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Award: Jürgen Rubitzko receives DAL Award for Digitization of Teaching

Hof University of Applied Sciences is driving forward the digitization of administration and teaching. It is actively supported by the Society of Friends and Sponsors of Hof University of Applied Sciences, which has been honoring particularly innovative and digitally minded teachers with the “Digitaler Aufbruch der Lehre (DAL)” award for the past four years. For the year 2020, the award, which is endowed with 10,000 EUR, now goes to lecturer Jürgen Rubitzko.

Image: from left, university president Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c.. Jürgen Lehmann, award winner Jürgen Rubitzko and Dr. Dorothee Strunz (Chairwoman of the Society of Friends and Sponsors of Hof University of Applied Sciences);

“Due to the changing conditions in society, technology and the economy as a result of digitalization, one of the elementary tasks of a university is to constantly review traditional forms of teaching and learning and adapt them to current requirements,” said University President Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lehmann. Since 2017, the “Digitaler Aufbruch der Lehre” award has therefore been presented annually to honor and promote teaching concepts and their implementation that modernize and digitalize the teaching done at the university in the best possible way.

Machines controllable from the home office

This year, the main prize of EUR 10,000, awarded by a jury of seven, has now been awarded to Jürgen Rubitzko, a lecturer in engineering. “His contribution was about transferring entire laboratory practicals through the Zoom software, thereby enabling students to control and operate the machines present in the laboratory from home – a goal realized with enormous effort and great ambition, which impressed the jury very much,” said Dr. Dorothee Strunz, Chairwoman of the Society of Friends and Sponsors of Hof University of Applied Sciences. In addition to the prize money, which will be reinvested in teaching, the award winners will receive a portrait that will adorn the corridors of the university as part of a permanent exhibition.

Award winner Jürgen Rubitzko in front of his winning portrait, which can already be found in the foyer of the B-building of the university; Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences

New working and creative techniques

From a total of 14 applications from lecturers, instructors and professors, other prize winners were also honored: Second place and a total of 5000 EUR went to Prof. Dr. Anke Müller and Prof. Dr. Michael Seidel. With the “Ideationweek” they had most recently established a learning format in which agile working and creativity techniques are taught in the context of an intensive workshop. “What was convincing about this was that new methodologies and techniques are carried into the entire university – a wish that President Prof. Dr. Dr. Lehmann in particular repeatedly expressed in the past and which is hereby taken into account,” said Dr. Dorothee Strunz in her appreciation.

Sustainable communication of language content

Third place, which was rewarded with 2,500 euros, went to Dr. Marcelo Kauer for a competition entry that was particularly praised by the student representatives within the jury: “With the help of Web 2.0 tools, Dr. Kauer uses a concrete project to convey language content to foreign students and explores the potential of blended scenario-based learning, a popular teaching method, at universities – in an original and sustainable way,” said the chairwoman.

Special award to university president

University president Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lehmann also received an award. He received the newly created “Digital Pioneer” special prize for his tireless efforts to digitize education and teaching

Professor Lehmann is a locomotive of change – for the university, but also for our entire region. Time and again, he either lent a hand himself or ensured that the right infrastructure could be invested in locally – we also wanted to honor that very clearly.”

Dr. Dorothee Strunz

Student award for creating learning partnerships

Finally, a student initiative also received an award as part of the DAL Award: Matthias Gedler received a voucher for software in the amount of 800 EUR as well as a workspace in the Digital Start-up Center “Einstein 1” for his project “Hof studymade…”, which is committed to creating learning partnerships

Previous award winners

The award has already been presented three times to particularly committed teachers: In 2017, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Valentin Plenk convinced the jury with his lecture and practical course on “Industry 4.0 in Planning and Production”. The second prize winner in the following year was Prof. Dr. Claus Atzenbeck with his concept for the English-language course “Formal Languages”. Prof. Ariane Hedayati was the first woman to win the award in 2019. She restructured the university’s multimedia lab into a learning space with the latest teaching and learning techniques.

Application process underway

The prizes of the DAL Award are awarded on the basis of the criteria dissemination capability and sustainability, competence orientation, and creativity & innovation. The application process for the DAL Award 2021 is already underway – the deadline for entries is September 30, 2021. The conditions of participation are available here:

The jury

The judges for 2020 were:

  • Aurelia Bauer, student representative of Hof University of Applied Sciences
  • Benjamin Bauer, Managing Director Zollhof Betreiber GmbH
  • Michael Bitzinger, Managing Director Bitzinger GmbH
  • Matthias Gedler, student representative of Hof University of Applied Sciences
  • Dr. Alois Kastner-Maresch, Managing Director of LivingLogic AG
  • Dr. Hubertus Porschen, Federal Chairman of the business association DIE JUNG UNTERNEHMER
  • Markus Vogler, Managing Director of Vogler Engineering GmbH Hof

Rainer Krauß

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