From 2014 onwards, Dutch students in vocational education (VE) will have to pass an exam regarding their abilities in the Dutch language and arithmetic. This new situation has increased the demand for learning solutions in these two fields. The Dutch VE students are trained both in the classroom and in practical situations, in competences and theoretical knowledge and, if and when possible, they are offered a tailor made program, based on an assessment of their competences (knowledge, ability and attitude).
Already in 2006 Malmberg started the development and marketing of two e-learning applications, which have proved to be very successful: Taalblokken and Rekenblokken.
Both applications are based on a matrix (“blocks”, i.e. “blokken”) where the levels and abilities are positioned. An assessment decides where to start and what blocks to work on. Rekenblokken even has the possibility for each individual student to plan his or her own learning route, based on the outcome of the pre-assessment. Having finished a block, students are offered a test which determines their final level or allows them to proceed to a higher level.
Almost 100,000 students have experienced the benefits of Taalblokken and Rekenblokken. The computer gives immediate feedback and results are shown real time. Animations, sound fragments, movies and content adapted to their future professions, help to motivate the students to engage in the many different kinds of assignments.
For the teacher the applications offer management tools (classroom management, assignment of tests and tasks, result overviews etcetera) which make it easy and efficient to report to their school management. Also, planning tools facilitate the process of managing different individuals in different tracks and speeds of their study program. The automatic grading of work done in the application and the efficient management tools provide time for offline and/or classroom work (e.g. coaching of students, group work, lecturing).
For the Malmberg vocational team the success of these e-learning “Blocks” has been rewarding. “We have received favorable feedback from our customers.” comments Michiel Bugter, Publishing Manager VE at Malmberg. “But it’s a learning process for us as well. We are learning how to develop and market an online product (instead of a book), how to develop customer care and how to implement the use of Taalblokken and Rekenblokken in a school”.
Malmberg is a well-known and leading educational publisher in the Netherlands. Malmberg publishes mixed media learning systems, educational tools and services for teachers for the Dutch market on primary, secondary and vocational schools. Malmberg is part of the Strategic Business Unit Sanoma Learning.