Applied University Teaching – International Conference, German Jordanian University, Amman
June 13th, 2022
What makes for good application-oriented teaching? How can students be motivated to engage in courses and learn better? How can this also succeed online and with large groups?
Questions like these were the focus of the international conference held at the German Jordanian University (GJU) on June 13 under the patronage of GJU President Prof. Ala’aldeen Al-Halhouli. A good 70 university faculty and staff from Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Germany gathered both on the Madaba campus and online. GJU President Al-Halhouli and Vice President Prof. Ralf Roßkopf as well as Prof. Manuela Schwartz, Rector of Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences, welcomed the participants to the hybrid-format conference, which is an important part of the joint “German Jordanian Applied University Teaching” project.
The conference brought together academics, university teachers and didactics experts from Germany, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria to explore and discuss the opportunities and strengths of applied university teaching in these countries.
In the first part of the conference, the participants were first introduced to the topic of application-oriented teaching with two keynote speeches. Prof. Yousef Al Abdallat, Manager of the National Program for Linkage Academic Institutes with Industrial Sectors “Faculty for Factory” spoke about the future of academic-industrial partnerships in Jordan. Prof. Jörg A. Wendorff from Ravensburg-Weingarten University of Applied Sciences (Germany) reviewed a philosophy of applied university teaching. Echoing the keynote's guiding question, "What is the Colour of Learning?" he emphasized that learning is as diverse and “colourful” as students, so university teaching must also be colourful, i.e., activating and engaging.
Both keynote speakers also participated in the following panel discussion. Moderated by Prof. Mohammad AlDaoud, Director of the GJU Center for e-Learning and Academic Performance Improvement (CeLAPI), the panel discussion addressed the challenges for applied university teaching and learning due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Also Dr. Nooh Hindawi, Director of the Directorate of Information Technology & E-Transformation at the Jordan Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Ms. Rola Said, Director of Programs at Queen Rania Teacher Academy, and Prof. Markus Westner from Technical University of Applied Sciences in Regensburg (Germany) participated in the discussion. The panellists described from their respective perspectives what "lessons learned" they derived from the pandemic for application-oriented teaching and for the appropriate and necessary didactic qualification of university instructors.
In the third part of the conference, the participants themselves were then challenged to become active, to learn and to engage in exchange. In four workshops, they were able to refresh and expand their knowledge and skills in competence- and application-oriented teaching. Topics included activating methods in online settings as well as in classic face-to-face events, design of learning-oriented initial situations and service learning as an instrument for linking didactic theory and practical application.
The “Applied University Teaching International Conference” was held as part of the project “German Jordanian Applied University Teaching” (AUT), realized in cooperation between the German Jordanian University and Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences. It is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) from resources provided by the German Federal Foreign Office. The project offers online trainings on teaching and learning and aims to build effective transnational teaching collaborations and encourage joint research on higher education issues.
Below you will find the workshop presentations:
Impressions of the AUT Conference: