Mobile Devices to Bridge the Gap in VET: Ease of Use and Usefulness as Indicators for Their Acceptance

Elisa Motta, Alberto Cattaneo, Jean-Luc Gurtner


In the dual-track Vocational Education and Training (VET) system, apprentices gain experiences in different learning locations (i.e. workplace and school) but the bridges between these experiences are difficult to construct. Mobile devices could help to promote connectivity across learning contexts, provided they are accepted by the various persons and institutions involved. Ease of use and usefulness, here interpreted as the main elements of usability in the large, are indicators of the acceptance of mobiles. We involved apprentices from three different professional fields – cooks, pastry cooks and car mechanics – and two different mobile devices – headband cameras and smartphones. These devices served to capture visual material on professional situations lived at the workplace. Different software applications were then used to allow such material to be brought to school and discussed with teachers and classmates or shared with supervisors at work. To evaluate the usability of such tools we used a five-section questionnaire mainly based on the TAM and UTATUT model, which had been adequately adapted to the peculiarity of the VET system. Results confirm the feasibility of the approach and the usability of both tools: no significant difference is shown, neither between the two devices in the same field, nor between the different professions with respect to the same device. These results underline the potential of mobile devices to foster connectivity between learning locations in VET.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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