The chair of Educational Technology and Instructional Design is running the Learning Lab. This term relates not only to a space for exploring technical appliances and applications but more to a certain approach to research on learning.    

Learning Lab? A Laboratory for Learning?

When you think of a lab you most probably think of a place with lots of technical devices, like microscopes and measurement instruments, with people in lab coats conducting exciting experiments. 

Our Learning Lab does provide sophisticated technology - for developing and evaluating digital media for learning. For us, however, the idea of a Lab for educational research is going far beyond technology. It foremost refers to a certain approach to research in education. It intentionally relates to a term coined by John Dewey, the famous american psychologist and educational reformer. He founded the Laboratory School as a research facility at the University of Chicago in 1896. The lab school not only was devoted to educational reform it also implemented an alternative way to do educational research "in the field".

Following Dewey's theoretical concepts of education the lab school established a lively environment where educational research could be linked to issues of society. In Germany the idea was picked up at the Laborschule of Bielefeld University in 1974. In 1979, Stanford University had opened Stanford Learning Lab, later transformed to Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning (see also: Swiss Center for Innovations for Learning at University St. Gallen, CH).  

Our approach to research at the Learning Lab is following these principles: 

  • We want to contribute to developing education. 
  • Our research is based on projects that explore solutions for current educational challenges. 
  • We cooperate with partners and institutions in the different sectors of education. 
  • We are interested in digital media as tools for learning. 
  • We follow a design approach to educational research ("developmental research"). 
  • We aim at the integration of the German tradition of Didaktik with the international discussion of Instructional Design.
  • Essentially, our theoretical reasoning is based on Deweys seminal work.

Research at the lab focuses on learning innovations with digital media. Topics in research are: 

  • The idea of "Bildung" in a digital epoch  
  • Modelling "Digital Competences" 
  • Digital strategies in educational institutions  
  • School IT and school development (in networks of schools) 
  • Social learning on digital plattforms
  • Extended Realities (AR/VR) and learning 
  • Informal Learning and Professional Communities 
  • Open Education: Infrastructures for Open Educational Ressources



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