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International Cooperation

ITSVET – Developing a Curriculum for teaching ICT Security Specialists in VET

In cooperation with Technical Education Support Foundation (THESA), BCS training and partners from Estonia, Finland and Latvia, the objective of the joint project “ITSVET” is to develop in the project partner countries, including Estonia, a curriculum for junior specialist in IT security in vocational education and training (VET), generate its innovative content and training methodology.
ITSVETi logo

First of all, an employers’ survey was carried out in the partner countries to find out the labour market needs for training on EQF levels 3-5 for the skills of information security professionals and which specific skills should be taught on these levels. Based on the survey results, a competence profile for the IT security junior specialist in VET as well as a partial occupational standard for such a specialist will be created. Then, based on the profile and standard, a curriculum, teaching materials with relevant content and suitable teaching methodology, which should be as practical as possible and in line with work environment will be designed. The project also includes pilot training conducted for ICT security teachers in partner countries’ VET schools.

Project Period: 2015-2019

Innove’s role:

  • participation in project planning and management, conducting the survey;
  • analysing IT security topics in existing curricula in all participating countries’ partner schools;
  • designing the curriculum – Innove is responsible for developing a national IT security VET curriculum;
  • participating in the preparing teaching materials and methodology, in organising training and in curriculum testing.

Partners and funding

The project will take place in cooperation with partners from Technical Education Support Foundation, BCS Training AS, Tallinn Polytechnic School, SA Innove, Riga Technical College and Helsinki Business College, Estonian Qualification Authority and Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications.

The project is funded from the European Union Interreg Central Baltics programme:

  • EU funding: 105,428.09 euros;
  • self-financing: 18,604.96 euros;
  • total budget of the project: 124,033.05 euros.

Project Activities

November 2018. The basic curriculum and the learning materials developed for its implementation were piloted. As a result of piloting the materials in partner schools in Estonia, Latvia and Finland, it was found that the materials are relevant and ready to be used – there is no need for changes in the basic curriculum. However, due to differences in the education system in partnering countries, some proposals were made to adapt the localized curricula. The curriculum created suits well in the Estonian curricula system, but guidelines for its implementation will be made. In addition, modules from the new curriculum can be used in existing IT curriculums. Guides and implementation plans are being prepared for this, too.

June 2018. The project has now proceeded into the final stage. The basic curriculum dealing with ICT Security issues has been planned and the learning materials are created and already published (see the web pages). During the sixth period (June-Nov 2018) the curriculum and the study materials (labs) will continue to be piloted. Tiny changes will be made to the material and the curriculum according to the feedback got from the teachers, students and other experts from the field. Also teachers manual will be created for utilising the materials (labs). Teacher training started from the seminar held on 8th of June in Tallinn. It will continue during the latter half of the year. On November 2018 there will be organised teacher training and another dissemination event in Helsinki. By the end of this year the project outcomes should be ready and final versions about the curriculum and materials will be available on the project’s web-site.

January 2018.  At the beginning of 2018, the main activities in the project will be compiling the practical assignments needed for implementing the curriculum. These have been allocated to different schools in the three countries. In addition to compiling their own assignments, the schools are also giving feedback to assignments designed by the others. The activity is led by Tallinn Polytechnic School. Skype discussions will be used to harmonise the assignments and adjust the unified understanding at the end of the planned activity.

September 2017. ITSVET project is celebrating the first draft of the curriculum for the IT security specialist specialty, study materials are being developed. While creating the content of modules, assignments needed to evaluate them were also developed. Now instruction material for practical assignments, required to pass the modules are being developed.

August 2017. Foundation Innove has started to work on study materials for ITSVET project. Practical assignments needed to pass the module are being developed along with instructions on how to implement them. Experts creating these assignments give regular feedback to each other.

June 2017. Adaptation of IT security specialist curriculum has begun. The English curriculum has been completed and passed the assessment of an expert group conducted in February and March. The experts were practicing professionals and vocational teachers. The proposals presented in the feedback process were discussed and taken into account by curriculum drafters from Latvia, Finland and Estonia.

In the present stage of development we are adapting the curricula. For this reason, the curricula has been translated into the languages of all countries participating in the project, after which they are adapted to their own curriculum systems.  In Estonia, for example, the existing IT systems curriculum is made compatible to and adjusted for continuous education based on elective specialisation.

At the initiative of Tallinn Polytechnic School we have started mapping the study materials for the curriculum. Foundation Innove is also taking part in this work and aims to map two modules out of four by winter.  In addition to mapping, the preparation of new materials is already underway.

February 2017. IT security specialist curriculum is in progress. In cooperation with partner schools Tallinn Polytechnic School, Riga Technical College and Helsinki Business College the descriptions of modules have been created. These descriptions comprise learning outcomes, assessment criteria and implementation plans.

In the present stage of development we are combining the curriculum into a coherent whole. For this reason, the experts are harmonising the wording of objectives for  the modules, formulating the objective of the whole curriculum and learning outcomes and consolidating assessing the achievement of learning outcomes. The compatibility of the curriculum with the competences in the occupational standard will also be evaluated.

Following these stages, presumably in April, all partners will start adapting this curriculum in English to their own curriculum systems in the respective countries.

Further information: the project websiteFacebook and LinkedIn.

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