Field Notes (OpenLab) (en)

Aus Oerlabs Openbook
Wechseln zu: Navigation, Suche

Getting in/Getting on

Multistakeholder Dialog (MSD): Field Notes: What is the setting? | Project: Our approach | Lessons lOERned: Our experiences | Headnotes: Explaining and following the experiences | Openlabs: Field Notes | Project | Lessons lOERned | Headnotes | OER-Seminars: Field Notes | Project | Lessons lOERned | Headnotes | Student Participation: Field Notes | Expert questionnaire OER | Power relations in higher education | Headnotes: Explaining and following the experiences | Podcast: Field Notes | Project | Lessons lOERned | Headnotes | Weblog: Project | Lessons lOERned | Twitter: Lessons lOERned

(Design) Principles
Communication between understanding and comprehension | Wanting to change higher education institutions | Higher education between researching and designing

3 questions 3 answers

Content Buffet | How to comment

University of Cologne[Bearbeiten]

An event follows the next: opportunities to establish open formats in short-term projects[Bearbeiten]

"What exactly makes a lab so special?" - Prof. Dr. Stefan Herzig (Patron of OERlabs at the UoC 2017, now President of the Technical University of Cologne) asked this question once again openly at the closing event of the OERlabs dialogue process at the University of Cologne. This question has accompanied us as a project team since the start, sometimes we asked ourselves the question internally, sometimes it came to us from the outside. Sandra Hofhues and Mandy Schiefner-Rohs attempted a scientific interpretation of the lab concept in the publication "Vom Labor zum medialen Bildungsraum: Hochschul- und Mediendidaktik nach Bologna"[1].

At the OERlabs closing event, the panel discussion "Labs and Learning Rooms - How can they be designed together?" had different views on the question raised. Sometimes the lab is a casual place that you simply visit for a cup of coffee, sometimes a room in which you explicitly work on fulfilling a certain task, or sometimes the whole city is suddenly a laboratory in which you can experiment. During his keynote speech, HS.-Prof. Dr. Klaus Himpsl-Gutermann used the Future Learning Labs (FLL) as an example to show how the PH Wien Labs is developing.

Keynote HS.-Prof. Dr. Klaus Himpsl-Gutermann

One of the key questions that arose for us at the University of Cologne: Who has the necessary time to take advantage of an open lab offer - no matter how the labs are designed? What incentives can be provided, how much thematic interest is already available for OER and open practices?

Over-saturation for students and university staff[Bearbeiten]

The first question about the time factor in particular is elementary: Cologne, as a large university city, offers not only a wealth of leisure activities but also numerous university-related events for students and employees of the university. The Intermedia studies alone offers weekly events, the platform also features numerous open meetings on various topics in Cologne and the surrounding area. In addition, there are meetings, conferences, lectures and bar camps as well as internal university events. In the area of further education, employees are offered further training and coaching. All of these are potential competitors for project events.

A big challenge: relevance and marketing of/for "OER"[Bearbeiten]

The competition with other events in Cologne is challenging enough in itself, but in the context of OER another big challenge arises: The debate and the term Open Educational Resources are by no means widely known. In order to understand OER at the level of educational material, discussion can begin from the perspective of basic knowledge of German copyright laws and their interpretation. Representative of this can be the open and honest sentence in the mind of a 3rd semester teacher training student, after a brief impulse in the professional internship seminar on copyright and OER: "I would not have thought before the seminar that copyright law could later play a role for me as a teacher". The topic is therefore potentially of little relevance to the students - and possibly also to the university staff. OER is often misunderstood or underestimated as a free material, too. In spite of this lack, different practices and strategies in dealing with the topic develop even without appropriate offers:

How do teachers deal with copyright?

Another important aspect, which is also often critical in teacher education based on our assessment: The lack of experience and knowledge in the production of media content, especially among student teachers. Without these two aspects, it would be difficult to implement a sustainable discussion of OER as a material, especially when it comes to individual selective events. Accordingly, they can only start with the basics, so that in the end there is no time for further discussions, e.g. on open practices or the meaningfulness of sharing and cooperation.

