State government and university are promoting the sustained development and expansion of digital teaching and learning at JGU through JGU DIALOG
24 April 2020
Through the JGU DIALOG (short for DIstAnt Learning Ohne Grenzen / Distant Learning Without Borders) immediate action program, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is obtaining funding for the sustained development and expansion of its digital teaching and learning concepts to the tune of EUR 1.7 million. Half of the funds that must be spent in 2020 will be provided by the Ministry of Science, Continuing Education, and Culture of Rhineland-Palatinate and half will come from the university via the program budget of the Higher Education Pact. "In the difficult situation we are currently facing, we have managed to deliver more than 90 percent of the courses at our university in digital form within a short space of time. The JGU DIALOG immediate action program will help us develop our digital teaching and learning formats over the long term to ensure that we can also meet our stringent quality standards in learning and teaching in the virtual sector," said JGU-President Professor Georg Krausch. "This means the university is taking its responsibility towards society seriously. Even in the present circumstances we still need to enable students to start, continue, and complete high quality courses, so that they continue to have good prospects for their professional futures. We would therefore like to thank the state government for its fast and flexible financial support."
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz plans to use the JGU DIALOG immediate action program to extend the digital infrastructure for teaching and also support options for teaching staff and students while also financing the further enhancement of digital formats. This will include, for example, developing the technical infrastructure of the JGU Center of Data Processing and extending the technical facilities in some 45 seminar rooms, which will involve, for instance, the installation of monitors with cameras, room microphones and speakers, and the provision of tablets and notebooks for operating the equipment as well as the procurement of headsets and PC cameras. Support services such as the hotline for teaching staff and digital consulting formats for students will additionally be expanded. The immediate action program for university teaching positions and assistant staff already in place in this connection will also be supplemented. The Mainz University Library will receive funding to acquire additional licenses for e-books and e-magazines.
"It is critical to make sure that the measures we introduce will be there over the long term," added Professor Stephan Jolie, Vice President for Learning and Teaching at JGU. "The program is designed to accommodate all faculties and faculty cultures and, in particular, takes into consideration the needs of our students. Although there is no intention on the part of the university to convert permanently to digital teaching, we are taking this opportunity to explore new horizons and learn from the experience. Virtual learning formats may continue to be deployed after the 2020 summer semester if this will enable us to increase the quality of attendance-based events and make the courses offered more flexible with regard to the different life situations of our students and the needs of international and regional collaborations."
Almost all teaching in the summer semester to be delivered in digital form
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) began its teaching activities in the 2020 summer semester on April 20. As classroom teaching is still suspended at JGU, learning and teaching will initially be provided in digital form. JGU will therefore deliver almost all of its teaching in the summer semester in digital formats; these are either already available or will be released in the next couple of days. A central team of experts is helping teaching staff to develop and implement these digital teaching and learning formats. Individual and flexible forms of classroom teaching are being developed for areas where digital teaching is not a viable option.