The Berlin Quality and Innovation Offensive (QIO) is a program run by the State of Berlin and forms a key element of the “Zukunftsvertrag Studium und Lehre stärken” agreement between the federal government and the federal states to strengthen academics and teaching through the long-term funding of universities. During the second funding phase (2021-2024), the State of Berlin is providing support for measures undertaken at universities in the areas of 1) expert staff recruitment and retention, 2) teaching quality/accessibility, and 3) digitalization and innovation.
Technische Universität Berlin's own QIO program runs several projects in areas 2 and 3. These projects aim to improve students’ starts to their studies as well as further develop the digitalization of teaching drawing on the experiences gained during the pandemic.
TU Berlin's USOS project which offers chatbot-based support for self-organization during studies, will be financed through 2024 as part of the federal government's funding initiative "Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education."
USOS aims to develop a chatbot-based assistant for students at Technische Universität Berlin. Students will be able to interact with the chatbot using natural language and ask questions typically directed towards the University's Office of Student Affairs. They will also be able to ask about formal issues (e.g. ECTS points, allocating modules to degree programs, prerequisites, exam formats, course topics) as well as request organizational information from the module database (e.g. course rooms and times). A key feature of the project is that the chatbot is hosted on the University's own servers. Unlike external servers, this ensures data protection regulations are observed when processing students' inquiries.
Start-up finding is available for projects aimed at achieving sustainable improvements to degree programs. Funding is provided for the concept and development phase of a project and, depending on the goal, can be used to fund research associates, student assistants, or equipment. Funding is not available for the long-term implementation of a project.
Students looking to start their own teaching projects might want to consider the project labs for social and ecological thinking and action. These project labs are a chance for student project tutors to work with other students from all semesters and programs to independently develop a deeper understanding of topics in a practice-based context. Expert guidance is provided by professors, while the Center for Scientific Continuing Education and Cooperation’s “kubus” science shop offers interdisciplinary support and assistance with applications for projects. Applications for project labs are reviewed and approved by the Teaching Committee.
Each year, the Society of Friends of Technische Universität Berlin awards the Prize for Outstanding Teaching. The prize is awarded for different aspects of courses and the recipient receives 4,000 euros to help develop their teaching.
Technische Universität Berlin has a number of different offers for anyone looking to share their experiences and acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to develop their ideas for effective teaching and learning scenarios. The right models and examples are often important when looking to explore new paths in teaching. This might include re-designing whole courses to incorporate new methods and media or adapting individual elements of your teaching.
The tu wimi plus teaching projects, funded between 2017 and 2020 as part of the Quality Pact for Teaching, provide interesting insights into innovative teaching projects.
The video series “Time to talk! About teaching and learning!” looks at different aspects of good teaching. Members of the University discuss Technische Universität Berlin as a place of teaching and learning and examine the crucial question: “What is good teaching?”
Teaching lies at the core of everyday university life. The “Teaching is…” campaign shines a light on teachers and those involved in teaching and tells their stories.
Additionally, teaching innovations are regularly presented and discussed in various discussion initiatives and platforms at Technische Universität Berlin. A blog dedicated to digital teaching at Technische Universität Berlin provides examples of successful teaching scenarios. The Center for Scientific Continuing Education and Cooperation and the Berlin Center for Higher Education offer continuing education courses focusing on the basics and advanced skills of teaching.