Ideas for OpenLabs at the UoC[Bearbeiten]

At the University of Cologne we came to the decision not to try to open a fixed room regularly (in contrast to the lab room at the TU Kaiserslautern). Instead, selective events within the framework of the MSD as well as the internship seminars should be offered openly to all persons with interest. The decision was made on the basis of the project resources already mentioned. Furthermore, it is due to the fact that similar lab/laboratory offers already exist at the UoC.

The "Open" in the title of the event primarily referred to the open invitation to all interested students and persons from Cologne and the surrounding area. In the beginning, it was particularly important that both students and employees* of the university were invited. The labs thus served as basic workshops or lectures, which could have served as an introduction to lab activities.

Technical University Kaiserslautern[Bearbeiten]

Proposal- and trainingstructures at the TUK[Bearbeiten]

The offer and further training structures at the university are usually found as an offer of corresponding institutions mostly in event formats, which are borrowed from classical further training events[2]: For example, personnel development at the university offers seminars on management and employee topics, university didactics offers seminars on university didactics and the Centre for Teaching and Learning on Media-Didactic Topics.

At the TUK, the existing range of offer and further training structures looks dispersed: At the TUK there is an extensive range of further training measures for personnel development [3]. The university didactics - at the TU the department for study and teaching - does not offer own courses, but participates in the university didactic program of the University Evaluation Network Southwest[4]. The only self-responsible offer is the Teaching Plus workshop. "With this series of events, the TU pursues the goal of initiating and maintaining the exchange of experience on teaching between the faculties and individual status groups of the university. New developments and innovative teaching/learning methods are discussed and made known within the university". The eTeaching Service Center offers various courses on media didactic topics. The self-study centre, located at the Distance & Independent Studies Center (DISC), offers a wide range of courses for students to strengthen their self-learning and self-management skills. The SLZ currently offers the Diemersteiner Self-Learning Days as group training on the one hand and coaching as individual support on the other. In addition, both classroom and distance students can use our online services (eDSL) to expand and improve their self-learning skills. The Regional University Computer Centre Kaiserslautern offers technically oriented further education[5].

The formats of the VCRP can also be used. "The aim of the VCRP E-Cademy is to support teachers and other interested parties, primarily from RLP universities, in the integration of online components into teaching and to expand individual media competence. The focus here is particularly on a didactically meaningful implementation that is suitable for the respective course offering."[6] Innovative formats such as the e-Learning Ralley can also be found here.

All in all, it can be stated after a tour through the institutions that, apart from a few exceptions, classical (course) formats of continuing education structures, which are used to varying degrees, predominate at the TUK. However, the question is to what extent course structures represent an adequate form for new and mostly rapidly emerging trends and topics, to which one can also count OER, so to speak. The OERlabs have a target group that differs from participants in normal continuing education programmes: they are aimed both at students and employees at universities, lecturers and professors. As knowledge workers (Wilke, 2006), they are accustomed to obtaining and processing information independently. At the same time, professors and lecturers have a tight time budget, which hardly allows any scope for further training in the form of courses. In addition, sensitization as a goal is hardly achievable in course-like formats, but requires continuous forms of discussion that can also irritate. Radtke points to an important moment, especially for educational processes at the university (where a part of teacher training takes place), because: "Practicing scientific education is not practicing this thinking cultivated in professional culture, which can easily end in a 'harmony of deceptions', but its irritation, which is a prerequisite for innovation. This is not based on practical experience or the needs of practice, but on scientific discipline and methodological reflection."(Radtke, zitiert nach Hedtke, 2000, S. 8)[7]. In the same way, experience-based exchange can also trigger such irritations: "It proves particularly fruitful for the change of teaching-related cognitions if teachers experience discrepancies between their own convictions and their own actions and if they are confronted with argumentation patterns, subjective theories and convictions of other teachers".(Lipkowsky, 2004, S. 474)[8]. These irritations and the resulting self-reflections should be triggered by the OERlabs.

