Pilot case University of Flensburg: Authentic Task Design For The 4.0-Mindset of TVET-Teachers

Student presentation of programming on traffic light controls

The Institute of Vocational Education, Work and Technology (short: biat; Berufsbildungsinstitut Arbeit und Technik of the Europa-Universit├Ąt Flensburg) was not hit that hard by the pandemic situation than other educational institutions in Germany. The infrastructure of decentral e-learning via Cisco-Webex and the online transfer-tool of Moodle was already in use, and known to lecturers and students. The mindset of both parties, learners and lecturers, needed a short phase of rearrangement, because the originally setting of the course-designs at the biat needed to change. Before the shutdowns the majority of the courses took place in person at the institute and its laboratories. The possibility to conduct the courses on site was always the great advantage of the institute, because in this way the physical laboratory technology could be integrated directly into the courses and their project work. The educational goals for the development of broad competences of vocational education benefits of such infrastructure and the small learning groups and their interaction within the accompany of the biat-lecturers.

All courses have been carried out online and in project work. The original educational goals have not changed. The pilot-cases of the biat, concerning the design of the 4.0-educational framework of the TEFFIC project, are situated in the broad domain of 4.0 and digital transformation. The courses have not experienced any major disadvantage due to the decentralized e-learning execution during the pandemic, apart from the limited opportunities to experience the technology of the laboratories and the personnel learning and teaching during the internships at the TVET colleges. The intention of the TEFFIC case is to deepen the knowledge and to process competences for the future role of TVET teachers in the era of digital transformation and 4.0

Work- and activity analyzes of the current authentic world of work of skilled workers, are the core-elements of the TEFFIC case. Within these analyzes the students are free to focus on elements of the digital transformation and 4.0: But there exist some conditions for the object of investigation:

  1. It must be a realistic and authentic element from the current or prospective everyday work of the technical skilled workers (not a distant laboratory idea for future working environments).
  2. It has to be linked to context of digital transformation or 4.0.
  3. It must be capable for teaching at TVET colleges.

For example, some of the students dealt with smart home components in connection with an Arduino control, with the digitization of the trade, the programming of traffic light controls or with the current challenge of e-learning at TVET colleges during the pandemic.

Student presentation of app-programming for smart home with MIT App Inventor

Such authentic approaches strengthen the quality of the academic education of TVET teachers. It is strongly associated with competence of taking over perspectives of the TVET sector and the skilled work at the companies to design teaching. Particularly in times of fast-moving technological- and IT-rearrangements the perspective taking, from the engineer level to the level of skilled work, is a particular benefit of this modifiable TEFFIC case for future TVET teachers and educators in general.