​​Summary of the Visit

On April 11-12, 2016, a delegation from Germany visited The MOFET Institute. The delegation members were the guests of the Ministry of the Economy with which The MOFET Institute’s International Channel is constantly in touch with regard to the topic of vocational education. The entire seminar focused on the topic of evaluation and measurement in education, including teacher education.  
The visit to MOFET opened the seminar, andfor most of the members of the delegation, constituted their first encounter with Israel and Israelis. This fact reinforced our sense of obligation, namely, the obligation to open the seminar in a professional, interesting manner, employing cutting-edge methods; and the Israeli obligation to create an optimal first impression.
  • The main considerations that guided us when building the program were as follows:
  • The desire to acquaint the members of the delegation with The MOFET Institute and with the relevant components of its International activities;
  • The need to create a common language and clarify concepts;
  • The acknowledgment of the importance of testimonies from the field;
  • Exploiting the opportunity for discussion sessions concerning the clarification of common dilemmas;
  • The understanding that it is necessary to experiment with building evaluation tools in order to gain a profound understanding of things.
The task was complex. In Germany, since many subjects are included under the umbrella of vocational education, a single delegation is composed of instructors on topics such as vehicles, culinary issues, caregiving and nursing, and so on. We were unsure of the participants’ fields of expertise and the type of position holders that would participate in the delegation. In addition, the meaning of the terms “instructors”, “supervisors”, “involved in training”, and, of course, their practical expression, are different in Israel; the members of the delegation themselves differ from one another as to the level of their participation in the evaluation processes – processes that differ from the ones with which we are familiar in Israel. We prepared a program in accordance with the manner in which we understood the topic and with reference to our prior sessions with similar delegations.
We opened the session by introducing both The MOFET Institute with its principal aims and the International Activities.
That was followed by a guest lecture delivered by Dr. Tzur Karlitz, a senior researcher at NITE (the National Institute for Testing and Evaluation) and a lecturer in the Department of Learning Disabilities and in the Psychology Department at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The excellent lecture introduced the participants to fundamental concepts and evaluation tools, including the ways in which the latter should be operated as well as the ways in which they must not be operated under any circumstances.
In order to ensure that nothing remained solely theoretical, we invited representatives from the field of vocational education to share their experience in evaluation processes: The supervisor of Israel’s daycare centers and the vice president of the Technology College for Vehicles. These representatives related to the issue of evaluation in their fields of expertise and answered the participants’ questions.
Shadia Sbait returned the participants to the host institution by presenting its portal and its potential usefulness for them.
After forming the conceptual infrastructure and after several hours of passive participation, it was time for discussion groups. The entire audience – guests and hosts – divided up into small groups. Each side described the evaluation processes it implements and shared the dilemmas and questions it faces. As we have already learned in the past, it is important, correct, and desirable to include collaboration of this kind in every seminar.
The first day was concluded by Esti Feierstein, a member of the Ministry of Education’s Branch for Specialization and Induction into Teaching, who described the metamorphoses undergone by the evaluation of those specializing in teaching, and presented several procedures that had been developed for the purpose of evaluating teachers.
The second day opened with a brief overview of the history of vocational education in Israel, given by Prof. Yehuda Bar Shalom.
The participants then met Dr. Michal Golan – Head of MOFET, who presented the directions of development of the Institute and explained the instances in which evaluation processes and tools are required.
The focal point of the second day was the workshop for designing evaluation indicators. The workshop was moderated by Dr. Iris Wagner-Gershgorn – lecturer, supervisor, and advisor in the field of measurement and evaluation from Oranim College. The workshop opened with an explanation and an inquiry as to the participants’ experience. They were then set to work, first by identifying the characteristics and definition of the indicator, and then by attempting to create an indicator that would meet their needs. This was just a small taste, since it takes time to build an indicator.
Dr. Sara Ziv immediately applied the newly-acquired indicator knowledge and used the principles that had been learned in order to summarize the visit. The sum of the grades allocated by the indicator participants represented their general satisfaction and attested to the facts that the materials and presentations were clear and had been presented in an interesting manner, that the lecturers were suitably prepared and were experts in their field, and that the atmosphere was warm and inviting.​