Department Prof. Dr. Howe

Basically, the department's research and development activities are located in three areas: 1. vocational science studies (e.g. work process analyses) to identify the skills, knowledge and competences of skilled workers; 2. planning, implementation and evaluation of work process-oriented, competency-promoting educational processes (learning and work tasks); 3. development and use of digital media and online tools (rapid e-learning).
Head of department
Prof. Dr. Falk Howe
Vice head of department
Michael Sander
Brigitte Schweckendieck


The areas of application of the research and development work of the department are electrical engineering, information technology and building services engineering. Special emphasis is placed on sustainable energy systems and energy efficiency. The basis for this are research results from occupational science to identify competencies in work processes, didactic approaches to tap the educational and qualification potentials of work and technology as well as findings on the user-oriented development and use of innovative media.


The occupational science-based concept of Kompetenzwerkst@tt is the guiding principle for the department "Work-Oriented Education Processes". It offers teachers and trainers in the industrial-technical field professional-educational founded impulses and instruments for the organization of work process-oriented, software-supported learning and teaching.

Kompetenzwerkst@tt has proven itself in various projects. It can be modified and can be used in industrial-technical vocational training and work-oriented general education. Fields of application are offered in vocational orientation, in vocational preparation, in initial education, in-company and inter-company training as well as in further education and training.


Qualification Research in Vocational Sciences

The results of professional qualification research form the basis for further development of research work in the department. The most important instruments are sector analyses, case studies, expert workshops and work process analyses. With the help of the knowledge gained, training courses can be planned, curricula developed, educational and qualification processes designed and media conceived.

Didactical Research

The department's didactic research deals with questions of the design and effectiveness of educational and qualification processes that promote learning. The aim of vocational education and training is to promote comprehensive vocational competence; learners should be enabled to participate in shaping the world of work and society in a socially and ecologically responsible manner. With this claim, work-oriented education clearly goes beyond qualification in the sense of coping with work processes.

Media Development / (Rapid) E-Learning

The design of learning environments is particularly important for work-oriented learning. Digital media play a key role in the research work of the department. They can be used to visualize work processes, structure complex topics, illustrate inaccessible facts, authentically illustrate tasks, etc. The development focus is oriented towards the idea of rapid e-learning: The learning software designed according to this approach provides that users can easily create new content and adapt existing content even without special media technology know-how and without special technical equipment.

