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IZeF-RG Media and Digitalization

(Speaker: Prof. Dr. Dr. Kai Kaspar)


Continuous technological developments and dynamically changing media (offerings) as well as the associated changes in methodological and scientific / subject-specific scientific approaches to teaching and learning are increasingly shaping the design of teacher education. The IZeF-RG Media and Digitalization takes a holistic, interdisciplinary perspective on media in the context of teacher education and aims at the integration of three core areas: Teaching, learning and testing. A pilot project is to be conducted in which innovative media-based teaching and learning offers as well as assessment formats in teacher education is systematically evaluated. The focus is on concrete feasibility studies and impact analyses under consideration of (higher education) political and infrastructural framework conditions in order to gauge potential media-based teaching, learning and assessment formats in teacher training. In terms of the IZeF's interdisciplinary orientation, innovative approaches, regardless of their subject-specific origin, are of interest if, in principle, they are transferrable to teacher training. In this context, the acquisition and delivery of digital literacy has a key role to play. As digitalization progresses in all spheres of life, corresponding competences have become increasingly necessary, i.e. a set of specific skills and abilities that people require to ensure a purposeful, efficient, satisfactory and reflective use of digital media. The teaching of these competences within the framework of teacher training is therefore a central task. The aim is to determine how prospective teachers can acquire both technical-functional and creative skills in the appropriation and use of media (offerings) in a school context. In addition to mastering their own digital skills, teachers must also be enabled to teach their pupils media skills in an appropriate manner and to assess the pedagogical (added) value of dynamically changing media (offered) in the classroom.

The following research projects can be found in the IZeF-RG Media and Digitalization:

Digital strategy for teacher training in Cologne: Developing skills sustainably (DiSK)

The DiSK project pursues the overarching goal of modelling, implementing and anchoring innovative teaching-learning formats for the training of digitization-related skills of prospective teachers on a nationwide and sustainable basis. The subordinate objectives of the project are the development of innovative teaching-learning formats for building digitalization-related skills on the basis of a comprehensive skills model (process area 1) and their accompanying evaluation using objective, reliable and valid instruments to measure the targeted skills development (process area 2). Both the teaching-learning formats and the tests and instruments developed are to be anchored in the curriculum and sustainably through the implementation of "digital studies" at the University of Cologne (process area 3). The areas of competence lie across the process areas, whereby the area of "professional handling" bundles competences that address the professionalization of (collaborative) work and professional development as well as the general use and production of digital resources. These competences are largely independent of the learning process-related teacher-learner interaction.
The competence area "Pedagogical valorization" bundles competences that address the use of media with regard to the support and evaluation of students' learning processes and the associated interpersonal interactions and forms of learning. Finally, the competence area "Instructional mediation" comprises several specific mediation competencies in order to provide students with orientation, reflection and action skills for an increasingly digital society. In addition, a "DiSK Forum" is to be established as a cross-disciplinary and cross-faculty community of practice.

Further information can be found on the project homepage.

Project team: Prof. Dr. Dr. Kai Kaspar (Social and Media Psychology), Prof. Dr. Georg Bareth (Geoinformatics/Geography), Prof. Dr. Jörg Jost (German Language and Literature II), Prof. Dr. Johannes König (Empirical School Research), Jun.-Prof. Dr. Alexander Martin, Prof. Dr. habil. Benjamin Rott (Mathematics Didactics), Daniela Schmeinck (Didactics of Sachunterricht), Prof. Dr. Michael Becker-Mrotzek (German Language and its Didactics), Kirsten Schindler (German Language and Literature II), rer. nat. Birte Rafflenbeuel (Geography), Dr. Matthias Knopp (German Language and Literature II), rer. nat. Dorothea Wiktorin (Geography), Thomas Hoss (Social and Media Psychology), Vinzent Ahlbach (Didactics of Subject Teaching), Peter Gonscherowski (Mathematics Didactics), Marco Rüth, Christina Vollmert (Media Didactics and Media Education), Jessica Trixa (Social and Media Psychology), Konstantin Gartfelder (German Language and its Didactics), Amancay Ancina, Philine Elster

Participating project partners (institutional):
Interdisciplinary Center for Empirical Teacher and Instructional Research (IZeF)
Mercator Institute for Language Support and German as a Second Language
Center for Teacher Education at the University of Cologne (ZfL)
Regional Computing Center University of Cologne (RRZK)
Center for Mathematics and Science Education (ZMNB)

Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Project duration: 2020-2023

Project publications (selection):

Hoss, T., Ancina, A., & Kaspar, K. (in press). Forced remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany: A mixed-methods study on students' positive and negative expectations. Frontiers in Psychology.

