IO 1 – Soft Skills Evaluation Report
The Soft Skills Evaluation Report is the resulting output of an extensive exploratory research involving all partners to the Playing 4 Soft Skills project. This research aims, on the one hand, at mapping out needs and perceptions in terms of transversal skills among students and teachers and, on the other, to identify the transversal skills that are most expected by employers and organisations. By comparing the outcomes of research from both these sampling populations, this process aims to identify the most relevant transversal skills perceived as needed by these target groups and generate a set of indicators in relation to each soft skill providing with an evaluating framework in order to assess participants progress.
The target groups of this research therefore involve:
- Students (aged 14-19) currently enrolled in vocational education and training (VET).
- Teachers currently working in the context of vocational education and training (VET).
- Employers and organisations representatives of the services sector.
Overall, the Soft Skills Evaluation Report will support the project in fulfilling the following objectives:
- Identify the most relevant transversal skills perceived as needed by target groups and targeted by project activities.
- Provide with a set of parameters in order to assess results of project outputs and activities in relation to each transversal skills identified.
- Orientate the development process of the other project outputs (Soft Skills Game Manual, Training Notebook, Training App) in order to make them effective in addressing the soft skills identified and more suitable to meet needs and expectations of the project target groups.
The Soft Skills Evaluation Report aims to provide employers, teachers and other interested stakeholders with a guiding and informative tool in order to understand the relevance of transversal skills development and provide with a potential framework for evaluation, including relevant parameters and indicators. Considering soft skills’ cross-cutting nature and relevance in relation to any human activity, the findings of this Evaluation Report shall be relevant to anyone belonging to either a learning or professional context.
IO 2 – Soft Skills Game Manual
The Soft Skills Game Manual will be an instruction manual containing the rules of a new educational game, which aims to engage students in a non-formal learning activity aimed at fostering the activation and development of transversal skills. This process builds on the findings of the Soft Skills Evaluation Report and will include the inputs from all partners in defining the structure, dynamics and specific rules of the game.
The Soft Skills Game Manual provides with a fundamental tool for implementation of the project learning activity, namely the educational game, and enables its transferability to other learning contexts. The Output will be instrumental to fulfill the key project objective, namely to implement innovative learning tools and methodologies in the context of VET so to enhance student ability to activate and develop specific soft skills in a playful and creative manner. The game format will provide with the opportunity to fully engage students throughout the learning activity and foster interactions among them, allowing the activation and further development of specific transversal skills.
The Soft Skills Game Manual, will not only provide guidance to students, but also to the teachers involved in the implementation of the learning activity. While the educational game will be particularly tailored to students needs in order to contribute to activating their transversal skills, it will be highly beneficial also to teachers. During the game, in fact, teachers will play an active role as facilitators and this output will be useful for them to fully understand the dynamics of the educational game. As such, the Game Manual will also be a fundamental resource for teachers from VET schools to provide training to participating students, allowing them to implement such learning activity as part of their daily teaching activities.
IO 3 – Soft Skills Training Notebook
The Soft Skills Training Notebook is a key supporting tool for teachers in the implementation of the educational game developed as part as of the Playing 4 Soft Skills project.
This Output, in fact, aims to provide teachers with a comprehensive manual including the game pedagogical approach and transversal skills targeted, guidance on the facilitator role and supporting material for the evaluation of participants.
The Training Notebook is developed in order to ensure that teachers participating in the educational game will be fully informed and well-equipped in order to effectively act as facilitators, conduct a careful evaluation of progress made by participants and contribute in fulfilling the project objectives.
The Soft Skills Training Manual includes, among others, the following elements:
– Pedagogical approach and learning objectives. This section provides with an overview on the pedagogical and learning objectives linked to the educational game and explores more in detail the ways in which the game aims to foster the activation and development of transversal skills.
– Transversal skills targeted. This section is based on the Soft Skills Evaluation Report and comprises a clear definition of each transversal skill targeted, alongside with the set of parameters and indicators that teachers will have to look for during the assessment of progress made by students.
– Teachers as Facilitators. This section provides with further guidance on the facilitator role by explaining in detail the procedures that teachers will have to follow in order to support students during the learning activity and to provide with valuable feedback on participants’ progress.
– Evaluation approach and supporting material. The final section provides with relevant information concerning the evaluation framework of the learning activity and with guiding material for teachers to use for their evaluation of soft skills activation in participating students.
The Soft Skills Training Manual constitutes an innovative tool for teachers to be used in schools in the context of the new educational game developed by the project and it will be available to any teacher or education provider willing to implement the project results in the context of their daily activities.
IO 4 – Soft Skills Training App
The Soft Skills Training App will be designed and developed in order to support students in their experience as participants of the educational game and as an interactive platform to foster the activation and development of transversal skills through digital gaming tools. Considering the amount of time that students spend daily on their smartphones, the possibility to develop a digital app provides with a fundamental tool in order to enhance students’ engagement in the project learning activities and to further activate mechanisms that can develop the transversal skills and key competences of participants.
The Training App aims to respond to students’ needs and its objective is twofold: first, it aims to provide with an innovative tool in order to enhance students’ engagement as part of the project learning activities; secondly, the App shall provide with an interactive platform assessing students’ activation of targeted transversal skills, allowing to further develop such skills on an individual basis and in a playful manner.
The development of the Soft Skills Training App will go hand in hand with the design of the educational game and the other project outputs and, as such, its features and content will be in line with the objectives of the learning activity and complementary to the features of the other project outputs. The Training App will therefore be conceived as a supporting platform for students and it will be calibrated on the specific set of transversal skills and parameters identified in the Soft Skills Evaluation Report.
Overall, the Soft Skills Training App shall provide with a truly innovative platform not only accessible to students, but also to teachers, VET schools and other educational providers interested in implementing digital technologies in the context of their school activities.