Current Projects

  • ComP-ASS (Computer-supported learning and teaching in the skilled trades with interactive assistance systems): The ComP-ASS project promotes a digital continuing education space for demand-oriented, user-oriented and innovative further qualification using the example of the stonemasonry and carpentry trades and using an existing learning platform (Ilias). Building on the experience of the ESF pilot project CompO, a concrete digitally supported continuing education offering developed in the basics will be updated with innovative formats and expanded, for example, with simulations of material changes, an interactive VR/AR-based “CNC machine world” and gamification elements. At the same time, the new CNC Learning StationLS will be complemented by a stand-alone Learning Guide (LS) system to ensure guidance and support for learners. To support and facilitate transfer to other learning areas and industries, an interactive didactic assistant (IDA) will be developed and tested as the third project objective. The IDA follows the principles of innovative instructional design and thus represents a digital “train-the-trainer” offering that enables education providers/trainers in the skilled trades to create their own digital assisted teaching-learning settings.
  • Global Classroom: The corona pandemic has presented universities across Europe and the world with unprecedented challenges; mobility in the usual form was and is not possible, and maintaining international partnerships has been made significantly more difficult. At the same time, the digitization process has been significantly advanced. With the creation of a Global Classroom, the Internationalization Committee of the UdS would like to use the potential of digitization for internationalization to cultivate international partnerships, to attract international students to Saarland University via virtual offers, and at the same time to increase the possibilities of Internationalization@home for the students of the UdS and thus to compensate for missing out on stays abroad. The Global Classroom is centrally supervised and bundled in the staff unit “Digitization and Sustainability” and filled with offers from all faculties.
  • Joint Attention: The Joint Attention (JA) Project investigates dyadic interaction in a technology-enhanced, co-present collaborative learning setting with multi-modal learning analytics. For multi-modal learning analytics, we combine various data collected from multiple sources in the collaborative learning session. There are two highlights among those data sources: eye-tracking data and electrometric (EDA) data. On top of the idea described above, we have two main foci in our work, a) conducting empirical studies to build up our theoretical framework of the meaning of joint attention in dyadic collaborative learning, and b) developing and validating tools that plausibly can support joint attention and dyad’s coordination in collaboration. Link for experiment participation: https://edutech.uni-saarland.de/experiments/ 
  • MoDiSaar: The aim of the MoDiSaar project is to develop and evaluate a modularised (Mo) “teaching-learning toolkit” for the development of digitisation-related (Di) competences in teacher training in the Saarland (Saar). A basic module is to be set up to provide (prospective) teachers with knowledge and skills in dealing with digitization from three different perspectives: From an information technology perspective, a basic understanding of information technology, from an educational technology application perspective, familiarity with digital tools and their usability in schools, and finally, from a social perspective, the ability to critically reflect on the effects of digitization on the individual and society. In addition, media-didactic applications for science, language, and social science teaching will be developed and evaluated in three application modules. More information can be found at: https://modisaar.cs.uni-saarland.de/
  • Online Argumentation: The study “Online Argumentation” (OA) serves to analyze and promote argumentative knowledge co-construction in university teaching. Students discuss complex problems online and develop argumentative and social competencies that enable them to participate in the discourse in their domain. In text-based learning environments, various forms of support are investigated for this purpose, such as cooperation scripts and group awareness tools that pre-structure and feedback interaction patterns, respectively. To develop transactive models of cooperative learners’ interaction, the processes and outcomes of argumentative knowledge co-construction will be investigated. Link to participate in the experiment: https://edutech.uni-saarland.de/experiments/
  • Open Teach: The E+ Open Teach Project aims to empower teachers to develop their digital competences and become users and promoters of Open Educational Resources and Practices (OER & OEP). We are creating a platform for finding and assessing OER and a set of online courses designed for teachers. Platform and courses aim to facilitate a community of teachers in finding, modifying, re-purposing and evaluating OER. This project is funded by Erasmus+ programme, and is executed by Saarland University (Germany), imc (Germany), Ellinogermaniki Agogi (Greece), and NUCLIO (Portugal). Saarland University’s responsibility lies in developing a mechanism for establishing resources’ quality assurance, specifically by developing a toolkit for OER assessment.
  • Patient case simulator: Patient simulators are popular and important components of medical education, aimed at application-oriented knowledge, such as the selection of adequate diagnostic procedures, and key competencies, e.g., improving team and expert-layperson communication. The patient case simulator is a case-based online learning environment in which diagnostic and therapeutic decision-making can be practiced on simulated patients over a realistic period of a disease. The learning environment is tutor-supported and orchestrates individual and collaborative learning arrangements. In the computer-supported self-learning phase, medical students can obtain information on a virtual patient in a self-directed and targeted manner. In a cooperative, computer-mediated learning phase, diagnostic decisions are justified, compared and, if necessary, revised. Tutored whole-group discussions highlight central criteria of decision making. Game elements of the simulator prevent gaming-the-system approaches and create incentives to optimize practical decision-making processes.

