How does digital teaching succeed?

At the University's E-Learning Day on April 27, more participants than ever before exchanged views on new trends in media-supported teaching

The 6th E-Learning Day of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena took place on April 27. Under the slogan "Impulses from practice for practice",around 150 participants discussed digital teaching in an interdisciplinary manner and shared their experiences and ideas. As in previous years, the E-Learning Day was actually intended to be a face-to-face event. Due to the Corona Pandemic, the organisational team of the Service Centre „LehreLernen“ had to convert it completely into a digital format at short notice. This offered particular potential for the participants: They were able to exchange ideas about teaching in digital format, gain concrete experience with tools and conference systems and experience their use directly.

"The E-Learning Day has already been very well attended in recent years, but the current situation has now led to an even greater interest," said Prof. Dr. Iris Winkler, Vice-President for Learning and Teaching at the University of Jena in her welcoming speech. "What is special this time is that the day could not have taken place without the use of the digital tools that will be discussed here.“ With the necessity of teaching digitally in the summer semester, the E-Learning Day is an important forum for exchange for those lecturers who are gathering initial experience and looking for suggestions, Winkler also said.

To kick off the event, Stefanie Brunner and Peter England (University of Vechta and University of Oldenburg) encouraged the lecturers in their keynote "Use of digital media - a guide to (un)happiness" to try out digital media in their own style instead of being guided by "megatrends". It is important not to overboard oneself and the students with the technological development and the multitude of tools and programs and to avoid losing one's orientation. Instead, the focus should continue to be on developing a didactic concept. Only in the second step teachers should consider which digital formats and tools are suitable for implementation.

After a poster exhibition with nine contributions, which were discussed in live chats, seven workshops took place. The topics ranged from collaborative work in online learning environments to concepts for tutorial support of digital formats and the use of podcasts in teaching. In addition, the Service Centre „LehreLernen“ offered a moderated exchange of experiences, which was dedicated to the question "How do we succeed in teaching during the Corona Pandemic?“ The impulses and insights gained in the workshops and discussions once again confirmed that there is no single ideal solution for media-supported teaching and that the selection and use of digital media must be target- and demand-oriented.

The improvisation skills of the organisation team were also put to the test during the E- Learning Day. When during the event a network disruption seriously endangered the further course of the E-Learning Day, the participants reacted flexibly and creatively, and so the workshops could still be held with a slight delay.

For interested teachers who were unable to participate in the E-Learning Day, there is still the possibility of securing the most important impulses: In the near future you will find a documentation of the event including all materials on this website: www.elearning.uni- jena.de/elt2020