Referat Studium und Lehre

November 2022
University of Oldenburg Faculty Newsletter

Feedback in teaching and learning – theme of the Day of Teaching and Learning (24 November 2022)

Feedback in learning is vital for development and success. There are different ways of giving feedback at the university: students can give each other peer feedback or they might receive individual feedback from their professors, either in person or in writing. At the same time, instructors receive information on learning progress and can ascertain whether learning objectives have been met and find out where students’ potentials hurdles lie.

What makes good feedback?

Although feedback starts with looking back and reflecting on how the process has come along, it is actually future-oriented, i.e. it should aim to look forward. In order to have an effect on the learning process, feedback must be constructive and signal what should and can be improved. It starts from where the students are and proceeds towards the “zone of proximal development” (Lev Vygotsky): What do the students know and what next steps of cognitive, motor, emotional or social development can they take in the given situation? The precise observation of the learning progress and tailoring feedback to this level of knowledge can prevent students from feeling overwhelmed or frustrated.

Good feedback includes clear communication and appropriate interpersonal interaction. Based on a fundamental appreciation of interlocutors and their efforts, it is important to relate criticism and evaluation clearly and to separate them from the person or their characteristics.

Students or those receiving feedback can learn how to deal with this role and situation. They, too, can adopt the attitude that this is a matter of their own progress and that feedback – as well as possible criticism – is provided in their own interest. Students who learn to deal with feedback in the course of their academic studies develop an important skill useful for both their future learning and work.

The significance of peer feedback

Peer feedback, in which students evaluate each other as part of the educational approach in the course, also presents an opportunity for learning on multiple levels. When providing feedback, students can discover for themselves what counts as good feedback. They learn about new ideas in their discipline while looking at the work of other students, but they also learn from the feedback they receive. Good planning and involving students in preparing the peer feedback process is vital to the success of such learning activites.

How to use feedback in teaching? – The Day of Teaching and Learning focuses on feedback

This year’s Day of Teaching and Learning taking place on Thursday 24 November 2022 addresses feedback in studying and teaching from different angles. The event encourages both students and instructors to reflect on various aspects of giving and receiving feedback. It provides the opportunity to become acquainted with and discuss individual and structural conditions for feedback.

Students, instructors and everyone interested is invited to join in discussions, talks, workshops and other formats to learn more about the following questions: How does feedback influence learning and studying? How and in what form can instructors give feedback? How does feedback relate to assessment and examination?

In addition to sessions about feedback there will also be other activities, such as presentations of projects SOUVER@N and participate@UOL as well as a poster session in which students will present their research funded through Research-based Learning grants (forschen@studium).

The SOUVER@N project takes a look at future of (digital) teaching and learning. The activities of the project participate@UOL focus on exchange of ideas, participation and co-creation. Students and instructors can get to know facilities and staff of the new Learning Lab as well as the Teaching Labs in University’s schools and their staff. In a poster session, students will present the research projects funded by forschen@studium. They address the topic New Beginnings – Changes: Student Perspective.

The day ends with the ceremony for the Award for Excellence in Teaching. Just as in previous years, course designs will receive prizes in different categories, offering an insight into outstanding teaching.

The events on the Day of Teaching and Learning 2022 will take place at the Library Hall and other spaces on University’s campus. Find out more and see the programme on our website, where you can also find more information on how to sign up for workshops on Stud.IP.

Further information on feedback in teaching:

If you are interested in learning more about feedback in teaching, you can refer to the New Handbook on Academic Teaching or in the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Handboo’, which are available from the university library.
Visit our literature page

Three questions for the Internal Surveys team

The Internal Surveys team

Dr. Nicola Albrecht, Rosa Maria Knieriem, Lisa Preller, Dr. Janina Thiem, Judith Penning, Tarik Farhat (student employee)

Dr. Nicola Albrecht, Rosa Maria Knieriem, Lisa Preller, Dr. Janina Thiem, Judith Penning, Tarik Farhat (student employee)

What do you do in the Department for Study Affairs?

Our main tasks include university-wide course evaluations and central surveys, which contribute to continuous and sustainable quality improvement in studying and teaching. We carry out regular student surveys (including first-year students and graduates), process data, and provide compiled assessments.

We are also in charge of course evaluations, which encompass at least 25 percent of all courses at the University of Oldenburg each semester. The primary objective of course evaluations is providing instructors with feedback on their courses from the students’ perspective and so contributing to improving the quality of teaching at our University.

The Teaching Analysis Poll (TAP), which we offer together with colleagues from Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, is a qualitative course evaluation. In addition, the Internal Surveys team works with other university departments and institutions, and provides assistance in evaluating course programmes, modules, workshops, etc., or advises about designing and implementing evaluations and surveys.

Furthermore, we support the process of system (institutional) accreditation by providing specific assessments for the degree programme conferences.

What are you working on right now?

