The Euroguidance Network

October 2009

In this edition:

Slovenia: Website for lifelong career guidance and VET promotion

What kind of a medium would attract 15 years old students to read about the topic they are not very interested in? How would it be possible to also make the same medium interesting for adults as well?

The Internet and video seems to be the right media for presenting readable and clear information on future education and work. As a result of common work between web-design experts and some services dealing with education, work and career guidance in Slovenia the website was created.

The website provides information on schools, educational programs, vocations, national vocational qualifications and counselling opportunities for pupils and their parents, students and adults. It also provides necessary information for counsellors (school counsellors, career counsellors, counsellors in Lifelong Learning (LLL) such as legislation, useful literature, useful links, glossary, etc. All the information is displayed in a user friendly manner and is printable.

A user-centred design is a priority for Traditional hierarchical thinking does not fit the internet nor the minds of teenagers. The website therefore avoids professionally ‘correct’ terminology, tree structured content, etc. Bearing in mind that users do not want to make too many clicks a front page was designed that directs the users straight to the information on schools, programs and vocations. All three categories are interconnected so that users can see immediately what are their working opportunities with certain kinds of education, what kind of education could be gained at which school etc.

The website is interactive. Visitors can register in 3 steps and thereby create their own folders. There, they can save desired information on schools, programs, vocations, national vocational qualifications or counselling opportunities. Each visitor can also write to the administrator and ask any question they want.

Data update is easy and transparent. Administrators from each school update data on their schools and educational programs. Members of the editorial board update the data that they are responsible for. Other data are updated automatically as they are imported from original data bases.

Primary schools students are targeted directly. All counsellors in primary schools receive a sufficient number of hard copy folders containing basic information on website  and instruction on how to present it face to face to pupils in the 8th class (pupils aged 13).

An evaluation is carried out by using internet services. Thereby the web is monitored by standard parameters showing the number of users, the most visited pages, etc. Feedback from actual users, i.e. pupils (age 13) and counsellors is also measured by online questionnaires.

Online career guidance is done by a video game. With a simple registration each user can get further information on vocational interest. Users answer a set of various questions online and thereby generate their personal cartoon.

Further development is secured as the web site and its maintenance/ upgrade is assured by a regular annual budget. In this respect it is planned in the first phase to include high schools and universities in a database, to establish a forum for counsellors, to connect the web site with facebook, etc. Last but not the least the user is ‘the king/queen’ therefore future development will be planned also on his/her critiques and suggestions.

The webportal is managed by an editorial board which meets at least once a month to discuss open questions and plans. Its members are representatives of institutions which are responsible for specific databases and/or connected with education or the labour market.

The partner institutions are:

The Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for VET, the Employment service of Slovenia, the National Vocational Information and Counselling Centre - Euroguidance Slovenia, the Slovene Institute for Adult Education, the Chamber of Crafts, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, VET schools, the Ministry of Education and Sport and the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs.

Each institution involved in has commited with an agreement to participate in the editorial board and to provide updated information on regular basis. Euroguidance Slovenia provides quality information on guidance at a central place on the website, with a special focus for guidance counsellors who are the primary target group of the centre.

Miha Lovšin MSc
The Slovenian National Institute for Vocational Education and Training