Journal article Open Access

Digitally Enhanced Apprentices' Perception of Connectivity Across Learning Locations

Amenduni, Francesca; Cattaneo, Alberto


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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;Summary&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;When crossing the borders from educational to professional environments, VET apprentices can perceive discontinuities and contradictions between what they learn at school and in the workplace. This research explores whether a digital tool named e- DAP, designed as a space for reflective practices in VET educational systems supports apprentices&amp;rsquo; perception of connectivity across learning locations. A group of 114 apprentices who used the e-DAP and a control group (CG) composed of 141 apprentices (CG = 141) completed a 15-items questionnaire which investigated the following dimension: 1. frequency of use of the e-DAP platform 2. mutual knowledge across locations, 3. explicit connectivity and 4. perceived usefulness of the tool. Participants were asked to express their level of agreement on a 6-point Likert scale on the items in sections 2 and 4 and on a 5-point Likert scale on the items in section 3. On average, the e-DAP users perceived the usefulness of the platform to be high (M = 4,55; SD = 1.12). The perception of connectivity resulted, in general, higher in the e-DAP group than in the CG. Specifically, mutual knowledge and explicit connectivity were perceived significantly higher. Frequent users (FU) of the e-DAP had a higher perception of explicit connectivity than low users (LU). This difference was even higher when comparing FU and LU according to their use of the e-DAP at the workplace. Results are in line with the expected learning path of the e-DAP, inspired by the Erfahrraum model. The more apprentices collect traces of workplace experiences through the e-DAP, the more VET teachers can support explicit reflection on practice at school. In future exploration, we are going to test the effect of the perceived usefulness of the e-DAP on apprentices&amp;rsquo; perception of mutual knowledge and explicit connectivity.&lt;/p&gt;

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