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Toolbox design for educational packages

Introduction

This toolbox approach guidance should be used in the process of designing educational packages to ensure that the courses and educational programmes are designed in a way that is recognisable across the European Union (EU) and provides useful information for instructors, teachers and Maritime Education and Training institutions( MET). It will also assist in developing educational packages and facilitate evaluation and quality assurance processes.
The toolbox is intended mainly for teachers, instructors, professors, course developers, and others when creating a course

The toolbox contains three elements: the curriculum; the course description; and evaluation of the course.

The initial part of the design is the curriculum development.
To define the exact learning outcome, it is necessary to know at which European Qualification Level (EQF) (European Commission 2016 a)
and which target group the course is aiming.

The elements of the curriculum are interdependent, as the qualification level and the way the decided learning outcome – knowledge, skills, and responsibility and autonomy – are described indicates what is to be assessed and the choice of assessment method.

When the skills needed are known, the level of qualifications and the competences to be achieved may be described using the EQF descriptors.

The second part of the toolbox covers the course details, teaching methods, material and assessment. The focus is on the teaching methods, as they should be aligned with the learning objectives and assessment methods.

The third and final part addresses the evaluation of the course, the review and the suggested changes. Special attention should be given as to who is responsible for the review and the changes.

  • 1. Curriculum

    The toolbox:

    Each Moodle page – that is each Educational Package – should include a label with the name of the partner who developed the course, and the date it was updated.

    1.    Curriculum:

    Learning objectives

    The learning objective is the statement of teaching intentions and describes the specific areas that will be covered in course or a block of courses. The learning objective describes the overall aim of the teaching intentions, and the general competence the student will have acquired after completion of the course (Cedefob 2017).

    Entry requirements

    Entry requirements should define minimum competence requirements for participating students. The requirements expected must be described using descriptors equivalent to the learning outcomes to make the difference in levels clear. Where relevant, state specific requirements such as reading, language or maths.

    Duration

    The course duration is the time needed to train the student from present level to desired level of qualification, including guided learning hours breakdown (such as lectures, workshops, and seminars) and independent study.

    Duration depends on educational level, current level of knowledge, and the specific learning outcomes.

    The amount of learning outcomes should be achievable in the time frame suggested.

    If the course is defined based on ECTS [learning outcome/certificate-based] a description of ECTS for each educational package is needed. If ECTS is given according to the EQF level, calculate the amount.

    Assessment

    Assessment method should be applicable to and mirror the desired learning outcome.

    The choice of learning outcome forms the basis for the assessment method as well as for what is to be assessed. Assessments should be competence-based as far as practicably possible and check the ability of the student to perform relevant tasks in practical environment.

    The assessment method can be one or a combination of several types of evidence, such as tests, written, multiple choice, practical tasks, or simulator. 

    See: 2 On assessment methods

  • 2. Course description

    2. Course description

    The course description includes information on the specific course elements and subjects to be covered as well as information on teaching methods, teaching materials, and assessment.

    Learning outcome
    We propose using a combination of the 8 EQF levels and the learning outcome descriptors: knowledge; skills; and responsibility and autonomy (European Commission 2016 a).

    The Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning (5) defines the concepts of knowledge, skills and competence. Knowledge is described as theoretical and/or factual; skills are described as cognitive (involving the use of logical, intuitive and creative thinking) and practical (involving manual dexterity and the use of methods, materials, tools and instruments); and competence is described in terms of responsibility and autonomy. In this context, ‘skills’ refers to the ability to apply knowledge to complete tasks and solve problems. (European Commission 2016 b:3)

    As most EU member states have implemented National Qualification Frameworks (NQF), as shown in the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefob) overview (Cedefob 2019), using the EQF descriptors knowledge, skills, and responsibility and autonomy in the SkillSea project provides a common understanding of the specifications.

    The Educational Packages define intended Learning outcome:
    learning outcomes are given as a clear statement of course objectives – that is what knowledge, skills and competence, responsibility and autonomy the student is expected to have achieved at completion of the course. The learning outcomes should be described recognisably.
    Using actions verbs corresponding to the EQF or a specific profession also makes transparent how the student is expected to demonstrate the attained knowledge, skills and responsibility and autonomy.
    See: 1 On learning outcome

    Teaching methods
    Teaching and delivery method should be chosen to suit learning outcome and assessment method. These methods should be progressive and take into account the latest technology available.

