Technologies for Vocational Training

Headed by Prof. Pierre Dillenbourg (EPF Lausanne), with the support of Prof. Jean-Luc Gurtner (University of Fribourg) and Dr Alberto Cattaneo (Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training), the DUAL-T Leading House examines how technologies meet the specific needs of dual-track VET programmes.

The main purpose of this Leading House is to determine how learning activities may be designed so as to close the gap between classroom instruction at VET schools and work-based training at host companies. The Leading House also seeks to optimise coordination between various VET learning locations.

The DUAL-T Leading House considers technologies as a means of supporting learning activities, rather than merely as an instrument to provide online access to previously structured content. Learning activities are designed to take place through social interaction, which could be one of the objectives to strive for when encouraging individual, one-on-one and group participation of learners. Preferably, learning activities are structured in the form of learning scenarios requiring different forms of interaction. Finally, learning activities generate digital material that can be used and re-used to plan new learning activities. These objectives were implemented in the REALTO learning platform for integrated vocational education (

On this basis, the DUAL-T Leading House also uses the ‘Erfahrraum’ pedagogical model to cross another threshold and consider technologies as a means of increasing the number of possible interactions and facilitating learning through careful thought on individual experiences. Here interactive devices can be used at the place of work to record actual experiences on the job as well as in the classroom to discuss these experiences. The resulting digital material can then be used to design learning activities that enable lessons to be drawn from these experiences.

Since 2020, research on technologies for VET has been institutionalized in the LEARN Center of the EPFL where prof. Tanja Käser leads a research team in the hub D-VET.