Developing Teachers’ Skills in Blended and Online Learning

Having to switch to online learning due to the pandemic, many teachers in Albania found themselves unprepared for the challenge. Considering lack of digital learning materials, teachers' digital skills, and a need for communities of practice, 'Skills for Jobs' project has intensified its support in online and blended learning to partner VET providers. This has resulted in some success stories of teachers who have done an excellent job in managing online lessons while keeping them attractive for students. 

Since December, ‘Skills for Jobs’ has organized 8 webinars related to blended and distance learning. The purpose was to introduce VET teachers to online platforms, specifically MesoVET platform developed by S4J, digital instruments and physical infrastructure needed for blended and distance learning. Moreover, they introduced efficient ways of lesson planning with the help of technology and design of digital teaching materials attractive for students and helpful for teachers to organize an interactive class. These webinars were attended by more than 100 teachers who got connected with each other, shared experiences and discussed their concerns with experts in relevant fields.

One of the teachers who is actively using MesoVET platform and developing digital learning materials is Ermira Mani from 'Hamdi Bushati' VET school in Shkodra. Ermira has tried to adapt these materials considering that they will be used by teachers and students of other schools, who work in different conditions and contexts. For this reason, she researched various sources, selected and adapted them, to create quality and effective digital teaching materials accessible to all.

Ermira Mani
"Interactive methods and materials increase students' interest and involvement in the learning process. Students can now attend online lessons without needing a basic textbook or teachers’ presence, "
says Ermira.

Ermira tried to make materials as attractive as possible for students, enriching them with digital content, such as: videos adapted in Albanian, schemes to better describe processes or concepts,  case studies to stimulate critical thinking, etc. During the development of digital materials, she prepared quizzes for each topic in order to test students’ knowledge. 

"Digital materials and tools used in a course promote both individual and group learning, as well as the understanding and memorization of key concepts. Students enjoy flexibility in the process and time-wise,"
says Ermira.

To promote communities of practice among teachers in online and blended learning, 'Skills for Jobs' created a Facebook group named 'Frymeso' (blending of two words: 'frymëzo' meaning 'inspire' and 'mëso' meaning learning). 'Frymeso' is the online community of VET professionals launched in October 2020, currently with 530 members. It serves as an online platform where teachers share their know-how and experience, especially concerning online learning, successful practices, video-tutorials explaining how to perform specific tasks, continuous professional development through online webinars on online and blended learning, etc.

Now ‘Frymeso’ group has a newsletter as well. It features latest news and activities from this community, experts’ opinions, articles, publications, and much more.

Newsletter 1 (in Albanian)

Newsletter 2 (in Albanian)