Published October 18, 2022 | Version v1
Book chapter Open


  • 1. EPFL (Lausanne)
  • 3. University of Fribourg (Fribourg)


As a general answer to our question, ‘Which digital technologies contribute to enhancing (dual) vocational education?’, we proposed the Erfahrraum model, which can be described as a circular, iterative and incremental flow of learning activities, based on digitally captured experience, circulating across learning places (workplaces and school). Of course, a model always constitutes a simplification of reality: sometimes the VET system does not involve two spaces but a single one (e.g. when professional workshops are organised in schools) and, more often, three locations (i.e., the company, the school and the branch courses). Another simplification of our model is that professional experience is easier to capture in professions that produce artefacts (carpenters, florists, cooks) than when the core of the daily practices is a relationship with customers (salespersons, nurses, for example). On the one hand, those simplifications constitute the strength or even purpose of a model: they make the Erfahraum a tool to be manipulated as a ‘tool to think with’. Some simplifications can indeed be viewed as particularly helpful given the complexity of the Swiss VET system. On the other hand, simplifications have as a corollary that mapping the model to real situations is less straightforward. This is why we presented several learning technologies stories in various professions: chefs, bakers, beauticians, clothing designers, logisticians, carpenters, painters and gardeners. The learning technologies developed across these contexts are grounded in the same conceptual model but end up being very different precisely because implementing a conceptual model in a specific context is not a simple application process. It is a creative design process inspired by a conceptual framework. We conclude this book by highlighting four concepts that guide the design process of a VET learning environment.


Dillenbourg, P., Cattaneo, A., Gurtner, J.-L., & Davis, R. L. (2022). Synthesis (100-101).pdf