    Blended learning, individual vs. group work, e-learning, webinars, simulator exercises, on-site vs. online, lectures, lab-work, workshop, classroom activity, traineeship, sailing time, student exchange (giving cultural experience, language), work experience, augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR), research work, information and communication technologies (ICT).
    • Blended learning
    • individual vs. group work
    • e-learning
    • webinars
    • simulator exercises
    • on-site vs. online, lectures
    • lab-work
    • workshops
    • classroom activity
    • traineeship/sailing time
    • student exchange (giving cultural experience, language)
    • work experience
    • augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR)
    • research work
    • information and communication technologies (ICT).

    Formative assessment may be included in the teaching programme – rubrics, hand-in assignments, written and/or oral feedback, for example, provide the student with information on learning progress.
    See: 3 On teaching methods

    Teaching materials
    Educational packages may include teaching materials and be developed to allow delivery by a subject expert. Materials must be chosen to match learning outcome and assessment method.

    If the learning outcome is practical skills, the delivery methods and materials to train such skills must be available.

    Teaching materials examples:
    • text on Moodle
    • video, games, digital material
    • interactive learning material
    • soft vs. hard copy
    • simulator
    • physical objects like boats and engines, tools, equipment, model building
    • model testing in tanks and laboratories
    It must be clearly stated if any specific equipment, tools or materials – such as simulation, tools, laboratories and cameras – are required for delivery.

    Assessment/exam
    This is defined as the evaluation of the degree of acquisition of described learning outcome as per curriculum and to what extent the intended outcome is attained.
    The choice of internal or external assessors must be stated.
    There should be a description of how to carry out the chosen assessment method, including assessment time/duration, required resources, grade scale, preparation time, aids needed, and aids allowed.
    Adequate information should be given to enable the student and assessors to understand the conditions under which the attainment of learning outcome is demonstrated.

  • 3. Evaluation

    3. Evaluation

    Depending on the duration of the programme, a mid-term evaluation may be considered.
    Guidelines on evaluation and revision of the Educational Packages emphasise the continuous process of matching learning outcomes teaching methods and skills needs.
    See: 4 On evaluation

    Course review
    Evaluation outcome during piloting will be fed back to the developers of the educational package.
    If changes are needed or suggested after piloting, developers will be informed and will consider ways to address it.

  • 4. Acronyms

    4 Acronyms:

    Cedefop: European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training
    ECVET: European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training
    ECTS: European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System
    EQF: European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning
    ESCO: European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations
    ESG: European Standards and Guidelines for quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area
    NQF: National Qualifications Framework(s)
    VET: Vocational Education and Training

  • 5. Literature and further reading

    5 Literature and further reading:

    Biggs, J. & Tang, C. (2011): Teaching for Quality Learning at

    University. 4 ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press

    Cedefop (2017) “Defining, writing and applying learning outcomes”

    https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/publications/4156 [accessed 20200120]

    CEDEFOB - the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training :

    https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/about-cedefop [accessed 20200120]

    Curriculum Guidelines 4.0 – the initiative of the European Commission (DG GROW with RTDEMPLEAC and the EASME) on  “Skills for Industry: Curriculum Guidelines for Key Enabling Technologies and Advanced Manufacturing Technologies”: https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/4dcaeee3-29c2-11e9-8d04-01aa75ed71a1/language-en/format-PDF/source-87225354 [accessed 20200120]

    EQF/NQF - The European Qualifications Framework: https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/events-and-projects/projects/european-qualifications-framework-eqf

    ESCO – European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations:

    https://ec.europa.eu/esco/portal/home [accessed 20200120]

    European Commission (2016a): Learning Opportunities and Qualifications in Europe https://ec.europa.eu/ploteus/en/content/descriptors-page [accessed 20200117]

    European Commission (2016 b) Employment and Social Developments in Europe

    https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/10102/2016/EN/SWD-2016-7-F1-EN-MAIN-PART-8.PDF [20200119] [accessed 20200120]

    SDU, (University of Southern Denmark)Center for Teaching and Learning n.d. “The VUE program” Available at https://sduup.sdu.dk/index.php?page=start-side-en [accessed 20200120]

  • Toolbox Template

     

    skillsea logoTHE TOOLBOX GUIDE

     

     

    Curriculum

     

    Learning Objectives

     

    Entry requirement

     

    Duration

     

    Assessment

     

    Course Description

     

    Course Outline

     

    Learning Outcome

     

    Teaching methods

     

    Teaching material

     

    Assessment/exam

     

    Evaluation

     

    Course Review

     

     

    Download the ToolBox Guide

This project has received funding from the European Union's Erasmus+ programme under grant agreement 2018 – 3387/ 001- 001 (Project number 601186)

"The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein".

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