Teaching and learning in the age of digital transformation

Inclusive German teaching is another area in which there are too few suitable teaching materials available. Over the course of several semesters, Dr. Eva Lipkowski and Dr. Liane Schüller developed a teaching concept for teacher training students that connects literature and language didactics with linguistic content. The project “Inclusive German teaching and e-learning” is working on systematising and extending materials taken from teaching sessions (literature lists, worksheets, scripts, reviews). Adapted for e-learning, they are intended to inspire new teaching and learning formats and also make it easier for students with learning differences to take part in seminars. The project makes use of various means of digital collaboration (UDE 2018 Diversity Teaching Award, funding: ZQE Zentrum für Hochschul-und Qualitätsentwicklung/Centre for Higher Education Quality Development at the UDE).

FöBesS is a project that centres on constructive assessment of written coursework as a means of helping students improve their writing skills (headed by: Dr. Ulrike Behrens, German Studies; Dr. Ulrike Pospiech, Writing Workshop). The project is working on development, practical evaluation and implementation of an interdisciplinary assessment matrix to help generate systematic and transparent feedback on written coursework or examinations. In the first stage of the project, it initiates, monitors and evaluates communication about typical examination forms, tasks and performance requirements. The second stage will then involve transforming an evaluated version of the matrix into an online tool for teachers (ProViel project: “Professionalisation through diversity” at the UDE).

Another research group working under ProViel is DidL (Digitalisation in teacher training). In the project, an interdisciplinary and subject-specific skills matrix is being developed that formulates the knowledge and skills teacher training students should possess in digitalisation by the end of the first stage of their education. The ability to use digital media in a constructive and considered way in teaching and learning and to pass on appropriate skills to school students is an important component of teacher professionalisation in a society in which digitalisation plays such a significant role (in cooperation with Computer Science Didactics, Educational Sciences, and the ZLB; participating members of our Faculty are Prof. Michael Beißwenger, German Studies; Prof. Inga Gryl, Geography/ISU).

Several more projects on the subject of e-learning are in progress in Prof. Beißwenger’s research group. They include a simulation game to promote orthographic skills, called “Ortho and Graf”. Inspired by game-based learning concepts and developed for use in teacher training seminars and German teaching, it is a blended-learning unit in which learners take on different “investigative” roles and decipher difficult spellings, give reasons for their decisions based on the rules and document their results in “files” that are then assessed by their fellow players. The concept has so far been tested in five university seminars and a school project. The game set-up will be freely available for teachers to download with an instruction book. “Ortho and Graf” is part of the Wiki2TEach project (funded by the UDE’s e-learning support programme). Here, in collaboration with the Centre for Information and Media Services (ZIM), best practice examples and media-didactic showrooms for using wikis in higher education didactics and teaching German were developed and tested in teaching sessions. Other main research interests include interactive learning modules (LearningApps and H5P) and developing innovative functions for MediaWiki and the Moodle learning platform that make it possible to discuss, annotate and comment collaboratively on digital text (“text lab”). This work is part of an “Innovations in digital higher education teaching” digital fellowship in cooperation with the UDE’s ZIM. The new functions are being tested in inverted-classroom and peer-feedback scenarios in German Studies classes; the didactic concepts and materials developed for the purpose are being documented and made available so that they can also be adapted for other teachers to use. The additional functions that have been developed will be stored on the corresponding UDE servers and may be used by all teachers and learners after the project comes to a close (funding: Stifterverband and MKW).

Multimodal skills among upper and lower secondary school students in software-assisted presentation is the subject of a project on “How to present”. Its main aim is to develop a multi-stage model and clarify relevant performance requirements. To do this, the researchers are collecting and evaluating a comprehensive corpus of videographed presentations by school students. The results will be developed for training and teaching practice and in teacher education, and recommendations will be made for publication of teaching materials for specific year grades and types of school (Dr. Ulrike Behrens; Prof. Olaf Gätje/Felix Woitkowski, University of Kassel; Prof. Elke Grundler, PH Weingarten, Prof. Michael Krelle, TU Chemnitz, Dr. Sebastian Weirich, IQB Berlin).