Research Topics


Recipient and domain specificity in promoting basic competencies in the vocational field of structural engineering

There is no question that basic competencies, especially mathematical and language skills, are also important in vocational education. However, a systematic consideration of vocational operating contexts seems to be especially significant for the effectiveness of appropriate support measures. The necessary systematic analysis of the professional training reality was conducted in a corresponding pilot study in the vocational field of structural engineering. These results will be incorporated into a recipient- and domain-specific concept for the promotion of reading skills and evaluated in an intervention study. From this at least implicit focus on the promotion of functional reading skills, desiderata result for further research, for example the question about possibilities of strategy training for an integrated understanding of images and diagrams.

Digitization and consequences for professional training and development in the vocational field of structural engineering

We are also seeing a change with respect to skilled labor in the vocational fields of structural engineering and wood technology due to the increasing informatization in the building and finishing trades, especially the shift in professional work processes as a result of the use of digital planning and production technologies. In this connection, we are exploring from a didactic-methodological perspective current developments in structural engineering work processes, especially aspects such as building information modeling and other digitization processes in the context of 4.0 planning/construction. In an initial concrete project in the area of computational engineering, form finding methods based on concepts of fracture mechanics are being investigated. Also to be investigated are parametric planning technologies of complex building geometries and the effectiveness of augmented reality under actual construction site conditions.

Heterogeneity – domain-specific concretization of a complex phenomenon in the vocational field of structural engineering as the basis for an inclusive technical didactics

The term heterogeneity is used as a buzzword in the context of vocational education, especially for describing the learning prerequisites of trainees and vocational students. This often involves paradigms for the design of teaching/learning processes (for example, inclusion, individual support). However, the theoretical construct is already proving to be quite complex (for example, Helmke 2015) and is reflected in the equally diverse empirical findings in vocational education. For the vocational field of structural engineering dealt with here, existing studies mainly investigate cognitive learning requirements (for language development needs, see Grotlüschen/Riekmann 2012) and their promotion (see also Norwig/Petsch/Nikolaus 2010; Rexing/Keimes/Ziegler 2015). Another cross-occupational focus has to do with aspects of cultural diversity (for example, Kimmelmann 2009). For inclusion, there appears to be a similar lack of conceptual clarity. The article attempts to contribute to a conceptual clarification by seeking a differentiated concretization of heterogeneity to the greatest extent possible and elucidating a workable domain-specific understanding of inclusion for the vocational field of structural engineering on a theoretical and empirical level. This is done by means of a systematic literature review (for example, Rowley/Slack 2004). The focus is on publications that examine heterogeneity from an empirical perspective in the context of vocational education, especially for the vocational field of structural engineering. The aim is to have a basis from which to describe domain-specific challenges for the design of teaching/learning processes and identify desiderata for further research in the context of an inclusive technical didactics (for example, KMK/HRK 2015).

Digitization in building industry

Coming soon.