Completed Projects

  • Adaptive argumentation support on Facebook. Building on former projects below, we develop a Facebook app that analyzes one’s personality type and provides tailored script support for building sound arguments on Facebook.
  • Advise-Me: The objective of this project is to develop flexible support for detailed diagnostics of mathematical competences of pupils, and to use this in digital environments of mathematics education. This results in dashboards for teachers to identify and help underachievers and to monitor groups (“Pilot-in-the-cockpit approach”) or awareness tools for pupils for an accurate understanding of their own performance and progress (“Fly-yourself-approach”). Also, the system itself can use the diagnostic information for adapting the environment to the level of an individual, for example by selecting the next task to offer (“Autopilot-approach”). Please see http://advise-me.ou.nl/ for more information on the project’s website.
  • Arguing in Facebook – Pilot Project: Social networking sites (SNS), such as Facebook have the potential to host and support argumentative knowledge construction (AKC). However, little is known about how to use SNS for AKC. In this pilot project, we investigate the potential benefits of graphically represented computer-supported argumentation scripts. A follow-up field study using Facebook explores how an academic debate continues to impact learners’ voluntary Facebook use.
  • Argumentation diagrams on tabletops for supporting AppInventor designs. Here, groups of students jointly create a smartphone app with the help of a generic tabletop environment including collaboration scripts and awareness tools. The learning activities are orchestrated so that learners first jointly create and layout the design on the tabletop and then use AppInventor to actually create the app.
  • ColMOOC: ColMOOC aims to enhance the MOOCs experience by integrating:
    • Collaborative settings based on Conversational Agents (CA) both in synchronous and asynchronous collaboration conditions
    • Screening methods based on Learning Analytics (LA) to support both students and teachers during a MOOC course
    • Reinforce European leadership by forming recommendations and policy guidelines For more information, please visit http://www.colmooc.eu
  • Competence-Sea: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) can foster equal access to education in specific regions. This project aims to empower specific groups of learners in Southeast Asia, such as single mothers in Malaysia, entrepreneurs in Indonesia, and rural health workers in the Philippines with MOOCs.
  • Interreg “Uni-GR Masters Border Studies”: The UniGR-Center for Border Studies closely brings together researchers and students of Uni-GR partner universities, ensures optimal research conditions, and promotes dialogue between academia and politics. Digitalization shall be sensibly used to assist these processes. Online platforms shall offer a common cross-border point of reference for research and studying. For example, under the expert support of the Department of Educational Technology, in a trilingual glossary, key concepts of border studies are compiled in an online database. Moreover, our main contribution is the design and evaluation of technology-supported collaborative learning scenarios to cater to the needs of the “Border Studies” Masters. For more information, please visit Uni-GR Border Studies
  • MUPEMURE STELLAR Theme Team: The MUPEMURE Theme Team investigates how learners can be facilitated to actively share, process and acquire multiple perspectives on multiple representations of mathematical and science topics. We combine the latest technology for creating, modifying, and sharing representations in CSCL scenarios with group awareness and scripting approaches.
  • MuSuCoL STELLAR Theme Team: A significant paradigm shift is underway from traditional desktop computing of mouse and keyboard to interactive surfaces. The MuSuCoL Theme Team has two goals: (1) to better support and connect the research community around learning with interactive surfaces and (2) to advance the research on collaborative learning using multiple interactive surfaces.
  • Orchestrating AKC in SNS: In this project, the benefits of supporting Argumentative Knowledge Construction (AKC) through Social Networking Sites (SNS), e.g. Facebook, are tested in combination with supporting awareness. A set of lab studies will investigate how computer-supported collaboration scripts may improve student AKC in SNS by (1) suggesting different sequences of argumentative moves and by (2) modifying students’ awareness to selected group features and their expectancy to engage in transactive debate with others.
  • PIAF: PIAF (Développement de la pensée informatique et algorithmique dans l’enseignement fundamental – Development of computational and algorithmic thinking in basic education) is an Erasmus+ project in cooperation with Belgium, France, and Luxembourg. The goals are to define a conceptual framework and a common reference framework of competencies and to educate teachers regarding computational and algorithmic thinking through participatory design activities in multiple workshops. More information, as well as Computational Thinking resources, can be found on the PIAF website.
  • Proportion (link leading to call for participation in German): The iPad-app „Proportion“ allows two kids to learn relations and proportions together. Tasks are becoming increasingly difficult and require different strategies to accomplish. Immediate feedback after each task and graphical tools facilitate kids’ understanding and application of the strategies.
  • Technology-Enhanced Collaborative Drawing: When learners draw their own representations of scientific phenomena (like photosynthesis) themselves they are stimulated to identify and link key concepts and processes. Drawing also has the potential to serve collaborative learning. In this project, 5th-grade elementary school students worked collaboratively with a computer-based drawing tool. A first inspection of the data revealed knowledge gains for all participating students.