Virtual realities for competence development and reflection

A project led by Prof. Dr. P. Kuhl (Faculty of Education), Prof. Dr. D. Loschelder (Faculty of Management and Technology)

Subproject 1 addresses the increasing application of Virtual Reality in the university context and pursues the sustainable implementation and further development of the technology for the entire university. In the future, VR will enable students at Leuphana to immerse themselves in controlled, computer-programmed, interactive environments in a protected setting. Here they can realistically expand their declarative knowledge with elements of procedural knowledge and acquire theory-based practical skills. In addition, the technology brings with it a distinct potential for intensive reflection with fellow students, lecturers and experts.

As an interdisciplinary project, two thematic approaches are pursued with regard to the application of VR. Students will be trained in their applied competencies and skills as teachers and counselors in the school context and in their negotiation skills as applicants in assessment centers. The project also follows two technological development steps. The first step is to test VR technology in combination with 3D360° recordings. The second stage involves the development of realistic and interactive VR training modules using the Unreal Engine or Unity3D. The Oculus Quest 2 is used as the HMD in both development stages. The immersion in the VR environment and the associated increased realism of the experienced situation, e.g. compared to role plays with fellow students or case studies in written form, allows students to gain their own experience in practical use cases and is thus better prepared for real future scenarios, e.g. the preparatory service or the first salary negotiation.

Project team: Dr. Hannes Petrowsky, Yannik Escher, Msc.

Digital reflection on teaching and counselling

A project led by Prof. Dr. M. Kleinknecht (Faculty of Education)

The project is based on an already tested concept in teacher education, in which student teachers can test and collaboratively reflect on their own teaching at the university in a so-called microteaching setting in a protected space. This is currently still done in face-to-face or hybrid formats, i.e., testing and reflection takes place in the seminar room, although students can be connected via video conferencing system for reflection. In addition, we are currently using the e-portfolio software Mahara in the context of our school internships. The concept for the video e-portfolio is based on the approach of structured online-based feedback on "one's own" instructional video (e.g. Kleinknecht & Weber, 2020; Weber et al., 2018). We are guided by findings from expertise research that show that factual and conceptual knowledge are not sufficient to act professionally in teaching and counseling situations. In particular, evidence-based action under pressure requires authentic and structured practice (deliberate practice) in addition to the transfer of expertise knowledge. So far, our offerings, for example in the Digital Didactics Workshop of the Future Center for Teacher Education, still focus too little on such collaborative, online- and video-based practice (e.g., distanced reflection is encouraged with "foreign" multi-view videos, but not trying things out and giving feedback). Leuphana could permanently establish such digital testing and reflection spaces as an additional offering - also as part of the Didaktik-Wertstatt.

Project team: Lucas Jacobsen

Strengthening dialogue and cooperative practices in the e-portfolio

A project led by Prof. Dr. A. Karber (Faculty of Education)

Subproject 3 aims at the further development of the e-portfolio in the courses of teacher education, as well as in university teaching at the University of Leuphana. Here, the digital and collaborative accompaniment of the practical phases will be expanded in order to promote and support the professionalization of future teachers.
In order to support and expand the e-portfolio and reflection in the practical phases of the studies, sub-project 3 ties in with the approaches of portfolio work, topic-centered interaction (TCI) and didactic work with podcasts in terms of content.
In terms of research theory and methodology, subproject 3 is oriented towards the approach of Design Based Research (DBR) in order to empirically secure and evaluate the sustainable implementation of the further development of the e-portfolio.
In a further step, subproject 3 aims to process the findings, insights and experiences of the subproject in such a way that they can also be used for other study programs. This should contribute to a better use and expansion of the e-portfolio in higher education didactics in order to sustainably improve digital higher education teaching.

Project team: Moritz Paesche

Methods Wiki

A project led by Prof. Dr. H. von Wehrden (Fac. Sustainability)

Within the scope of the project, the methods wiki is to be offered as a central platform for the teaching of methods at Leuphana. The first goal of the subproject is to provide introductory information on specific scientific methods as well as further entries regarding methodologies for teachers. Based on the great diversity and innovation of teachers and researchers, the expertise for the different methodological approaches as well as their critical and historical reflection will be used. As a second goal, advanced applications of methods will be established on the basis of specific events, and through this, diverse teaching content that can be used in a modular fashion. By focusing Henrik von Wehrden's working group on the curation of the wiki, a high level of coherence, continuity and integration is ensured. The third goal of the subproject is to establish a peer-review process. The modular principle of the wiki content thus offers a great variety of methods and also a linguistic and epistemological coherence, which elaborates a novel methodology based on design criteria of methods. The fourth goal of the subproject is the evaluation and reintegration of the teaching experience to the wiki content, which is thus investigated with respect to the competence acquisition of the learners and teachers.

