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2018-12-27  |  The adventure of thinking – Blog on mental work portrays IWM director
wie bitte denken

The blog www.wie-bitte-denken-sie.de is dedicated to the adventure of thinking. Well-known mental workers – scientists, artists and authors – and their individual ways of thinking are presented in comprehensive interviews. The features are illustrated by impressive black and white portraits. “With this synthesis, we hope to grasp and experience the originality of the thinkers and their mental endeavours”, says Michael Hellermann, scientific member of the lab Knowledge Construction, who runs the blog together with Cologne photographer Jürgen Naber.

In December, the blogger published a very special portrait: An interview with IWM director Ulrike Cress. “For me thinking has always something to do with constructing – to give meaning to a fact or situation. […] It is like cutting a lane through a jungle”, says the psychologist and head of the lab Knowledge Construction in the interview and reflects her own understanding of what it means to think. What is the difference between pondering and productive thinking and how can we make sure, that our own thoughts do not remain in the infamous filter bubble but enter the world? Those are all questions that are covered in the interview. Cress is convinced that productive thinking needs irritation, the communication with others whose perspective is expansion and corrective to the own thoughts. During the talk, the head of the IWM expresses her thoughts on the significance of digitization and the media in the process of knowledge construction and illuminates the tension between information flood and knowledge, between extending our horizons and narrowing our view. Cress takes the reader on a journey from the individual thoughts to the extension of the working memory by media and explains what this has to do with a dwarf. Read or listen to the interview  (German only).

2018-12-20  |  academics award for young talents 2018: 2nd rank for Annika Scholl

For the 12th time already, academics, the joint career portal of „Die Zeit“ and “Forschung und Lehre”, awards their renowned prize for young talents. The award honors junior scientists who advanced their field with outstanding and ground-breaking research achievements and who distinguish themselves through exemplary and voluntary commitment for science. In the competition for the in this field most important national and interdisciplinary award Annika Scholl achieved second place with her work on the perception of power and responsibility. Her results had been published before in international renowned journals as well as in papers like the New York Times. With good reason, since the deputy head of the Social Processes Lab closed with her work a long existing gap in research: While studies have focused on the consequences of power for example among politicians or managers, Scholl was concerned with the subjective perception of power, thus, providing entirely new insights on this matter. 

Yet, the award does not only honor Scholl’s scientific achievements but also her outstanding engagement. For years, Scholl has committed herself as co-founder and editor-in-chief of the portal wissensdialoge.de for the transfer of science into practice. “Along with the quality of my research, the transfer of scientific results and the dialogue with practice has great importance to me”, says Scholl. “With wissensdialoge.de, I like to make findings in psychology, for example on leadership or personnel development, applicable for their implementation in the working world.”

2018-12-04  |  Annual meeting 2018 of the Leibniz Association – the results
Leibniz 27.11.18-003
© Copyright: Peter Himsel / www.himsel.de

The 24th annual meeting of the Leibniz Association took place from November 27 to 29, 2018, in Berlin. At the general meeting, two new institutes were admitted to the Leibniz Association and the founding director of the IWM – Professor Friedrich Hesse – officially took leave as long-term vice-president. Furthermore, decisions on projects of the Leibniz Competition 2019 were made.

New Leibniz institutes
The Hans-Bredow-Institut for Media Research of the University of Hamburg as well as the Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung in Berlin will become new members of the Leibniz Association on January 1st, 2019. The research organisation hereby grows to 95 member institutions. 

In this respect, the general meeting recommended carrying the name “Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung – Hans Bredow” respective “Leibniz-Institut für Literatur- und Kulturforschung”.

Farewell to Tübinger vice president
After eight years in the board of the Leibniz Association, Friedrich Hesse, former director of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien in Tübingen, will leave as vice president at the end of the year. He was honoured during a farewell ceremony.

New projects in the Leibniz Competition 
The senate of the Leibniz Association has decided on the funding of 31 projects of the Leibniz Competition in a total amount of 24,1 million Euro. One of the projects approved is “KnowWolf”, a cooperation between the Senckenberg Nature Research Society and the Tübinger Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien. The project focuses on the provision of knowledge and its suitability for users.

2018-11-29  |   „WCT meets HCI“ workshop - Campus meeting of the Leibniz-Wissenschaftscampus

From November 15 to 16, 2018 the first meeting of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen (WCT) on „WCT meets HCI“ with external guests took place at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM). The workshop aimed at discussing interfaces of the research within the WCT and the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and at having a closer look on the question in how far they can mutually benefit from each other.

