The eLene4work project: The path of learning soft and digital skills
The eLene4work framework was based on a European-wide study of policy, projects, initiatives and literature, and on the results of focus groups carried out in nine countries to elicit the views of students, young workers, higher education teachers and employers. For the specific digital soft skills, the project chose to refer to the DigComp framework in order to align with this European-wide initiative. Discussions took place with JRC to reach a common understanding of the two frameworks and to select the DigComp elements to include in eLene4work.
In the first phase of the project, the partnership selected a basis for the digital soft skills section of the eLene4work soft skills framework. This framework covers four areas of soft skills - social, personal, methodological and digital. The framework is integrated into all stages of the learning pathway created by the project.
The first stage in this learning pathway is for students to complete a self-assessment questionnaire, in order to identify their strengths and areas for improvement. They are free to choose whether to continue working on their strengths or to fill the gaps in their soft skills profile, following the eLene4work commitment to supporting autonomous learning.
The next step involves consulting the eLene4work Orientation Guide, which contains useful advice on how to develop soft skills through MOOCs and OERs, as well as the possibility to select MOOCs to follow from a list of over 200 selected MOOCs, classified according to the eLene4work framework by the project partners. Advice is also available on how to get the most out of a MOOC experience, not forgetting that it’s not just the content that can help them develop soft skills, but also many of the learning activities embedded in the more social and connected type MOOCs.
During the project, 53 students and young workers were involved in piloting the eLene4work learning pathway. To support their learning, they kept a Personal Journal, which served the triple purpose of providing a structured space for reflexion and a trace of their learning, as well as a support for the monitoring team who observed the process.
The eLene4work learning pathway consists in a series of tools/outputs of the project, which are freely available and can be used as a stand-alone online spaces.
For whom: students prior to entering the job market/young workers
Purpose: to help learners identify their soft skills and digital soft skills, set their own learning agenda by identifying their strengths and areas for improvement, and decide whether they want to build on these strengths and/or fill the gaps in their soft skills profile.
- After rating your own level of soft skills via a declarative questionnaire, you can also decide which ones are important for you.
- You can then set your own learning agenda by analysing the results of the questionnaire. Don't forget to generate the PDF file at the end of this process - you'll need a trace of this initial self-assessment in later stages.
- This self-assessment is the first step in the eLene4work learning pathway.
- Once you have decided which soft skills you want to work on, you can use the Orientation Guide to select MOOCs or other learning solutions.
- You are also strongly advised to keep a personal journal of your learning and to do the self-assessment a second time to check on your progress.
For whom: Students prior to entering the job market/young workers
Purpose: To help learners:
- discover the most important soft skills and digital soft skills wanted by employers;
- browse the most inspiring MOOCs selected by the project partners;
- learn what it's like to study online and how to get the most out of the experience.
Languages: EN, FR
- You can use this Orientation Guide independently or as part of the overall process.
- If you already know which (digital) soft skills you want to develop or highlight, then you can jump straight in and follow the next steps.
- If you want to evaluate your (digital) soft skills first, and then either identify what you need to work on further or what you want to include in your CV, ePortfolio or letter of application, then we suggest you first use the self-assessment tool. You can come back to this guide at any point and consult the different sections freely.
- The section studying online vs face-face will give you an insight into what it’s like to study online and some useful tips from other students to help you get organised.
- The power of MOOCs helps you understand what MOOCs are, and how they can help you develop (digital) soft skills, whether it’s through the content, the activities or both.
- The OER option explains what Open Educational Resources are and how these can also help you develop certain soft skills.
- Browse by MOOC or skill enables you to select the MOOC(s) you want to follow, access a short summary via an ID card, and link straight to the MOOC on the platform which hosts it.
For whom: Students prior to entering the job market/young workers
Purpose: The Personal Journal is a personal tool that can be used to record what happens during learning in order to reflect on the process. It gives learners a method about how to learn autonomously, and to become lifelong learners who can autonomously understand whether the learning activities they engage in and the resources they use are useful for personal development. The Personal Journal is designed to help learners:
- clarify questions;
- plan learning steps;
- reflect on content or learning situations;
- write down questions that they want to pursue later;
- evaluate their own activities;
- keep a record of ideas, wishes and even disappointments.
Languages: DE, EN, ES, FI, FR, GR, IT, PL
The personal Journal is divided into three parts that should be filled in at different moments in the learning path:
Part 1 - Before: You should complete this part before you start the actual learning activity. It consists of a short questionnaire where you will be asked to identify the soft skills you have decided to work on and provide details of the solution you have chosen to develop these (for example a MOOC) including the learning objectives of the MOOC (or other solution) and your own motivation for this choice.
Part 2 - During: This is for you to complete during your learning activity activity, at regular intervals as you progress, focusing on different modules/parts of the learning activity in chronological order (like a diary);
Part 3 - At the end: This should be completed at the end of the learning activity, as a reflection on the experience as a whole.
Moreover, a Lessons Learned Kit (LLK) collected the experiences from all the main activities and transformed them into three publications made of videos, infographics and a short article:
- State of the art analysis and focus groups results
- Students’ learning experience through MOOCs
- The whole partnership tutoring and monitoring of the students paths
The eLene4work project comes to an end in October 2017, but it will be kept alive by a networking strategy to allow other individuals or institutions to join the eLene network, available here