Multidisciplinary digital competencies of pre-service vocational teachers

New open access article focussing on multidisciplinary digital competencies required for future vocational teachers.

Roll, M., & Ifenthaler, D. (2021). Multidisciplinary digital competencies of pre-service vocational teachers. Empirical Research in Vocational Education and Training, 13(7), 1–25.

Developments of Industry 4.0 require a set of multidisciplinary digital competencies for future vocational teachers, consisting of specific knowledge, motivational aspects, cognitive abilities and skills to fulfill the demands of digitally interconnected work situations. The competence model that is adapted from future work scenarios of vocational apprentices in Industry 4.0 includes attitudes towards digitization and handling of digital devices, information literacy, application of digital security standards, virtual collaboration, digital problem solving as well as a demonstration of reflective judgment of one’s actions in an interconnected and digital environment. Structural equation modeling was used to assess N = 205 pre-service vocational teachers between 18 and 35 years of age. The findings indicate the relationship of the proposed dimensions, measured through external- and self-assessments validate the proposed structure of the multidisciplinary digital competencies. However, attitude towards digitization can predict the self-efficacy of the relevant Multidisciplinary Digital Competencies but not the actual achievement in an external assessed scenario. Nevertheless, this study confirms that self-assessed multidisciplinary digital competencies can predict achievement in an external and qualitative-assessed competence test. Fit indices show an acceptable model conception, the reliability and construct validity of the model were confirmed. Findings suggest that the attitude towards digitization and the application of digital security standards are important, whereas the ability to solve digital problems seems to have a weak relation to the general multidisciplinary digital competencies of pre-service vocational teachers.