Convegno:
"Europa, disabili, tecnologie e mondo del lavoro."

 

Wendy Ranschaert - GOCI, Belgium

Progetto "GOAL"


Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. First of all I want to thank ASPHI for the invitation to do this presentation during the handimatica conference. I also want to congratulate the organisers of this conference and all the people that helped to make such a success out of it.

Bologna has a very special meaning to me. Not only because it is a beautiful city, but most of all because some 3 years ago, on this same location, maybe even in this same room, I held what you can call my “maiden-speech” for an international audience at the start of the HELIOSII program.

Today I am here in the context of the HORIZON initiative. I want to present to you the GOAL-project. A project that was born during the HELIOSII exchange activities, and that was the start of a very good co-operation between 4 members of the HELIOS thematic working group 12 : ASPHI in Italy, GOCI in Belgium, Newlink in the U.K. and the municipality of Kallithea in Greece.

During my presentation today I will start to explain you very shortly what GOCI is doing in its daily functioning. In a second part I will give you an overview of the objectives of the GOAL-project, and in a third part I will demonstrate to you one of the software systems that was developed in GOAL. Roberto Campi, one of the Italian colleagues, will than demonstrate to you a second software system of GOAL.

So first of all something about GOCI. In GOCI, located in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium, we provide vocational training for people with physical and sensorial disabilities. The only objective we have is to employ our trainees in high level jobs in information technology and Computer Aided Design.

Today we found employment on the open labour market for 90% of our trainees, and this is possible only because we involve employers in different ways.

in the selection of the trainees in the design of the learning programme in organising on the job training in the jobcoaching service

So first of all we involve employers in the selection of our trainees. Our trainees are very different concerning age, level and type of formal education, working experience, duration of the unemployment and so on. We do not want to select on these criteria, we select our trainees based upon the possibilities they have to become an analyst, a programmer or any other kind of technologist. So we make them do different kinds of tests. One part of the testing is done by IBM, using the testing material that they use to select their own information technologists. The testing is done by employees of the company, in the building of the company.

Secondly employers help to design the learning programme. Two steering committees with representatives of major I.T.T.-companies meet on a regular basis with the team- members of the training centre to evaluate the content of the training. At least once a year the learning programme is changed according to the remarks made by the employers.

Thirdly a significant part of the training is organised on-the-job. In fact a trainee spends 3 times 3 months of his two year training in one company to be trained in a real working-environment. The centre selects for this kind of co-operation only companies that are willing to engage themselves to employ the trainee at the end of the training. At the beginning of the on-the-job training a contract is made that includes the jobdescription and the requirements, the starting-level of the trainee, the planning for the training and the engagement for employment. Very regular the training is evaluated to be sure that the trainee still meets the requirements of the company.

Finally GOCI provides a jobcoaching service for employees with disabilities and/or their employers. Job coaching is a service that aims at creating the conditions to provide persons with a disability with paid employment. Job-seeker and employer can make an appeal to the job coach. The aim is to reach an optimal matching of the needs with the possibilities of the job-seeker and the employer.

When we became active as one of the HELIOSII-projects, we were very happy to meet several partners who provided training in a comparable way and on a same level. We also met people who were facing similar problems, and that is how GOAL began.

GOAL stands for Give Opportunities to Achieve Long-term Employment.

It is a transnational project that completely fits in with the HORIZON employment initiative. The project is situated in the context of the rapid evolution in the sector of information technology. This leads to a continuous changing demand for qualified personnel. This ongoing shift in the qualifications profile has increased the necessity for a flexible training model and system. The development of a training model and method for high level vocational training, both in a teletraining-setting and in traditional training settings in information technology, is the response of GOAL to this need. The model is developed to improve the quality of vocational training. This improvement should enhance the professional integration of people with disabilities on the open labour market.

The model we are developing in GOAL will meet the following criteria: it is oriented towards individuals; it meets the labour market requirements; it is also be open to those who are excluded from existing training opportunities; it is also of use for the in-service training of people who are about to lose their jobs.

The transnational partnership is dominated by the parallel development of a number of systems, models and methods in the field of information technology. Depending on the specific expertise of the different partners involved, the developmental work is shared out. To adequately test the developed tools each transnational partner is responsible for finding suitable test sites in their member state.

To create a multiplier effect and to increase the chances of success, it is of the utmost importance that the most significant authorities in the fields of training, career guidance and employment services for our target group get involved in various phases of development of this project.

The output of the project will be :

a set of tools for the support and guidance of people with disabilities towards employment, together with a full description of the system;

two software-modules (POSO and JOCO, which will be demonstrated)

quality criteria for vocational training in the field of information technology, linked to a description of an ideal-typical teletraining model and the evaluation results concerning the different GOAL-systems

a final report

Today we can show you very briefly two of the developed software-modules called POSO, developed in Belgium and JOCO, developed in Italy. The research on the quality criteria and the teletraining model will be described in a final report by the U.K. partner. As the Greek partner was not funded, but involved as a non-initiative partner, they were present during the initial meetings and will test out one or both of the software-modules.

But now over to the third part of this presentation, the demonstration of POSO and JOCO.

Very briefly you could say that POSO is a system that allows a training centre to plan, follow-up and evaluate during training. JOCO is a system that helps a jobcoach to organise and plan his activities. Both systems are related to each other, data will be shared and results exchanged. I will first explain you about POSO, Roberto will afterwards show you JOCO.

With POSO we want to give a proposal to centres for vocational training in how to plan the content of the training, how to organise the follow-up of the results of their trainees and how to organise the evaluation of the knowledge and the capabilities of the trainees. And all this related to a training-model that wants to provide individual training programmes for individual trainees, working towards an individual jobprofile, and even working from an individual location like in a teletraining situation.

