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Promoting Digital Change in Teaching

The University of Bremen is in the middle of a digital transformation and will now receive strategic support for teaching from renowned, external experts. The university was able to win said support from the Higher Education Forum for Digitalization (Hochschulforum Digitalisierung).

“We view the further development of digital teaching as a chance to enhance out strengths, our degree programs and our profile”, explained Professor Thomas Hoffmeister, Vice President for Academic Affairs. So-called “research-based learning” is to be systematically expanded with digital scenarios. This teaching concept at the University of Bremen stands for, amongst other things, a student-centered teaching-learning culture, active learning and the practicing of a critical, methodical approach.

Better Support for Teaching Staff

Particularly sought-after is the external expertise of the Further Education Forum for Digitalization in terms of the question of how new and existing digital formats can be grouped and widely embedded in the degree programs and how the teaching staff can receive better supported. Experienced experts from other further education institutes, foundations or from the industry, thus peers, will visit the University of Bremen in a structured process. Teaching staff and students from the University of Bremen will also be included in the individual consultation process and be invited to talks and workshops on site. It is intended that the peer-to-peer consultation be completed by fall 2020.

The university executive board is convinced that the enrichment of classroom teaching with digital elements is the right way for innovation in teaching. “Corresponding teaching and learning situations should no longer only be available in the lectures or seminars of individual teaching staff but be used in an expedient manner across a degree program”, according to the Vice president for Academic Affairs. “That is our ambitious aim”.

Digitalization Makes Flexible Studying and Learning Paths Possible

Students from varying educational backgrounds come to the university and their prior knowledge, motivation to study and life situations are varied, explained Hoffmeister. “We want to take these situations into consideration.” Digitalization makes it possible to offer flexible study and adapted learning paths and also allows for the promotion of cooperation between teaching staff and students on site and internationally.

University of Bremen: Exemplary in Germany

The University of Bremen is already equipped with multifaceted competences in the digitalization of studies and teaching, which have been pooled in the Center for Multimedia in Teaching (Zentrum für Multimedia in der Lehre– ZMML) since 2000. With its test center for e-assessments, e-exams and software assessments, the University of Bremen has become exemplary in Germany. Over 9,000 examinations from 120 lectures/seminars from all faculties were taken in an electronic manner in the summer semester 2018. Furthermore, the university has recently been investing in modern group-learning rooms. The ZMML currently offers around 20 multimedia learning islands in six buildings. The wide acceptance of this offer is proven by more than 10,000 bookings per semester and user surveys.

The strategical consultation by the Higher Education Forum for Digitalization is entering into its third and last round this year. A jury chose the University of Bremen from a total of six higher education institutes. One important criteria was the ability to present convincing prior work in the areas of innovative, digitally supported teaching and learning scenarios and also that the consultation results would be fed into the internal university development of strategies and application measures in a long term manner.

Coordinated by the Stifterverband and Centre for Higher Education

In the first three rounds of the program since 2017, 99 higher education institutes have competed for a participating place. The chosen institutes are accompanied for a year by the Stifterverband (Association of Sponsors), the CHE Centre for Higher Education and also experts from the Higher Education Forum for Digitalization during the strategic analysis of digitalization in studies and in teaching. Alongside the strategic support, they also profit from networking internally and externally with other higher education institutes during workshops and conferences.

Further information:

https://hochschulforumdigitalisierung.de/ (in German only)

www.uni-bremen.de/en/

Contact:

Prof. Dr. Thomas Hoffmeister
Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-60031
Email: kon2protect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

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The development of digital teaching is a chance to enhance the university’s degree programs and profile