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Workshop on digital teaching

At a dialogue workshop, employees and students of the University of Freiburg have the opportunity to discuss future joint teaching goals

Freiburg, Nov 14, 2019

Digitalization is not only rapidly changing our lives and the work we do the world, but also the way we teach and learn in the university setting. Among other things, the University of Freiburg wants to promote the potential of digital teaching and more firmly anchor concepts for suitable formats in its courses of study. In order to come one step closer to this goal, a dialogue workshop on “Digital Teaching Strategy” will be held in the Paulussaal on November 28, 2019. Members of all status groups of the university, especially lecturers and students, are cordially invited to attend. Judith Burggrabe spoke with Dr. Nicole Wöhrle, head of the e-learning department at the computer center, about the event.

Foto: Gerhard Seybert /


Ms. Wöhrle, what topics will be covered in the dialogue workshop?

Nicole Wöhrle: For the development of teaching in the coming years, the potential of digitization needs to be taken into account, aligned with the strategic goals of the University and the requirements of the subject, and used consistently.   We want to discuss which framework conditions teachers and students need in order to use digital tools in a didactically targeted way and to be able to implement innovative teaching scenarios.

One of the goals at the University of Freiburg is to make teaching more international. How can digitalization contribute to this effort?

Digital formats make it possible to bridge spatial distances. As a member of EUCOR - The European Campus and a partner of the EPICUR network, the University of Freiburg has the opportunity to further orient its study programs towards Europe and to design courses from a mix of on-site and online location-neutral phases.

Compared to other universities, how would you rate the digital status at the University of Freiburg?

Nationally we are ahead of the curve. In 2006, we established several digital Master's programs for extra-occupational continuing education, in which participants’ progress is monitored, on average, up to 80 percent online while only 20 percent of the time, they come to the university for in-depth studies, practical phases and examinations. As far as basic teaching is concerned, we have good technical equipment in the lecture halls, WLAN is available nationwide, and we can record lectures and seminars in the larger lecture halls at the touch of a button. In addition, the central e-learning platform ILIAS has established itself as an effective tool in all departments.

What trends are you currently observing?

Instruments that are used directly in the auditorium are popular, such as the "live voting" system integrated into the ILIAS learning platform. This allows lecturers in the lecture hall to ask introductory questions, answer students' questions on a smartphone or laptop and thus activate their previous knowledge. Records are also in vogue. In cooperation with the Media Centre at the University Library, we operate a video server on which teachers can store their recordings and play them out via the learning platform. The demand for electronic exams has also increased.

Nicole Wöhrle. Photo: Harald Neumann

How will classes and seminars look in the future?

Depending on the subject, a combination of digital and classroom formats is available: From so-called inverted teaching, in which the students first develop the learning content themselves using digital learning materials and then discuss it together in the lecture hall, to video sequences or recorded lectures. The role of the teachers will also change and they will function more as learning coaches in the future.

Will that be at the expense of social interaction and cultural exchange?

No, we're not on our way to becoming an online university. Classroom teaching will always be at the forefront. However, it will increasingly look like there will be kick-off and graduation events where people will meet in person and the content work will take place during the semester in digital space -- with increasing internationalization, even across several university locations.

What can the dialogue workshop participants expect?

It is a four-hour event with a workshop flair in which all participants can actively participate in the strategy development. The discussion is based on a working paper prepared in advance by a co-creation group consisting of employees and students from all status groups.

If we end up with a package with clear objectives on the individual points and initial, follow-up measures, it would be a good basis for the strategic development of teaching and would offer the opportunity to apply to the federal and state governments for additional funding in a targeted manner.


Prof. Dr. Juliane Besters-Dilger, Vice-President for Academic Affairs at the University of Freiburg, cordially invites interested members of the University to a dialogue workshop:

"The University of Freiburg supports its students in developing their skills in every phase of their studies, as well as their teachers, with the appropriate formats, including digital formats, which it regards as very enriching. We are aware that the students’ need for digital teaching is manifold. It enables both the temporal and local availability and the repeatability of teaching, which plays an important role, for example, in family responsibilities. In addition, we hope to achieve greater international networking among teachers and learners. At the same time, the University of Freiburg will remain a meeting place: A survey of University students has shown that a majority of students would like to see more digital teaching, but expressly not at the expense of face-to-face courses. In order to meet the different needs and interests of the members of the university, we are looking forward to active participation in the dialogue workshop.”

Juliane Besters-Dilger. Photo: Sandra Meyndt


Dialogue workshop on digital teaching

On November 28, 2019 a dialogue workshop will take place at the University of Freiburg from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the topic of “Digital Teaching Strategy” in the Paulussaal. It is a strategy workshop to which all members of the University are cordially invited. Registration ends November 21, 2019. The aim of the event is to discuss the goals of digital teaching and their implementation and to develop binding and consistent solutions.

For more information and registration for the dialogue workshop “Digital Teaching Strategy” (in German)