Our paper on “Analyzing Collaborative Research Projects regarding Topic, Methodology and Media“ has been accepted for the PRASAE workshop at the ‘ITHET – 18th International Conference on Information Technology Based Higher Education and Training.’ Here, we presented our findings from the transnational learning cooperation between three economic-/technical master programs. In this course, the students are working in interdisciplinary learning groups for a research project on the main topic ‘Ethical Aspects of Digital Communication’. We analyzed students’ research papers with regards to the thematic gaps that the students identified, their chosen research methods and their progress. Topic choices include for the most part protection of personal data, transparency and communication behavior, while methodology choice is heavier weighted towards quantitative methods. The paper discusses media tools the student groups used, many of which are chat based or shared spaces services. Finally, our research highlights implications for the design, implementation and supervision of graduate research projects.

Educating humanist engineers

We were also delighted by the contributions of our international colleagues and the keynote speakers. Professor Janusz Kozinski, the founding dean of the Lassonde School of Engineering at York University, gave an insight into a school that strives to create „renaissance engineers,“ entrepreneurial engineers with a social conscience and a sense of global citizenship. Therefore, he shared his insights into what kind of skills students need to acquire to adopt in this complexed globalized world. Future skills across all disciplines need to address emotional intelligence, creativity and interdisciplinary teamwork, e.g. through project-based learning and other applied learning methods. Janusz also explained the changes and instruments that were introduced and what structures and processes the university had to change to accomplish this task.

At the same time we were in the double-hatted position of organizing the conference as local chairs of the Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences. In the few days ahead of ITHET we also had the chance to host the ‘ICWL – 18th International Conference on Web-Based Learning’ combined with the ‘4th International Symposium on Emerging Technologies for Education – SETE’,  both setting focus on the research results of Technology Enhanced Learning and Future Technologies in Education. More than 300 international scientists from 36 countries traveled to the conferences on our campus. We were absolutely delighted about the insights in Education Technology research and the positive feedback we got from the participants.