Dr. Elisa Mekler (Universität Basel), Prof. Dr. Gerhard Fischer (University of Colorado) and Prof. Dr. Heinz Ulrich Hoppe (Universität Duisburg-Essen) presented their research on HCI and shared their experiences and longstanding expertise within this field with the Campus projects. They contributed to a lively exchange of ideas and a profound discussion.
The WCT project members who are now in the mid-term of the project phase had the opportunity to present the current state of their research and to reflect the results from an outside perspective. Within the scope of talks and a postersession, the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus was epxerienced as a unique interdisciplinary network by the external guests. The campus meeting is also an opportunity for internal networking. Thus, for example, one of the newly associated projects in May 2018 of the University of Stuttgart was represented at the meeting for the first time.


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2018-11-13  |  Social media – what are the benefits? Sonja Utz as expert on work-related social media usage at different events
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Social media have become essential to the communication of companies. Today almost all businesses use Facebook or Instagram for marketing; and Enterprise Social Media for their knowledge management. “But if employees use Xing, LinkedIn or Twitter, it is often seen with scepticism”, says Prof. Dr. Sonja Utz of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM). “But especially these platforms offer benefits and can lead to more creative ideas, information advantages and informal learning.”

For several years, Prof. Dr. Sonja Utz has investigated at the IWM how social media can be used in a work-related context. This November, the head of the junior research group Social Media is on the move as expert on the effects of work-related social media use at different events:
At the 82. Mercedes-Benz Social Media Night (#mbsmn) on November, 14 Utz will answer the question what benefits LinkedIn, Twitter and Xing have ("LinkedIn, Twitter, Xing – was bringt (mir) das?"). She will describe the current state of science on this matter and will present results of her panel study on the use of business networks.
At the 1. Forum Fortbildung BW on November, 30 in Stuttgart, Utz will show that training and informal learning does not only take place in workshops but in everyday life through the use of social media. YouTube, for example, offers “How to…” videos on professional skills and Twitter provides with its hashtags opportunities to find communities for further training. In her talk on the advantages of social media for further training („YouTube, Twitter, Xing: Das Potenzial sozialer Medien in der (informellen) Weiterbildung“), Utz will show how to make use of this potential.

2018-10-30  |   Too lazy for integration? Lab visit of Kevin Winter on the perception of asylum seekers
Kevin Winter in Groningen

There has and still is much debating going on about the integration of asylum seekers. Perceptions and assumptions about this group set the tone of the discussion, either rational or polemic. A more scientific look on the perception of asylum seekers takes Kevin Winter, scientists at the Social Processes Lab of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM), during his lab visit in the Netherlands.

Winter works at the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences at the University of Groningen, Netherlands, from October 15, 2018 to December 14, 2018. In collaboration with Dr. Kai Epstude, he investigates how asylum seekers are perceived compared to other group of migrants. Are they considered passive recipients of integration or active agents?
Furthermore, Winter uses the lab visit to continue the work on his dissertation on trust in outgroups, social groups with which an individual does not identify. He researches, if people can be motivated to reconsider stereotypes or prejudices through the communication of so-called counterfactual thinking (“What if…?”).

"I am glad to meet so many well-known social psychologists and to benefit from their expertise. Working in such a big department with a different structure and its diverse perspectives is a completely new experience for me”, says Winter. “What is crazy though, there are much more students here in Groningen than in Tübingen. And much more bikes.”

2018-10-23  |  Has digitization in university failed? Results from the #LearnMap at the IWM

From October 11 to 12, 2018, the symposium „#LearnMap – Focussing on learning processes: research on digital media in university teaching” took place at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM). The symposium was held in connection with the BMBF-sponsored project “Digital Learning Map 2020”. The project investigates the success factors of digital learning and teaching in higher education and aims to foster the interdisciplinary exchange. Therefore, the program of the symposiums offered a variety of different topics to almost one hundred guests.

Besides various talks and discussions, especially the keynotes emphasized the possibilities and challenges of digital learning and teaching in higher education and of its respective research: Prof. Dr. Hendrick Drachsler (Professor for Educational Technologies at the DIPF and the Goethe University Frankfurt) explained in his lecture „Trusted learning analytics for personal development“ how learning analytics can be used effectively. A key aspect is the trust of students. To build trust, students shall be given the possibility to decide which data can be used and analysed. Prof. Dr. Birgit Spinath (University of Heidelberg) presented the concept of “Research-orientated teaching to improve the quality of university teaching”. In this concept, the effect of the teachers didactic is examined in an iterative process. Spinath demonstrated how learning conditions and the contentment of students in a lecture with 400 persons can be improved using digital tools. The third keynote „Determinants and consequences of technology integration in classrooms: Between technology acceptance and 21st century skills” was held by Prof Dr. Ronny Scherer (University of Oslo). Scherer presented two studies on the development of 21st century skills of students and pupils through the integration of technology in class.

