Teaching concept

The most obvious place for lecturers to start is by reflecting on their own teaching. The Teaching Path, a tool developed by the Hamburg Centre for University Teaching and Learning (HUL) (in German), supports lecturers in distinguishing between different levels of teaching design and in finding starting points for didactically reflective change. It is advisable to start with changes that can be implemented within one's own scope of action. In doing so, it is important to bear in mind that any intervention may have an effect on other levels. A useful model to support this reflection is Constructive Alignment, which reflects the relationship between learning objectives, activities and assessment (see also our website "Conceptualising Teaching").

Offers at Leuphana to reflect on the level of teaching are:

Module and curriculum level

This refers to reflection at the structural level, i.e. at the level of modules and programmes. Reflection at this level takes place during the curricular redesign of degree programmes, but is also part of accompanying reflection, as organised, for example, in curriculum workshops. In addition, processes of accreditation and internal examination provide an opportunity to reflect on the interaction of the elements of a study programme in a way that is conducive to learning and purposeful.

Leuphana's Quality Circles are a dialogue-based process for reflecting on study programmes in which those responsible for teaching, lecturers and students jointly focus on the framework conditions and the need for change. Aggregated results of course evaluations (LVE) serve as a basis for this.

Role as a lecturer

Another important aspect of reflection is self-reflection as a lecturer. This includes reflection roles and (didactic) beliefs, one's own teaching philosophy, one's preferred style of interaction and presentation, and the use of methods.

In addition, we recommend self-reflection for the further development of teaching-related competences using the TU Munich Competence Model for University Teaching (in German). It provides a very useful impetus for identifying one's own teaching-related competences and one's own development goals in teaching.

At various stages of personal development, not least when applying for and being appointed to a position, the teaching portfolio proves to be a useful tool for reflecting on and documenting one's teaching activities.

Teaching portfolio

A teaching portfolio serves different purposes and may look different, depending on whether it is designed as a development portfolio for structured reflection or to document one's own teaching. In the English-speaking world, and increasingly in Germany too, the teaching portfolio is used as an instrument to demonstrate pedagogical aptitude in application and selection procedures.

In principle, all teaching activities are presented in a teaching portfolio:

  • Academic career with regard to teaching
  • Teaching philosophy (attitude to teaching and learning, understanding of one's own role and teaching tasks, relationship to subject matter and subject culture)
  • Presentation of teaching practice (different types of teaching, study programmes, bachelor or master level, supervision of theses and dissertations)
  • Development of one's own teaching (e.g. continuing education, peer exchange)
  • Feedback and evaluation (dealing with feedback on teaching)
  • Commitment to teaching (committees, programme development, etc.)
  • Chosen perspectives for teaching (What do I plan? Where do I want to develop? Which questions do I ask myself regarding? teaching?)
  • Appendices (e.g. selected evaluation results, lists of courses, teaching concepts)

The "Philosophy of Teaching" section is probably the most central, as this is where you as a teacher with your fundamental and individual beliefs become visible.

The following reflection questions may be helpful:

  • How do you understand your role as a lecturer?
  • What is your position on the teaching culture of your subject?
  • Where do you establish a link between research and teaching in your teaching?
  • How do you support students' learning / competence acquisition?
  • Can you create a topicality (subject, society)?
  • Are there learning objectives that are particularly important to you (e.g. in relation to a competency framework model)?
  • What framework conditions do you try to create?
  • What is important to you in teaching and in contact with students?

When applying for a job, it is a good idea to take a look at the job advertisements and the teaching profile or didactic focus or special features of the university in question, so that you can compare your profile with that of the university.

Below you will find guidelines and further reading:

  • Szczyrba, B. (2012). Das Lehrportfolio: Entwicklung, Dokumentation und Nachweis von Lehrkompetenz an Hochschulen. Berlin.