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2019-03-26  |  News from IWM research: Expectations of excellence from universities do not burden students equally

Regardless of their official status, many universities throughout Germany are increasingly emphasising their "excellence". Universities also expect from their students “excellent” performance. But how do such expectations affect students? Dr. Annika Scholl of the IWM and her research lab Social Processes investigated this topic in two studies that have now been published in the renowned Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. On the basis of a survey of 500 students of a German university, the research team of Dr. Scholl showed what can counteract the pressure to be excellent.

Find the online publication here.

2019-03-20  |  Prof. Dr. Katharina Scheiter speaks at the Education Research Conference of the ministry in Berlin

From March 12 to 13, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) hosted the Bildungsforschungstagung (Education Research Conference) in Berlin. Scientists, practitioners, politicians and association members followed the invitation to discuss the educational world of the future as well as its challenges. Among them: Prof. Dr. Katharina Scheiter, head of the lab Multiple Representations at the IWM who showed with her lecture on orchestrations of digital educational processes how research has to develop in order to support digitization in schools with useful results. “In the classroom of the future, the potentials of digital media will be realized and connected with analogue approaches without losing sight of pedagogy,” says Scheiter about the future educational world.

In addition, IWM expert Dr. Anne Thillosen presented the Meta project “Digitization of the Education Sector” (Digi-EBF) in the context of the conference. The initiative will review the current state of research on digital learning issues over the next four years. The IWM focuses on the evaluation of teacher training. The kick-off meeting at the BMBF conference 2019 offered the project members the opportunity to get to know each other personally for the first time and to establish a closer network of the Meta project.

2019-03-15  |  Know-how of the IWM in demand – FDP delegation informs itself about digital trends at the IWM

How can we make use of digital media in schools? This question does not only concern the researches at the IWM but also politics. Not least in view of the Digitalpakt recently passed by the Federal Government, member of the Bundestag Pascal Kober (FDP) informed himself at the IWM at the beginning of March about the potentials of digitization in schools as well as in museums and the medical sector. On the basis of the applications of the IWM, the vice-chair of Baden-Wuerttemberg's FDP, together with a six-member delegation of his party, was able to gain insights into the practical use of digital media in classrooms and hospitals. At the TüDILab, the IWM’s digital classroom, experts of the IWM showed the guests how the effects of learning tools can be investigated and how teachers can be trained in media-based teaching. Afterwards, the FDP members could try out several applications involving the use of multi-touch tables.

Pascal Kober was content with his visit at the IWM: “Both the acquisition and application of scientific education will increasingly be digital in the future. The excellent work of the IWM helps to mediate educational services and at the same time helps people to understand them in the best possible way. This opens up individual possibilities and personal potentials are used, which is a matter of the heart to us Free Democrats.”

2019-03-13  |  Science on stage – IWM PhD student at the Tübingen Science Slam
Science Slam Rechte

“I touched it, it’s mine now!” was the title of a presentation by Lisa Rabl, doctoral student at the IWM, at the Science Slam of the University of Tübingen at the end of February, where she showed the audience that research can be both understandable and exciting. At the event, which was organised by the Graduate Academy of the university in cooperation with the faculties, six slammers competed for the loudest applause in the auditorium of the Kupferbau. The slam of the junior resreacher focused on the ownership effect: It says that when people touch objects, they are perceived as more positive, since the touch leads to the perception of a personal sense of ownership of these objects. Lisa Rabl’s slam was honoured by the audience with several cheering waves and strong applause. "Although it was quite frightening to present the topic in front of more than 650 persons, it was still a great experience! The audience had fun, the slammers had fun. I can recommend it to everyone who would like to try it out for themselves!” says Rabl about the evening.  

The whole science slam can be viewed here: 


2019-02-22  |  IWM in the expert network of the Literature Archive Marbach
Sandra Richter

The German Literature Archive Marbach celebrated the inauguration of its new director, Professor Dr. Sandra Richter, with a ceremony on February 14. At press conference held in advance the Germanist and professor for literature made it clear, that she likes to turn the archive into a literary think tank.

She has already introduced the “Netzwerk literarische Erfahrung” (Network for Literary Experience), an association with the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien, Tübingen, the Freien Deutschen Hochstift, Frankfurt, and the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, also located in Frankfurt. The network is also a reaction to the Stavanger Declaration on the future of reading which was co-signed by the IWM.

The tasks of the new network include the description and definition of literary experience, the empirical and in its methods plural investigation of readings (reading research), literary exhibitions and their visitors, and the investigation of the public reception of such phenomena. "This is an exciting task, because reading research has so far focused primarily on short, non-literary texts or the medium itself rather than on literary pieces," comments network member Professor Dr. Stephan Schwan on the project. The deputy director of the IWM would like to bring the institute’s expertise on cognitive-psychological processes of reading into the network.

2019-02-12  |  University goes digital: university@LEARNTEC attracts trade fair visitors
081 e-teaching at learntec 2019-01-31

From January 29 to 31, 2019, the Messe Karlsruhe was all about digital learning: At the 27th LEARNTEC - the trade fair for digital learning in schools, universities and in the corporate area - the focus was on applications, innovations and best practice examples for the use of digital media in education. With the two-day programme university@LEARNTEC this year, a separate forum was dedicated to the digitisation of university teaching for the fifth time already.
For the first time, a full-day conference was offered at the trade fair in addition to the lecture programme. Both event days were organized by e-teaching.org, the e-learning information portal of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM), in cooperation with the Hochschulnetzwerk Digitalisierung der Lehre Baden-Württemberg (HND BW) and the Virtuelle Hochschule Bayern (vhb).  "In recent years, the forum university@LEARNTEC has established itself well," Anne Thillosen, head of e-teaching.org, sums up. "Around 170 participants at the symposium, the well-attended lecture programme during the fair and a consistently positive response show just how important the topic 'university' is in connection with digital media".