In the interactive world café, the participant of the symposium could get active themselves. Different questions on the digitization of university teaching were discussed in small groups. In the final panel discussion, Prof. Dr. Johannes Moskaliuk, project leader of the Digital Learning Map 2020, asked the question: “Has digitization in university failed?” The answer of the debating participants was: No, but digitization is not easy. The symposium showed the variety of research on this topic. But the actual implementation often fails because of different reasons. Like most things at a university this process, above all else, needs time.


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2018-10-23  |  The future of PhD students: 3rd general assembly of the Leibniz PhD Network
Leibniz PhD Network

“During the discussions the list of ideas for the Network’s agenda for the next year filled up fast. We take those ideas now to the individual Leibniz institutes”, says Seren Yenikent, PhD student of the Knowledge Construction Lab at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM), after the meeting of the Leibniz PhD Network.

Yenikent participated together with Lisa Rabl, PhD student at the Knowledge Exchange Lab (IWM), at the 3rd general assembly of the network in Jena from September 26 to 28, 2018. The Leibniz PhD Network exists since September 2016 on initiative of a group of PhD students of the Leibniz Association.
It was founded with the goal to promote exchange among doctoral researchers within the Leibniz Association and beyond, to organise occasions and opportunities that foster and strengthen the Leibniz Network.
82 representatives from 63 out of the 93 institutes and museums followed the invitation of the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT) and Leibniz Institute on Aging – Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI) to the assembly. Besides the election of the steering committee and the keynote lecture of Dr. Thomas Kleinsorge (IfADo – Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors) on stress among PhD students, the participants engaged in lively discussions on the current situation of PhD students: “One of the most important topics in the agenda I would say is about alternative career paths apart from academia”, says Yenikent. “In general the institutes should be aware of the fact that PhDs might be looking for 'outside' jobs and should provide specific trainings or workshops for their doctoral researchers”
Yenikent and Rabl took part on behalf of the official IWM doc speakers, Iris Backfisch and Leonie Jacob.

Find the detailed assembly report on the Leibniz PhD Network Blog.

2018-10-19  |  Considering family and life changes: Certificate for the IWM
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For the third time now, the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) has received the berufundfamilie audit certificate testifying its strategic family-conscious personnel policy. The certificate is awarded for the successful completion of the auditing process by the berufundfamilie Service GmbH.
In its objectives of the last audit in 2015, the IWM defined and implemented 48 key measures concerning equal opportunity matters in order to ensure a better work-family balance to its employees: For example, childcare subsidy was raised and employees in non-work phases such as parental leave or care of relatives receive greater support through the financing of further training. The institute is now recertified for the next three years.

2018-10-18  |  Workshop „WCT meets HCI“ at the IWM
Workshop WCT meets HCI
©Tiko - stock.adobe.com

From November 15 to November 16, 2018 the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen (WCT) workshop “WCT meets HCI” (human computer interaction) takes place at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM). On the first day of the workshop three distinguished plenary speakers will present their research on HCI: Prof. Gerhard Fischer (University of Colorado), Prof. Dr. Heinz Ulrich Hoppe (University of Duisburg-Essen) and Dr. Elisa Mekler (University of Basel). In the ensuing poster session the 16 projects of the WCT will present their current state of research. The Workshop provides a platform for active exchange and discussions. The second day is dedicated to the discussion about overlaps between the research of the WCT and HCI more generally.

2018-10-16  |  International Educational Games Competition: 1st prize for “Crabs & Turtles” by Katerina Tsarava and Luzia Leifheit.
First Prize for Tsarava and Leifheit

Katerina Tsarava of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) and Luzia Leifheit of the LEAD Graduate School won the  the 1st prize in the category of non-digital games and the joint overall 1st prize of the competition at the 6th International Educational Games Competition for their board game series “Crabs & Turtles: A Series for Computational Adventures” on October 4 and 5. The competition was part of the 12th European Conference on Games Based Learning at SKEMA Business School in Sophia Antipolis, France. 
The life-size board game series “Crabs & Turtles” were developed at the IWM in the junior research group Neurocognitive Plasticity by Tsarava and Leifheit. It is aiming to train computational thinking skills to primary school children like algorithmic thinking, sequences, loops, constants, variables, etc. in a low-threshold manner. The games are integrated into the structured course curriculum “Verstehen wie Computer denken”  (Understanding how computers think) of the Hector Children Academies, in which primary school students learn informatics concepts in a playful manner and apply their acquired skills at programming afterwards. The project is funded by the Hector Stiftung II and the courses are offered in more than 20 Hector Children Academies in Baden-Württemberg since October 2018.


