SELFIE for WBL: End of successful pilot phase and preparations for roll-out

SELFIE is a self-reflection tool for schools, including at upper secondary vocational education and training (VET) level, to assess their digital readiness. It is free of charge and participation is on a voluntary basis. In autumn 2020, nine countries conducted successful pilots for extending SELFIE to WBL, including related to apprenticeships, involving a large number of stakeholders.

From September to December 2020, nine countries undertook testing of SELFIE for WBL involving around 35.000 participants from around 150 VET schools and 300 companies. Five EU countries participated in the pilots.

The European Forum of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (EfVET) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) organised them in France, Germany, Hungary and Poland, in addition to a pilot in Romania managed by JRC. In cooperation with the European Training Foundation (ETF), four non-EU countries were also included to the pilot phase: Georgia, Montenegro, the Republic of Serbia and Turkey.

On 24 November 2020, the EU Council Recommendation on VET stressed the importance of modern and digital provision of VET, indicating for example:

  • Qualitative and effective digitalisation of VET provision in both school-based and work-based learning can be promoted through the use of European competence frameworks and self-assessment tools (such as SELFIE for WBL).
  • The feasibility of an EU-wide survey for VET schools will be explored for EU 27 Member States to support the evidence base on the readiness, quality and effectiveness of VET schools regarding digitalisation (e.g. with the SELFIE for WBL pilots feeding into the evidence approach).

A complete overview of pilot results will be available at the end of January 2021. Following some smaller fine-tuning, SELFIE for WBL is expected to be operational for a full roll-out around mid-2021.

SELFIE was launched in October 2018 as part of the Digital Education Action Plan. It exists in over 35 languages and has been used by around 770,000 users, i.e. teachers, school leaders and learners in over 7000 schools in 56 countries. The SELFIE tool can support schools to use digital technologies for teaching and learning effectively.

The Covid-19 crisis has shown a massive shift towards digital technologies for remote working and learning, including for VET. It also demonstrated the difficulty of maintaining the work-based learning part of VET in companies, which makes it even more urgent to increase the effectiveness of the dialogue between VET teachers and in-company trainers via digital means.

In early 2020, a feasibility study on adapting the SELFIE tool for work-based learning systems in VET concluded there is a need for a SELFIE for WBL to bring VET institutions and companies closer together to jointly discuss how to best embed digital technology in the education and training provided. This is why SELFIE for WBL not only gathers the three perspectives of school leaders, VET teachers and learners, but also adds as a fourth perspective the view of in-company trainers.  In June 2020, the Commission’s DG Employment and Social Affairs and the Joint Research Centre organised an expert workshop to specifically discuss the fourth questionnaire for in-company trainers and other changes that are needed to implement the tool in the WBL sector.

The article has been taken from the European Commission (DG EMPL) website at this link.

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