Hildesheim. HAWK was able to excel in the national advocacy for funding from the “Foundation for Innovation in University Teaching” with its concept of social and emotional learning in a hybrid space and can now receive up to 900,000 euros in funding for a “virtual campus” project for the next three years account. Today the Foundation announced the selected projects and joint ventures. In addition, HAWK participated in a common application from all universities of applied sciences in Lower Saxony, and this application was also successful. The proportionate funds for HAWK are expected to be approximately € 790,000, so a total funding amount of approximately € 1.7 million can be expected.
A total of 264 applications were submitted to the foundation, including 216 individual and 48 joint applications. The Project Selection Committee ranked 139 projects as eligible, including 115 individual projects and 24 joint proposals. The total funding for the selected projects amounts to € 330 million. With the foundation established in 2019, operating under the umbrella of the Toepfer Foundation, the federal and state governments wish to promote innovation, exchange, communication, and transfer of studies and teaching.
“We are very proud that our concept of socioemotional learning in a hybrid space has been successful nationally,” confirms HAWK President Dr. Mark Hoodie, “The project is drawing conclusions from online classroom experiences in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, but it will also be an innovative approach for the next time”.
Concept for strengthening social and emotional learning processes
In preparation for work in later professional fields, courses in the social and health sciences are strongly characterized by social and emotional learning processes in communication between students and educators. It is precisely these processes that are neglected in the current online teaching and learning formats in the Coronavirus pandemic. With its concept of enabling social interaction also in the digital space, HAWK has partnered with its individual implementation in the national advocacy to fund “Enhancing University Teaching Through Digitization”. The concept developed by Prof. Dr.. Alexandra Engel initiated hybrid, overlapping workspaces: a “virtual campus” should make casual and informal encounters and communication possible and foster social and emotional learning. Additionally, students must be accompanied in their professional and personal development in the context of “mentoring”. New digital teaching and learning materials under the heading “Knowledge Creation” should be developed and operations supported.
A multidisciplinary project
The project implementation is seen as a joint interdisciplinary project for all HAWK’s social work and health professions courses and sites, together with the School of Design, which will specifically bring conceptual and design skills into service design and interaction.
“The development of the concept and the submission of the application was a tremendous achievement, because the time between publication of the bid and the date of submission was very short,” confirms Vice President Prof. Dr.. Thomas Nern, whose direction the application process was carried out. “We established an ‘AG Studium digital’ in December 2020, which received a total of 23 project blueprints from all HAWK colleges in January 2021. ”
Three schemes of projects for a common application
Then “AG Studium digital” finally selected three project schemes for the application, which were included in the joint project “Future Skills.Applied” of Lower Saxony Universities of Applied Sciences. The aim of the joint project, coordinated by Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, is to enhance students’ interdisciplinary skills, and to further develop university education and teaching and online learning sites. Here HAWK plays a leading role in developing innovative digital teaching and learning units.
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