At the end of September, 57 Clusters of Excellence were selected that will be funded by the federal and state government as part of their Excellence Strategy. Partners of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus (WCT) Tübingen “Cognitive Interfaces” are involved in two of the selected clusters. As Vice Director, Prof. Thomas Ertl (1) has contributed to the renewed success of the Cluster of Excellence Simtech of the University of Stuttgart. Within the WCT he is a tandem partner in the project “Context changes in social media contributions”. Moreover, the Cluster of Excellence “Machine Learning: New Perspectives for Science” was newly funded. Among the partners of that cluster is Prof. Sonja Utz (2) who contributes to the WCT in two projects: “Overcoming cognitive and motivational barriers for networking: Contact recommendation systems in professional settings” and “Context changes in social media contributions”. Both Clusters of Excellence investigate how knowledge work can be intelligently supported, thus having significant overlap with the research topics of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen „Cognitive Interfaces“.


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2018-09-28  |  Top level research on machine learning: The Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien as member of the new Tübingen Cluster of Excellence
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The funding decisions on the new Clusters of Excellence in Germany’s Excellence Strategy have now been made: The expert committee and the research ministers of the federal and state governments selected 57 Clusters of Excellence to be funded from among 88 initial project submissions on September 27, 2018. Among them is the cluster “Machine Learning in Science” of the University of Tübingen and its partners, the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) and the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems. The IWM supports the top level research of the cluster with its expertise on the influence of digital media on knowledge and communication processes. 

New technologies using artificial intelligence are set to make tangible changes to our world in the coming decades. Recent breakthroughs in the area of machine learning will make it possible. Algorithms are now able to solve ever more complex problems which previously only humans could manage. The new “Machine Learning in Science” Cluster of Excellence will analyse these developments, which promise to fundamentally change even the process of scientific investigation. The researchers aim to discover the full potential of machine learning and how it can be harnessed for science and academia in general and to understand the effects this will have on the scientific process. At the heart of their research are algorithms which recognize complex structures and causal links in data sets; methods with which uncertainties can be quantified in data-driven scientific models; and techniques enabling the researchers to better understand, interpret and control the phases of machine learning. Ethical and scientific theory issues will also be looked at.
The research of the IWM in the cluster concentrates on knowledge processes on digital platforms like Twitter or LinkedIn. Such platforms increasingly offer automatic text recognition and knowledge visualizations providing users with new resources of knowledge.

Head of the IWM Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress is very pleased with the success in Germany’s Excellence Strategy: “The close collaboration between the IWM and the University of Tübingen will be even more intensified with the new research cluster. We have already established a sound and flexible structure enabling innovative cooperation projects between a Leibniz-Institut and a university with the launch of the first nationwide Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus in 2008. The cluster of excellence on machine learning will strengthen these synergies between university and non-university research. We are looking forward to the joint work that lies ahead of us.”

2018-09-18  |  Start of the „Digital Learning Map – a database for digital media in higher education“
Screenshot LearnMap

By now digital media have become an integral part of learning at most universities. Their use is versatile, ranging from interactive quizzes tracking learning progress to virtual classrooms or online lecture recordings to rework a course. These and other potential applications of digital media in higher education are from now on presented by the Digital Learning Map. 

The database Digital Learning Map was developed at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) within the project LearnMap, funded by the by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and in cooperation with the online portal e-teaching.org and the German Forum for Higher Education in the Digital Age.
The database features teaching and learning environments which apply digital media and are put to use by individuals or institutions. The practical examples from all over Germany uncover the variety of possible applications in academic teaching.
As of now, the interactive map of Germany is online and presents best practices. With just one click, teachers are able to gather ideas for new learning settings using digital media and learn from one another. The examples show how media is used didactically appropriate. Therefore, every example explains which media properties are used to enhance learning and solve certain issues of teaching, like poor motivation to learn.

The purpose of the database is to make practical knowledge of how to use digital media in higher education teaching available and demonstrate solutions for possible challenges. That stimulates an exchange of knowledge beyond the confines of individual higher education institutions or disciplinary borders. University instructors can use the database to draw inspiration, comment the practical examples and to establish contact. Service facilities can use the Digital Learning Map in their consulting activities. The Digital Learning Map is furthermore continually developed: University instructors are welcome to register their field-tested examples.

Link to the database (in German)

Further information on the research project (in German)

2018-09-17  |  Psychology shapes – Researchers of the IWM at the 51st DGPs congress

With the slogan “Psychologie gestaltet” (Psychology shapes) the German Psychological Society (DGPs) invites scientists to its congress from September 15 to 20 in Frankfurt a. M. and puts this year’s focus on the important role of scientific psychology in tackling individual and societal challenges. More than 20 researchers of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) participate at the biggest scientific psychology meeting of the German-speaking region.  

The scientists of the IWM organized, amongst other things, various symposia at the congress and present here their current research findings: Kevin Winter for example holds a talk on radicalization and populism in “Chances and challenges for successful integration of refugees: What can social psychology contribute?” on Monday. At the symposium “Radiologische Aufnahmen befunden: Analyse und Förderung visueller ExpertiseDr. Juliane Richter shows findings on visual expertise in medical fields. On Thursday, Dr. Hauke S. Meyerhoff talks about “Crossmodal Interaction and Integration affect Perception, Attention, and Learning” and Dr. Annika Scholl guides the discussion on “When others make a healthy day: How social processes contribute to health and well-being “. “What is moral or what is best for public good? How social roles, action features, and reasoning preferences shape judgments of right and wrong” is one of the research questions Michael Wenzler delves into on Thursday as well.

