DesigningVET – reflecting on design skills and strategies in VET Keywords like design thinking, SCRUM, agility are currently fashionable and are used specifically in project and business management heavily.

However in the VET education the concepts are little known and educators are not aware of the benefits and limits of those methods. Social and experience design have the advantages that knowledge is not just transferred on a cognitive level but through emotional and experiential learning, which enables a deeper understanding of skills and values.

Experience design is especially important for ethics, intercultural skills, leadership and conflict resolution, while design thinking is encouraging co-creation and co-working processes, based on community and collective intelligence.

The content of a learning experience aims to provide the things that your learners need to be able to do a task. The structure of the content reflects the most logical order in which the content should be presented to support the completion of a task. Human beings respond to experiences and learn from them. For educational design, it means to create “experiences” for the learners, meeting their needs.

Designing VET will explore other practices and contexts, in which other design methods might be used. Our interest is to help VET providers in Europe to adapt to the modern work skills enshrined in experience design and design thinking, thest their applicability, by teaching, applying and testing the practices and create tangible results for the participating organisations, but as well to European VET providers in general.

The European Commission aims to accelerate the take-up of design in industrial and innovation activities at European, national and regional level. The importance of design as an activity to bring new ideas to the market has been recognised in the Innovation Union, a flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 Growth Strategy.

In order to fully exploit the design’s potential to boost innovation, growth and job creation, the European Commission presented an action plan to promote the use of design in innovation.
Design is of particular importance to the Commission and is recognized as a key discipline and activity to bring ideas to market, transforming them into user-friendly and appealing products. Although some European countries are world leaders in design, others lack a robust design infrastructure and design capability. The action plan aims to tackle this systematic gap and to promote design driven innovation in industries and the public sector across Europe.

Project Activities:
The project will start with a needs assessment within each consortium member, identifying strength and weaknesses in their practices in using design thinking, experience and spatial design in job, VET and entrepreneurship training. Based on the needs, the partnership will develop indicators and create a self-assessment grid on the practices used by the partners on needs and offer in the field.

Based on the resulting SWOT the partnership will seek and present smart practices, addressing specifically the weaknesses commonly identified by the partnership. At the same time there will be a common Input training, where the staff of the organisations will learn some of the most current practices and methods.

Based on the input and the collected practices, but as well the self-assessment, there will be an open EduLab, in which the participants will respond to challenges, given by the partnership, to create prototypes and action plans for methods, tools and campaigns, which can be actually used and implemented by the partnership.

The process, the practices and the assessment grid will be published in an eBook and can be the basis for a future training plan on target audience communication, not just for the partners themselves, but for any other interested organisation.

Designing VET results will be:
• Elaborating at least 12 smart practices on using design in VET
• Organising 2 Training, where the techniques and methods will be discussed and put into practice.
• Creating an interactive map visualising the smart practices
• A process to assess needs and practices and implement them in action plans
• A self-evaluation grid for design practices in VET, which will be spread outside of the partnership
• Creating an Ebook collection the methods, practices and process, to enable other educators to work on the topics
• Action plans and prototypes of solutions on implementing design skills in VET A European narrative of education in the shape of an online archive.