Development of a competency structure model for the dual vocational education of IT specialists

Development of a Competency Structure Model for Dual Vocational Education of IT Specialists

Project Description


In contrast to general schools, educational goals of vocational schools are to educate their students for the needs of the chosen occupation and to enable them to gain professional action competency, which consists of professional competency, methodological competency and personal competency. As a consequence the lessons at school should impart general and occupational education, which should be taught by using activity-oriented forms of teaching.

For this reason, the concept of learning fields was developed to better meet the requirements of all partners of the dual vocational education and training; vocational school and training company should become equal partners. A curriculum arranged in learning fields can ensure modern education, which helps the students to gain competencies in different areas, and not only technical skills. Learning fields are topical units, which contain didactically reduced business and working processes, but they do not include specific aims to be reached or skills to be acquired. They describe different competencies which students should gain. By alternating multidisciplinary theoretical and practical training, students should acquire the competencies to apply their skills in new professional situations.

However, teachers are not putting this idea into practice.

  • The curriculum for the vocation of IT specialist has been designed following a subject area-oriented structure instead of working processes.
  • For this reason, lessons are also structured by traditional subject classification instead of activity-oriented principles.

Objectives of the project:

  • Development of a normative competency structure model for vocation education of IT specialists
  • Development of guidelines on how to develop suitable learning situations
  • Design of exemplary learning situations for different learning fields
  • Development of suggestions for improvement of the curriculum

Approach to Research:

  • Situation analysis: Evaluation of existing material and studies (2010 - 2011) 
  • Empirical study in respect of acceptance of the concept among vocational IT teachers (2011)
  • Interview study among certified company trainers to collect data about duties and tasks in the field of IT specialists (2012 - 2013)
  • Development of a resulting competency structure model, based on the German version (DQR) of the European Qualification Framework (EQF) (2014 - 2015)

Significance for Research and Practice:

The development of a valid competency structure model will be useful for further development of vocational education for IT specialists and didactics of vocational computer science:

  • Basis for further studies in the field of different professions in IT and computer science
  • Basis for revision of curricula
  • Contribution to discussion about development of EQF and DQR
  • Support for teachers to implement suitable learning situations
  • Support for teacher education and advanced teacher training

Team Members

Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Simone Opel

Dipl.-Ing. (FH)

+49 201 18-37244
+49 201 18-36897
Prof. Dr. Torsten Brinda

Prof. Dr.

+49 201 18-37248
+49 201 18-36897