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Digitalization in higher education – development, test and evaluation of media-based modules with E-learning methods

Digitalization as a part of a transformation that effects society as a whole influences formal and informal educational processes. Increasingly flexible and individual demands concerning to contemporary learning are changing the educational habits of students. Digital Tools can effectively connect knowledge transfer, self-efficacy and collaborative work to the achievement of module specific learning goals. Therewith universities and higher education institutions can strengthen their role as place for knowledge replication and are simultaneously building up competences for the active design of transformational processes.
Within the project „Digitalization in higher education – development, test and evaluation of media-based modules with E-learning methods“ a new concept for higher education didactics promoting digital learning arrangements in the field of urban and spatial planning is going to be developed.

Teaching with digital tools demands a new conceptualization of didactic designs in higher education including scientific research and further development of courses to generate a verifiable added value to sustainable learning. Especially the organization and accessibility of e-learning courses, the communication and collaboration between lecturers and students and their characteristic roles are crucial.
There are only a few experiences with multimedia, intermodal teaching in the field of urban and spatial planning so far. This is especially difficult concerning to the fact that competences like the ability to analyse, evaluate and criticize while dealing with planning projects and the development of solutions for complex problems are essential learning goals for aspiring urban planners.

By establishing a constructivist learning environment individual requirements and skills of students are addressed while they are instructed to gain knowledge independently at the same time. The project „DigiLe“ aims to prepare, implement and evaluate a media-based course using e-learning methods in the field of urban and spatial planning. Thereby especially the module „urban and settlement planning“ is targeted. The course itself and self-study phases should be enhanced by using digital tools. Furthermore, cooperative and individual learning is going to be promoted.

For the self-centered elaboration by students, multimedia contents are going to be provided on the learning platform Moodle (LMS). Collaborative processing and reflection of lecture contents takes place in attendance phases as well as in online-and self-study-phases. Digital tools to sustain brainstorming, cooperative writing, reciprocal assessments for the purpose of peer learning or tools for online communication are going to be used. These components of a new didactic design are supported by different pedagogic approaches like the inverted classroom model and blended learning which describes the conceptual combination of attendance phases and e-pensum. Beside the acquisition of knowledge, self-learning competence and the ability to solve complex problems are intended be promoted. These competences are essential for the professional qualification profile for urban planners.

Central research issues in this project are:

  1. Can a new e-learning arrangement ensure a high quality standard in mass lectures while promoting individualistic learning at the same time?
  2. How can attendance phases be designed attractive, while being used for discourse and consolidation of the gained knowledge?
  3. How can „blended learning“ be conceptual und didactical implemented in the course of study „urban and spatial planning“?
  4. How can e-learning tools and methods support an effective und sustainable learning process in urban planning?
  5. How do learning results chance through the use of digital tools and the adjustment of learning arrangements with e-learning concepts?

The project is set up to test new methods of digitalization in higher education, to evaluate them and to make them applicable in the field of „urban and spatial planning“. The evaluation is focused on applicability for lecturers and students and the added value through multimedia and multimodal learning/ lecturing in urban planning.

To adapt the new learning methods to the discipline-specific context a technical and educational concept is going to be developed and subsequently tested in summer term 2020. Within the implementation phase the concepts are going to be applied, evaluated and customized for future courses. To transfer the results and experiences a public presentation is intended.

Funded by the Thuringian Ministry for Economic Affairs, Science and Digital Society (TMWWDG)
Duration: 10/2019 to 10/2020


ISP - Institute for Urban Research, Planning and Communication of the Erfurt University of Applied Sciences:

Altonaer Straße 25
99085 Erfurt
No.: 0361 6700-374
Fax: 0361 6700-373
E-Mail: isp@no -

project board
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heidi Sinning
sinning@no -

Academic researcher
Theresa Grimm, M.Sc.
theresa.grimm@no -


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