University of Bremen: Investing in the digitization of teaching

The University of Bremen was able to acquire funding of 3.6 million euros for the “Student-centered | collaborative | innovative teaching and learning” project. This should give the digitization of teaching a further boost.
Digital formats played a central role for teachers and students in the past months of the corona pandemic. The biggest challenge besides the technical implementation was the lack of opportunities for direct feedback and personal exchange. “Nevertheless, I see a great opportunity in this digitalization surge to combine good classroom formats in teaching with new ideas for digital teaching-learning scenarios,” says Professor Thomas Hoffmeister, Vice President for Teaching and Studies at the University of Bremen.

Digital formats are being integrated into courses
With the SKILL project (“Student-centered | collaborative | innovative teaching and learning”), which is funded by the Foundation for Innovation in University Teaching, digital teaching, learning and examination scenarios are anchored in the curriculum and further developed in the courses. In course-related innovation labs, the methodological and didactic design of teaching, learning and examination processes is developed, taking into account the new possibilities of digitization. The acquisition of technical information and media skills should also be integrated into the course and the methodological portfolio of the students should be expanded accordingly.

The project builds on experiences with digital teaching
The project is embedded in long-term strategic planning; it is intended to lay the foundation for the bundling of support structures for digital teaching. Experiences from the time of the pandemic as well as from earlier projects are included in e-learning. The results of the student survey for the summer semester 2020 are also taken into account. Over 60 percent of those surveyed stated that they would like a stronger link between online and face-to-face teaching in the future. Thomas Hoffmeister: “We see that meaningful hybrid formats that combine the advantages of face-to-face events and e-learning are an essential motor for developing teaching to be more student-centered.” This improves the quality of teaching and contributes to learning success by students to increase.

Foundation for Innovation in University Teaching
In its first call for tenders, “Strengthening university teaching through digitization”, the “Innovation in University Teaching” foundation, newly established by the federal and state governments, awarded funding totaling 330 million euros for teaching projects at universities nationwide. The funded project plans were selected from a total of 264 applications submitted by experts in a scientifically-driven process with the participation of students. The Foundation for Innovation in University Teaching is jointly financed by the federal and state governments. When selecting the projects, innovative strength and transfer options were central criteria. Funding begins on August 1, 2021.

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