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05/27/2021 | News

Mil­li­ons in fun­ding for di­gi­tiza­t­i­on of teaching

A boost for the digitization of teaching at the Kassel University: Through the Foundation for Innovation in University Teaching, the German federal and state governments are providing nearly 3.7 million euros in support for projects that promote intelligent interaction between face-to-face and online teaching in the wake of the pandemic. These include, for example, a virtual construction site for the study of civil engineering, podcasts for teacher training or digital exhibition formats in artistic teaching.

Image: Sonja Rode.

"We want to use the boost that digitization has received in the Corona pandemic to develop and implement concepts that will cleverly supplement classroom teaching with digital offerings in the future," commented Prof. Dr. René Matzdorf, Vice President for Studies and Teaching. "At the same time, this will help us provide differentiated support for students with different educational backgrounds and prepare our future graduates for a changing world of work."

With around 2.9 million euros, the individual project "Kassel University digital: redesigning university teaching" will fund a number of sub-projects that will test and use new technologies and digital tools, support the interlinking of face-to-face and distance teaching, or generally improve the infrastructure for students. For example:

  • a virtual construction site of a single-family house will be available for exercises by students from various engineering disciplines
  • digital exhibition and portfolio formats as mediation fields in art and design teaching will permanently complement the presence-oriented teaching practice
  • podcasts in teacher education to dispel 'myths of educational research' and contribute to evidence-based practice in the teaching profession
  • Supplement the 'General Chemistry' lecture with self-learning formats that use virtual reality to bring chemistry to life
  • a prototype for standardized mobile digital student workstations (virtual desktops) will be created.

Another important concern is the reduction of barriers in the area of digital teaching. Coordinated by the Service Center Teaching of the Kassel University, the above-mentioned and twelve other sub-projects are intended to further develop current impulses of virtual teaching and make them usable for future digitally enriched teaching even after the pandemic.

In addition, the joint project "Teaching-learning networks in mathematics courses" has a special position: The Kassel University is cooperating here with the University of Paderborn as part of the joint competence center for university didactics in mathematics. Elements of digital teaching in mathematics such as explanatory videos, digital tasks or digital scripts are to be embedded in coherent didactic concepts for the courses of study in mathematics, mathematics teaching, engineering and economics. The total funding amount here is 1.51 million euros; Kassel accounts for 765,000 euros.

The Innovation in University Teaching Foundation, established in 2020, aims to enable innovation in teaching and learning at universities and to strengthen the renewal capacity of university teaching overall and on an ongoing basis. It is a trust foundation under the sponsorship of the non-profit Toepfer Stiftung gGmbH. All funding for support, program, organization and administration is provided by the federal and state governments. A total of 264 applications were submitted as part of the "Strengthening university teaching through digitization" call, including 216 individual and 48 collaborative applications. Among them, the project selection committee rated 139 project proposals as worthy of funding, including 115 individual and 24 collaborative applications.