The University of Duisburg-Essen: Leading Research on Learning Innovations and Quality Development

The University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) is one of the largest German universities (with 40,000 enrolled students and 4,400 academic and non-academic staff) with an excellent research reputation and is an important employer in the region. 

The department of Information Systems for Production and Operations Management is the leading German research cluster in the fields of quality management and assurance, impact assessment and evaluation, competence development and the standardisation for technology-enhanced learning (TEL, also called E-Learning).

The university has gained outstanding expertise as the leading German institution for TEL and its evaluation due to its unique engagement with European (CEN/TC 353) and international (ISO/IEC JTC1 SC36) standardisation bodies by its team leader for QM, evaluation and standardisation, Prof. (KR) Christian M. Stracke. To this end, UDE is a leader of LoCloud WP5, dealing with evaluation and impact assessment, aimed at monitoring the achievement of the objectives of the project and their impact on the user communities. Furthermore, the UDE team is excited to support LoCloud in its review of the state-of-the-art cloud-based content management services in WP1 and lead the evaluation of operational outcomes of the LoCloud infrastructure and services with an eye for its sustainability in WP5.

UDE’s commitment to the open repositories at the heart of LoCloud originates from its engagement with openly available educational materials and research. UDE is participating in and coordinating many other projects funded by the European Commission's Programmes addressing the interconnection of European and international knowledge stores for the benefit of learners, teachers, and researchers everywhere.

Currently, UDE is involved in Open Discovery Space (ODS), the largest E-Learning project ever launched by the European Commission with 51 partners from 20 European countries through the ICT-PSP Programme. ODS promotes sharing and openness in school education through the establishment of an internet platform which centralises access to various repositories of learning content. Furthermore, ODS has established a multilingual social network connecting learning content providers, policy makers, parents, teachers and opening channels of communication between these important stakeholders.

UDE participated in the Virtual Open Access Agriculture and Aquaculture Repository (VOA3R) project, sponsored through the ICT-PSP Programme of the European Commission. VOA3R also approached the sharing of open materials, in this case the sharing of open access research content in the European agricultural and aquacultural sectors. VOA3R connects libraries, archives, and other publication systems by providing advanced search interfaces that include the specifics aspects of research work (methods, variables, measures, instruments, techniques, etc.). The users of the VOA3R service are academics and researchers but also students and practitioners who either want to search for or to publish scientific research results. The project focused on Agriculture & Aquaculture, but the technology and models integrated are to a large extent transferable to other academic disciplines.

Finally, UDE is proud to present the leading annual event for innovation and quality in learning: the Learning Innovation and Quality Conference (LINQ). LINQ 2014 will continue the discussion began during the previous successful conferences in Rome and Brussels with the motto: “Changing the Trajectory: Quality for Opening up Education”. This year, LINQ is teaming up with the 9th EFQUEL Innovation Forum, to take place on the island of Crete, Greece on 7-9 May 2014.

Further guidelines and requirements for LINQ 2014 can be found on the conference websites at eif.efquel.org and www.learning-innovations.eu. The latest conference news can be found on Twitter @LINQ_Conference (#LINQ2014) and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LINQConference.

UDE’s experience in impact assessment and quality development for technology-enhanced learning and interests in open education repositories demonstrate the benefits of its involvement in LoCloud. UDE brings its substantial research expertise and networks to bear to improve the quality and sustainability of the project’s results. UDE’s participation in LoCloud has ensured an advantageous partnership for the project, as well as UDE’s international efforts. For this reason, UDE looks forward to continuing collaboration.

 

Christian M. Stracke

European and International Project Coordinator Research Center on Information Systems for Technology-Enhanced Learning and on Economic and Professional Education and Training (TELIT) University of Duisburg-Essen