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Educational innovation rooms for teacher training

Educational innovation rooms for teacher training

This project aims to promote skills in students and university professors for configuration of the 'digital turn' in the education sector. In teaching-and-learning laboratories, processes are analysed, researched and methodically further developed.


Digital change is a powerful catalyst when it comes to the chance to transform tuition from being an activity that is centred around the teacher to an activity that accompanies the learning process. A way needs to be found in which the skills required for effective participation in educational processes in a digitalised world can be acquired, in the sense of learning and designing media rooms on one's own initiative (cf. research group teacher training Digital Campus Bavaria 2017; Spanhel, 2011). The educational action competence of teachers must meet these requirements. According to the TPACK model of digitalisation-related skills (Köhler & Mishra, 2009), educational action competence in teacher training includes not only an interplay of declarative, procedural and reflexive forms of knowledge, but also methodological, theoretical and diagnostic knowledge. Accordingly, alongside subject-related know-how, know-how in teaching methodology and educational know-how, teachers also require technological, media-didactic and media science skills and, what is more, these forms of knowledge have an influence on one another and need to be combined. 

The faster the IT facilities in classrooms change, the more urgent the development of this field of competence becomes.

Astonishingly, however, most of these innovations do not in fact affect the staff rooms, since at present there is not so much discussion of these new challenges in terms of their significance for the role of the teacher. Yet in order to be able to structure digitalisation at school and in tuition, a change in the role of the teacher and his or her own professional self-perception is also well up on the list of things needed. Explicitly, professional cooperation has been identified as a central teaching skill alongside the areas of planning and development, realisation and evaluation of tuition, though according to the current state of research it only plays a minor role in everyday school life (Gräsel, Fußangel & Pröbstel, 2006). That means that a change in the teacher's role with regard to collaborative, interdisciplinary and interconnected work methods has become essential.


The project 'DiLab Passau – didactic innovation rooms for teacher training' aims to bring about evidence-based advancement of students' skills so as to configure the 'digital turn' in the education sector in an appropriate and professional way. An important factor here is support for teacher training staff in terms of higher education didactics, since they should have these skills themselves so as to be able to deploy them in their teaching (van Ackeren et al., 2019). In parallel, research support structures should be set up to enable research to be carried out into the effects of new (teaching) concepts in the innovation rooms.

Measures and perspectives

The project 'DiLab Passau' is addressing these objectives with a package of interrelated measures. At the Centre for Teacher Training and Teaching Methodology (ZLF), an infrastructure for the critically reflective meshing together of theory and practice in teaching-and-learning laboratories that promote innovation is being created in the form of the 'DiLab innovation rooms'. These are experiment rooms with equipment that is modern both technically and medially. Alongside two small team laboratories for collaborative media work, the two main facilities are the 'classroom of the future' (DiLab classroom) and the 'staff room of the future' (DiLab staff room). 

The DiLab classroom, created as part of the Quality Offensive Teacher Training (SKILL project), serves as an experiment room for innovative teaching and learning with the emphasis on the individualisation of tuition. This room is now being complemented with a teaching-and-learning laboratory in the form of the DiLab staff room, in which the focus is on the development of prototype didactic scenarios and the production of didactic media. The measures have been conceived as a way of taking a critical look at convictions to the effect that the work of a teacher is quasi private and individual, and testing cooperative and collaborative work methods. In this constellation, the crossover between the two rooms encourages understanding for both sides of the teachers' work: on the one hand students acquire teaching skills (i.e. a tuitional capacity to act) by learning to assist learning processes with digital technologies, and on the other, they acquire skills in the area of collaborative media-enhanced planning, reflection and evaluation of tuition in the digital staff room.

In terms of its theory, the work in these rooms has been designed using the 'approximations-of-practice' approach: students should acquire the possibility to mesh together theory and practice in a theoretically sound way on the basis of practical experiences that gradually get more and more complex, and are both prepared for and evaluated after the event in critical reflection. What's special about this is that these staff room and classroom experiences are already based closely on the subsequent areas of activity; in other words the experiences can take place as 'situated learning', without necessarily requiring the student to cope with the full complexity of the professional life of the teacher.

In the long term, moreover, the University of Passau plans to expand this concept of teaching-and-learning laboratories by adding existing subject-specific academic laboratories (maths museum, workshop for computer science at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science (FIM), CMC laboratory) and expand laboratories in new subjects. The aim is to set up a network of experiment rooms which upgrades digital innovation technologies as elements of the specific (media) training concepts in the respective teacher-training-related subjects. 

As a further package of measures, the University of Passau has been designing concepts for the imparting of basal digital skills which those studying to be teachers should acquire during their studies and which can be supplemented in a spiral approach in subsequent training phases (Phase II of teacher training). In view of the fact that students can only have specific learning opportunities recognised in their studies to a small extent, the department of didactic innovation and the QLB project are developing integrative concepts for the imparting of digitalisation-related skills, which will be combined with the school internships to be completed and their supervision by the university. Above and beyond that, the qualification of teaching staff in terms of higher education didactics should encourage the use and reflection of digital components in teaching-and-learning scenarios in university teaching, to enable students to acquire additional digitalisation-related skills gradually in all the subjects. 

The range of courses at the university is also being extended by the extra subject 'theory of media education'. This offers interested students not only the possibility of getting to grips more intensively with the challenges of medially enhanced teaching and learning, but also qualifies them as multipliers later on, for example as media and IT consultants at schools and ministerial commissioner's offices. An important feature in the introduction of this extra subject is the close association of teaching in the study course with the possibilities offered by the DiLab innovation rooms. There is some focus here on the meshing together of theory and practice and project and product-oriented work methods.

Project staff

Professor Jutta Mägdefrau (project leader) and team

Follow-up links


Principal Investigator(s) at the University Prof. Dr. Jutta Mägdefrau (Lehrstuhl für Erziehungswissenschaft mit Schwerpunkt empirische Lehr-/Lernforschung)
Project period 01.10.2018 - 31.12.2022
Source of funding
BayStMWK - Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst
BayStMWK - Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst

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