CATALPA's Scientific Advisory Board met in Hagen


Good progress looking at publications and structural development - the CATALPA Scientific Advisory Board has given a positive assessment of the research center's development. The international committee met for the fourth time and was satisfied with the way things are working out. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of tasks and new goals.


The Scientific Advisory Board with the CATALPA team.

Over two days, the Advisory Board met with the CATALPA management team, the head office and guests for an intensive exchange. Friedrich W. Hesse, Scientific Director of CATALPA, kicked off the meeting with a presentation of key figures such as publications, third-party funding, doctorates and habilitations, before focusing on the content of interdisciplinary collaboration.

Bringing interdisciplinarity to the streets

Now that the chairs of Computational Linguistics, Learning Analytics and Learning Sciences will soon form the heart of the research center, it is important to interlock them with each other as well as with the projects in the long term. Prof. Dr. Uwe Wilkesmann, TU Dortmund University: "Interdisciplinarity is an important component of CATALPA and must be leveraged." The CATALPA researchers have already started expanding joint research and submitting joint project proposals on topics such as the self-image of learners, group processes, organizational issues and self-regulation and feedback. The Advisory Board welcomes these initiatives.

Real-world laboratory in a unique ecosystem

The advisory board members still see an important feature of CATALPA in its embedding in the FernUni with the possibilities for data collection. This is underlined by the recently adopted Learning Analytics Policy of the FernUniversität, which provides a reliable framework. In close cooperation with the Center for Learning and Innovation, CATALPA has become a living lab and has a unique standing to enhance university development in Germany on the basis of data and scientific findings.

Wiss Beirat 2024 06 800x480Foto: CATALPA

Friedrich W. Hesse, Scientific Director of CATALPA, with Ulrike Lucke, member of the Advisory Board. Following the advisory board meeting, Ulrike Lucke gave a presentation open to the university public on the status quo of "Mein Bildungsraum" - a central interface for data, documents and communication from and with education providers.

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Research data management - using the treasure

In this context, the advisory board emphasized the importance of active research data management. "CATALPA has to use it’s treasure," said Detmar Meurers, IWM Tübingen. The research center is already well on its way with a new intranet page on research data management and the planned joint version management of software with the help of GitLab.

Good conditions for the new Junior Professor of Learning Analytics Ioana Jivet. For her CATALPA is just the right place to be to advance her research in a highly dynamic field. She presented her research vision to the Advisory Board placing students at the center of learning analytics and dashboard design. The Advisory Board welcomed the efforts to establish a close exchange between the professorships and the CATALPA projects.

The Advisory Board also discussed the CATALPA project DECIDE, which is researching the opportunities and risks of elective options in distance learning. In particular, it encouraged an exchange with the research professorships. Finally, together with the guest speaker Prof. Dr. Thomas Ludwig, professor at the research cluster “Work - Education – Digitalization” at the FernUniversität, the advisory board looked for links to CATALPA.

President emphasizes: Scientific institution with charisma

The President of FernUni, Prof. Dr. Ada Pellert, took the opportunity to emphasize once again the importance of CATALPA for FernUni. As the FernUni's first dedicated research institution, CATALPA is an internal organizational development project and trailblazer, but is also intended to have an external impact and develop into a vessel for federal and state funding in the medium term.

The President expressed her appreciation to all members of the Scientific Advisory Board for their great commitment to CATALPA and thus also to the FernUniversität in Hagen.

Members of the Scientific Advisory Board

The Scientific Advisory Board consists of 6 members: