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Usefulness of Digital Methods in Evaluating School Work Alternance Projects: How Actors and Contexts Under Observation Can Interconnect

TitleUsefulness of Digital Methods in Evaluating School Work Alternance Projects: How Actors and Contexts Under Observation Can Interconnect
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsDentale M
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Start Page231
Date Published10/2022
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
KeywordsSWA/PTSO projects; soft skills; upper secondary schools; content analysis as a survey; digital research

Analysis of data from institutional sources, available on platforms and websites, have helped public policy makers to further understand the potential of digital methods, and how they can be most usefully applied (Agodi, 2010). Digital research (Rogers, 2016) requires an adaptable and flexible use of digital methods, capable of combining and connecting both institutional purposes and web data, through the use of complex research designs, according to a specific research culture,‘with-and-in’ the digital world. The Department of Communication and Social Research - Sapienza University of Rome - is undertaking research as part of the Project of Relevant National Interest «Evaluating School-Work Alternance: a longitudinal study in Italian upper secondary schools», and this paper reports the intial outcomes. At this premilinary stage, the research is exploratory, examining SWA/PTSO school projects (school years 2016/17; 2018/19), by exploring the school websites and the MIUR Platform of Alternance Histories, which contains the most successful projects developed by school networks. After downloading and analysing the selected texts, different types of projects could be identified, particular training courses being set up according to the school type, the geographical area of the school, and how far a course could influence students in their choices of future employment and further education. In projects are differently combined: i. soft skills to be developed by the students (e.g. citizenship, vocational and managerial skills); ii. educational methods used to implement the activities (differentiated into learning by doing or learning by thinking).