University of Mannheim Secures High Funding for Extending Digital Teaching

Following a call for applications by Stiftung Innovation in der Hochschullehre (foundation for innovation in higher education teaching), the University of Mannheim will receive more than three million euros in total for two projects.

During the next three years, the foundation will provide funding in the amount of 300 million euros for expanding digitization at German higher education institutions. From 1 August 2021 on, 115 individual applications and 24 collaborative applications will be funded. The University of Mannheim will receive almost 3.3 million euros in total for the project “Enabling innovation and fostering transfer: Structures for digital teaching at higher education institutions (“Innovation ermöglichen und Transfer fördern: Strukturen für digitale Hochschullehre (InnoMA)” as well as for the collaborative project “Partnership for innovative e-examinations. Collaborative project of the universities in Baden-Württemberg” (“Partnerschaft für innovative E-Prüfungen. Projektverbund der baden-württembergischen Universitäten“ (PePP)).

For the InnoMA project, the University of Mannheim will receive approx. 2.7 million euros in order to extend existing teaching formats and to establish new teaching formats. A support fund with a volume of 1.1 million euros will be set up for the project. Teachers may then submit requests for funding of their project. They may receive up to 75,000 euros per project and are required to have their teaching project evaluated by the Center for Teacher Education and Educational Innovation. During the project implementation, teachers will be supported by the Educational Development Center (HDZ) and the University IT. For example, they will organize information events at regular intervals in order to exchange ideas and experiences. The fund will also be used to fund web-based hybrid learning environments, a digital system for learning questions, and virtual workshops. “We will use the remaining amount to hire additional employees for digital support and trainings. In addition, we will install or improve digital equipment in the university’s lecture halls. We will also purchase new equipment for virtual events”, says Melanie Klinger, head of the HDZ.

PePP is a collaborative project, headed by the University of Freiburg. The project aims at developing innovative formats for electronic examinations. The goal is to discover the unused potential of electronic examinations for teachers and students, to share experiences with e-examinations with all universities in Baden-Württemberg and to turn successful pilot projects into sustainable solutions. Reflecting legal questions and potential difficulties with regard to equal opportunities, inclusion and acceptance will also be part of the project. The University of Mannheim will receive approx. 600,000 euros for the implementation.