Contemporary study requires not only innovative content, but also new ideas and methods of learning and teaching. The ability to learn throughout life, a holistic, systemic view of things and an understanding of the complexity of the world require formats and spaces in which students can acquire knowledge in a self-determined manner, work together in teams and thus grow from one another. At TU Ilmenau, there is now a special space for this - the new "Learning World" in the university library.
Together we are strong?! This is sometimes a challenge when actors with different goals and starting points come together. But here it worked! An exemplary cooperation has resulted in an experimental learning space in the university library at the TU Ilmenau, which went from the pilot phase to regular use on February 9. For this purpose, teachers and students of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the Central Institute for Education and the University Library have combined their ideas, creative approaches and resources and created a multifunctional teaching and learning space, the so-called "Learning World".
The entire spectrum from concentrated individual work to learning in small groups to interactive and project-based teaching and learning formats with groups of dynamic size and composition is possible in this area. In addition, the Learning World can be used for events, for example with seminar subject groups of the upper secondary school or first-year students or for "teaching at a different location". The location within the university library enables concentration and communication in equal measure and makes this room an attractive learning space for students, not least because of the opening hours of the university library.
During the pilot phase, which began in October 2022, courses have already been held in the learning world: teaching in the field of product development. Product development is a creative and creative activity for finding solutions and securing properties of the products to be developed. Therefore, students are faced with the challenge of improving their problem-solving skills and working in a team in a profitable way, in addition to the interdisciplinary application of knowledge. The new learning environment in the university library offered optimal opportunities for this, it was possible to switch between focused group work and presentation of results. Many students stayed in the Learning World after the event to continue working on their project.
The Learning World is now to be put into regular operation. From now on, students will fill it with life and explore both the possibilities and the limits of this learning world. Teachers can try out innovative teaching formats, for example Makerspaces, in this area and thus turn the Learning World into an experimental teaching and learning space at the TU Ilmenau. The Learning World can thus also serve as a model for the establishment of other learning spaces far beyond the borders of the TU Ilmenau.
"Innovative teaching concepts are strategically immensely important for TU Ilmenau," says Anja Geigenmüller, Vice President for Teaching and Learning. "In view of current challenges, it is no longer enough today to have comprehensive specialist knowledge. Graduates must be able to deal with complex problems, with constant change, with uncertainty. They must be able to communicate, work and achieve results with people from different disciplines, cultures, nationalities. This sets new standards in the way we learn. The new 'learning world' should create the space for this and make people want to try new things, take on new challenges and be able to have shared learning experiences - across the boundaries of courses, matriculations and faculties." For this reason, he said, it is particularly important that the cooperation that has been established between teachers and students, between faculties and central units, be continued and intensified. "We want to continue to be attractive to the best as a place to study, and together we will succeed," said Anja Geigenmüller. "Graduates need comprehensive specialist knowledge on the one hand, but also skills with which they can actively shape the future. This includes aspects such as the ability to work in a team, future-oriented educational content and forms are constantly changing. We want to continue to live up to our university claim of an education for research-based work and lifelong learning."
Prof. Anja Geigenmüller
Vice President for Teaching and Learning
+49 3677 69-5010