In Thursday, 26 October, Tartu Vocational College hosted a baking day introducing the hybrid learning platform. The website for bakers, hybake.com, was developed in international cooperation together with colleagues from Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia. Learners who have tried it out are 100% convinced of the benefits of using it.
Learning and teaching online no longer raises eyebrows. Even in skills training, online learning is possible, but it requires appropriate teaching materials. If you don’t have it, you have to make it yourself! It was with just such enthusiasm that Tartu VOCO food technology teachers Lilija Suburg, Riina Meinking and Zeinäb Mirzojeva came up with the idea of the Hybake project a little less than three years ago. The project has been suppported by EU Erasmus+ Programme and today the hybrid learning platform is open to all.
What are the secrets to the success of this baking platform? First of all, the hybake.com site has collected the festive traditions and cakes of different nations. And while, for example, there are hundreds of ways to learn about French baking online, it’s not so easy to get a feel for the traditions of your neighbours or other small nations. Yet there are nice surprises and festive recipes everywhere. For example, did you know that Brita’s cake is a traditional Midsummer treat in Finland. Or that in Lithuania, they make little crispy Kuciukai cookies with poppy seeds for Christmas dinner. Or that in Slovenia, the arrival of spring is celebrated with a carnival and doughnuts that called krofi are baked?
The core of the baking platform is a set of 18 recipes for festive bakes, complete with a description of the technology and video tutorials. It’s the video that helps you learn and understand. Each learner can watch and follow along at their own pace, and revisit some parts if needed. Simplicity was a priority in the creation of the learning video – all the raw materials and processes must be clear and understandable to the viewer. Looking at the students’ feedback, this worked. When questions arose in the descriptions of the raw materials or technology, 94% of students responded that video was helpful or very helpful.
What did the teachers who created the platform think? That the collaborative process itself provided a lot of valuable experience. The meetings and trainings held during the project helped to get to know the secrets of baking in the partner countries. But they also shared tips on how to conduct hybrid learning, learned how to create instructional videos, compared and discussed the creation of recipes and technology descriptions, and even how to test the knowledge gained in hybrid learning. The teachers involved appreciated that they gained more knowledge and skills in preparing holiday cakes from other countries, developed their digital competences and English language skills, and gained experience and confidence in delivering hybrid learning. All the teachers who responded confirmed that they will continue to use the hybake.com platform.
The hybake.com platform is open for everybody. Baking day was held to introduce the platform and the Hybake project as well as the new baking tools. In the workshops, participants from all over Estonia could make Finnish Runeberg cake, Lithuanian Kuršenai rolls and Latvian bacon pies with the help of hybake.com and guest teachers. There was also a food photography workshop led by Zeinäb Mirzojeva.
We invite others to bake on hybake.com! It’s freely available and usable by everyone. You can find a recipe with the right level of difficulty for both general and vocational school students, but also for amateur or professional bakers.