Structure and organization of CATALPA

To: Organization chart Photo: CATALPA

CATALPA, the FernUniversität in Hagen’s Center of Advanced Technology for Assisted Learning and Predictive Analytics, is the university’s first dedicated research institution.

Funded by the State of NRW

As an independent research center, CATALPA is financed by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Initially founded in 2017 as the research focus DDLL (later D²L²) and renamed CATALPA in the summer of 2022 – the center has been growing ever since. It is now home to three research professorships and several different junior research groups. Its structures are continuously being expanded to facilitate its mission to more deeply explore scientific issues relating to artificial intelligence, adaptive learning technologies, personalized learning, and learning analytics.

An Integral Part of the FernUniversität

CATALPA projects are led by professors and postdocs from the various faculties of the FernUniversität who contribute their broad expertise to the research center.

The CATALPA scientists are, in turn, closely linked to the faculties via co-optations. This enhances knowledge transfer to the faculties and facilitates the integration of research findings into specific courses.

Of course, CATALPA is also closely associated with the Center for Digitalization and IT (ZDI) and the Center for Learning and Innovation (ZLI), both of which are renowned for their digital excellence and innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Our application-relevant research can only be transferred into practice through close contact with practitioners. This manifests itself in many ways; for instance, through CATALPA’s involvement in infrastructure development projects in the field of learning analytics.

Top-level Networking

Through collaborations, CATALPA is connected to other pertinent scientific institutions, enabling them to leverage the unique research environment at FernUniversität. You can find more information on our collaborations and partners here.

A distinguished, international scientific advisory board provides guidance to the research center on fundamental technical and interdisciplinary matters relevant to our scientific endeavors.

Interdisciplinary Strength

At present, more than 60 scientists are involved with CATALPA – with the majority based in Hagen and some affiliated with cooperating institutions in Berlin and Bonn. They are supported by a large contingent of auxiliary staff.

Learning is a multifaceted process in which all of the pieces of the puzzle must align seamlessly. Sustainable advancements in higher education cannot be attained solely through didactic concepts or the mere introduction of new software. With that in mind, CATALPA information scientists and computational linguists are working together with educational scientists and psychologists to develop adaptive systems and personalized teaching. In this way, the research center is able to deliver a wide range of insights that is unique in Germany – from basic research to application.

Self-critical and Target-oriented

CATALPA is committed to high scientific quality standards and ethical values in research. With this in mind, its scientists prioritize transparency and undergo regular external evaluations to ensure the quality of their work. This commitment extends beyond scientific projects to encompass all facets of CATALPA’s structures and operations.