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More than Nine Million Euros for Digital Learning and Teaching and Online Exams

The University of Freiburg successfully applies for two grants offered by the “Improving University Teaching through Digitisation” („Hochschullehre durch Digitalisierung stärken“) program

Freiburg, Jun 10, 2021

Germany and its federal states, together with the foundation “Innovation in der Hochschullehre” (“Innovation in Higher Educational Teaching”) are aiming to sustainably develop teaching in Germany’s higher educational institutions. The University of Freiburg has submitted two successful proposals to the „Hochschullehre durch Digitalisierung stärken“ (“Improving University Teaching through Digitisation”) funding line. Submission of an individual and a joint proposal resulted in grants of a total of more than nine million euros in funding starting on 1st August 2021 and continuing for three years. “We’re using the current dynamic of digital learning and teaching gained during the corona semesters with these projects – which launch our targeted measures and strategic and structural planning aimed at advancing digitisation,” says Prof. Dr. Michael Schwarze, the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Freiburg. “In this way, we can further develop our teaching offers in a forward-looking and competitive manner,” he adds.

Individual application “4D – 4 Dimensions of Digital and Didactic Development”

The university’s individual application – “4D – 4 Dimensions of Digital and Didactic Development” – receives 4.87 million euros in funding. This project involves four areas, or dimensions, in which the University of Freiburg, under the direction of the Department of Instructional Development, will advance digital teaching as set out in the Strategy of Digitalization of teaching adopted in 2020. The “student dimension” („Dimension Studierende“) is the primary focal point of the program. Digital cooperation and self-directed digital learning will be supported by promoting digital skills. The Learning Management System will be improved and expanded for self-directed and collaborative learning. The second dimension is dedicated to Lecturers. Lecturers will receive advanced instructional support and qualification in order to design learning processes in digital and hybrid teaching and learning environments. A dimension called “Organisation” („Dimension Organisation“) includes augmented plans for a Center for Learning & Teaching as the central, go-to resource for teachers and students alike. Finally, the fourth dimension will promote the social interconnectedness of the University of Freiburg through, among other things, Open Educational Resources to advance the topics of open teaching and learning culture.

Joint application “PePP - Partnerschaft für innovative E-Prüfungen. Projektverbund der baden-württembergischen Universitäten” (Partnership for innovative e-exams. Project network of Baden-Württemberg universities)

All nine public universities in the state of Baden-Württemberg joined together for the joint application “PePP”, which addresses the issue of online examinations. This project is being funded with a total of nearly 4.25 million euros, with the University of Freiburg accounting for approximately 790 thousand euros. The universities are aiming to cooperate in enhancing existing concepts as well as in developing technical solutions and resolve instructional and ethical problems that e-exams pose. The University of Freiburg is leading the implementation of the application, with University IT Services (RZ) taking on the  coordination. During the next three years, teaching staff and students at the higher educational institutions taking part will implement and evaluate various online examination scenarios in so-called “living labs.” Towards the completion of the project, each institution will decide which of the online examination formats will be established permanently at their respective institution.

Press release from Baden-Württemberg’s Ministry of Science, Research, and the Arts (in German)



4 D: Dr. Guenter Schmidt-Gess
Department of Instructional Development
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-9089

PePP: Sven Slotosch
IT Services (RZ) – E-Learning Department
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-4697

Annette Kollefrath-Persch
Public Relations Office
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-8909