At symposia, lectures and poster presentations, the researchers of the IWM and the 2500 international guests of the congress discuss psychological solutions for urgent social topics such as fake news, work 4.0, radicalization and inequalities in education. 

Link to the online program

2018-09-17  |  Katharina Scheiter is new chairman of the ZPID scientific advisory board

Prof. Dr. Katharina Scheiter, head of the Multiple representations Lab at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien, was elected chairman of the scientific advisory board of the Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information (ZPID) on September 7. As chairman, Scheiter directs the board, gives advice on scientific matters – such as the planning of research projects and of national as well as international cooperation – and evaluates the research quality of the institute. Scheiter about the new task: "I am looking forward to supporting ZPID in the advisory board over the next four years as it implements its diverse plans for the future."
The ZPID is a supra-regional scientific research support organization for psychology in German-speaking countries. It supports the scientific work process from gathering ideas to documenting research, archiving data and publishing the results. It is committed to the idea of open science and sees itself as a public open science institute for psychology.

2018-09-14  |  Excellent thesis – Lara Wolfers receives Paul-Lazarsfeld Scholarship

Lara Wolfers, PhD student at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM), received the Paul-Lazasrfeld Scholarship for her excellent Master thesis yesterday. The grant was awarded during the method meeting of the German Communication Association (DGPuK) in Ilmenau from September 12 to 14. 

In her master thesis on self-revelation online and offline Wolfers analyses a longitudinal data set with structural equation modelling. Her findings show that self-revelation offline and online is influenced by personality traits irrespective of the context. Persons, who reveal much about themselves online, do so offline, too, and vice versa. When using complex methods (such as the random intercept-cross lagged panel model) Wolfers finds no evidence that self-revelation for offline purposes can be learned online. Her thesis was supervised by Prof. Dr. Sabine Trepte of the University of Hohenheim.

The Paul-Lazarsfeld Scholarship is granted by the methods division of the DGPuK. It is awarded annually to three outstanding theses or studies with special focus on research methods and comes with 1.000€.

2018-09-07  |  Calculating in Portuguese – Lab visit of Julia Bahnmüller in Brazil
Research Team with Bahnmüller (second from the right)

83 – dreiundachtzig in German, quatre-vingt-trois in French and oitenta e três in Portuguese. Depending on the language, numerals are composed and spelled differently (i.e. inverted in German).  Whether differences in language have an influence on the development of numeric competencies is investigated by Dr. Julia Bahnmüller of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) during her research stay in Brazil. 

Dr. Julia Bahnmüller, scientists of the junior research group Neuro-cognitive Plasticity at the IWM, is visiting the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte in Brazil from August 27 to September 21. With Prof. Vitor Geraldi Haase and his lab Laboratório de Neuropsicologia Bahnmüller works on a Brazilian-German research project on cognitive and genetic features of typical and atypical arithmetic learning.  The research team investigates how characteristics of the German and Portuguese language – in terms of spelling and structure of numerals – affect the development of numeracy skills. In addition, Bahnmüller examines developmental numeracy deficits in families and develops with the Brazilian colleagues an online screening tool which records the development of arithmetic and numeric competencies.

„What I find particularly exciting about this project is the link between cognitive research, genetic influences and the development of arithmetic skills”, says Bahnmüller. “Especially the possible impact of cultural differences still represents a gap in research.”
The project is sponsored by PROBRAL – a bilateral research funding program of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and its Brazilian counterpart Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível (CAPES).

2018-08-30  |  Forest before trees – IWM at the EARLI SIG2 2018
From left to right Anne Schüler  Georg Pardi  Caroline Leroy  Marie-Christin Krebs  Steffen Gottschling Juliane Richter  Thérése Eder  Manuel Knoos

From August 27 to 29, 2018, scientists of different labs of the IWM visited the second EARLI SIG meeting 2018 in Freiburg. 
The conference of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) was held in cooperation with the Special Interest Group „Comprehension of Text and Graphics“. Since nowadays texts and graphics come in many forms – not just written text, but in combination with animations, simulations or videos –research on how representations affect learning and instruction is growing. This vast research body was brought together at the EARLI SIG meeting.
On the first day, the scientists of the IWM shared their experiences on the use of eye-tracking and eye movement analysis when investigating multiple representations: Psychologists Marie-Christin Krebs of the Multiple representations Lab held a lecture on “Eye movement modeling examples vs. cuing: Does the human factor matter?“. Colleague Thérése Eder continued with a presentation on “Do gaze visualizations foster the diagnostic performance and gaze behavior of dental students?“. Closing the session, Dr. Juliane Richter, also from the Multiple representations Lab, presented an eye tracking study in dental education (“How massed practice improves reading radiographs: An eye-tracking study in dental education”). On the second day, the deputy head of the lab, Dr. Anne Schüler, gave a talk on “Investigating integration during learning from a video “. In addition, Caroline Leroy and Steffen Gottschling of the Multimodal interaction Lab presented posters on different key aspects,

