The future of testing in the crafts sector is digital!

October 2022 | Other

Bild: ©ZWH_Jegen

The introduction of digitally supported examinations in the crafts sector has already been offering many advantages in individual skilled crafts organizations for several years. The change from paper-based to digitally supported examinations is taking place gradually. In addition, the Corona pandemic has given a boost to digitization in everyday teaching and working life, and thus also in the examination system. Since November 2020, the ProNet Handwerk team has been working on how the examination process in the crafts sector can be streamlined and simplified nationwide with the help of digitally supported examinations. The goal is to establish examination software that is precisely tailored to the requirements of the crafts sector.

Requirements and needs of the examination system in the craft sector

With the help of workshops, telephone interviews, surveys and observation of examinations, the ProNet team, together with UCAN, has recorded the requirements and needs that examinations in the craft sector. Those responsible for examinations want a stable examination system with an intuitive user interface that enables additional interfaces to the existing administration software. In addition, the use of mobile devices such as tablets in examinations should be possible. Through the current testing of the examination software, further requirements as well as obstacles in the digital examination process are being worked out and will flow into the further development of the software.

Further development of UCAN-tools for the craft sector

Examinations in the craft sector are similarly complex to those in medicine – both in terms of content and with regard to examination processes that occur before and after an examination for examiners and administrative staff. In the ProNet Handwerk project, selected UCAN tools are being further developed and adapted to meet the requirements of the skilled trades. tEXAM and tOSCE are the first two UCAN tools currently being tested within the project in the Düsseldorf and Dortmund. Both tools are used on tablets. While tEXAM allows examinees to complete an exam on a tablet, tOSCE enables examiners to directly evaluate and document exams digitally.

Feedback on the examination software

Here’s what examinees have to say about the exam software:

“The exam was very clear and straightforward. I found it to be very pleasant.”

” Good instructions, easy to use and easy to see which exam items have been completed or are still unfinished. “

” My answers are easier to correct than on paper. No need to cross anything out, just erase and restate the answer. “

This is what the cooperation partners say about the testing of the examination software:

“Preparing the exam questions for testing a UCAN exam in our company on 08.06.2022 was a valuable experience for me. I am convinced that digital examinations at the Chambers of Crafts will gain in importance in the future. On the one hand, we have experienced an enormous digitization push in the last two years, which has increased the media competence of all those involved, and on the other hand, digitization will reduce the assessment effort for exams, especially for highly frequented degrees such as Geprüfter Fachmann/Geprüfte Fachfrau (HwO).

It was very exciting for me to see how the participants cope with the digital types of tasks. The examination software on the tablets is already designed to be very user-friendly, but the participants were also able to communicate their wishes and make helpful suggestions for the further development of the software. An important finding for exam preparation was to use the software already in the course for learning level checks so that the participants can familiarize themselves with the technology.

For the task creators, it is a challenge to map the examination tasks in the technically possible task types. The feedback from the participants and the evaluation of the examination results were also essential in this sense for the evaluation of our UCAN examination.

In my opinion, the successful exchange with the ZWH and the software developers should definitely be continued. I will be happy to accompany this process. “

Ursula Lamprecht
HWK Dortmund, Lecturer