eTeach Annual Conference: Focus on digital teaching at Thuringian universities

Teachers, students and experts from Thuringia and all over Germany came together for two days in November at the TU Ilmenau to share their experiences about innovations, challenges and opportunities of digital teaching. An exhibition day with around thirty exhibitors and the annual conference of the eTeach Network Thuringia with over a hundred participants put the focus on digital teaching, learning and testing at Thuringian universities.

Vier Personen diskutieren in Universitätsgebäude TU Ilmenau/Dino Junski
Teachers, students, and experts exchanged ideas about innovations, challenges, and opportunities of digital teaching at the eTeach Annual Conference 2022 at the TU Ilmenau

The Corona pandemic has fundamentally changed university teaching: A wealth of new technological and didactic possibilities has emerged for teachers and students. We have been able to test these possibilities, but also experienced their limits. Now we are faced with the challenge of bringing together the best of the digital and physical worlds.

said Prof. Anja Geigenmüller, Vice ?resident for Studies and Teaching at TU Ilmenau, who opened the eTeach 2022 annual conference at the university's Ernst Abbe Center. At all universities, not only in Thuringia, digital, media technology, methodological-didactic and structural innovations up to virtual campuses in the form of social virtual reality platforms have been developed and tested in practice. Many of these initially experimental approaches have since been integrated into regular everyday teaching. Teachers and students have jointly developed virtual learning spaces and successfully implemented media-supported digital teaching, learning and testing:

How can all of this succeed even better in the future without neglecting the social interaction during studies and on-site collaboration that is so important and central to educational institutions? Which scenarios and online tools have proven successful? And how can we motivate students to participate even better? We also wanted to discuss these questions during the event

explains Prof. Anja Geigenmüller. According to the network's experts, collaboration in a shared space, direct communication and social interaction not only create identity, but are also conducive to working, understanding and learning. The aim is therefore to create a university world that combines both: face-to-face teaching, learning and testing, and digital, media-supported virtual teaching - in short, hybrid teaching-learning-testing formats.

From "media suitcases" to mobile studios and the use of VR glasses in architectural teaching

After a keynote by Ulf-Daniel Ehlers on "Future Skills: Future Competencies for Today's World?" and an interactive impulse with Juan M.V. Garcia from the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar, the two-day event focused on the exchange on teaching, learning and testing with media. In the course of demonstrations, panel contributions, lectures, pitches and poster sessions, teachers, students and university didactics experts from Thuringian universities as well as external players and companies presented best-practice examples of video use in seminars and lectures. They presented digital tools for online exams, discussed social interaction in virtual worlds, and exchanged ideas on how visual and auditory learning content can be conveyed interactively and haptically so that students acquire knowledge literally by "grasping" it. In addition, there were around 30 exhibition stands where tools, software, installations and integrated solutions for digitally supported teaching - from "media suitcases" and mobile studios to the use of VR glasses in architecture teaching - could also be tried out in practice. In keeping with the conference theme "Teaching and Learning in Hybrid Scenarios", the conference was also designed to be hybrid and could be followed either on site or via livestream.

From the beginning, directly after the publication of the conference announcement, there was great interest in the topic of hybrid teaching. We received many submissions, so we were able to give many active contributors a space to present their views, experiences, and solutions with hybrid and digitally supported teaching and testing, and to exchange ideas with the numerous participants

The exhibition day was accompanied artistically and musically by visualizations and visions with the illustration machine and the ensemble Cat in the Bag.

The eTeach Network Thuringia, an association of all ten Thuringian universities for the cooperative further development of digitally enriched university teaching, is funded by the Thuringian Ministry of Economy, Science and Digital Society. The goal of the network is to accompany the digital transformation of teaching, learning and testing in Thuringia and to promote it through user-oriented qualification, cooperative impulse projects, consulting and networking.

To the documentation of the eTeach annual conference 2022 at the TU Ilmenau.

More information and further events of the eTeach Network Thuringia


Martin Backhaus

eTeach contact point at the Central Institute for Education at the TU Ilmenau