student- or teacher-driven education will require customization per study program and per education team. It is important for the MBO institution as a whole to have a vision of how these components can reinforce each other.

The Next Step: Customization on the team level

With all these choices to be made, it is not always easy for a board of a large educational institute for Vocational Education to take the right next big step forward in digitization. As described above, optimism about self-reliance has been increased by the turnaround made during the Corona crisis. At the same time, we also know that the urgency is (fortunately) less than during the very first lockdown.

Based on our many years of experience with the implementation of Learning Management Systems, Drieam consultants (see insert) have developed a Team Readiness Scan. A learning management system (LMS) supports students in learning and communicating with fellow students and teachers about education, and is the heart of every digital learning environment. Introducing a new LMS therefore also touches the heart of education.

The scan helps large educational organizations to differentiate between the differences in educational teams when taking the right steps in (digital) education. And a good LMS helps teachers make the right educational choices. 

Team Readiness Scan

The Readiness Scan team was originally developed as a preparation tool, to make an institution ready before starting to implementation an LMS. Implementing an LMS is a major digital innovation for most schools, after all, a LMS is the heart of the institution's digital learning environment and therefor at the heart of what the institution is all about: Education. The scan is however also more widely applicable and suitable for almost every digital “big step forward”, especially if the entire (= integral) educational institution makes this step simultaneously. 

Special considerations play a role in such an integral digital step forward. For example, the board will have to formulate the goals carefully and sufficiently clear. After all, the board has no say in the educational content, only in the educational vision and the preconditions. The board will have to pay attention to this in discussions with teachers and students. The board will also have to pay attention to the differences in the speed of adoption that play a role in each innovation: Some of the teachers cannot wait and go too fast. Another part of the teachers does not see any advantages of the new compared to the existing situation and would therefore prefer to get out of the way first. With a good, joint step forward, there should be an attractive innovation path for all. Experimental cafes and LivingLabs for the leading group, but also for those behind a broom wagon. It is important to constantly find the right balance between these groups within the institution.

Change management is the best way to choose an approach in which different teams can choose their own pace and way, but with a clear dot on the horizon, but also no way back. In other words, a central vision, but with a lot of attention for a well thought-out decentralized elaboration.

The Team Readiness Scan is intended to help teams and managers think about this decentralized elaboration, for which some teams require acceleration, while others require more time. That's right… we call that “differentiation”.

In our consultancy practice we use this matrix as a basis for mapping out a development path per team, but before we get started with it in an ROC, this scan also applies to customization per institution: a few columns will always be added. must become. After all, each ROC also has its own peculiarities, such as that institution with its own home academy with a solid range of digitization. We also took the assessment of this home academy into account as a separate criterion.

Team Readiness Scan
Realistische visie & verwachtingen over LMSGewenste onderwijskundige innovatie (S,M,L, XL) die gelijktijdig wordt opgepaktOnderwijslogistiek op orde Roosteronderwijs-catalogusVeranderkracht teamKennis & vaardigheden teamledenIs er veranderurgentie? Voldoende fte vrijgemaakt?Overige Aspecten (aanvullen per instelling)
Zijn de definities helder? (ELO, SIS, LMS) Zijn er realistische beelden en verwachtingen?S= we zetten alleen materiaal over M= overzetten + actualiseren / aanpassen L= nieuw materiaal ivm onderwijskundige vernieuwing (bijv blended learning) XL = nieuw onderwijsconcept icm onderwijskundige vernieuwingOnderwijs merendeels in roosterbare eenheden en rooster klopt (bijna) altijdTaakvolwassen, zelfsturend, positieve cultuur, heldere taak- en rolverdelingen, maar ook draagkracht (andere ontwikkelopgaven, omvang team irl het aantal taken etc.)Het gaat om kennis en vaardigheden op 3 deelgebieden (TPAck-model) 1) pedagogisch-didactische ontwikkelkwaliteiten 2) vakinhoudelijk bekwaam 3) eigen ICT-vaardigheden op ordeIntrinsieke motivatie team, maar ook externe factoren, bijv Job-Enquete Keuzegids Inspectierapport, herziening kwalificatiedossiers, start nieuwe opleiding etc)(Hoeveelheid fte is ook afhankelijk van ontwikkelambitie (zie kolom 2 mbt gewenste onderwijskundig innovatie) Bij hoge ontwikkelambitie hoort meer fte) Let op relatieve omvang team, maar ook op samenstelling team (bij sommige teams komen ontwikkelinspanningen terecht bij zeer kleine groep mensen). 

Contact the Drieam team

Related articles