Kaspar, K., Bareth, G., Becker-Mrotzek, M., Großschedl, J., Hofhues, S., Hugger, K.-U., Jost, J., Knopp, M., König, J., Rott, B., Schindler, K., Schmeinck, D., & Wiktorin, D. (2020). Promoting digitalization-related competencies of prospective teachers in the DiSK project. In K. Kaspar, M. Becker-Mrotzek, S. Hofhues, J. König, & D. Schmeinck (Eds.), Education, school, digitalization (pp. 397-403). Münster: Waxmann. download

König, J., Heine, S., Jäger-Biela, D., & Rothland, M. (under review). ICT integration in teachers' lesson plans: a systematic review of empirical studies. European Journal of Teacher Education.

All-day digital - Digital media and media education in the social world of all-day schools

Educational research is increasingly showing that digitalization promotes processes of dissolution of boundaries, which results in a decentralization of learning locations. This enables the flexible use of time, differentiated forms of presence and new access to knowledge. The all-day school, where the interplay between formal, non-formal and informal education is more important than in conventional half-day schools, is to be used as an example in this project to show how educational contexts can be interlinked so that cross-context media education becomes possible. The project pursues a mixed-methods approach and examines both the supply level (school management & teachers), the cooperation level (regional education network) and the appropriation level (pupils) with the help of qualitative interviews, media diaries and a longitudinal quantitative questionnaire study. Due to the ongoing pandemic and school closures, the surveys had to be strategically rescheduled and - in keeping with the project name - collected entirely digitally.

Further information can be found on the project homepage.

Project team: Prof. Dr. Angela Tillmann (Cologne University of Applied Sciences), Prof. Dr. Kai-Uwe Hugger (University of Cologne), Prof. Dr. Dr. Kai Kaspar (University of Cologne), Prof. Dr. Ivo Züchner (University of Marburg) & Dr. Harald Gapski (Grimme Institute), Ellen Witte (Cologne University of Applied Sciences), Denise Gühnemann (Cologne University of Applied Sciences), Hannah R. Jäkel (University of Marburg), Ronja Delbrouck (University of Marburg), Robin Hofmann (University of Marburg), Alena Bührer (former University of Cologne), Jennifer V. Meier (University of Cologne), Hanna Kerojoki (University of Cologne), Josephine A. Noel (University of Cologne), Monika Elias (Grimme Institute)

Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Project duration: 2019-2020

Project publications (selection):

Hugger, K., Tillmann, A., Kaspar, K., Züchner, I., Gapski, H., Bührer, A., Groen, M., Schäfer, F., Meier, J. V., Jäkel, H., & Klann, S. (2020). Media education in all-day schools: A theoretical conceptualization of enabling education with and about digital media in the interplay of educational contexts. In K. Kaspar, M. Becker-Mrotzek, S. Hofhues, J. König, & D. Schmeinck (Eds.), Education, school and digitalization (pp. 408-413). Münster: Waxmann. download

Hybrid problem-based learning structured according to the Parallel Curriculum

The teaching innovation project consists of a hybrid seminar with e-learning and attendance phases that uses problem-based learning (PBL). Based on a problem, the students work cooperatively and largely self-directed on written solution proposals and are supported to a decreasing extent by teachers and materials. The information provided on the university's learning platform is adapted from the parallel curriculum in order to create a comprehensible hypermedia structure for the learning materials and to incorporate aspects relevant to application and identity.

Further information can be found on the project homepage.

