Online tools and tele-coaching are improving digital skills at technical colleges

Initial vocational education and training, Upskilling and reskilling
27.11.2020
The Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing rules make remote learning the only viable option in many countries to ensure the teaching and learning process can continue. The Swiss-Indonesian bilateral “Skills for Competitiveness” (S4C) project collaborates with partner schools and the Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH) to develop online teaching and learning skills at Indonesian technical colleges in order to achieve a higher digital learning standard.

The training to develop online teaching skills lasted from May to June 2020 and encompassed planning online courses as well as teaching approaches that centred on participants. Topics were taught to lecturers and trainers also through peer coaching. Teachers are given feedback from their colleagues by which they can improve their curricula accordingly.

Sharing online learning methods for remote studies

Many schools were not prepared for the digital classroom. Teachers were not well-acquainted with IT, apps, and digital aids, and they were not used to online teleconferences. Additionally, the stability of the internet connection varied, depending on the region. S4C and its partner organisations supported lecturers at polytechnics and colleges to integrate tools and apps into their teaching. These included feedback tools and applications such as WhatsApp, Zoom, or the social learning network Edmodo. 

Students also learned how to use digital platforms. In addition, they acquired skills on how to plan online learning and select the right learning methods.

16 lecturers from 4 partner polytechnics successfully completed the training. One of the participants is Dewi Purnama Sari, a lecturer in mineral chemistry and head of the E-didactic team at Morowali Metal Industry Polytechnic.

"The online training provides valuable experience and knowledge about effective planning, implementation, and evaluation methods that are useful both to teachers and students. Besides, the online methods and skills have also been shared with other schoolteachers as part of a community service development programme."
Dewi Purnama Sari

After the training, the online learning methods were made available to a further 30 secondary level schoolteachers. In future, this training concept of SC4 will become part of lecturer training about peer coaching, online teaching, and technical problem solving.

The crisis boosts exchange

The crisis has shown how important communication is between the S4C project team and its partners. Even while meetings have been transferred to the digital sphere, more of them have been held, and this has actually enhanced exchange.

Boy Chandra Sitanggang, a lecturer at the Akademi Komunitas Industri Manufaktur Bantaeng polytechnic, values the exchange of experience among colleagues from other polytechnics that has occurred during the pandemic. Now that he has completed the training, he is able to produce videos for his lectures and add simulations to his teaching slides. He plans to add the blended learning approach to his lectures, which combines classic classroom training with e-learning solutions.

S4C is a bilateral Swiss-Indonesian project financed by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). S4C collaborates with Indonesian ministries and industry to establish a dual vocational education and training system through selected universities of applied sciences and joint academies in the metal, manufacturing, food, and furniture/wood sectors.

Skills for Competitiveness (S4C)