DATA DRIVEN x, DATAx for short, refers to the concept of Leuphana University of Lueneburg to develop a new interdisciplinary format of data literacy education for studies in primarily non-technical and non-scientific courses. It aims to enable students to question and evaluate statements and contexts from data in a self-determined, reflective and responsible manner in the age of digital change, thus transferring the ideas of the Enlightenment to the present day.

The "x" in the program's name stands for the common prefix of the four English terms "exploration", "expertise", "experience" and "excitement." These four terms represent the guiding ideas of DATAx: In the course of research-based learning, students will independently analyze data and discover connections (x-ploration). In doing so, students will learn by gaining practical experience themselves and at the same time benefit from the experience of the lecturers and the practice partners (x-perience). In this way, students can apply their data science knowledge as change agents in business, politics and society (x-pertise). Finally, best-practice lectures and hands-on training generate enthusiasm for data and thus increase intrinsic motivation for lifelong learning in this field (x-citement).

The main content areas of DATAx in the Leuphana Semester are programming, data analysis, the legal and ethical frameworks as well as the creative design and visualization of data. The requested funding is intended to provide a central impulse for the systematic and sustainable expansion of the existing study model to include this important key competence over the next three years.

Leuphana sees its study model with the so-called Leuphana Semester, in which 1,800 first-semester students from all disciplines learn together, as an opportunity to develop DATAx. A combination of classroom and digital formats will be used to teach DATAx. Through online self-study, the 1,800 students will acquire basic knowledge in mathematics, statistics and programming. In addition, existing courses such as lectures and seminars in the area of methods training will be adapted to the content of data literacy education and opened up to all bachelor students. For a more in-depth application, students will independently implement practical projects of data analysis and visualization in groups in an "Open Data Hacking Space" with real data from practical and cooperation partners and publish the results. All of this serves the overarching goal of anchoring DATAx as a new teaching offer for an enlightened and critical-reflexive approach to data at Leuphana across disciplines and faculties in the long term and thus realizing a best-practice example for other medium-sized universities.

Reports on the project:

DATAx – „Die mystische Wolke ums Programmieren aufzulösen“ (only avaialable in German)

Digitale (Inter-)disziplinarität - „Data Literacy für Alle“ an der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg (only available in German)

DATAx is supported by the funding program "Data Literacy Ecucation" of the Heinz Nixdorf Stiftung and the Stifterverband within the Initiative Future Skills framework. Click here for more information (only available in German).

Institution:Leuphana College

Contact Persons: Prof. Dr. Burkhard Funk, Dr. Steffi Hobuß

Start of the Project: October 2018
End of the Project: October 2021

With the "Data Literacy Education" funding program, the Heinz Nixdorf Stiftung and the Stifterverband would like to contribute to establishing the acquisition of data literacy for students of all subjects at German universities. The funded teaching and learning concepts address at least one stage of study (bachelor's, master's, Staatsexmen) or students pursuing a PhD. They are offered to students or PhD candidates of all subjects or are at least geared to a cross-faculty group of subjects. The implementation of data literacy in the curricula and its teaching requires collaboration among lecturers and cooperation across disciplines and universities. The teaching and learning formats are designed according to the competence. They use digital methods, tools and resources and integrate project-based, practical learning on real data sets.