To the detailed trade fair report (in German only)

2019-01-31  |   What motivates Wikipedia editors? - Seren Yenikent successfully defends dissertation
IMG 7063

Wikipedia is for many people the first step to close a knowledge gap. For others, it is a platform to collect their own knowledge in articles, to correct and update entries – and they do this voluntarily. But what motivates Wikipedia editors to join the platform if there is no obvious compensation for their efforts?

Seren Yenikent from IWM answers this question in her dissertation "Understanding the effects of topic factors and threat exposure on motivation to participate in knowledge artefacts: The case of Wikipedia". Previous studies have identified several encouraging factors (e.g. fun, ideology, community aspect) as reasons for Wikipedia participation. The PhD student now found that general (i.e., topic familiarity and controversiality) and specific characteristics (i.e., sentiment and psychological content) of a topic played significant roles in Wikipedia motivation. Yenikent presented her findings in the successful defence of her work last Wednesday: Using two laboratory studies and one Wikipedia text analysis study, she showed that working with known and controversial issues that had socio-political implications increases engagement with Wikipedia articles. A closer examination on psychological content showed that affective (positive and negative emotion) and drive states (achievement, reward, power, affiliation and risk) were the best predictors of article production. Yenikent's results support the human-oriented aspect of the Wikipedia platform that is distinctively fostered by editors’ psychological, social and emotional interests.

2019-01-25  |  Making meaning out of Big Data: US expert presents Quantitative Ethnography at the IWM
2019 01 23 Presentation David Shaffer

"My smartphone, for example, knows more about what I do than my wife," the renowned US professor David Williamson Shaffer opened his guest lecture at the Tübingen IWM on January 15 and introduced the audience so vividly to the subject of Quantitative Ethnography: Turning Big Data into Real Understanding. "In the age of Big Data, there is much more information available about what people do and how they do it than ever before," said the learning science expert from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. "The challenge is to gain meaning from these large amounts of data, where traditional methods such as significance testing find only arbitrary patterns and are therefore not applicable," Shaffer continues. New statistical methods are therefore needed to allow researchers, for example, not only to determine whether learning tools are effective for students, but also to show why.

David Shaffer hopes to solve this problem with a new method: Quantitative ethnography which he presented in his lecture. It merges statistical and ethnographic analyses that were previously carried out separately. For this purpose, Shaffer and his colleagues are developing the Epistemic Network Analysis (ENA) tool to model how codes are linked in a data set. ENA models visualize a system of interconnected codes, enabling researchers to quantify and test the differences between them using statistical methods. The model should then, for example, identify critical components that are decisive for the success of a learning tool and point out correlations between the components.

"These models will certainly become even more relevant in the future as we try to understand learning and knowledge processes through Big Data," says Nora Umbach, scientific assistant for method consulting at the IWM. She therefore expects them to be of direct relevance for research at the IWM. "All the more reason for us to be pleased that David Shaffer and his research group will cooperate with us in the future in order to support the institute in the application of his methods," states Nora Umbach.

2019-01-22  |  Teaching in the digital classroom - research magazine attempto! reports from TueDiLab
1901 ATTEMTO Cover

What happens in the TueDiLab (Tübingen Digital Teaching Lab)? The research magazine attempto! of the University of Tübingen has investigated this question. In the current issue, the magazine reports on a lesson in the high-tech classroom of the IWM.  Prof. Dr. Katharina Scheiter, head of Multiple Representations, explains how digital media and state-of-the-art technology are used to research and teach the lessons of the future.
Link to the article (PDF)

2019-01-21  |  Friedrich W. Hesse appointed as Presidium Officer of the Leibniz Association
2014-12-03 portrait hesse iwm-news

Prof. Dr. Dr. Friedrich W. Hesse has been appointed as Presidium Commissioner for the Global Learning Council (GLC) by the executive board of the Leibniz Association for an initial period of three years. The GLC is a globally active, cross-sector group of thought leaders from science, industry and non-profit organizations in the field of the effective use of technologies to enhance learning and understanding.
Friedrich Hesse is Scientific Co-Chair of the GLC and together with the President of the Leibniz Association, Matthias Kleiner, GLC board member. In addition, Mr. Hesse will continue to participate in the Leibniz Association's strategic field of digitization as a representative of the executive board for an initial period of three years. Within the scope of his participation, Mr. Hesse will, among other things, continue to chair the working group "Digitization in Transition".

2019-01-02  |  New role for Ulrike Cress at the Tübingen Research Campus (TRC)
TRC Logo

With effect to January 1, 2019, the head of the IWM, Ulrike Cress, has been elected new deputy speaker of the Tübingen Research Campus. “The TRC is a forum of exchange between the different research organisations and provides a basis for joint activities”, says Ulrike Cress on the advantages of the cooperation. The Tübingen Research Campus founded in 2016 aims at intensifying the cooperation between the local research institutions and offers joint services to the scientists who like to come to Tübingen.

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