University of Oldenburg Faculty Newsletter
University of Oldenburg Faculty Newsletter
Day of Teaching and Learning (30 November 2023) Exhibition "The Glass Room Community Edition: Making Sense of the Digital" Three questions for… Teaching and Learning in Higher Education forschen@studium Quality management in studying and teaching Internal Surveys Project news For your students Upcoming events
Technology has been developing at breakneck speed in the recent years and with astonishing results. Today, we have access to communication channels, digital tools, vast knowledge and powerful hardware. Digital technologies are ubiquitous and shape teaching and learning in schools and universities. Lately, one technology in particular is dominating public discussion: artificial intelligence (AI).
This year's Day of Teaching and Learning focuses on these technologies and their impact on the future of teaching. Why are they so disruptive for educational institutions, be they universities or schools? Will these technologies, and especially AI, change everything? How should we think about and shape teaching and learning with (or without) them in the future?
With a programme including talks, workshops, presentations and hands-on activities, the Day of Teaching and Learning invites students, faculty and staff of the university to delve into the future of education. Information about current research and digital teaching at the UOL will offer insights into how digital technologies can be used in teaching and learning.
In the afternoon, a panel discussion will explore the influence of new technologies on education in schools and universities. The panellists include Silke Müller (Director of the Waldschule Hatten, author and Lower Saxony's first digital ambassador), Dr. Julia Webersik (Leuphana University Lüneburg, Head of the Teaching Service), Prof. Dr. Ira Diethelm (School II, Department of Computing Science) and Isabel Larisch (student in teacher training programme and member of the participate@UOL project team).
The day-long event is free and no registration is required. Visitors can attend the whole event or individual program sections.
This year, the programme has been organised in cooperation with the project Biography-Oriented and Multi-Phase Teacher Training in Oldenburg (OLE+). Other contributors include the DiOLL, participate@UOL and SOUVER@N projects as well as the forschen@studium.
The day will conclude with the presentation of the Award for Excellence in Teaching. Once again this year, courses will receive prizes in the categories Best Course, Research-Based Learning and Best Course Evaluation. The Award for Excellence in Teaching is funded by the University Society Oldenburg (UGO).
In cooperation with international NGO Tactical Tech, the Day Teaching and Learning and the University of Oldenburg present the exhibition "The Glass Room Community Edition: Making Sense of the Digital“. The bilingual exhibition (German/English) aims to start the discussion about data, privacy and the influence of technology on society. Interested? We'd be happy to see you all there – students, faculty and staff!
What happens when these complex technologies get almost unlimited access to our lives? Do the risks and drawbacks outweigh the many advantages they certainly offer? With posters, videos and interactive apps, the exhibition tackles these questions and also gives visitors simple tips on how to take charge of their own privacy, security and well-being.
Well, the most common tasks are critical reading of the existing regulations and research and comparison of other regulation texts. First, we examine the individual sections and subsections for ease of understanding and consistency: Are the terms used consistent? Are the regulations complete and structured in the correct order? Are the regulations formulated in correct sections? Before we write new sections or individual subsections, we have to compare the individual regulations at the University of Oldenburg with each other. We also have to compare them with the provisions in the general examination regulations of other institutions (especially in Lower Saxony).
How can instructors use Stud.IP to organize their courses efficiently and provide information? What tools are available to facilitate communication in courses? Find answers to these questions on the web page Tips for teaching with Stud.IP (currently available only in German). The site presents Stud.IP and other tools that teachers can use to design engaging learning experiences and activities.
In June, under the sponsorship of Professor Dr. Karsten Speck, Vice President for Instruction and International Affairs, the Research-Based Learning selection committee chose eight instructional projects and one project under the funding line "Ideas on research-based learning" that will receive grants.
