The goal of Platform vmbo Construction, Housing and Interiors (BWI) is to further improve the quality of vmbo BWI education. To this end, Platform vmbo BWI supports teachers and management of vmbo schools with a course in the department of Construction, Housing and Interiors, through online learning materials. Teaching materials provided with the Learning Management Software of Procademy. An interview with national coordinator Cor de Ridder about this cooperation.
"We are there for all students who follow the Building, Living and Interiors direction at VMBO. We work for 180 schools, with some 5,000 students using our learning resources platform." Cor opens the conversation. For Platform vmbo BWI, working with Procademy is not the first introduction to the phenomenon of online learning.
Cor relates, "We already had experience with Learning Management Software. What we often encountered was that the software was not being developed fast enough. The capabilities were not up to the latest state of the art and contemporary educational principles, so the user experience was not optimal. We also noticed that we could not exert enough influence on the roadmap. Specific wishes, which are very important in our daily practice, thus took too long to implement. That's why we started talking to a number of clubs and eventually ended up at Procademy ."
Understanding progress and figures
What does this daily practice actually look like? Students learn theory and make tests in the form of interim and final tests in the online learning environment of Procademy, teachers use the software for grade management and insight into the individual progress of students. Cor emphasizes, "For teachers it is really extremely important to keep track of student progress. For the grades, to which diplomas are often linked, but also for the substantive progress, in order to be able to help students in a targeted way. Together with Procademy we paid a lot of attention to optimizing those processes during the design, besides the fact that it is of course also important that the software offers students a smooth experience."
A smooth experience
That smooth experience is at least as important for the support desk at Platform vmbo BWI. "We are supplier for the schools and thus first point of contact in case of incidents or questions, so we benefit from a well-functioning tool. Procademy only comes around the corner when we encounter bugs that we can't fix ourselves, or when there is a platform-wide failure."
Stability is almost invaluable for online learning tools in schools at all, Cor explains, "If a class is sitting there on Monday morning ready to take a test that was studied hard over the weekend and the whole thing doesn't work, then of course the teacher has a huge problem."
With in-house support and such a critical group of users, the Platform has a clear picture of how the software is perceived. "And that picture is fortunately good. People experience the software as stable, also during the peak periods around the start of the school year, or during test weeks. Procademy also thinks along with our annual planning for update rounds. Because in the testing period just before Christmas, then you really should just leave everything alone." laughs Cor.
"There really is a partnership. This manifests itself in many consultations, in thinking along from Procademy to develop education-specific wishes and the willingness to take some improvements for their own account. Because at Procademy , for example, they see the added value for the entire platform and for other (future) customers in education." outlines Cor. "I also think that with Platform vmbo BWI we are bringing a nice amount of users to the online environment, which will result in faster and more insight into the specific wishes from education."
Insights that undoubtedly lead to new development wishes? Cor, when asked: "Of course there will always be something to wish for. In addition to the fact that the world of online learning is constantly evolving and we expect software to keep moving with it, we still see a lot of added value, for example, in the development of personal dashboards for students, which can be used during ten-minute meetings to show parents very targeted progress."
"There is a fine synergy. We were looking for a partner who already had a good basic tool, but who also has the power to realize our specific wishes, both now and in the future. Procademy is just big and small enough for us." Cor concludes with a smile.