Project team Dr. Anna-Lena Rau, Neha Chauhan

E-examinations - didactic, technical and examination law anchoring /

A project led by Prof. Dr. M. Wenzel (Faculty of Economics) and Dr. J. Webersik (Teaching Service)

Digital examination forms and elements offer great potential to make examinations not only more sustainable due to their paperlessness, but also more varied didactically and to expand the portfolio of possible examination formats overall. Moreover, in standardized examination contexts, automated and anonymous evaluations make them a particularly fair and resource-saving alternative to traditional forms of assessment.
Due to the current digitalization push, digitally supported teaching-learning concepts are increasingly being used in teaching. However, in the sense of constructive alignment, such concepts must always be developed in line with the intended competency goals, the achievement of which must in turn be recorded by suitable forms of assessment. Therefore, appropriate options for digitally supported examinations should also be created. However, these are tied to numerous technical and legal prerequisites that must be developed, tested and checked accordingly. In addition, new digital formats such as open-book or 24-hour examinations also require the development of innovative task formats, through which the transfer and application of knowledge is tested instead of knowledge being queried, entirely in the sense of competence orientation. The special arrangements during the Corona pandemic made it possible for Leuphana to gather extensive practical experience with regard to the didactic, technical and (examination) legal requirements, challenges and potentials of e-examinations. In order to enable not only digital examinations but also innovative digital examination services such as e-portfolios, wikis, and self-created multimedia products as well as their integration into examination tasks on a regular basis in the long term, Leuphana already conducted nationwide research on common forms of e-examinations and initial university-wide explorations in 2019, which this project follows up on.


Project team: Rosa Arnold, Linus Krüger

Skills for a Digital Future

A project led by Prof. Dr. S. Abels (Faculty of Sustainability), Dr. Nadine Dablé (Graduate School)

For finding adequate solutions in a rapidly changing, uncertain world, specialized knowledge alone is no longer sufficient. In order to prepare university graduates for new professional fields and complex challenges, they need to acquire a wide range of skills, such as problem solving, creativity and networked thinking. This is where the sub-project "Skills for a digital Future" comes in. With the aim of strengthening students in their individual learning process as well as their personal development, a digital reflection tool is being developed to accompany their studies. Workshops, individual courses, and reflection meetings give students the opportunity to critically examine their own learning experiences and personal developments. The targeted stimulation of self-reflection enables students to consciously perceive their own competence development and to derive appropriate options for action with regard to their further professional and personal careers.

Project team: Gitte Köllner

DATAxtended - Implementation of a concept for expanding data literacy competencies in bachelor's complementary studies

A project led by Prof. Dr. B. Funk (Fak. Wirtschaft) and Prof. Dr. Ch. Wegener (Method Center)

The SP7 from DigiTaL aims to further develop an interdisciplinary format for data literacy education for studying in primarily non-technical and non-scientific courses at the Leuphana University. Its main goal is to motivate students to question and evaluate statements and connections from data in a self-determined, reflective and responsible manner in the age of digital change while focusing on strengthening their data literacy skills.
Building on top of the preparatory work done by DATAx the project will:

  • Expand the data literacy offer in complementary studies for first semester students of all subjects by: 1) Carrying out a survey of the expected data literacy needs of college students in semesters 2-6, 2) developing four modules with the acquisition of lecturers from the all faculties and finally, 3) implementing the courses and permanent anchoring them in the curriculum.
  • Organize and produce modular and target group-oriented online courses to improve data literacy. These virtual courses are to be made available “on-demand” to students of all disciplines, so that they can acquire basic tools for data analysis at any time as required. Together with the investigation and design of attractive learning material and relatable cases with applications in the real-world, the contents will be tailored for the needs of different disciplines (i.e., with real life exampled and data from social sciences, psychology and other  subjects unrelated to the computer sciences)
  • Improve digital teaching and exam support. For the optimal use of the resources needed for the first two items, applications for automated evaluation of academic achievements (esp. autograding of programming exercises and recognition of code plagiarism) and for feedback will be examined and introduced. This encompasses literature review, testing and evaluation of existing tools and the development of a continuous integrational workflow.

With this set goals the SP7 will add to the DigiTaL framework by creating new educational spaces aligned with the data literacy education for the further development of teaching innovations.

Project team: Jonas Scharfenberger, M.Sc.

DI-SZENARIO –Responsible introduction of digital innovations in organisations: A scenario-based approach

A project led by Prof. Dr. Paul Drews and Prof. Dr. Hannah Trittin-Ulbrich (Faculty of Business)

New technologies based on artificial intelligence or blockchain, but also social networks, are among the biggest drivers of innovation in companies. The opportunities arising from corresponding technologies are being used briskly. Many companies are also under pressure to introduce corresponding technologies in order not to miss the boat on the competition. However, digital transformation is also accompanied by risks that need to be identified and minimized in order to act responsibly toward all stakeholders.