We have just finished preparing the survey for first-year students, which starts on 14 November 2022. Every two years, a few weeks after the start of the semester, students in their first undergraduate semester or those studying for the State Examination are asked about how satisfied they are with the start of their studies and about their hopes and expectations. Long before the survey begins, we agree on the questions with various university stakeholders, such as the schools’ evaluation officers and those in charge of counselling services. We then implement changes, adapt the questionnaire in our evaluation software and finally prepare sending the invitations by email.

What impact would you like to see?

We would like for evaluations and surveys we carry out to improve the quality of studying and teaching. To get there, it is first and foremost necessary that as many people as possible take part in surveys to have the university’s diversity accurately represented. It is also important that the university works with the data, draws conclusions and initiates changes. To get the data that can be analysed meaningfully and processed further, we constantly have to adapt surveys and evaluations to changing circumstances. This can be achieved, for example, through lively exchange with the schools’ evaluation officers.

We already notice the initial impact of the introduction of system (institutional) accreditation: the student and graduate survey are systematically considered at the degree programme conferences and used to improve the quality of degree programmes.

Teaching and Learning in Higher Education/e-didactics

New offering: Teaching observation within the discipline

The Teaching and Learning in Higher Education team offers teaching observation for instructors who want to improve teaching in their discipline through exchange with colleagues. The format is based on peer-to-peer teaching observations: instructors attend each other's classes and exchange observations in a structured, collegial discussion. While peer-to-peer teaching observation is usually open to instructors from all subject areas, teaching observation within the discipline is aimed at groups of instructors coming from the same subject. Participants can start the observation with specific teaching issues or challenges in mind or keep it open at the beginning and use the opportunity to identify and discuss particular challenges in the subject area. If interested, please get in touch with Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

Gender and diversity inclusive teaching

Students have a wide range of lived experiences that inform their perspectives in the context of their academic studies. Situations and problems affecting minorities may occur in many different places in day-to-day university life. Sometimes they are conspicuous; for instance, the fact that women are under-represented in many scientific or technical degree programs. Often, however, they are not immediately obvious. This includes the challenges that some students have to face due to health issues, care responsibilities or financial problems. To find out more about the variety of students’ lived experiences, suggestions and useful links on how to take gender and diversity into account in teaching (in German), visit the Gender and Diversity site. Instructors can also use the questions for reflections on teaching with gender and diversity in mind (in German) to explore their own role as a teacher.

New courses for 2023

The courses on academic teaching for the coming year will be available on the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education website in December. Our courses give instructors the opportunity to acquaint themselves with fundamentals of academic teaching and obtain the Lower Saxony Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education. Short sessions on teaching with digital media and research-based learning provide information on various digital tools and methods, and facilitate networking with other instructors. New courses will be added as the year progresses. If you have any topics you would like to see covered, please contact Teaching and Learning in Higher Education!


Instructional research-based learning projects for the winter semester 2022/23

At the end of June, eight instructional projects were selected for funding by the Research-Based Learning selection committee, chaired by Prof. Karsten Speck, Vice President for Instruction and International Affairs:

  • Systematic Reviews in Educational Technology and Learning Design (School I, Institute of Educational Sciences)
  • Introductory Seminar to the IoT: Development of a Mobile ECG System (School II, Department of Computing Science)
  • Seminar on Statistics II (School II, Department of Business Administration, Economics, and Law)
  • Phonetic Data Analysis (School III, Institute of English and American Studies)
  • Fundamentals of Teaching German as a foreign language (School III, Institute for German Studies)
  • Drag in film. Queen of the Desert. (School III, Institute of Material Culture)
  • Project: Expanding Research-based Learning in Modules in Linguistics and Cultural Studies (School III)
  • Problem Solving in Mathematics Lessons – Pedagogical Principles and Case Studies (School V, Institute of Mathematics)

The instructional projects will be implemented in the winter semester 2022/23 and supported with material resources and funds for hiring student assistants amounting to a maximum of €3,000. Further information on research-based learning is available on the forschen@studium site.

Next call for proposals for research-based learning instructional projects

As part of the Research-based Learning programme, instructors at the University of Oldenburg can receive funding for implementing research-based learning courses. Applications for funding – for hiring student assistants or covering material costs – can be submitted by 12 January 2023 for the summer semester 2023 and winter semester 2023/24. You can apply for up to €3,000. You can also apply for grants (up to a maximum of €1,500) for follow-up courses in the subsequent semester.
The calls for proposals and application form are available on the forschen@studium site that provides detailed information about funding for students and instructors.

Call for proposals Funding for Ideas around Research-based Learning – application deadline 12 January 2023

In addition to the call for proposals for instructional projects for research-based learning, this call for proposals is aimed at instructors and employees at the University of Oldenburg who are planning projects promoting research-based learning. These could, for instance, include research projects about research-based learning or measures for implementing research-based learning in a particular discipline or school. (You can enquire about eligibility for funding at .)

Applications can be submitted by 12 January 2023. You can apply for a maximum of €3,000, that can cover, for instance, salaries for student assistants or material costs.
Please visit the forschen@studium site on funding for students and instructors for the application and more information on funding criteria.