Breaking up the structures through OpenLabs[Bearbeiten]

The OERLabs represent a new form of debate: First of all, the OERlab is a metaphor for a form of debate that is generally open. Three different forms of this metaphor have emerged at the TUK:

An OERlabs-room that is open and lives through the interaction of the participants, in which the topics themselves can be chosen - this did not and does not exist at the TUK until now. For us, the lab is more than just a metaphor for experimental teaching and learning formats. With the support of experts from the central facilities of the TU Kaiserslautern, (teacher) students can document, produce, change (remix) and share open educational resources. Since July 2017, the University Library has thankfully made a room available for this purpose (see Pressemeldung TUK), in which students approach the topic of OER practically and autodidactically every second Friday, guided by student tutors. The aim of the labs is to get students to work together and with university actors in a cooperative way and to learn together in the process. The OERlabs can be shaped by the actors in doing: students should make the OERlabs their labs. They should demand and support university teaching on exactly those topics that interest them. But teachers and university staff also find a place in the labs, because incentives and input are provided in the labs by experts from the subject didactics, the library, the partner institutions or the network schools. It will be open every two weeks on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 12 noon for students and other interested parties. Students should learn how they can jointly produce educational materials on topics that they, as prospective teachers, may miss out on during the rest of their studies. They also acquire knowledge on how to use media sensibly in class, from explanatory films to infographics to complete teaching concepts. In addition, the OERlabs also have a wide range of learning materials available, which interested parties can use to familiarise themselves with a specific topic, for example.

Report in the UniJournal (German language)

However, it is not enough to offer only labs in order to anchor the topic of open education at the university. A debate at university level is at least as relevant. Thus the MSD/Round Tables are also a new form of setting topics and discussion.

The mobile OpenLabs at the school are the attempt not only to locate the debate with OER at the university, but also to carry it into the school.

The mobile OpenLabs

Various mobile labs have thus taken place, sometimes with a focus on teachers (80), sometimes with a focus on pupils. Before the lab, a concept was developed in consultation with the school to clarify technical as well as content-related possibilities. The concept consisted of a lecture on basic education and a self-production phase. The task of the tutors was to create the basics for the understanding of OER and to support the teachers in creating OER. The experiences with this can be found in the Lessons Learned.

Voluntary proposals[Bearbeiten]

In order to train student teachers for OER, however, it is not sufficient to adapt OER as curriculum content to the module templates and to design seminars based on them. In order for the project to become a student project, there should be a core group (tutors) from our perspective who supervise and administer the labs in terms of content and organisation. The foundation stone for this is laid by the student employees, but there have to be others who bring the topic into their own student body. Commitment outside the seminar plan is therefore required so that those aspects that are of interest to the OERlabs project can really be promoted and established. The OERlab was promoted by the students with the following ideas: Culture of sharing, of creating together, making appropriation processes possible: What do I need, what interests me, what do I want to do, what do I want to learn, what do I want to drive forward university development with all actors and actively shape digital change, as well as the sustainability of media education through a tutoring system (peer-to-peer learning). Students as mentors should dissolve the hierarchies between the participants in the labs and thus lower any inhibition thresholds for participation in a voluntary seminar.


  7. Hedtke, R. (2000). Das unstillbare Verlangen nach Praxisbezug – Zum Theorie-Praxis-Problem der Lehrerbildung am Exempel Schulpraktischer Studien. sowi-onlinejournal, 1–15, 1-5. doi:
  8. Lipowsky, F. (2004). Was macht Fortbildungen für Lehrkräfte erfolgreich?: Befunde der Forschung und mögliche Konsequenzen für die Praxis. Die Deutsche Schule, 96, 462-479.