There has always been a call for quality setting and evaluation within VET in the CR. With the recent bill passed in the parliament all tertiary institutions are prompted to introduce a system of quality assurance. A consortium of VOŠ (Czech equivalent of fachhochschule in Germany) have gathered within a project call to find a tool to help them tackle the task. ECVET seemed like a possible solution to their problem and DOVOS representatives were asked to present both ECVET and DOVOS to the above mentioned schools representatives. A workshop was organised for 28th of August within the premises of JABOK – one of the consortium partners from Prague.
It became apparent very soon that what the audience (composed of principals and/or methodologists) truly needed the most was a system allowing for highly individualised record of work-based practice experience focused mostly on soft skills. Since most of the schools were active on the field of social work and educational activities the desired skills, knowledge and competencies to be monitored included ability to listen and empathise, those linked to interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence, knowledge of cultural and ethical nuances of their clients etc. Unlike ECVET-based DOVOS, most systems cannot work with the above mentioned issues. The audience was sceptical at first but after getting their hands on the application itself they experimented with the soft-skill options to find out DOVOS could meet their needs. The latter part of the meeting turned into rich discussion and experience exchange, after which the participants were given access to the sandbox version of the app to further experiment and contact the DOVOS representatives once the finalised application is released following the end of the project.
For educational specialists
Ever since the beginning the DOVOS project has been in the spotlight of ECVET-concerned professional public. The project members welcomed the attention because it allowed them easier communication with ECVET stakeholders in the CR – previous ECVET project coordinators (e.g. IPN project Pospolu), ECVET expert group (see dissemination activity on 15th June 2016), DZS (national agency mother organisation) and others, and even get some of the people onboard to gain their experienced insight and critical feedback.
DOVOS team was therefore proud to organise a workshop on the premises of NÚV (National educational institute) on the 30th August 2018, where the results of the project were presented and discussed to ECVET specialists, NSK (National system of Qualification) implementers and VET schools innovators. Dominik Fellner from DOVOS team introduced the driving idea behind the project, presented the application itself and its ability to communicate with LMS Moodle, badge creation and export and the possible powerful impact to professional development plan and portfolio of the trainees, students or even teachers within lifelong learning programme.
The audience arrived to the conclusion that the most innovative and breaking element of the application is actually the feature allowing separate assessment/evaluation of every single skill or competence within each Learning Agreement enabling the school to have a very powerful, detailed and relevant feedback from the employer (internship provider) concerning any skills, knowledge or competence they had previously agreed with the student to be monitored, honed and tested and including even the otherwise hard-to-assess soft skills.
What came as a very unexpected yet extremely positive exposé of the event was the finding that the DOVOS app is extremely useful for work-based learning skill and competence monitoring whether the institution adopted ECVET or not. The VET research group of NÚV decided to use the DOVOS app in 3 to 4 schools as a pilot case within the upcoming school year to which the DOVOS team happily agreed.
For media representatives
The workshop for ùedia representatives followed up on the initial meeting of experts at the beginning of the project. The Czech media environment of recent years has seen an unprecedented circulation of market experts. Several significant financial groups from the Czech Republic have significantly affected the property structures of the media. Many editorial offices have been completely changed. Stable environment remains in public service media. Similarly, members of the original group were partially re-elected or represented as representatives of other media.
The workshop was led by MgA. Jolana Dvořáková, deputy director of VOŠP for Production and Creative Activities. The members of the working group were introduced to the outputs of the last international meetings. They were deeply concerned about Europe’s trends in news and entertainment.
They got acquainted with the outputs of the DOVOS project. In addition to information about the professional quality of media school students, the technical quality of the outputs and the education of students in general, they were particularly interested in today’s most important ones – the results of soft skills. It has been clear from the past meeting that today’s employer lacks these aspects in today’s generation and would greatly appreciate it if these were included in a feedback certification .
All participants have unanimously welcomed that there are applications and ratings that try to grasp and evaluate soft skills. In relation to possible outcomes towards employers, they would particularly welcome that only a well-established group of experts / educators should provide the verification. Assessing soft skills is not easy. And just professionals in the field, who are active in media industry and at the same time conducting pedagogical activities, are the most suitable adepts for objective assessment. Likewise, the group strongly welcomed the DOVOS contribution to creation of an easily accessible and shared portfolio that could be used to verify whether a student – in their case, a potential job seeker or practitioner – meets the requirements of a particular media. It turns out that content and quality requirements vary greatly in public media and commercial media. Therefore, it could be more accurately specified in the evaluation, for which medium the output was generated and what the evaluation parameters were.
Jolana Dvořáková informed about the level of media education in Europe. She concentrated on the schools with which VOŠP cooperated on the DOVOS project. In spite of incomprehensibly worse conditions in terms of technical equipment of the Czech school compared to colleagues in Belgium and Great Britain, students of VOŠP displayed mature work performance and adequately responsible approach to the project. Their outputs were professionally timed.
The final point of the workshop was the negotiations on copyright issues at European media schools. In particular, the use of music records in school work becomes illegal as a result of shifting to social networks and many project partners face complaints.