As the announcement states, the conference aimed to not only analyse the different perspectives but to gain a clear overview of the research body: “Zooming out of single studies and representations may allow seeing the gist of the research findings, and not just the single details. In figurative speech, it may allow seeing the forest, and not just the single trees.”

EARLI is the central organization at European level, in which researchers from the field of empirical teaching-learning research have joined forces. Representing over 2000 members in more than 60 countries, EARLI is the biggest educational association in Europe.

2018-08-30  |  Live from the ER – Johannes Großer at the AMEE 2018
Johannes Großer

How do professionals of medicine and healthcare learn with digital learning material and how do they connect their knowledge with practical experience? Johannes Großer of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) held a talk on this topic at the conference of the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) 2018 from August 25 to 29 in Basel – a key annual education venue for medical and healthcare professionals and researchers. 

With his talk on „Learning from an interactive online platform: Anatomy in the inter-professional operation room (OR)“, Großer presented the IWM project Open Teach to an international audience: The project is concerned with the analysis of open digital higher education and aims particularly at the opening of medical teaching and learning materials for the discourse between different professions. The results and insights gained are directly integrated into the further development of the interactive online platform Sectio Chirurgica which broadcasts surgeries live from the emergency room. The audience get close to the operation table and can ask questions via a live chat.

AMEE is a worldwide organisation with members in 90 countries on five continents. Members include teachers, educators, researchers, administrators, curriculum developers, deans, assessors, students and trainees in medicine and the healthcare professions.

2018-08-29  |  Saving data properly – Dr. Nora Umbach as expert of research data management at the ZPID
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Digitization offers great potential to the research process: Huge amounts of data can be saved, linked and published digitally. But the storage and transfer of continuously growing volumes of research data need a reliable and proper data management.

“Therefore, research data should be FAIR. That means findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable.”, says Dr. Nora Umbach, scientific member of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM). The expert on data storage and protection of the IWM held a talk on research data management last Friday at the Leibniz-Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID). Describing the data management of the IWM, Umbach exemplified the specific needs, solutions and challenges of a reliable storage of research material and pointed out possible cooperation between the IWM and the ZPID.

“Especially psychological data often consist of personal information. But also other aspects of data protection are important”, says Umbach. The IWM collects its own primary data which is stored in an internal data archive according to precise data protection regulations and metadata standards.

Watch the lecture here (in German only)

2018-08-24  |  Connecting with mates – Kai Sassenberg at the University of Queensland in Brisbane
Kai Sassenberg

“It is a prerequisite for scientific progress to think about and rethink phenomenon again and again. Therefore, the exchange with international researchers is key to the advancement of science”, says Prof. Dr. Kai Sassenberg, head of Social Processes lab at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM).

From August 17 to December 12, 2018, Sassenberg visits the School of Psychology of the University of Queensland (UQ) in Brisbane and gets in touch with the Australian colleagues. Together with Matthew Hornsey, Professor for Psychology at the UQ, Sassenberg works on a project, promoted by the German Research Foundation, on building collective trust through trust brokers: Collective trust (i.e. between members of different groups) is a crucial precondition for the functioning of societies which are based on the division of labor. Trust based on group membership can be generated by the communication of so-called trust brokers. Examples for trust brokers are institutions testing products and conflict mediators. Yet, there is barely any research on the antecedents of trust brokers’ effectiveness. Therefore, the project is aimed at preparing a research program at a theoretical and methodological level that will identify the conditions of successful communication by trust brokers.
Besides that, further opportunities for cooperation with scientists of social and organizational psychology at the UQ will be explored. Furthermore, Sassenberg will hold a talk at the Digilab of the School of Social Sciences and Psychology (Western Sydney University) and will strengthen the cooperation with social psychologist Frank de Wit of Melbourne Business School.

Sassenberg: "A stay abroad offers many possibilities, both professionally and privately. You experience different ways of life, different societies, organisations, educational systems and many more. This allows reflecting on your own work and life and gives inspiration for change.”

2018-08-23  |  More brain power – Recommended article in Focus magazine with Elise Klein
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More and more people take pills in order to enhance their cognitive performance for work or study. But these drugs hardly have any effect on the brain or the memory, as the most effective substances for brain doping is the body itself. This is described in the article “Sie sind klüger als sie denken” (You are smarter than you think) of the 33rd issue of Focus magazine. Some of the means to improve brain performance are exercise, healthy nutrition and cognitive trainings.