Members of the department


  • AI4Ed – AI strategy in educational processes
    Life span 01. December 2022 to 30. November 2024
    Vivian Harberts , Prof. Dr. Falk Howe , Peter Kaune , Daniel Weerts
    AI4Ed aims to challenge current teaching-learning processes and will incorporate and experiment with novel technologies (AI) and pedagogy to develop tools, methods and assessment systems that respond to the new reality.
  • BIBB Learning Paths – Designing in-company training
    Life span 01. June 2022 to 31. May 2025
    Prof. Dr. Falk Howe , Melanie Schall
    The project aims to provide trainers with sustainable support in their vocational action competence as training experts. The result is "learning paths" oriented to the needs of the target group, which enable trainers - also individually tailored - to orient their training planning and processes to the current requirements of their respective sector. The conceptual basis of the CVET offer is the long-established vocational science concept of the Kompetenzwerkstatt (
  • Orienta4VET – VET: an attractive and viable pathway. Innovating in VET through guidance processes and exploring flexible and diversified opportunities in VET
    Life span 28. February 2022 to 28. February 2025
    Vivian Harberts , Prof. Dr. Falk Howe , Dr. Klaus Ruth , Dr. Andreas Saniter
    The second phase of learning, after completing lower secondary education, is essential both for continuing education and/or vocational education and training (VET) in order to enter the labour market (OECD, 2020). According to OECD, vocational education and training is a successful path for entering the labour market and countries with better developed and consolidated vocational training programs are more effective in containing youth unemployment.
  • tekom_LandBauMT – Technical communication in learning and working processes of agricultural and construction machinery mechatronics technicians in the context of Industry 4.0
    Life span 01. November 2020 to 30. June 2023
    Vivian Harberts , Prof. Dr. Falk Howe , Nils Petermann , Prof. Dr.-Ing. Maren Petersen , Michael Sander
    Progressive digitalisation and networking in industry and craft sector are increasingly changing requirements and activities in the occupation of agricultural and construction machinery mechatronics technician. This includes increased use of diagnostic, analysis and design software in agricultural and construction machinery technology, advancing use of high-voltage technology, increasing system networking as well as augmented/virtual and mixed reality technologies. However, inter-company training programmes for trainees in agricultural and construction machinery mechatronics do not take this digital change into account to a sufficient extent yet. The project "tekom_LandBauMT" addresses these challenges by modernising inter-company training measures for agricultural and construction machinery mechatronics technicians.
  • Designing a digitally supported, work process and competence-oriented training concept in insulation training at KAEFER
    Life span 15. September 2020 to 30. September 2023
    Vivian Harberts , Prof. Dr. Falk Howe , Alexander Seedorf , Dr. Christian Staden
    Together with KAEFER Isoliertechnik GmbH & Co. KG, the ITB is carrying out a project in which a digitally supported, work process-oriented and competence-promoting training concept is being developed and implemented in training practice for the professions of "industrial skilled worker" and "industrial insulator".
  • DIA-CVET – Developing Innovative and Attractive CVET programmes in industrial shoe production
    Life span 01. September 2020 to 31. August 2023
    Prof. Dr. Falk Howe , Iris Klein , Dr. Klaus Ruth , Dr. Andreas Saniter
    In many countries like Romania (RO) and Portugal (PT) Vocational Education and Training (VET) is considered as second choice; as an educational pathway for those who failed in reaching Higher Education (HE). One of the main reasons of this rather poor image of VET is that it often must be considered as a “dead-end” educational pathway; once you started a “blue collar” job; no or only few options of career opportunities in terms of Continuous Vocational Education and Training (CVET) exist. Thus, more challenging occupations like working for the Quality Assurance (QA), Design or Production Planning departments are reserved for colleagues with an educational background from HE. But even in countries with established CVET-programmes like Germany (DE), where the qualifications of an industrial or handicraft foreman or technician are country-wide acknowledged and have a very good image, the academic drift is obvious. For our sector (industrial shoe production) a worrying indicator is: In the last two years, when the only industrial foreman course for this occupation was offered, not enough participants (countrywide only six needed) applied – and the courses had to be withdrawn.
  • IMMO-TEC - Development of action-oriented and competence-based teaching/learning arrangements for the vocational training of real estate agents in the field of climate and energy efficiency
    Life span 01. June 2020 to 31. December 2021
    Prof. Dr. Falk Howe , Michael Sander
    The project "IMMO-TEC: Development of action-oriented and competence-based teaching/learning arrangements for vocational training of real estate agents in the field of climate and energy efficiency" is to be assigned to the strategic future field “space” - project family: "climate-friendly construction". In relation to the region of the Rhenish mining area new requirement profiles for construction industry and thus also for real estate industry will be necessary in everyday professional life and associated action-oriented competencies of employees.
  • SteBs – Structural development in vocational teacher training
    Life span 01. March 2020 to 31. December 2023
    Dr. Claudia Fenzl , Prof. Dr. Alisha M. B. Heinemann , Prof. Dr. Falk Howe , Lisa Meyne , Myrthe Reinsberg , Michael Sander , Dr. Andreas Saniter , Saman A. Sarabi , Nils Weinowski
