Orchestrating vocational education classrooms for adaptive instruction and collaborative learning

Yanmin ZHAO, Yue On James KO

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


This study investigates adaptive instructions concerning students’ interactive learning activities in evolving vocational environments and explores collaborative learning in the professional field. Classroom orchestration, as the overarching framework, indicates how the teacher acts as a conductor in leading different levels of classroom activities. A mixed-method design integrates quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis methods, including a sample of sixty observations for evaluating teaching behaviours and clustering teaching with students’ learning engagement. Three videotaped lessons are analysed to illustrate vocation-oriented lesson activities in which students interact in the classroom. Findings suggest that vocational teachers adopt informal approaches to enhance student engagement during classroom practices. For example, they are small-group-oriented collaborative teaching, lesson activities connected to real-life situations, adaptive and structured instructions on students’ learning activities, and flexible teaching arrangements in the vocational learning environment. These findings indicate the importance of integrating students’ career-based learning and instruction within collaborative vocational learning environments. The study sheds light on strategies for adapting instructional approaches to meet the diverse needs of vocational students. Additionally, it highlights the significance of collaborative learning for the advancement of pedagogical practices in the context of vocational education. Copyright © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2351238
JournalCogent Education
Issue number1
Early online dateMay 2024
Publication statusPublished - 2024


Zhao, Y., & Ko, J. (2024). Orchestrating vocational education classrooms for adaptive instruction and collaborative learning. Cogent Education, 11(1), Article 2351238. https://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2024.2351238


  • Learning for work
  • Vocational training
  • Student engagement
  • Collaborative learning
  • Adaptive instruction


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