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The examination system is changing. Reforms introduced as a result of updating the Vocational Training Act (BBiG) in 2020 and digital transformation are two of the key drivers in this regard. The ongoing adaptation of examination requirements and assignments to changing occupational profiles is a further focus.
The examination system faces considerable pressure to modernise. At the same time, however, large parts of it are reliant on voluntary commitment – something which needs to be supported and strengthened. Against this background, the latest issue of BWP investigates the demands which are placed on a modern, high-quality, legally compliant and practicable examination system.
Those who stand still get left behind. This axiom makes it clear that a constant willingness and ability to embrace change are necessary in order to keep pace with new or altered requirements emerging within the economy and in working life. The same fundamentally applies to the examination system. This article highlights which changes have been instigated or executed over the past five years at statutory and sub-statutory level, within the area of regulatory instruments and within specific implementation practice in order to meet the challenges in the examination system.
Social partnership is a core principle of vocational education and training, and the same is true of examinations. Despite differing individual perspectives, both sides face the same challenges. These must be resolved jointly. The Vocational Education and Training Modernisation Act (BBiMoG) made changes aimed at reducing the workload of volunteer examiners whilst also seeking to enhance the attractiveness of the role. Digitalisation too is an intrinsic source of potential for the modernisation of examinations. Franziska Hamann-Wachtel of the service sector trade union ver.di and Andrea Sitzmann from the Lower Franconia Chamber of Crafts and Trades (HWK) explain how all of this is currently reflected in examination practice and talk about the areas in which further development and action are required.
This article illustrates the opportunities offered by a digital workbench for the preparation of commercial examination assignments. The core element of the workbench consists of an extensive database containing tasks and examinations which have been empirically checked and which serve as a foundation for the construction of new competency-oriented assignments. The article focuses on the two key challenges of designing examination tasks in an authentic way and of determining the degree of difficulty of the assignments. An explanation is provided with regard to how the workbench is able to assist in handling these challenges successfully.
Innovations in VET which take place within the framework of digitalisation at schools and companies are ultimately threatened with failure if they are not also mapped in the examination system. With this in mind, the present article looks at the design concept behind a process-related and stakeholder-oriented VET examination model for the organisation and implementation of intermediate and final examinations (examinations at central level) and for the monitoring of learning outcomes at companies and schools (decentral level). The areas of potential offered by commercial intermediate and final examinations which use the LUCA Office Simulation are outlined on the basis of an example of implementation. The article concludes by reflecting upon which aspects are currently restricting the potential of digital examinations in vocational education and training.
Are digital tasks suitable for the measurement of craft trade competencies within the scope of the practical journeyman examination for vehicle mechatronics technicians? And are they ecologically valid? In other words, are the results achieved in this way meaningful in terms of real-life occupational contexts? Results from three different data surveys, which were conducted as part of the ASCOT+ DigiDIn-Kfz Project, were investigated and discussed in order to respond to relevant validity-related research questions. The findings reveal a mixed picture which demonstrates both the possibilities and limits of the digital task format deployed.
The 2020 update to the Vocational Training Act (BBiG) means that the conducting of examinations and the evaluation of final performances are no longer the sole domain of examination boards. So-called examiner delegations are now also able to fulfil these functions. BIBB will be carrying out an evaluation of this newly introduced regulation until the end of 2025. It is also acting on behalf of the Federal Council to scrutinise another new regulation which permits an examination to be conducted by two examiners in certain circumstances. This article explains the regulations forming the object of investigation and outlines the design of the evaluation.
One of the objectives of updating the Vocational Training Act (BBiG) was to strengthen permeability in vocational education and training. Credit transfer for periods of training or for examination outcomes previously achieved has an important role to play in this regard. Trainees who have not passed their final examination in a programme of VET staggered over three or three and a half years are able to apply for recognition of a vocational qualification in a two-year training occupation. This article uses the examples of cook and kitchen specialist to describe how these new regulations have been implemented for the first time in the hotel, hospitality and kitchen occupations, which were updated in 2022.
Digital examinations are currently an object of intense debate in many areas of education and training, and the chambers of commerce and industry (IHK) are no exception in this respect. There is a consensus that digitalisation offers great opportunities for the examination system and that it is even unavoidable in some cases. In the stage-by-stage planning and implementation process, however, there is a need at all times to weigh up what is technically feasible as well as what is useful for the further development of the examinations.
A discussion proposal put forward by the trade union IG Metall on the further development of the final examination in dual VET into a dual testing of competency represents the start of a debate on modern competency assessment in training. As a consequence of the influence of the increasing digitalisation of operational processes, possible starting points are emerging as to how the examination can act as a competency assessment and keep pace with digital company reality. This article presents initial considerations in this regard.
The aim of final examinations is to show whether learners have acquired the necessary employability skills for their occupation at the end of vocational education and training. In Switzerland, final examinations thus form an important part of the qualification procedure in VET. This article illustrates examples of how final examinations are designed in an employability skills-oriented manner and shows the challenges which arise in this respect for the examination setters.
Since its release in November 2022, the use of ChatGPT has been gaining popularity. The general consensus is that AI-powered language generators are also expected to impact work and education. Experts discuss their intentional use and/or misuse in exams primarily in the general education and university sector. But what about examinations in vocational education and training? This article analyses the points of contact between the software and VET examination instruments and discusses possible future developments.
The KoprA Project is working in cooperation with nursing schools on the basis of a pre-identified competency model to draw up a concept for a competency-oriented practical examination with integrated digital components for nursing training. The intention is for the practical implementation of examination scenarios developed in this way to take place in the form of a trial examination at a school level with subsequent evaluation. The article outlines the approach adopted in the project and forecasts the expected results.
The aim of the BMBF-funded pilot project “VerOnika” is to test interlinked orientation provision. The aim is for this type of provision to offer participants insights into higher education study and into vocational education and training in an equivalent way so as to facilitate an education and training decision based on experience. The article presents findings from the evaluation research accompanying this pilot project. These findings are the result of qualitative and quantitative initial and final surveys of participants which in particular reflect their own perspective of the interlinked orientation programmes.
A German-Thai VET cooperation project has been working for three years to develop a concept for vocational education and training in Thailand’s electroplating industry. The particular project constellation and regular evaluation activities ensured that the project partners themselves were able to continue learning. This article describes how evaluation activities assisted project management and concludes by assessing successful strategies.
The modernised ordinance for the training occupation of motor vehicle body and vehicle construction mechanic entered into force on 1 August 2023. A new specialism of caravan and motorhome technology has been added. The contents of several certificates of competence have also been integrated into the general training plan. Against the background of the growing significance of e-mobility, there will in future be a new additional qualification of “Working on live high voltage systems in vehicles”.
The transition to sustainable heating energy proclaimed by policy makers is putting wind into the sails of an occupation which has long since had a “rock bottom” reputation among young people. The chance to become involved with a diverse range of modern technologies is making the training occupation of plant mechanic for sanitary, heating and air conditioning systems more and more popular and is helping bring about an image shift. This article describes the state-of-the-art and energy-efficient systems being used in technical building equipment plants and also looks at the development in trainee numbers.
The summer Board meeting was chaired by employer representative Nico Schönefeldt. The main topic of consultation was “vocational orientation and transitions”. The Board also adopted recommendations for the “Development of defined examination tasks to be answered in writing”, for “Planned mobile training and learning” and for updating the general training plan for the Ordinance on Trainer Aptitude (AEVO).