Lithuania: The TRANSVAL-EU piloting phase as a success story
Lithuania was one of the countries actively involved in the piloting phase of the TRANSVAL-EU project. Before the piloting phase, the main target group – teachers and trainers from vocational schools participated in a national training. The training offered an extensive overview of the project to the participants, encouraging them to develop their knowledge about transversal skills in the context of vocational education and training, and preparing them for the piloting phase.
Three vocational schools hosted the piloting phase for the assessment of transversal competencies of the students. The outcomes were considered to be a success story by the Lithuanian experts involved in the TRANSVAL-EU project based on the feedback received from participants: After the end of the piloting phase, all teachers and project experts gathered for a one day meeting to exchange their insights, experiences and questions from their communication with students at the vocational schools. Discussions have shown that piloting exercise was appreciated both by teachers and students.
First, teachers were able get to know their students much better than before. Students welcomed positively the availability of such a tool that helped them to make a deeper analysis of their personal/generic/transversal skills. As an important feedback, the majority of teachers confirmed that at the beginning their students were not aware of the concept of transversal skills, nor the possibility to get them validated, and therefore they had to offer an introduction before the piloting phase. It was noticed that adult students with an already existing experience in a work context adapted more easily and were more motivated throughout the process. For some students, it was a moment to discover their own skills that they were not aware of before.
There were also a few challenges discussed during this meeting: The participants in the piloting phase had very different experience levels and the assessors had different personality types and subjective approaches. This showed the necessity to have a rich set of assessment methods as the use of same method did not prove to be effective and productive in different cases and circumstances. The process is time consuming, so both the teacher (assessor) and students should be made aware of the required effort in advance to be able to keep their motivation throughout the process.
Finally, all teachers shared the common idea that assessment and validation of transversal skills in the setting of vocational schools, would be an effective tool for career development.