The myVETmo approach is to recognize skills and competences developed through experiences made in work experiences (abroad) and to make skills and competences visible. Firstly the student should be enabled to recognize her/his own competences. But also teachers and employers should link them to the learning and training process.
Traditionally we understand the skills gained through international experiences as language skills, intercultural competencies, tolerance, broad-mindedness etc. But there is much more to it! International experience can also be a potent indicator in helping to identify personal qualities (like productivity, resilience and curiosity) that employers seek for in a candidate.
From Role-based Competence Balance to Video-Based Self-Presentation
Learning goal is the development of a strength-oriented self-concept. The learner should be able to assess themselves, to handle assessments of others, to name occupied roles in different life situation and analyze them with regards to occupational matters. They can deflect from occupation on own strength and name character /virtue which are connected to own cultural background and can reflect them critical. Leading questions are:
- How can we support the students to discover 'hidden' competences in informal contexts?
- How can we make the students to think about their own activities?
- How can we detect individual strengths? (What do we do about detected weaknesses?)
- How can we arrange self-assessment and external assessment (who will be assessing externally?)
- How can we record / document the strengths / competences?
- How can the students show their discovered strengths in a video?
- How can the discovered strengths become a basis for new learning goals within the mobility (For example: Are some important strengths missing, which could be gained throughout the mobility?)
Role-based competence model
The "Video-Based Self-Presentation" is also - if you will - an experiential approach to learning in VET. Competencies are acquired less by the acquisition of knowledge, but by the experience in the vocational foreign internship, a professional, problematic situation, which motivates the development of professional skills. The experience of the internship is worked out reflexively, the learners experience "themselves" during the internship. The "Video-Based Self-Presentation" (VBS) has the aim to connect the students' stay abroad or their work experience to the labour market. The VBS should include information about the students' current situation, experiences and interests during their stay abroad. In future the VBS may be used for job applications. Example video and story:
The purpose of the video-based self-presentation in this project was not mainly to help the student to get a job but to reveal his hidden competences. That´s why we let the students plan the videos by themselves. There was no film group assisting, only two teachers who have no special skills using it-equipment. The videos were shooted by using smartphones. This way to make a video is also very equal and in principle possible for every student and teacher.
Matias is an eighteen years old student of Business Administration/Sales and marketing, who has learning difficulties and therefore special needs. His learning targets have been modulated.
His hobby is basketball and he plays in a team. Being a member of the team is important for him. He plays in the same team since he was a child. He is the only player who has disabilities and it must have been important for his self-esteem that he is accepted among the other players.
The reasons why he was chosen to take part in the group that made an internship in Úbeda, Spain in March 2018, were that he had already experience of travelling with his basketball team and in spite of learning difficulties, he speaks good English and is able to be a member of a team.
The group that consisted of four students and two teachers met for the first time about two months before the start of the mobility. Two of the students knew each other already but Matias and another student of Business administration did not know anybody. The meeting started by learning to know each other and the first video was shooted during the meeting as well.
The students were collecting their strengths by interviews and mood boards. The support of the teachers was essential because of the challenging target group. All the students had difficulties also in communication at some level.
The students were introduced to video-based self-presentation and shown examples of it. After that they were given questions to answer. Then they planned the content themselves. Matias was the only one who wanted to speak English.
During the mobility, he worked in a shop for small furniture and decorations. His tasks were mainly putting things on shelves and cleaning. His teacher was with him most of the time to explain what he had to do. No one in the shop spoke English.
The time after the internship was busy at the school. Matias hadn´t been present at lessons for two weeks and he had to do the missing tasks. Also the teachers were busy, because the students graduate in the end of May in Finland. Two of the students continued the internships in Finland and there was no time for a proper feedback meeting. Matias graduated as well.
We met Matias again in October to shoot the final video. He is now working part time in a charity shop as cleaner. That kind of jobs is probably available for him in future. He is planning to start his military service in January in Finnish army.
Matias had good memories of Spain as he tells in the video. The best memories are connected to people he met there.
What hidden competences can be seen on the video?
The first part of the presentation shows that Matias can speak English. It also shows that he is brave enough to take part in a project like this and go abroad with people he doesn´t know. (He knew only one teacher.) He doesn´t mind inconvenience because he is ready to share a room and a flat with people he doesn´t know very well. There is also a glimpse of humour when he tells and shows he´s a strong boy.
The video taken during the internship shows how he can adapt in different situations. It also shows that he is able to take orders and comply with the regulations.
In the last part of the video, which was filmed some months after the mobility, we can see that Matias has come forward in life. He has a job (which is not easy for a person with disabilities) and is planning his future which shows that he has self-confidence and a positive attitude. He says he liked cheek kisses in Spain, which tells us that he is social and not afraid of new situations and cultural habits.
In the last video might also be seen that Matias is more relaxed in the situation. That can be because he is already familiar when talking to the camera.
All these three parts of the videos show different hidden competences of the student. Yet it can´t be said that there is a visible development to see. The period of the shootings is quite short. It´s also difficult to see which of the hidden competences seen in the last video are consequences of the internship abroad.
It´s not easy to interview students with this kind of special needs. It was difficult not to put words in their mouths. The interpretations can also be false.
What did we learn?
Afterwards is easy to see, that we should have used more time for the preparation of the students. On the other hand it´s not clear if the self-reflection of the students had been any deeper in spite of that. We have to keep in mind that these students lack conceptual thinking and see the world in a very concrete way.
During the internship we sat together every evening and wrote a blog. Everybody was asked to tell what had happened during the day and what they wanted to be written in the blog. This was a good way to collect and share experiences. It was also something that the group did together.
The special methodology of the VBS:
- focuses on the content that is relevant to the lives of young people,
- puts "modern" media alongside old ones,
- uses audiovisual media as a catalyst for successful learning,
- stimulates the self-regulation of educational processes,
- increases the efficiency of learning through flexibility,
- stimulates learner interactions with the real world
- increases creativity, expressiveness and reflectivity,
- uses the resources of learners to increase their self-confidence,
- prepares for lifelong and European organized learning,
- offers flexible learning approaches for different and multicultural target groups in the social context and
- due to its open nature, it can be integrated into almost any curriculum.
- More Stories and Videos
- Video-Based Self-Presentation at a Glance for Teachers
- Video-Based Self-Presentation at a Glance for Students
- Video-Based Self-Presentation Textbook