The four major parts we will show you today are : administration training planning and follow-up

I will try to explain to you how the system works, in the meanwhile my colleague Joris will show you some of the possibilities of the software.

The first part is called “administration” and is developed to register data that is important for your training centre like trainees and trainers. We show you only one of the options.

One of the possibilities allows you to register data of the trainees. The data that can be kept are very common, if you want you can add also visual material like a picture of the person.

As you can see, we made the screens look very simple. The menu’s are always divided into one half with modifying options and a second half with output options such as reports and lists. The screens are always build with the same components. This is done to facilitate better access for people with disabilities.

A second, much more important, module of POSO is the training-module. In this module a training centre will define his learning programme, using a top-down analysis. Training-managers and trainers will define and describe all the necessary elements for a good quality training. The structure we chose for the pedagogical model that is used in POSO consists first of all of modules.

Modules are the general periods in a learning programme. By describing them, using the screens that Joris is showing you now, you can compose the general framework for the content of the training. This procedure must involve employers, because they know best what criteria they will use to select their future employees. Also universities and technical high-schools can give a quite good view on the trends that will become important in the next year. Examples of modules can be :

being able to programme on a PC being able to manage a Local Area Network being able to manage telecommunication devices

During the rest of the demonstration we will only use the first module.

The next level that has to be defined are the subjects. In each module, several subjects are learned. In our example-module, being able to programme on a PC, we could provide the following subjects :

Windows MSWord programming logic data base design Delphi2

We can register information about the subjects as Joris is showing you at this moment.

Each subject must be defined by describing the objectives, the sessions and the examination questions. First of all the objectives. In POSO we chose to have two different kinds of objectives. On the one hand we use lesson-objectives on the other hand we use evaluation-objectives. Lesson-objectives describe what a trainee has to learn when he wants to learn a certain subject. Some examples of lesson-objectives for the subject “Delphi2” could be :

to know how to create a form be able to use Delphi menus and commands

Evaluation-objectives describe the way we will evaluate if a trainee has learned an objective. Some examples :

to create a simple form to explain generally the difference between two menu-options

When you did not fell asleep by now, you will have noticed that lesson-objectives are related to evaluation-objectives. In fact an evaluation objective describes how one or more lesson-objective will be tested.

Secondly the sessions. When a trainer prepares his subject he will not only describe the objectives. He will also prepare the lessons, practical sessions and testing moments. In POSO all these elements are called sessions. A sessions describes a working schedule that a trainee will have to follow to learn a subject. In every session we will deal with a number of lesson-objectives.

I don’t think we will have to explain to you what examination questions are. What is important to explain is the fact that every examination question is linked to only one evaluation-objective. The database of examination questions can be used to compose tests for individual trainees. But we will explain that later.

When all trainers have put in these data, the learning programme is complete, and we can start to train our clients. With POSO it is possible to generate a planning for each indivudual trainee. In GOCI for instance, each trainer looks on a weekly basis what a trainee has achieved during the past week and what he will need to learn during the next week. In POSO this is called a volume planning. Using this information, together with the planning of the sessions for each subject, in POSO called a standard subjectplanning, and the agenda of the trainer, POSO will generate a weekly agenda for each trainee. This is a process that takes a very fast computer almost 8 hours to generate a planning for 50 trainees, so we will not demonstrate this now. We can however show you what the result will be after the planning process.

The last part in POSO we are demonstrating today is FOLLOW-UP. This module makes it possible to :

inscribe a trainee or a group of trainees for a subject. In this way you can design an individual learning programme for every trainee. You can design a learning content that is related to for instance the formal education, the formal working experience, the ambitions and so on.

It is also possible to define an individual learning programme on the level of the lesson-objectives. This makes it possible that some trainees only learn the basic objectives of a certain subject, and that other trainees also get more sophisticated objectives.

A trainee can use his own individual programme of objectives as a checklist of the things he or she has to learn.

 The trainee can add a code to every objective, a code that lets the trainer know which objectives he reached and which he did not yet reach.

The trainer can compose test with this module. He will have to indicate the subject. POSO will select all trainees that are inscribed for the subject, so the trainer can select the person he wants to compose a test for. The trainer then selects the evaluation-objectives he wants to test, and the corresponding examination- questions he wants to include in the test. If the selection includes objectives that were not yet treated by the trainee, POSO will give a message. This is also the case if the test includes a question that had already been selected for the trainee in an earlier test or examination. When the test is complete, the trainer can print the examiniation.

When the trainee has done the test, the trainer can register for each question and for each evaluation-objective if the trainee has failed or succeeded it.

In “results” we can have an overwiew for each trainee of the objectives that are in his or her learning programme, the objectives he or she reached, the percentage of the objectives that were tested, how many were failed and in how many he or she succeeded. This detailed information can be very important in relation to the future job. It can be used to facilitate the job-matching process which is one of the things that Roberto Campi will show you with JOCO

With this we will end our demonstration. And to conclude I want to say that I understand that some of you feel lost in hearing and seeing the system. It must sound extremely complicated. We know that using the software-tool takes only some few hours training. The most important contribution must come however from the management and training staff. The quality management process has to develop parallel with the different databases of POSO. Using POSO does not mean only putting in the data, but sometimes a total re-engineering of the training-model that is used. But belief me, and we have some experience, it is worth it.

Thank you very much for your attention, if you should want more information, you can contact us at the GOAL stand in Handimatica.

 

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