The goal of the DI-SZENARIO project is to sensitize students to corresponding risks and the needs of diverse stakeholder groups. For this purpose, we want to provide teachers with a collection of helpful teaching aids. The overall package will include digital games for self-study, interactive role-plays and simulations for group work, and a collection of interesting articles and videos on the respective focus topics. Important technologies that we will deal with are Robotic Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Chatbots, Social Media, and Blockchain applications.

Project team: Dr. Johannes Katsarov

Digital teaching/learning formats for the internationalisation of the Master's and doctoral phase

A project under the direction of Prof. Dr. S. Abels (Faculty of Sustainability), Dr. A. Soltau (Graduate School)

Digitalization has great potential for the internationalization of university teaching. For example, domestic students can realize the integration of international teaching and learning experiences into their individual study paths in a much more barrier-free and sustainable way if digital offerings are available as a supplement. Digital formats at partner universities offer foreign students the opportunity to build up a bond with the university and the local teaching/learning culture in the run-up to a stay abroad and thus optimize subsequent study courses abroad. With regard to internationalization at home and against the background of increasing numbers of international students in many places, digital seminars also make it possible to supplement classroom teaching with a varied English-language offering involving international teachers. Despite this wide range of possibilities, Germany has so far lacked strategic concepts that aim to make digital teaching/learning formats an integral part of the curricula and a meaningful supplement to classroom teaching.

The TP addresses this desideratum and sets itself the following goals: On the one hand, to implement pilot formats, especially for systematic internationalization at home at the Leuphana Graduate School; on the other hand, to evaluate the extent to which the seminars enable (intercultural) competence acquisition for the different student groups. The focus is on seminars at the master's and doctoral level as well as a summer school that addresses both target groups.

Project team: Anna Sundermann

DigiCLIL-Exchange: Integrated teaching of foreign language, intercultural and subject-specific competences

A project led by Prof. Dr. A. Barron, Dr. N. Benitt und Prof. Dr. T. Schmidt (Fak. Bildung)

Study-related stays abroad enrich the educational biography of students on various levels, but for many they represent a major organizational, financial and emotional hurdle. The proportion of those who decide to spend time abroad has been stagnating for several years, and the duration of stays abroad is also tending to shorten. In addition, applied linguistic research shows that the potential of a stay abroad for linguistic development is often not exploited. The reasons for this are little intensive contact in the target language and/or and a lack of openness to other cultures and language practices. Systematic preparation with belgleitender support would be an asset, but rarely occurs. The Covid-19 pandemic demonstrates the benefits of digital teaching/learning experiences; digital exchange formats (e.g., global classrooms and e-tandems) provide opportunities for initiating and facilitating genuine intercultural encounters. In the DigiCLIL project, foreign language and intercultural competencies can be developed in contexts with strong content and themes in which the topics are dealt with in the foreign language as the working language and intercultural learning is specifically reflected and accompanied. The planned international project on blended learning and e-tandem is intended to give Leuphana students, in cooperation with students from partner universities, the opportunity to participate in authentic, mediated discourses from their desks at home.

Project team: Jodie Birdmann, Onur Çiçek

Hylik - Hybrid teaching in an international context

A project led by Prof. Dr. J.-Ph. Terhechte (Fak. Wirtschaft), M. Schloßstein (Professional School)

The Corona pandemic has clearly demonstrated the need for university teaching to be flexible and adaptable to different life situations. In this context, the use of hybrid teaching offers the opportunity to participate virtually in events taking place on campus and to interact with those physically present. This also opens up new possibilities for teaching itself, for example by making it easier to integrate international guests or practice partners.
For an ideal implementation, however, there is still a lack of mature didactic concepts and corresponding training and further education offers for the teachers. It is particularly challenging to make the digitized and analog learning environments equally attractive and interactive in hybrid teaching-learning settings, or to address both learning groups simultaneously and enable collaborative work.

With a view to the needs of students in the Professional School's part-time study programs, the opportunities and possibilities of using hybrid teaching will be explored, especially for the international study programs. In addition, the project investigates how the necessary technical and didactic requirements and concepts for the design of hybrid teaching-learning scenarios can be improved and further developed.
The goal is to develop various didactic scenarios and concepts (e.g., for different learning groups, group sizes, subject content, and competency goals), test them with teaching and student pilot groups, evaluate them, and make them available as a collection of best practices not only for all Leuphana teachers, but also to use them to help shape the ongoing national and international discussion about hybrid teaching-learning scenarios.

Jointly developed training and continuing education programs are planned for the teachers of the Professional School and also for all teachers at Leuphana. In order to be able to implement hybrid courses flexibly in different rooms, the existing basic room equipment is to be supplemented with mobile video conferencing sets and other tools such as smartboards with integrated cameras and meeting-owls and tested in different settings.

Project team: Johann Mai, Ingo Auhagen