Apprentissage autodirigé et eportfolio: quels effets pour l’apprenant? Conceptualisation et évaluation des effets d’un dispositif de formation mobile et en ligne en formation professionnelle

Auteur Laetitia MAUROUX
Directeur /trice Jean-Luc Gurtner
Co-directeur(s) /trice(s) Éventuellement avec Bernadette Charlier, co-direction en cours de discussion et toujours à définir.
Résumé de la thèse



This PhD project is part of a Leading House which studies the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for Vocational Educational Training (VET) in order to bridge the gap between school and workplace, when, as in the Swiss vocational training system, apprentices are trained partly at school and partly at the workplace.

Many professions in the Swiss vocational training system are currently requiring from apprentices to produce a learning journal (LJ) within which they should conduct a reflection on their workplace experiences. Apprentices’ reflection on their learning process through the realization of LJs has shown positive impact on cognitive, metacognitive processes and learning performances (McCrindle & Christensen, 1995). Thus, the aim of this PhD project is to explore the potential of online LJs to stimulate apprentices’ reflection on their workplace experiences. Therefore, a mobile and online system (MOS) through which apprentices reflect upon and evaluate their own learning on the basis of pictures they take at the workplace has been developed and implemented (Mauroux, Dehler, Jimenez & Gurtner, 2010).

Participants to the research are baker and pastry cooks apprentices. Their LJ is organized by recipes; for each of them, they are required to fill in a page of the LJ and are stimulated to reflect on their current mastery of the recipe by 3 prompts (adapted from Kicken, Brand-Gruwel, van Merrienboer, and Slot, 2009).The first prompt asks apprentices to express what has been successfully done, the second one to identify further learning needs and the last one to select future learning tasks which could help them to remedy unsatisfactory realizations. Apprentices are also asked to globally self-evaluate their level of mastery and finally to write a summary about all significant moments in the realization of this recipe. By significant moment, we mean every step in the procedure that determines whether a recipe will be successfully realized.

The main focus of the present research is to explore the benefit for learning of such MOS supported cognitive and metacognitive strategies. We also examine whether variables such as conceptions of learning or motivation to use the MOS have an influence on the use of the MOS for reflection, and consequently the use of cognitive and metacognitive strategies as they are supported by the system. Finally, as apprentices’ LJs have to be regularly discussed with the supervisor, we examine as well if this is able to improve the frequency, duration and ultimately the apprentices’ satisfaction with the interactions and feedbacks received from their supervisors about their work.

This research uses a mixed method and data from a longitudinal and a national sample. The longitudinal study compares over two years two classes of apprentices (a test class and a control class) of 16 apprentices and their supervisors. The control class is not required to realize a learning journal, but follows the same curriculum as the test class in all other aspects. The national study is an extension of the data collection to all the new apprentices of the domain in Switzerland, made possible by the fact that our system has been adopted by the professional association and its use will be required from all apprentices in the branch starting in the autumn 2011. Analyses are based on the following data: the log files (number of pictures, recipes, reflections, summaries and self-evaluations), the content of the LJs, self reported cognitive and metacognitive strategies’ use and conceptions of learning, apprentices’ metacognitive capacities in action, frequency, duration and satisfaction about the discussions with the supervisors and finally, the type of significant moments captured at the workplace by means of smartphones and their potential to stimulate reflexion and discussion with the supervisor.



Key words


Learning journals, Mobile and online learning system (MOS), cognitive and metacognitive strategies, vocational educational training (VET)


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