Digital mainstreaming in university education in political science (DigiStream)

Project management:
Prof. Dr. Annette Elisabeth Töller
January 2021 through December 2022
Project partner:
Center for Learning and Innovation [German]
Dr. Stefan Lindow, Dr. Sonja Blum, Prof. Dr. Annette Elisabeth Töller, Dr. Stefanie Gerlach (Program Coordinator)

We integrate digitalization into our teaching of MA modules, implementing the FernUniversität’s digitalization strategy. In keeping with the idea of mainstreaming, we integrate the topic in several aspects of the MA module on state activity: content, methods, and didactics. Using interactive and multimedia formats, students can establish a continuous learning experience.

Regarding the content, we supplement the three core courses/teaching units with interactive and multimedia inputs on the interaction of central policy areas to take digitalization into account. The goal is to teach its forms and effects and enable students to critically reflect on technical and societal developments. We publish video lectures on digitalization [German; accessible after log-in] and privatization [German] in winter 2021/22. We will continue publishing video lectures on social policy in the summer term of 2022 and on digital participation of civil society in the winter term of 2022/23, addressing in particular the practical civil society contexts of our students.

Poster zur Tagung des StifterverbandesFoto: Jan Hillers, Stefan Lindow
Poster presented at the Stifterverband, 09/2021 [German]

To foster our students’ understanding of research methods we produce interactive tutorials on traditional and digital skills in scientific research. Our students will be able to acquire advanced traditional and digital reading, research and transfer techniques through screencast and explanation videos including step-by-step instructions. For instance, we teach techniques to handle the over-supply of information on the topics of the module both procedurally and intellectually. Starting in the summer term of 2022, we provide a self-teaching environment on our Moodle platform.

Our didactic method connects teaching content and methods in the extended module, combining both in a novel form of exam piloted by the DigiStream project. The aim is to make specific and general digital competences visible and applicable, ensuring the program meets current and future requirements of professional qualification. To this end we conceptualize a form of exam that connects multimediality and intertextuality with core requirements of scientific training. Our ideas range from converting traditional forms of texts and exams into internet-based formats to opening up to more experimental multimedia forms.

Digital Mainstreaming is funded as part of the grant scheme “Curriculum 4.0 NRW” [German] (North-Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Science and Stifterverband). At their conference on competencies for the future, we presented the project (video presentation in German) with a poster (PDF 195 kb, in German) in September 2021 (see the conference program in German Link).

Hanno Hahn | 12.07.2022