The Award in Sports Coaching (EQF/MQF 6) is not only filling the gaps existing in coaching education but is also maximising the possibilities and potential of education in the 2020s. The innovative approach of CoachEd6, in the design of The Award in Sports Coaching, comprises the aspect of the ‘Internalisation / Globalisation of Education’ through a ‘Blended learning’ methodology. This approach was made possible with the supporting structure of Erasmus+ funding, and with the ‘digitalized’ possibilities of modern education. It is perhaps to be noted that Covid-19 has in a way strengthened our position, as academics and education providers, to make the best use of the ‘digital’ tools, while not forgetting the importance of the face-to-face aspect. To extend this further, however, we have now really understood, that face-to-face has two aspects, an online aspect and then the physical face-to-face educational aspect, which remains an important part of educational processes.
In its delivery, CoachEd6 is reaching its internalisation of Coaching Education through three different approaches.
Metaphor for internationalization Model.
4 MCAST classrooms in 4 different partner countries.
The award has been formally accredited as a Level 6 Award with 24 ECTSs in Malta, more specifically by MCAST, which is a self-accrediting institution, also recognised by the MFHEA. For those learners who want to obtain a recognised level 6 Award by the successful end of the four units, they (the learners) need to be registered as MCAST Learners.
For this reason, while they may be learning at MSKU, RU, SDU, or MCAST, all the learners need to be registered with MCAST and need to follow the MCAST regulations. The same MCAST regulations will apply during the process of delivery.
So practically speaking, learners registering with MCAST for the Award in Sports Coaching may decide to study at MCAST in Malta, at Mugla SItki Kocman University in Turkey, at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, or at Reykjavik University in Iceland.
This is surely an innovative approach when it comes to Sports Coaching Education, and still very much innovative in Education in general.
International Academic Experts: The academic experts on this project, who are experts in the field of sports coaching within the Malta College of Arts Science and Technology, Reykjavik University, Mugla Sitki Kocman University, and The University of Southern Denmark will be contributing to the learners’ learning process in all the partner educational institutions.
International Learning Opportunity: Six learners from every country have the opportunity to travel to a partner Higher Education Institution to follow one of the Weekend Schools in another country and also obtain a Job Shadowing Coaching Opportunity in the same country. While a thorough selection process is applied, this is fully or partially covered by Erasmus+.
The Award in Sports Coaching is using the Blended Learning methodology. So far, within its design, it is foreseen that the Award will be making use of a substantial number of learning methodologies, namely, but not limited to: Self-led learning, Peer Learning, Online-learning, Online-lectures, Learners’ Presentations, Work-Based learning, In-class Weekend Schools.
Self-Led: While assisted by a comprehensive guidance programme of studies, the learner is expected to follow instructions and lead his/her own learning process. This can take the form of following videos, recordings, reading and others.
Peer Learning: With the assistance of online learning platforms, learners will be requested to share knowledge and discuss on relevant topics. These sessions may be assisted by international field and academic experts amongst others. This will provide the learning process with a learning aspect that takes the learners away from their geographical boundaries, by sharing ideas with learning colleagues from different countries.
Online-learning: Learners will have recorded lectures that they need to follow. To further but internalise the learning process within the learner, these may also include associated tasks that can be done online.
Online-lectures: Academic and field experts and speakers from the different partner countries will be providing various online lectures. While some of these online lectures may be nationally based, with learners within the same country joining the lecture, others may take an international nature, where all the learners in Malta, Iceland, Turkey and Denmark may together join the online lecture, to further learning interactions.
Learners’ Presentations: With the belief that learning should not always be guided by the Expert Learners but also by the Participant Learner (Sfard, 1998), this Award may also make use of learners’ presentations, as a learning process. This way learners, who, most probably, in this case, may have substantial field experience, and possibly high-level sports’ related certification, may share their knowledge and assist each other in further growth.
Work-Based Learning: With MCAST, a VET leader being at the lead of this project and with the main area of study being sports coaching, there is no doubt that the learning methodologies had to incorporate an aspect of Work-Based Learning. The use of observations, interactions with the field, discussions with other expert coaches, and hands-on experiences guided by the specific learning outcomes may make this Award an even more ‘realistic’ in terms of learning objectives.
This aspect is further strengthened by the ‘Job Shadowing’ Opportunities being offered by CoachEd6. Read further in the ‘Job Shadowing’ Opportunities on its specific tab.
ON-CAMPUS Weekend Schools: The units reach their apex within the weekend schools happening in every partner country. Over approx 20 hours of the on-campus experience, learners will be joining national and international academic experts from the four partner countries, either face to face or online. These weekend schools are intended at bringing all the learners within every country together. Furthermore, they are also intended at providing an ‘international learning’ opportunity to a selection of learners within the partner countries.