Project management: Dr. Silke Marchand (University of Cologne), Charlotte Kutsch

Funding: Stifterverband

Project duration: 2020-2022

[This content is not available in "Englisch" yet] copyright: Stifterverband

InDigO - Learning, developing and disseminating inclusion and digitalization in OER format

This year, the North Rhine-Westphalian state portal for studying and teaching, "Open Resources Campus NRW" (, was opened, which provides quality-tested offers for digitally supported teaching and learning at universities. In various funding lines of the state of NRW and in cooperation with the Digital University NRW, content is currently being created in the so-called "Open Educational Resources" (OER) format, which can soon be downloaded, used, modified and uploaded again in a new version by other users via the portal. In order to investigate the integration of this content into educational science teaching, the cooperation project "Learning, developing and disseminating inclusion and digitalization in OER format" (InDigO) has now been launched by Paderborn University. The Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia (MKW NRW) is funding the initiative project, which is being carried out under the consortium leadership of Paderborn University (Prof. Dr. Petra Büker and Prof. Dr. Gudrun Oevel) in cooperation with six other teacher training universities in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, with around one million euros over the next two years. In addition to Paderborn and Bielefeld (Prof. Dr. Anna-Maria Kamin), educational scientists from the universities of Dortmund, Duisburg-Essen, Cologne, Siegen and Wuppertal as well as the office at Ruhr University Bochum are involved. The Department of Primary School Research and Primary Education (Prof. Dr. Petra Hanke and Dr. Bernadette Bernasconi) is participating in the project on behalf of the University of Cologne.

This collaborative project aims to show how and under what conditions teachers on degree courses for elementary school, special needs education, secondary schools and comprehensive schools can integrate the resources on inclusion and inclusive media education that are freely accessible via into their teaching. In the project, so-called "learning communities" are formed in the sense of cross-university cooperation between teachers and students. Student teachers work in teams on the OER materials available on to promote inclusion and digitalization-related skills and develop them further. Through public conferences and networking with projects on digitalization in teacher training, the project results are to be widely discussed and transferred into a sustainable usage concept.

Further information can be found on the project homepage.

Project management: Prof. Dr. Petra Büker (Paderborn University) and Prof. Dr. Gudrun Oevel (Paderborn University)

Cooperation partners: Prof. Dr. Anna-Maria Kamin (University of Bielefeld), Dortmund University of Technology, University of Duisburg-Essen, University of Siegen, University of Wuppertal, office (Ruhr University Bochum), Prof. Dr. Petra Hanke (University of Cologne), Dr. Bernadette Bernasconi (University of Cologne).

Funding: Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

Project duration: 2022-2023

OLEI - Online Learning Inclusive

The further development of the professional skills of educational specialists is of central importance for the successful implementation of inclusion in schools. In addition to the traditional face-to-face format, e-learning and the combination of face-to-face and online-based courses offer important opportunities for professionalization. The e-learning management system Online Learning Inclusive (OLEI) aims to provide a comprehensive, flexible range of further education and training courses for educational professionals in the field of inclusion. OLEI comprises a total of 7 learning modules that cover all relevant aspects of the entire range of training courses, including the upcoming updates to the measure "Further training for schools on the way to inclusion" with a focus on "behavioral and learning problems". The modules are structured according to a modular principle:

  • M1: Effective classroom management
  • M2: Cooperation structures and processes
  • M3: Promotion of emotional-social skills/prevention and intervention in emotional and behavioral disorders I (basics & universal level)
  • M4: Prevention and intervention for learning disorders/individual learning support in inclusive contexts I (basics)
  • M5: Inclusive lesson planning - didactics and methodology in challenging teaching-learning situations
  • M6: Promotion of emotional-social skills/prevention and intervention in emotional and behavioral disorders II (in-depth & selective level)
  • M7: Prevention and intervention for learning disorders/individual learning support in inclusive contexts II (in-depth)

OLEI is designed in such a way that educational professionals can acquire the content through self-study. The platform has a broad didactic and methodological basis: Concrete video examples from educational practice, digital tools for planning your own lessons, animations to illustrate complex issues and opportunities to exchange ideas with colleagues and other educational disciplines are intended to guarantee a high level of practical relevance for users.

