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Education and Advanced Training in the Digital Society

Digital technologies and the internet influence all areas of life and place new demands on education and training. Our goal was to accompany, explore and formulate recommendations for the entire path of an individual as a knowledge carrier in the digital world. Related research focuses included relevant competencies, approaches to digital education in the classroom, possibilities for designing digital learning opportunities, avoiding devaluation and supporting the upgrading of vocational qualifications.

This research group conducted research at the Weizenbaum Institute from 2017 to 2022. In the newly launched research program, research will henceforth be organised in 16 research groups. These will be flanked and supported by the new Weizenbaum Digital Science Center.

New technologies – new requirements for education and training

The requirements in dealing with new technologies are changing increasingly. The corresponding competence training begins during school education and is continued within training and further vocational education. This constitutes a challenge for research at various levels. The question arises as to which competencies are necessary and relevant in a digital world. Furthermore, it is crucial to examine how these competencies can be acquired. When disseminating usage knowledge, background knowledge or social impact assessment, the differentiation of knowledge dissemination (e.g. according to educational background, age and experience) was examined.

The questions were addressed using different methods, e.g. the collection and analysis of the dimensions of digital education in schools and the design and testing of individualised and group-based teaching and learning scenarios. The relevant topics were taken up in supervised dissertation projects.

The research group focused in particular on the following questions:

  • What are the socially significant changes associated with the digitisation of education and training?
  • How do key users (schools, companies) deal with the issues of education and training and how can they be supported?
  • How important are digitally supported teaching and learning concepts?

Design of teaching and learning processes

We pursued a design - oriented approach based on empirical knowledge and consequently used these insights in order to design teaching and learning processes on an individual and group level. We also investigated how the theoretical foundations of knowledge and learning change or have to change. Additionally, we examined how and whether machines and artificial intelligence are regarded as knowledge carriers. Finally, we strove for an understanding of where the peculiarities and possible limits of knowledge transfer between man and machine lie.

We cooperated with research institutions, were present at international conferences with workshops and presentations, and used research findings to shape our university teaching.



Prof. Dr.-Ing. Norbert Gronau, Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Niels Pinkwart, Principal Investigator

Dr. Gergana Vladova, Research Group Lead

  • Benedict Bender
  • Bonny Brandenburger
  • Nikolina Dragičević
  • Jana Gonnermann
  • Jennifer Haase
  • Dr. Doris Hellmuth
  • Leo Sylvio Rüdian
  • Wenting Sun
  • Malte Teichmann
  • Dr. André Ullrich