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Innovative approach for vocational schools

TeC@ses project strengthens teachers in the use of digital case studies.

The TeCases project team at the first transnational project meeting in Prague in Feburary 2024. From left to right: Tobias Cramer PhD (VSE), Klára Vítečková (VSE), Horst Neuhaus (Critical Friend), Peter Alexander (Critical Friend), Paula Klein (UoA), Prof. Matthias Pilz (UoA), Dan Xiang (UoA), Prof. Ivan Nový (VSE), Prof. Sascha Albers (UoA), Prof. Pet. Matthias Pilz (UzK), Dan Xiang (UoA), Prof Ivan Nový (VSE), Prof Sascha Albers (UoA), Prof Petri Nokelainen (TU), Ilmari Puhakka (TU)

The rapid digital transformation in the education landscape, intensified by the Covid-19 pandemic, requires innovative approaches in vocational schools. This is exactly where learners are supposed to be prepared for the changing labour market. A new Erasmus+ project is now strengthening vocational teachers for the digital age.
The international Erasmus+ project "Teaching case studies online: How to design and teach case studies in vocational schools" (TeC@ses) focuses on supporting teachers in the use of digital teaching methods and the design of practice-oriented case studies. The project is led by the Chair of Business Education and International VET Research at the Wiso Faculty of the University of Cologne, namely Professor Matthias Pilz.
One focus of the project is the development of an innovative e-learning tool. In the online-based training, teachers are familiarised with the development and use of didactically high-quality case studies, which simulate the complexity of vocational situations in the classroom. The use of case studies so enables problem- and practice-orientated teaching. Furthermore, case studies are not only suitable for purely subject-specific topics, but also for educational projects in the area of entrepreneurship education or consumer and financial education. A culture of independence, maturity and openness to innovation can so be promoted in a clear way. 
The TeC@ses tool, as an innovative e-learning tool, is developed in collaboration with scientists from the University of Antwerp, the Prague University of Economics and Business and the University of Tampere. Available in Czech, Dutch, English, Finnish and German, it will mark a significant step towards a digitally versed and vocationally prepared educational land-scape in Europe.
Common criticism of case studies is specifically addressed in the project, because case studies that are used in lessons are often criticized for being text-heavy, too abstract in their presentation, and not very appealing to learners in terms of media. With digital media developed for multimedia presentation, these deficits can be avoided and case studies can be designed in an appealing and authentic manner. For this reason, the three-year project will strengthen and impart digital skills to teachers in order to develop digitalised case studies and teach with them in a digitalised context. Teachers will receive valuable support in designing contemporary and innovative learning situations through multimedia learning paths in the Tec@ses tool. This content is conveyed for example in the form of instructional and process videos and interactive exercises among other things.
A newsletter about the project has been available since March. The (free) subscription is possible on the Tec@ses main page.