Funding programme for the “teaching of the future”
New “teaching incubators” at Ulm University

Ulm University

With the “teaching incubators”, Ulm University is promoting new and innovative projects in the area of university-level teaching, providing opportunities to explore topics relating to teaching in a transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary manner. In addition to improving the quality of teaching, the objective of the programme is to create new incentives for student recruitment. Two new projects concerning computer science and society and the integration of international master’s students have now been selected for the programme and will each be receiving 50,000 euros in funding.

The aim of the Ulm University teaching incubators is to deliver nothing less than the teaching of the future. For the second time now, pioneering projects have been selected for funding that not only contribute to establishing a university profile with cutting-edge teaching, but also can be implemented sustainably and thus be adapted to other subjects and contents.

For the 2023/2024 winter semester, the university management has selected two teaching incubators, each of which will be receiving 50,000 euros in funding:

  • Computer science and society:

The module Computer Science and Society is an interdisciplinary and innovative format from the Humboldt Centre (Humboldt-Zentrum, HZ) which is aimed at students of computer science. In addition to sensitivity to socially relevant issues in computer science, the contents include important ethical concepts and skills as well as basic argumentation skills. The course includes a podium discussion in which the students assume assigned roles and engage with experts on topics such as artificial intelligence, data protection, sustainability, democracy and digital participation. At the conclusion of the discussion, students then summarise their arguments. The main applicant is Professor Rebekka Hufendiek, HZ director.

  • Portfolio examination in peer review to equalise heterogenous learning levels (P3R):

This project concerns the improved integration of international students in the master’s degree programme in chemical engineering. The incubator was conceived by Professor Robert Güttel, head of the Institute of Chemical Engineering. The particularly innovative element is the individual combination of portfolio examination, which tests the most important basic mathematical techniques and gives feedback, and an assessment in a peer-review format, in which the students take on the tasks of the teachers. The work in alternating small groups is intended to promote intensive technical and methodical exchange between the students and compensate for skills deficits.

Programmes transferable across the University

Both projects are relevant for teaching at the University. Not only are the measures easily transferable to other subject areas, they can also be implemented quite quickly. Professor Olga Pollatos, vice president for teaching, praised both projects as forward-looking and innovative: “I see great potential for these projects to develop appeal and be adopted throughout the University”.

The Ulm teaching incubators are a part of the mission statement for teaching, in which Ulm University has set out its standards for the quality and objectives of teaching. In addition to an outstanding specialised education, the University is committed to the Humboldtian ideal of a holistic education. Further focal points are research- and transfer-oriented teaching as well as the close interlinking of the University’s subject areas.

The new incubators will be publicly announced and presented within the scope of the “Day of Teaching” (Thursday, 19 October) at Ulm University.

Text and mediacontact: Daniela Stang
Translation: Kate Gaugler

Students at Ulm University can take advantage of various learning opportunities, such as the tutorial pictured here (Symbolic image: Elvira Eberhardt)