- Introduction to academic reading, writing, research (School I, Institute of Social Sciences)
- Memory development in children and young adults (School I, Institute of Educational Sciences)
- Mobile multi-agent robot systems (School II, Department of Computing Science)
- German-language didactics: research on acquisition and communication processes inside and outside schools using the example of text procedure didactics (School III, Institute for German Studies)
- Oldenburg's music history in the 19th century: researching, evaluating, and presenting historical sources in an engaging way. (School III, Institute of Music)
- Playing the Prize Papers. Researching naval warfare, trade, letters and fates in the early modern period through games (School IV, Institute of History)
- 75 years of Universal Declaration of Human Rights through the lens of church history and religious education (School IV, Institute of Theology and Religious Education)
- Modern physics and its didactic implementation (School V, Institute of Physics)
Ideas on Research-Based Learning:
- Needs and subjective beliefs of students (and instructors) about research-based learning (School V, Institute of Physics)
The projects will be carried out in winter semester 2023/24 and supported with funds for material resources and hiring student assistants amounting to a maximum of €3,000.
As part of the project funding for the Research-Based Learning programme, instructors at the University of Oldenburg can receive funding for implementing research-based learning formats in their courses. Grants can be used to cover material costs or hire student assistants. The deadline for applications for summer semester 2024 and winter semester 2024/25 is 14 January 2024. Instructors can apply for grants of up to €3,000. Also available are grants of a maximum of €1,500 for follow-up courses in the subsequent semester.
This call for proposals is aimed at faculty and staff at the University of Oldenburg who planning projects promoting research-based learning. These could be, for instance, research projects about research-based learning or measures for implementing research-based learning in a particular discipline or school.
If you have ideas or if you are interested, you can enquire about eligibility for funding at .
Applications can be submitted until 14 January 2024. You can apply for a maximum sum of €3,000. This sum can cover, for instance, salaries for student assistants or material costs.
forschen@studium covers a series of funding opportunities for projects that promote and implement research-based learning. These are listed in the Research-Based Learning project funding programme. Applications for the summer semester 2024 can be submitted for the following grants:
- Student research projects on the topic “Is this actually fair?” (max. € 5,000 per project)
- Instructional projects on research-based learning (max. € 3,000 per project)
- Ideas on research-based learning (max. € 3,000 per project)
forschen@studium team offers consultations for the University of Oldenburg students, faculty and staff about these funding opportunities and the application process. The consultation is part of the Day of Teaching and Learning and will take place on Thursday, 30 November 2023 from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Café Freiraum (dining hall foyer).
In December 2018, the university decided to obtain institutional accreditation and has been working on developing its own quality management system for studying and teaching and on implementing it across the university. The accreditation application involved a procedure with two on-site inspections by external experts. Finally, early this year, the university has submitted all the required documents to the accreditation committee. The result: UOL's quality management system gained full accreditation with no conditions. This means our university holds institutional accreditation and it can accredit the quality of its course programmes using its own quality management system. As a rule, qualitative inspection is performed at intervals of eight years. In the meantime, our course programmes undergo annual quality appraisals featuring different elements.
The course evaluations carried out each semester are summed up in the Results from the summer semester 2023 (only in German). The results are sorted by schools, institutes or departments.
The main objective of the course evaluation is gathering student feedback on the quality of teaching in courses. On an individual level, these results are relevant for the course instructors; in an aggregated form, surveys can help draw conclusions about the development of teaching in the individual fields.
Currently, the 2023 summer semester evaluations are being prepared. Instructors who would like to have their courses evaluated can contact their school’s evaluation officers (only in German).
Two central pillars of our internal evaluation process – student and alumni surveys – are scheduled to start shortly. The results of these surveys are used in various contexts, for instance in annual degree programme conferences that ensure the quality of studying conditions at the University of Oldenburg. Support and service centres also use the results in order to monitor and improve their work.
The student survey will run from mid-November until the beginning of December. It addresses general and subject-specific questions about studying, study progress, counselling and information services as well as students’ satisfaction with the degree programmes. Survey will be distributed to all students from the second semester onwards.
The alumni survey will run from mid-December to the end of January and will ask recent alumni (classes of 2021 and 2022) about their retrospective assessments of the study programme and the start of their careers. The survey will be addressed to graduates of the Bachelor’s degree programmes who left the University of Oldenburg after completing their degree, graduates of the Master’s degree programmes, as well as graduates of the State Examination’s programme.
The results of the two surveys will be published on the Internal Surveys pages in February/March 2024.
