TU Ilmenau with excellent quality in teaching and studies
The TU Ilmenau has awarded eleven teachers for their above-average commitment to teaching and excellent supervision of students. The prizes, which are endowed with 1000 euros per person, recognize above-average didactic skills as well as personal commitment in the supervision of students. The prizes were awarded on the basis of the students' vote, as proposed by the departments.
At the award ceremony, Professor Anja Geigenmüller, Vice President for Teaching and Learning, described the quality of teaching and studying as one of the university's most important strategic goals: "Good teaching cannot be taken for granted. It requires individual willingness, interest and ability on the part of teachers not just to pass on their knowledge, but to act in a student-centred way." This means, above all, introducing students to their own engagement with teaching content, getting them excited about a subject and enabling them to complete their studies in a self-determined manner.
Appreciation of different skills of teachers
The eleven winners of this year's teaching award have implemented this in various ways. The departments nominated teachers who, for example, encourage independent discussion of course content and interdisciplinary topics by designing and supervising student projects. Other nominations honoured the ability of teachers to explain even complicated issues in a comprehensible and understandable way, thus creating easier access to specialist knowledge. The commitment to high-quality online teaching was also repeatedly acknowledged. The transfer of teaching content to online formats required not only technical competence and a quick conversion to online channels, but above all didactic ability to convey classroom content in a lively and sustainable manner, even at a distance, and to keep interest in the subject alive via teaching videos.
"As a teacher, you become good if you remain curious and are willing to learn from others."
The teaching awards were held as an online event due to the corona pandemic. The participants took the opportunity to exchange experiences in teaching, possibilities for individual further development and also wishes for the university management to strengthen teaching at the TU Ilmenau. In addition to further training opportunities and their own role models, contact with other teachers across disciplinary boundaries is also very important. Prof. Dirk Westermann from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology sees one's own willingness as an important prerequisite for being a good teacher: "As a teacher, you become good if you remain curious and are willing to learn from others." For Dr. Erik Gerlach from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, this includes aligning concepts and methods of teaching with the needs of students. Silke Augustin, also a lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, is convinced that studies at a technical university can benefit from the exchange of ideas between lecturers: "This can lead to exciting projects and forms of teaching, preferably also on a more interdisciplinary basis. Due to its size and its already diverse interdisciplinary research relationships, the TU Ilmenau has very good prerequisites for this."
About the Teaching Award
The teaching prize is awarded biennially and is embedded in the university's quality management system. As a system-accredited university, the TU Ilmenau has tested instruments, processes and control criteria to independently ensure and further develop the quality of its study programmes and study conditions. The university is thus legitimised to accredit its study programmes itself in a defined internal procedure, with the participation of external experts. A quarter of all universities in the Federal Republic of Germany have so far provided this proof and bear the seal "system accredited". Only 18 higher education institutions, 11 of which are universities, have already undergone this examination for the second time and are thus considered to be re-accredited - among them also the TU Ilmenau. Only recently, the university underwent another external audit of its quality management system and was able to achieve system re-accreditation until 2026. For the Vice President for Teaching and Learning, Professor Anja Geigenmüller, quality has a system: "Our quality assurance system in the area of studies and teaching is demonstrably suitable for achieving our qualification goals, guaranteeing the quality standards of our study programmes and creating a quality culture in the university in the process. I am therefore all the more pleased to be able to make role models for excellent teaching visible through quality assurance measures such as the teaching award and to clearly underline the importance of excellent teaching both within the university and externally."
Stabsstelle Digitale Prozesse und Qualitätsmanagement
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