Partner: University of Ljubljana

As work is increasingly done remotely, a new, digital form of work-based learning (WBL) has recently emerged. One of the projects tackling this new reality is eWBL project (Making work-based learning work in an online environment!). The project is currently investigating how high quality WBL providers across Europe have dealt with the pedagogical and technological challenges associated with the transition from WBL to eWBL and what solutions they have developed. The University of Ljubljana is the partner in the consortium coordinated by FH Münster University of Applied Sciences (Germany). The Slovenian report summarises the findings of five case studies conducted at UL. The aim of the study was to investigate how the UL is dealing with the pedagogical and technological challenges associated with the transition from workplace-based learning (WBL) to the online environment (eWBL) and what solutions it has developed. The study focuses on the experiences of companies, NGOs, the public sector (primary school) and the UL in providing online or hybrid WBL opportunities for students during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the UL, WBL took place only on site in the period before COVID-19. Interns were recruited in different ways, with the help of the faculties’ WBL coordinators or on the students’ own initiative. Nevertheless, most faculties have a well-established network of WBL providers and the process of WBL takes place in a well-organised process with monitoring, assessment and evaluation involving all three stakeholders (students, mentors and faculty departments). Some significant differences were found in these five study cases, especially in terms of WBL management, quality assurance and the assessment/evaluation process, as well as learning outcomes compared to the on-site WBL. Some of these differences were seen as drivers, but also as barriers. The challenges are mainly in communication and adapting to new learning processes using online technological tools. In some situations, where only eWBL was conducted, students did not gain comparable experience to on-site WBL. From the students’ perspective, fewer soft skills were acquired and there was less communication. Online communication was also less fluent as students were more reluctant. There was also a lack of practical examples that students could otherwise see and experience when observing colleagues or talking to them at work. On the other hand, many students and mentors reported that they had acquired many crisis management skills.

Students and mentors report many challenges when work-based learning is moved online, but also note that they had acquired many crisis management skills. For more effects of online WBL, visit: https://www.ewbl-project.com/

#workbasedlearning #wbl #ewbl

https://www.ewbl-project.com/