    The SteBs project pursues the overarching aim of structurally strengthening and further expanding vocational teacher training in Bremen and thus contributing to the Bremen vocational training dialogue. On the basis of a cross-phase and cross-subject cooperation between the actors involved in vocational teacher training, concepts for the promotion of professional competence in line with the didactical paradigm of a complete action of teachers are developed and tested.
  • Wissenschaftliche Begleitung und mediendidaktische Konzeption für die Entwicklung eines E-Portfolios für die Berufsorientierung – Berufswahlpass 4.0
    Life span 01. January 2020 to 31. December 2021
    Prof. Dr. Falk Howe , Melanie Schall , Dr. Christian Staden
    Das Entwicklungsprojekt Berufswahlpass 4.0 (BWP 4.0) hat zum Ziel, ein bundesweit und schulformübergreifend eingesetztes E-Portfolio zur Unterstützung des selbstgesteuerten Lernens im Rahmen der Beruflichen Orientierung von Schülerinnen und Schülern (SuS) zu entwickeln und zu erproben.
  • DT4VET – Design Thinking Tools for Educators
    Life span 01. November 2019 to 31. October 2022
    Vivian Harberts , Prof. Dr. Falk Howe , Peter Kaune , Iris Klein , Dr. Andreas Saniter
    The "reflective practitioner" has been regarded as an ideal image of a skilled worker in vocational education and training for years - but this concept has rarely been transferred to the field of teachers for vocational education and training (VET). The ERASMUS+ project DT4VET regards DESIGN THINKING (DT) as a key method for triggering reflective practices among VET teachers. DT has the potential to foster transversal skills in particular, such as thinking creatively and critically, taking initiative or working collaboratively. Seven partners from four countries (Turkey, Finland, Italy and Germany) are developing, testing and evaluating a training seminar for vocational school teachers on Design Thinking.
  • StepUP – Supporting Tutor’s Educational and Professional Upgrade
    Life span 01. October 2019 to 30. September 2022
    Vivian Harberts , Prof. Dr. Falk Howe , Iris Klein , Dr. Andreas Saniter
    Work-process-oriented learning plays a fundamental role in successful vocational training: it enables trainees to learn the skills and competences needed in real-world workplaces. In addition to trainees, the key players here are skilled workers accompanying training, who are also referred to as mentors, tutors or training officers, depending on the context and sector. In contrast to teachers and full-time or part-time trainers, however, these mentors have no or only marginal pedagogical qualifications. This is where the ERASMUS+ STEP UP project comes in: Based on examples of good practice from the four participating countries Germany, Italy (IT), Lithuania (LT) and Spain (ES), further training units are developed, implemented and evaluated which further develop the teaching competences of the mentors, particularly in the context of new technologies.
  • ProSoKom – Professionalisierung der betrieblichen Ausbildung unter Einsatz digitaler Medien im Kfz-Handwerk zur Förderung sozialer Kompetenzen bei Auszubildenden
    Life span 01. April 2019 to 31. March 2020
    Prof. Dr. Falk Howe , Dr. Klaus Ruth
    Das Projekt ProSoKom zielt darauf ab, Sozialkompetenzen von Auszubildenden des Kfz-Handwerks und von Jugendlichen im Übergangssystem zu fördern, indem aktuelle Problemlagen im Bereich der Sozialkompetenzen aufgegriffen werden und als Grundlage für die Entwicklung und Implementierung eines arbeitsprozessorientierten Konzeptes zur Kompetenzentwicklung zu nutzen, das auch in geeigneter Form und angemessenem Umfang digitale Medien einsetzt. Die Maßnahmen zur Förderung der Sozialkompetenzen beziehen insbesondere die Zielgruppe der Geflüchteten und Jugendlichen mit Migrationshintergrund ein.
  • KofeBS II – Feststellung der Kompetenzen von An- und Ungelernten an berufsbildenden Schulen zur Vorbereitung auf eine Externenprüfung
    Life span 01. January 2019 to 31. December 2020
    Vivian Harberts , Prof. Dr. Falk Howe , Iris Klein
    Im KofeBS-Nachfolgeprojekt wird die Kompetenzfeststellung von an- und ungelernten SGB II- und SGB III-Leistungsempfängern sowie Beschäftigten ohne Berufsabschluss auf weitere Ausbildungsberufe ausgeweitet und evaluiert. Des Weiteren wird geprüft, ob sich Kompetenzfeststellungen und Weiterbildungsmaßnahmen nachhaltig an berufsbildenden Schulen implementieren lassen. Das Projekt wird vom Europäischen Sozialfonds (ESF) gefördert und unter dem Dach des Landesprogramms „Weiter mit Bildung und Beratung“ der Senatorin für Wirtschaft, Arbeit und Europa durchgeführt.
  • O4YEL – Supporting Educational and Social Inclusion of Early School Leavers and Youth at Risc of Early Leaving through Mechanisms of Orientation and Tutorial Action
    Life span 01. January 2019 to 31. December 2021
    Prof. Dr. Falk Howe , Dr. Klaus Ruth
    The O4YEL project aims at developing, implementing and evaluating innovative strategies and practices to orient and guide young people at risk of leaving the formal (general and vocational) education system before completion, i.e. without leaving certificates. In particular, tutorial measures are developed and implemented which are capable of promoting the inclusive education of young people and contributing to the prevention of dropping out of school and/or training. Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, British and German partners are working together in the project consortium.
  • Pro-VET – Enhancing the Professional Development of Vocational Education Teachers in Russia and Serbia with European Practices
    Life span 15. November 2018 to 14. November 2022
    Vivian Harberts , Prof. Dr. Falk Howe , Dr. Andreas Saniter
    A major reason for the different quality and appreciation of vocational education and training in the countries of Europe and beyond lies in the teachers. Selection, training and further education as well as the working conditions of vocational school teachers differ considerably. PRO-VET project focuses on the development of respective uniform teacher training objectives in Serbia and Russia and online-supported materials to achieve them. The methodological approach is "policy learning", i.e. the aim cannot be to export European solutions (which do not exist in this form anyway), but to further develop the existing teacher training systems in Serbia and Russia with reference to examples of good practice in selected EU countries.