The article cover mentions the work of Dr. Dr. Elise Klein, scientist at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien. Klein demonstrated in her studies how a short arithmetic training increased the strength and conductivity of nerve fibres. “This shows us how fast the brain can change itself plastically just with a short brain training, even in adulthood”, says Klein.

2018-08-16  |  Online, print, whatever – Kai Sassenberg in an interview with Deutschlandfunk
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Since the popular Berlin newspaper Taz currently considers discontinuing their print version, the radio station Deutschlandfunk interviewed Prof. Dr. Kai Sassenberg, scientist at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien, in its show @mediasres – das Medienmagazin about the possible consequences of reading news online. Probably, this will make hardly any difference for the reader, says the psychologist. Although the presentation formats change, the way of reception will only differ slightly. Much more decisive are the motivation and emotions of the readers.

2018-08-13  |  Joachim Kimmerle on the Editorial Board of the IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies
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Prof. Dr. Joachim Kimmerle, scientist at the Leibniz- Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM), was elected Associate Editor of the journal Transactions on Learning Technologies of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for three years. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies is a quarterly peer-reviewed scientific journal publishing research papers on advances in learning technologies and their applications such as innovative online learning systems, intelligent tutors, educational software applications and games and many more. Since the journal has its focus on the crossroads of computing and education, it is cosponsored by the IEEE Computer Society and the IEEE Education Society.

2018-08-03  |   Book on “Learning with educational technologies” – Expertise of the IWM on paper
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In more and more German classrooms, notebooks, tablets & co are being used. Still, the application of digital media in class is often discussed. In this debate, teachers, learners as well as scientists from educational research, media science and communications face the question how learning with digital media can be successful.

The recently published book “Lernen mit Bildungstechnologien” provides professionals and scientist now with an overview of empirical findings on learning with educational technologies and presents evidence-based models on designing learnings environments that are supported by digital media. Scientists of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) incorporate their expertise on teaching and learning with digital media in three chapters: Peter Holtz, Ulrike Cress and Joachim Kimmerle explain how social media and platforms such as Wikipedia are used for everyday informal learning. Stephan Schwan and Martin Merkt (IWM alumnus, Deutsches Institut für Erwachsenenbildung) evaluate the use of videos and animations in learning scenarios. Besides their discussion on different theories on learning with multimedia, Katharina Scheiter, Juliane Richter and Alexander Renkl (University of Freiburg) close with their chapter the long exsiting research gap on teaching with text-image combinations.

 The Book on SpringerLink

2018-08-02  |  Virtual Reality at the IWM –The 2nd VECTOR Workshop

Virtual Reality (VR) has not only been successfully applied in entertainment but also in the treatment of various psychological disorders. Furthermore, promising benefits for VR with respect to educational applications are currently researched.  On the one hand, these new trends are promising. On the other hand, the development of according applications requires new principles of interface and information design. Recently, the application of Serious Gaming principles has been proposed to augment and improve educational and therapeutic VR applications and their beneficial impact on the user. To discuss this development, the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) hosted the second "Virtual Environments: Current Topics in Psychological Research" (VECTOR) workshop from July 25 to July 27, 2018.

On three days, researchers and interested students from Tübingen and around the world discussed current developments of VR and Serious Gaming in therapeutic and educational applications, as well as in basic research and exchanged their expertise in designing and evaluating such applications.

Starting with tutorials on the first day, talks and poster sessions followed on the second and the third day of the workshop. On Thursday, Mareike Gooßes (University of Cologne, Fig. 1) opened with her talk on the application of exergames in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. Following a talk session on the application of Serious Games in therapy and education, and a poster session (Fig. 2), Valerie Shute (Florida State University, Fig. 3) gave her talk on stealth assessment in educational games and discussed the new possibilities of continuous evaluation and feedback regarding the learner’s success in such applications. Lab tours at the IWM and a presentation of the TüDiLab concluded the schedule on Thursday. Friday began with Marta Ferrer-García’s (University of Barcelona, Fig. 4) talk on the main characteristics and uses of VR in the study, assessment, and treatment of eating disorders. After a talk session on the application of VR in research of agency, social cognition and spatial cognition, Prof. Giuseppe Riva (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Fig. 5) gave the last keynote lecture. Riva gave an overview of the promising applications of VR in the treatment and diagnosis of different psychological disorders. The workshop concluded with a panel discussion: Marta Ferrer-García, Christian Plewnia (University Hospital of Tübingen), Giuseppe Riva, Stephan de la Rosa (Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics) and Valerie Shute reflected and discussed inter alia which technical and theoretical, but also ethical and political challenges remain when fostering the large-scale application of software assisted therapies and trainings.

