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N. Ruettgens, K. Mayrberger

Hamburg Center for University Teaching and Learning (GERMANY)
Well-trained, competent and motivated employees are one of the main factors of a successful enterprise, ensuring its power and competitive ability. Nowadays they are constantly facing new technic, economic and social change. These challenges, with complex relations among one another, have extensive influence on the enterprises. Consequently, continuously growing and changing qualification requirement for employees are resulting. Within this context the employee-orientation as well as on-the-job training are of high importance.

There is an increase of further education activities within German enterprises. It differs depending on the size of the company, whilst intensity is decreasing in companies with less employees. Especially in SME’s (small and medium-sized enterprises) restricted personal, time and financial resources are one of the main reasons for the missing debate of questions on qualifications. Resulting, there are many problem statements which are not easy to manage for SME’s that are mostly non-detachable. This means there is a deficient or not existing work on further education. Furthermore, because of the missing or insufficient qualification, the SME’s are endangering their power and competitive abilities. Summing up there are two types of problems: Scientific-technical problems are resulting from limited personnel resources of SME’s. Economic problems result from limited timely and financial resources of SME’s.

This is where the demonstrator ESSYST (Education Support System) remedies. It is an interdisciplinary Project of the Berlin Institute of Technology and the University of Hamburg. With it SME’s can implement individual, planned and systematic further education on a technical basis. It aims to find individual and perfect fit training for the employees taking the business objective into account. The Berlin Institute of Technology is working on the IT-part of the algorithm, which is called “Education graph”, as well as on the quality management, which focusses on the evaluation of the recommendations of the demonstrator. The University of Hamburg is working on the methodical-didactic part of the algorithm. To describe the characteristics of the future learner, operator’s attributes are required, which will be requested by ESSYST. Possible recommendations will be provided via corresponding content attributes. The operator attributes refer, amongst others, to the vocational education the employee has completed as well as to the job the employee is actually working in. This position-fixing is important to find out where the staff is set professionally. Within these attributes there is also a questionnaire to find out, which learning style the employee has. For this purpose, the learning style inventory by Kolb was used. After the operator has completed the questions, including the ones of the LSI (learning style inventory) there will be recommendations for learning formats, learning methods and media matching the learning style. This modular system is advantageous, because it shows recommendations from the medium, over the methods to a whole format, if it suits the learners needs. Equipped with this knowledge it is much easier to find the right training in the highly non-transparent free training market.