To this end, the design of OLEI is based on the UTAUT-2 technology acceptance model (Venkatesh et al., 2012), which identifies the factors usefulness, effort, social influence, technical and organizational conditions and fun as predictors of user behaviour. The accompanying scientific study includes the context, concept, process and product evaluation of the e-learning offer. OLEI is being developed by the Chair of Educational Support and Social-Emotional Development(Prof. Dr. Thomas Hennemann) at the University of Cologne and the Heilpädagogische Akademie für Erziehungshilfe und Lernförderung e. V. Köln (HPA) and is funded by the Ministry of Schools and Education of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Project management: Prof. Dr. Thomas Hennemann, Deputy Prof. Dr. Tatjana Leidig

Project team: Julian Börger, Jannik Nitz, Meike Vösgen

Funding: Ministry of Schools and Education of the State of NRW

Project duration: 2021-2024

ProdiViS - Promoting professional perception in digital, video-based self-learning modules

Three interrelated digital, video-based self-learning modules for training the professional perception of classroom management are to be developed and evaluated at three partner locations (University of Cologne, University of Münster, Freie Universität Berlin). The self-learning modules can be used to flexibly and adaptively promote a basic professional competence in preparatory and accompanying study phases of the teacher training program. The self-learning module to be developed at the Cologne site focuses on key moments of classroom management that are independent of the subject. The self-study modules comprise several module components with the following media-didactic structure: Each module component begins with a tutorial on the sub-topic, which is followed by video-based tasks on professional perception, on the solution of which the users receive feedback. The Cologne site addresses several phases of classroom management: situational awareness and interpretation as well as decision-making.
The current focus of work for the implementation of the sub-project in Cologne is on the content validation of theoretically sound teaching scripts, which represent key moments of classroom management, and the development of items to record competencies relevant to classroom management and (quasi-)experimental studies. The teaching scripts serve as the basis for the development of animated videos, which are integrated into the self-learning module in a further step. The self-learning modules of all partners will be disseminated via a metavideo portal.

Further information can be found on the project homepage.

Project team: Prof. Dr. Dr. Kai Kaspar (University of Cologne), Prof. Dr. Johannes König (University of Cologne), Sara Salzmann (University of Cologne), Zara Mansius (University of Cologne), Charlotte Walther, Lara Suchanek

Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Project duration: 2020-2022

ZuS-Transfer - Shaping heterogeneity and inclusion: Future strategy for teacher education - Media Labs sub-project

The Media Labs develop and research measures to promote digital education. Learning with instructional videos and digital self-learning modules are central to this. For example, the established ViLLA database ( with teaching videos and video-based self-learning modules is connected to the meta video portal ( as part of a cross-university cooperation and the learning effectiveness of teaching videos is evaluated. In addition, manuals for teaching videography (ViLLA) and for recording visual perception in teaching and learning situations using mobile eye-tracking technology (ProPerception) are being designed, piloted and adapted for specific subjects.

The specially developed quiz app Quizard ( is a central digital self-learning module of the Media Labs. Now that the learning effectiveness of quiz-based learning has been proven in the Media Labs, this quiz game is being made available university-wide for use in teaching. With Quizard, the Media Labs offer a playful and mobile learning tool that can support digital teaching at the University of Cologne.

The Media Labs are thus pursuing a long-term anchoring of the aforementioned concepts and integrating several formerly independent projects for the purpose of sustainability and optimization (see 2018/2019 biennial report).

Further information can be found on the project homepage.

Project team: Prof. Dr. Dr. Kai Kaspar, Charlotte Kramer, Marco Rüth, Esther Fichtl, Franziska Iwan

Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

Project duration: 2019 - 2023 (2nd funding phase)

Project publications (selection):

Kramer, C., König, J., Strauß, S., & Kaspar, K. (2020). Classroom videos or transcripts? A quasi-experimental study to assess the effects of media-based learning on pre-service teachers' situation-specific skills of classroom management. International Journal of Educational Research, 103, Article 101624.

Rüth, M., Breuer, J., Zimmermann, D., & Kaspar, K. (2021). The effects of different feedback types on learning with mobile quiz apps. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, Article 665144.