MIKA – continuing training provision to promote the media-pedagogical competencies of company-based training staff
The digital transformation is both impacting everyday training and work at companies and presenting trainers with new challenges. The continuing training concept “Media and IT competency for training staff (MIKA)” supports trainers with deploying digital technologies in teaching and learning processes and helps them develop personal competencies via guided practically related exercises in face-to-face sessions, webinars and phases of self-directed learning.
Digital technologies are changing everyday work and training routines
The mega trend digitalisation describes a technical shift which is leading to multifarious new requirements for all stakeholders involved in vocational education and training and in the world of work as a whole. New forms of employment and new job descriptions are emerging. Skills requirements are changing and necessitating new competency profiles. Company-based training staff also need to upskill. The main demands here are for media education competence when dealing with digital technologies and for cross-cutting competencies that will help bring trainees up to speed for the digital transformation.
A study by Härtel et al. (2018) shows that the use of digital media in the context of training is merely sporadic and frequently unsystematic despite their general availability. This is also confirmed by Gensicke et al. (2016 and 2021). The latter further emphasise that the deployment of digital media is dependent on the knowledge of the trainers (cf. Gensicke et al. 2021). Uncertainties regarding general legal conditions and poor familiarity with areas of didactic potential or opportunities for use constitute a major obstacle in this regard.
The MIKA continuing training concept
Against this background, a concept for in-service continuing training was developed and piloted between September 2019 and July 2022 as part of the “Media and IT competency for training staff (MIKA)” project. MIKA is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and comprises three fundamental modules that were released over the course of 2022.
- The learning platform (MIKA Campus) A learning platform which participants use to prepare for the MIKA seminars. This service is also available free of charge to other interested parties.
- The continuing training provision (MIKA seminars) A low-threshold, in-service continuing training programme for company-based training staff, consisting of 60 hours spread across twelve weeks and offered in a blended learning format. The self-directed learning contents delivered via the MIKA Campus are consolidated in face-to-face sessions and webinars. Participants are given transfer tasks after each session so that they can deploy digital tools in their own training practice. This means that evaluation research for the project takes place over the course of the continuing training. Cooperating education and training institutions such as chambers, vocational training centres etc. will be offering the MIKA seminars from September 2022.
- Certification for future MIKA seminar teachers (MIKA trainer) A two-day training course followed by a two-week phase of self-directed learning and a final examination. This is compulsory for future trainers delivering the MIKA seminars. The aim is to ensure a national quality standard for implementation of the MIKA seminars that have been developed (cf. Deininger 2022, p. 5).
In order to provide a structure for the media education and digital (sub)competencies MIKA is seeking to encourage, six thematic categories were developed with reference to the European Digital Competence Framework (cf. European Commission 2016) and on the basis of the “Education and training in a digital world” strategy created by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs in the Federal Republic of Germany (cf. KMK 2016). These categories address main content focuses of media and IT competency.
- Understanding the digital world
- Protecting data and acting securely
- Communication and cooperation
- Searching for and processing contents
- Creating and sharing contents
- Feedback and reflection
The continuing training provision deals with these six topics in seven consecutive modules, each of which consists of a phase of self-directed learning, a training session (webinar or face-to-face) and a transfer task (cf. Deininger 2022, p. 3 and the poster in German in BWP 4/2022).
The route from MIKA to a new portal for training staff and examiners
Training staff are in all cases assigned the task of integrating the far-reaching digital shift into their everyday training remit. This is in line with the guiding principle of company-based training to foster and strengthen comprehensive employability skills in the digitalised world of work. Nevertheless, a surfeit of information from sources of differing quality makes it more difficult for training staff to select relevant contents for their daily work. This means that assistance is required at a technical, pedagogical and administrative level (cf. Nicklich/Blank/Pfeiffer 2021).
Within this context and with funding from the BMBF, BIBB is currently designing a portal which will act as a collaboration platform for company-based training staff and examiners. The aim is for this portal to be permanently established in the VET system so that it can act as a support service for everyday company-based training and examination work. Both the BIBB portal foraus.de and the Examiners’ Portal will be part of this new presence. The plan is for the portal to be launched in the first half of 2023.
Trainers will then be afforded access to a contemporary, transparently structured and quality-assured information and knowledge management service that will offer opportunities for support in respect of three key topics.
- Adaptive provision of well-founded information relating to all aspects of the shaping of VET augmented by practically related tools for everyday training use.
- Encouragement of networking between colleagues within the target group and of the collaborative development of training materials.
- Availability of structured and quality-assured access to precisely tailored learning pathways for further development of the structuring of training.
Deininger, N.: MIKA: Mit Medien- und IT-Kompetenz gut vorbereitet auf einen zunehmend digitalisierten Ausbildungsalltag. Bonn 2022
European Commission: EU digital competence framework for citizens. Luxemburg 2016 – DOI: https://data.europa.eu/doi/10.2767/00458
Gensicke, M.; Bechmann, S.; Härtel, M.; Schubert, T.; García-Wülfing, I.; Güntürk-Kuhl, B.: Digitale Medien in Betrieben – heute und morgen: Eine repräsentative Bestandsanalyse. 2. Ed. Bonn 2016
Gensicke, M.; Bechmann, S.; Kohl, M.; Schley, T.; García-Wülfing, I.; Härtel, M.: Digitale Medien in Betrieben – heute und morgen: Eine Folgeuntersuchung. Bonn 2021
Härtel, M.; Brüggemann, M.; Sander, M.; Breiter, A.; Howe, F.; Kupfer, F.: Digitale Medien in der betrieblichen Berufsbildung: Medienaneignung und Mediennutzung in der Alltagspraxis von betrieblichem Ausbildungspersonal. Bonn 2018
Kultusministerkonferenz – KMK: Bildung in der digitalen Welt. Strategie der Kultusministerkonferenz. Berlin 2016 – URL: www.kmk.org/fileadmin/Dateien/pdf/PresseUndAktuelles/2018/Digitalstrategie_2017 _mit_Weiterbildung.pdf
Nicklich, M.; Blank, M.; Pfeiffer, S.: Ausbildungspersonal im Fokus – Studie zur Situation der betrieblichen Ausbilder*innen. Nürnberg 2021
(All links: status 16/11/2022)
Academic researcher at BIBB
Translation from the German original (published in BWP 4/2022): Martin Kelsey, GlobalSprachTeam, Berlin