Phase 1: Blended Learning and ETS 2014-2017
Between 2014 and 2017, that is in the first phase of the digitalization strategy for teaching, the Rector’s Office’s provided funds for the faculties to experiment with innovative teaching, learning, and assessment formats. Additional human and financial resources were granted in order to expand the offer of central service units, which support instructors in the integration of technologies and media in their courses. The faculties were given free rein to decide which formats and methods they prefer to apply in their respective subject areas.
This process created a culture of empowerment in which the faculties were motivated to try out diverse digital technologies in teaching and learning.
This approach is referred to as the “Aachen Way:” the Rector’s Office enables the faculties to enter a transformation process by giving them general guidelines; the faculties and departments actively embrace these opportunities, tweak them to meet the specific needs of their subject areas and finally implement them.
The activities in the first phase were so successful that RWTH is currently seen as a national leader in the development and implementation of a digitalization strategy in higher education. This leadership position was recently acknowledged when the university received the first ever Genius Loci Award for teaching excellence in 2017.
What is blended learning? What does one need for good blended learning? And: what do students expect from teachers with regards to blended learning? Professor Heribert Nacken, Rector's delegate for blended learning at RWTH Aachen, and the former chair of AStA, Georg Vonhasselt, answer these and other questions.