The Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), held a Research Symposium. The theme of the Research Symposium centered around a project namely, ‘ESF 02.058 Adding Value: Nurturing Learning Journeys in IVET at MCAST’.
During the event the first publication of a Special Edition of the MCAST Journal of Applied Research and Practise was launched.
In the Research Symposium an overview of the research carried out was presented. The research focused on 4 main areas namely, gamification, online learning, mentoring, and challenges, and barriers in education.
The aim was that of setting up state-of-the-art support structures for students and individuals pertaining to vulnerable groups. During the lifetime of this project, MCAST aims to identify the typical barriers to training that socially excluded individuals, encounter. As a result of this exercise, MCAST will be able to create long-term structures that can provide immediate support for vulnerable students while they are following MCAST courses up to MQF Level 3.
Apart from research development, the project also includes the development of innovative technologies for fun learning. Moreover, a new platform, the ‘Operational Tools and Information System’ is being developed. This IT system will enhance students’ educational experience by using technologies that are similar to those that young people use regularly in their everyday life.
In parallel, another system is being developed which will enable professionals and students to identify their interests, strengths, and weaknesses, empowering students to gradually develop their own learning journey.
A number of Key Skills curricula will also be enhanced through gamified components whereby the possibility to learn topics through games will be made possible.
Short 20-hour courses (Skills Kits) at Level 1 are also on offer for the general public with the aim of attracting young people to vocational education. These are also available for secondary schools with the aim of giving young students the opportunity to experience vocational education through these courses.
A very important part of the project is the student mentoring service being offered to all students up to MQF Level 3. Student mentors ensure the well-being of each individual student empowering students to explore their options, support them in overcoming challenges thus encouraging them to remain engaged in education