Good practice resulting from change


As part of their involvement in the EU project DigiCults, the IMC Krems, a eucen member institution, introduced the “Working Out Loud” approach to improve the collaboration with project partners and make the project results more visible. The problem that led to the implementation of this good practice was the sense that project partners did not know what the others were doing, how their individual work on the project fit together, and how to connect with other potential collaborators and their target audience beyond the project partners. As a group, the project partners of DigiCults decided to become active on different social media channels, always using the same hasthag. Furthermore, they regularly kept an eye out for online communities to connect with, and made weekly postings using #digicults to discuss and to share experiences and progress.


Based on the success of the Working Out Loud approach in the implementation of the DigiCults project, the staff at IMC Krems decided to use it in their teaching and learning, and specifically in their e-learning provision

"Working Out Loud” is an approach developed by John Stepper and is defined as a “peer coaching method for accomplishing goals while you build new networks, skills, and mindsets”. It involves forming a group of peers - these can be students on the same course, professionals working in the same field, or learners who are interested in some form of upskilling or reskilling. Together, the group follows a set of steps, which consist of setting a goal, identifying existing and potential collaborators to work with, and reaching out to them to see how a mutually beneficial relationship can be formed.

At IMC Krems, the Working Out Loud approach has been adapted to the Vocational Education and Training context to help students become better at using digital skills to connect with each other and to keep track of their learning. It has been combined with the Wakelet app, which allows users to save, organise and share content. Learners use this to create a kind of interactive learning portfolio, bringing together learning materials that they have found useful, reporting on learning experiences both within the classroom and in professional settings, and to comment on and engage with each other’s work. It is particularly useful when it comes to learning programmes that are online or hybrid, and that involve some work placement or other practical component. The “Working out Loud” approach encourages students to consider how they can present and talk about these experiences in a way that allows them to connect with others.

The Working Out Loud approach is now used as a type of formative assessment on some of the courses at IMC Krems, thus forming part of the evaluation of students’ progress in their Vocational Education and Training provision.



It is important for learners to feel comfortable sharing their progress with each other online. This can be quite tricky, as learners may feel shy or may not be used to making themselves visible in this way online. Overcoming this hesitancy requires building a community which needs time and the commitment of individuals, especially if the learning is undertaken fully or primarily online. It is therefore important to set regular meeting times (on a weekly or monthly basis) and to define concrete aims that need to be achieved by the time of the meeting. The tutors at IMC Krems have found that having a tangible goal to work towards helps students feel less self-conscious about sharing their achievements, as well as their challenges online, and gives them something concrete to talk about during the meetings.

Good Practice Category