At the beginning of June, almost the entire project team came together for the first time in person for meetings and discussion at the Hanover Medical School. During the meeting, the participants held short presentations and showed demos to report on the progress in their respective working groups. In open spaces, project’s open questions were vigorously discussed. The meeting wrapped up with a look ahead to tasks that will be completed by the end of the project in July 2024. Some examples include:
- Creation of a multi-campus system for support services
- Review of the existing digital materials and licensing suitable components as open educational resources (OER)
- Application procedure for tutor training at the locations
- Address by the best-practice officer
- Providing training in relevant legal issues (e.g. online examinations) to colleagues at partner universities
- Planning and approving necessary purchases/developments and joint implementation, while taking into account open-source and commercial solutions
Furthermore, the meeting also offered the opportunity to present other project outputs, such as survey results, the media toolbox, text modules and check lists.
These are exceptional times. Climate change poses many problems, while at the same time technological innovations enable us to network with each other in a matter of seconds and work on the most exciting technologies in human history, including AI. In this crucial time, the participate@UOL project is dedicated to finding creative solutions, learning from mistakes and developing new teaching and learning formats.
In the Learning Lab (University library, mezzanine level 4), instructors and students can try out new teaching and learning settings together.
As part of the OLE+ project, an information portal for teacher training in Oldenburg (only in German) has been developed and launched. The digital platform provides links to the content and activities of teacher training at the University of Oldenburg. It functions as a guided information system for prospective students, students in teachers training, university instructors, school teachers and doctoral candidates. The platform presents relevant processes for teacher training as well as information pertinent to each group. Additionally, the portal features information videos about the teacher training courses at the UOL. The videos have been created as part of the OLE+ project and are designed to provide information to prospective students and new students at the UOL.
Innovative teaching and learning materials for schools that have been developed at UOL are integrated and published on the Teaching-Learning Platform for Schools (only in German).
We plan to expand the Teaching-Learning Platform for Schools by integrating more OER contents, including available course and dissertation findings. If you want to suggest additional materials or you have any suggestions for improving the teacher training portal, please contact the didactic centre (email@example.com).
The teacher training portal will be officially launched and opened for the public during the Day of Teaching and Learning on 30 November 2023. Until then, it is only available when accessed from the campus network.
On the Day of Teaching and Learning, all students, faculty and staff are invited – individually or as a group with their classes – to come to the marketplace and see the results of the OLE+ and DiOLL projects. The new Oldenburg Teaching and Learning Rooms (OLELA) (only in German) will also be open. Participants can try out themselves how the OLELA facilities work and explore how theory and practice can be integrated as well as how practically-oriented teaching courses can be designed. Digital self-learning modules for teaching staff will be available for testing and future trends in teacher training will be shown in videos, OER materials and the information portal for teacher training. A poster exhibition will complete the programme. You can find more information on the web pages of the Day of Teaching and Learning (only in German).
During the International Study Entry Phase (INSTEP), international students can take part in workshops, language courses and other events. The offers are addressed in particular to students before or at the beginning of their studies, but students in higher semesters can also take part. Starting in the winter semester 2023/24, international students who attend at least three classes can attain the International Study Qualification certificate.
The call is open for research projects on the topic “Is this actually fair?”. The University of Oldenburg provides funding to Bachelor or Maters students of all disciplines who would like to conduct research project in small groups. A group can apply for a maximum of €5,000 per project for materials and work time (students would be hired on a student assistant contract). Applications are open by 14 January 2024.
Funding for materials and other costs for student research projects
Bachelor and Master students of all disciplines can apply for grants for materials for student research projects conducted in small groups (at least two members) as part of the grant programme Research-Based Learning. The projects can be carried out as part of university courses or in as extracurricular activities. Theses are not eligible for funding.
Available are grants of a maximum of € 500 per project. The grants can be used, for instance, for materials or travel expenses. Applications can be submitted at any time. Processing time is around four weeks.
"Teaching with/out AI: Looking at the future of education" is the focus of this year's conference on Thursday, 30 November at the University of Oldenburg. A diverse programme invites students, faculty, staff and everyone interested to take part in an exchange of ideas across the entire university.
The Award for Excellence in Teaching 2022/23 will be presented in four categories BestCourse, Research-Based Learning and Best Course Evaluation (classes with fewer than 40 students and 40 students and more). The ceremony will take place on Thursday 30 November 2023 at 5 p.m. in the Library Hall. Students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend the ceremony and find out more about the award winners and their winning course designs.