Quality management in studying and teaching

Current: Reviewing the university’s internal system for quality assurance

As part of the transition to system (institutional) accreditation, the University of Oldenburg has developed its own quality assurance system in recent years. Read about it in more detail in the Handbook for Quality of Studying and Teaching (in German).

After obtaining system (institutional) accreditation, in the future the University of Oldenburg will be able to accredit its degree programmes independently. The prerequisite is the accreditation of its institutional quality assurance system. To this end, an initial review took place in May 2022 with experts lead by the ACQUIN agency. In December 2022, a second review will take place, and three (partial) degree programmes in German Studies, Religion and Neuroscience as well as the teacher training model will be examined. In addition, the implementation of two criteria of the Lower Saxony Accreditation Regulations in the quality assurance system will be considered (modularization and studying conditions). Next year, the University will receive the report and, if the review is positive, it can apply for system accreditation to the Accreditation Council.

Project news

Second meeting of the joint project SOUVER@N

At the second SOUVER@N project meeting in June, partners of all eight associated universities and ELAN e.V. discussed their work progress in the respective work packages in an interactive virtual environment. One of the milestones that has been reached is the network-wide survey among instructors on implementing digital and digitally enhanced teaching. The results of this survey will be presented at the Teaching and Learning Day at the University of Oldenburg. Digital accessibility was also discussed in relation to designing websites and materials. For the more than 30 project staff members this meeting presented many opportunities to exchange ideas with each other.

The project funded by the Foundation for Innovation in University Teaching combines and coordinates expertise, resources and experiences of eight universities in Lower Saxony and ELAN e.V. The resulting synergies will show impact in IT, service, and content areas as well as in network structures.

For your students

Funding student research (materials and travel)

As part of the Research-based Learning programme, students can apply for materials for student research projects as well as for the presentation of research projects at national and international (online) conferences on an ongoing basis (maximum €500). For more information visit the the website of

Funding student research projects on the topic 'Crisis-proof?!'

The call is open for research projects about the topic ‘Crisis-proof?!’ The University of Oldenburg provides funding for students – in both Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programs, regardless of the subject – who would like to conduct their research project in small groups. A maximum of €5,000 can be awarded per research group for materials and work time (students would be hired on a student assistant contract). Applications are open by 12 January 2023. The calls for proposals and application form can be found on the forschen@studium site for funding for students and instructors.

Call for papers on the theme of ‘New beginning’ – student online journal forsch!

We are looking for contributions about ‘New beginnings’. Students in all fields of study can submit their research work to the student online journal forsch! up until 15 January 2023. Formats include:

  • academic article
  • academic poster with an accompanying textual explication
  • experimental formats with an accompanying textual explication

All information on the journal, the formats and submission are available on the forsch! website.

OpenPLAR – Information sessions for questions about transferring academic credits

For questions about how to count previous work experience towards the degree, students can visit regular OpenPLAR information sessions.

An information session about how to count professional skills towards the degree takes place regularly in the PLAR community forum in Stud.IP. The PLAR service and the credit-transfer team of the Examinations Office answer general questions on counting previous work experience towards the degree and on the PLAR crediting procedure. All OpenPLAR dates are announced on the university’s website and in Stud.IP. Sign-up is not required.

PLAR is short for ‘Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition’. It involves checking and crediting learning outcomes and skills acquired previously or outside of the university. The PLAR website contains more information about PLAR (in German).

Upcoming events

Day of Teaching and Learning, 24 November 2022, Campus Haarentor

‘Let's talk! Feedback in Studying and Teaching’ is the topic of this year’s Teaching and Learning Day, which takes place on Thursday 24 November 2022 at the University of Oldenburg. A diverse programme invites students, lecturers and other interested individuals to take part in exchange of ideas across the university. The event is in German.
Go to Programme

Award for Excellence in Teaching – Award ceremony, 24 November 2022, Library Hall

The Award for Excellence in Teaching 2021/22 will be presented in four categories: ‘Best course’, ‘Research-based learning’ and ‘Best course evaluation (courses with fewer than 40 participants and with 40 participants or more’) on Thursday 24 November 2022 at 4 p.m. in the library hall. In a festive setting, attendees can find out who will receive this year’s awards. The event is in German.

Bite-sized didactics session on research-based learning: Reflection in research-based learning – a key element of research based learning, 8 December 2022 (online)

The short session Bite-sized Didactics Session on Research-based Learning: Inspiration and Exchange of Ideas for Instructors takes place on a monthly basis, each time with a thematic focus around research-based learning. The sessions have a conversational character. Anyone interested is welcome!
Information on the event

Lunchtime meeting about Stud.IP: A shared notebook: Collaborative writing with Wikis, 12 December 2022 (online)

The focus of this lunchtime meeting is the updated tool Wiki in the new Stud.IP. Following a brief presentation of the tool and the idea of the notebook, we will explore its pedagogical uses, especially with regard to small, discussion-oriented classes. The session is aimed at all instructors at the University of Oldenburg. No sign-up required! (in German)
Information on the event

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