The technology we have nowadays gives us huge opportunities to work, learn or socialize remotely. A good internet connection and a smart device is all we need to connect with the outside world. Lately, many people started to work from home and the companies began to develop new other ways to digitalize the office work to make the “work from home” possible. However, that change didn’t happen just on the labor market, but in the educational system as well. Schools and Universities found a convenient way to deliver the information to the students through the online platforms. The huge evolution of the technology that we currently have took the world to another level. All these benefits make our lives easier in many ways and give us the opportunity to connect to the other side of the world in seconds.
Among these advantages of the technology, we found the e-learning to be one of the most valuable resource. E-learning can be defined as the process of learning through electronic media, typically through the internet. We have the possibility to learn about every subject we could think of just by searching on Google. This can be considered as an unstructured learning. But what if we organize that information and put it all together on an online platform that guides you to a complete understanding of the subject you’re interested in?
This is what we did within SEPAL project. SEPAL project is designed to integrate the NEET population (not in employment, education or training) in the labour market through a sustained support and guidance from our specialists. The project targets the vulnerable groups (Roma ethnicity, migrant, low skilled, risk for poverty, mental health problems, mental disability, physical disability) and focuses especially on the cases of long-term unemployment, discouraged workers and other reasons for inactivity categories.
In order to learn everything about the project, people that work on it need a special training and knowledge to accomplish the desired results. In this regard, we developed an online platform (on Moodle website) which assures that every WISE expert has been adequately trained for the job. Creating an online platform helped us specialize the people working on the project so that they can understand the concepts within it, the process, the steps and the expected result. More specifically, through the learning platform, the WISE experts were trained on how to efficiently support and guide the NEET population in the program: what implies the first assessment of the interests and competences of every NEET, how to find the best domain in which they can start the apprenticeship period, how to conduct the mediation and coaching services and so on. The aim of studying on the online platform is to learn about the job itself that someone is about to start working on. This first step that leads to a competent and informed WISER is absolutely necessary so as to help people in need for our services.
The Moodle platform that was designed for the SEPAL project has five modules, each of them approaching different topics. For example, the first module regards the supported employment principles, it explains what supported employment means, how to communicate effectively and what social skills should a WISE expert have. The next modules give a more detailed presentation of the program, including addressing stigma, working with local stakeholders and recruiting NEETs, matching vocational training/job offers with individual needs, principles of effective assessment, working effectively with clients, soft skills and many more. Each of these subjects help the WISERs understand how to react when they encounter a problem during the whole process. Thinking about stigma, the online course addresses the possibility to face such a problem when trying to help a person with disabilities and gives solutions to overcome the issue. That is why this online course prepares the WISE experts in a complete and useful way so that they can manage any possible situation at the workplace.
Moreover, at the end of each module there is a test to self-evaluate your knowledge and understanding of the topic that was approached. The advantage of each final test is that it gives you an overview regarding what you acquired after completing the chapter. The Moodle platform allows to calculate automatically the grade of each test, which is another gain in the process: every WISER is able to look on the test and see where they got it wrong, in order to review a certain subject and improve.
Looking closely, we can extrapolate these great results of online learning platforms to all categories of topics and people that need a qualification/knowledge to start a job. The technology, devices and the instruments that we have nowadays are easy to access and make our learning process efficient. Thanks to the wide internet content available, we can create a structured course on any topic that we could think of, which means we can extend this learning method on other useful topics that helps new employees to get used with the practises within the company they work for.
Overall, the huge advantages of having access to an online learning platform is that every individual can acquire the information at his own pace and even more, that information will always be there, easy to access, and for which we don’t need lots of printed pages. This makes it an eco-friendly method to learn.