Developing Digital Competences of Vocational School Teachers in Commerce (DigiCompToTeach)

IWP - University of St. Gallen

Lead researcher: Prof. Dr. Sabine Seufert

Duration: 01.01.2016 – 31.01.2018

Digital media and eLearning have until now only played a minor role in vocational schools despite the ongoing digitalization and the need to adapt to these changes. Indeed, digital competences are now basic requirements of trainees and employees during and at the latest after their training. This underlines the importance of media education which wants to enable learning in schools with and through media and to contribute to constructivist-oriented learning – in particular through their integration in the curriculum and the development of technical and interdisciplinary skills. In this perspective and as common teaching practices are seen as a central barrier to innovation, this project addresses the challenge to develop new and necessary digital competences of vocational school teachers in the commercial domain through the conceptualization and design of suitable education training measures for teachers. This requires a systematic approach to professional development of teachers at vocational schools.

Therefore, the empirical validation of the competence model will be based on a systematic pilot study with a sample of about three hundred teachers from at least four different pilot schools. The conceptualization and design of suitable training measures for teachers on media-based education requires a concrete discussion and formulation of the requisite competences. The results of the pilot study will provide the baseline evaluation as a comparison and planning base for monitoring and evaluating planned interventions for a possible next phase.

In conclusion, this research aims to help individuals, through media education, to use media knowledgeably, responsibly (both towards self and others) as well as critically, whether in a general or professional context. In a broader perspective, digital media perform a bridging function through their direct relevance to the students’ lifestyles and serve “as a cultural resource enabling them to participate and become involved in social processes [...] and develop personal world views and their identity” (Mayrberger, 2012, p. 401).