The 2nd VECTOR workshop showed the current state of the development of VR applications and their augmentation with game elements. It demonstrated the possibilities, but also the challenges of interdisciplinary cooperation at this hub between psychotherapy, education, game design, medicine, and computer science. 

The workshop was a cooperation between the IWM and the University of Tübingen, further support came from the Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience (CIN), the Serious Gaming Society, and the University Hospital of Tübingen.


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2018-07-30  |  In black and white – Danny Flemming and Steffen Gottschling at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Text & Discourse

There it is in black and white..? Even if we have information in the form of texts, we interpret them differently. In the age of information overload, contradictions and fake news, the research on the comprehension of texts is of major social relevance. On this year’s Meeting of the Society for Text & Discourse (ST&D) scientists from the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien discussed with other participants how texts and discourses are processed in the digital age. 

The 28 Annual Meeting of the ST&D from July 17 to 19 in Brighton was held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading uniting contributions on the different theoretical and practical perspective on text comprehension of both societies. Of the IWM Steffen Gottschling (Image 1), member of the Multimodal Interaction Lab, held a talk on the processing of scientific texts (“Readers’ Attention to and Use of Source Information as a Function of its Usefulness to Explain Conflicting Scientific Claims”). He raised the question, how the usefulness of source information to explain conflicting scientific claims affects readers’ attention to and use of this information. With his eye-tracking study with 80 participants he demonstrated that differences in benevolence between the sources (i.e., that source information can be used as conflict explanation) affect both readers’ attention to source information and conflict explanation.

In addition, Dr. Danny Flemming (Image 2), member of the Knowledge Construction Lab (IWM), presented two studies on refutation texts in a poster session and explained how such texts can support laypeople’s comprehension of scientific tentativeness ("Refutation texts as tools to support laypeople's appraisal of scientific tentativeness"). Background to this is that laypeople consider scientific texts to be unreliable the more they know about the limitations of the scientific findings. Flemming had conducted the studies in collaboration with Prof. Gale M. Sinatra during a lab visit at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.


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2018-07-25  |  From research paper to application – first hands-on workshop of the joint project “Ideas to Market”
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Germany is seen as a country of innovations. Yet, the economic utilization of its ideas and patents lags behind expectations. Therefore, the joint project “Ideas to Market” aims to foster the economic use of scientific findings and to facilitate the transition of basic research into different application areas. As partner of the project, the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) focuses on the development of communication tools like a multi touch table to support the knowledge and idea exchange between groups. 

On July 20, the scientists of the Knowledge Exchange Lab (IWM) met with their partners of the Fraunhofer Center for Responsible Research and the Human-Centered Computing Lab of the Freie Universität Berlin for the first hands-on workshop of the “Ideas to Market” project in Berlin. In the first application case, scientists had a crowd generate ideas for the usage of new material on a website and visualized these ideas on a multi touch table (MTT). Based on this, six experts with an industrial, scientific or political background tried to identify, evaluate and enhance the best ideas. The MTT application was developed and implemented at the IWM. Highlights in the project include the use of tangibles and the interaction between tablet PCs and the MTT, to offer private and public spaces during the interaction.

“The feedback at the workshop was promising, participants saw a lot of potential in the process as well as in the technologies used”, says Dr. Johanna Rahn, member of the Knowledge Exchange Lab. “The automated sorting options, a similarity matrix, and scripted collaboration of the multi touch table helped improve the decision and evaluation process.”

2018-07-25  |  Recognition for Citizen Science project – the IWM in the report of the Joint Science Conference
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Citizen Science is an upward trend in Germany and expectations are high: Citizen Science is expected to change the relation between science and society, to strengthen science itself and to impart knowledge about specific topics to citizens. From the perspective of the federal and state governments, research institutions should therefore include participatory elements like citizen science projects in their work if they generate added value.

Concerning this, the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) sets a good example:  In cooperation with the Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde and the Dachverband Deutscher Avifaunisten (DDA) they develop interactive maps for the citizen science platform ornitho.de hosted by the DDA. The online platform offers citizen the chance to search for information on local fauna and flora and to upload their own observations. The project is now listed as an example for the citizen science projects of the Leibniz Association in the monitoring report on the Pakt für Innovation und Forschung (pact for research and innovation) of the Joint Science Conference (GWK)Around 40 projects based on citizen participation are currently carried out by Leibniz Institutions.

In addition, the report highlights the joint project “WTimpact – From knowledge transfer to knowledge exchange”: In order to evaluate the effects of Citizen Science, the IWM and its projects partners from natural science and educational research investigate which factors influence the learning process and the emotional attitude of amateur scientists. The partners are the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education and the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research.
The Pakt für Forschung und Innovation has been made between the federal and state governments and research institutions like the Leibniz Association, the German Research Foundation, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers and the Max Planck Gesellschaft. It aims to strengthen Germany as a scientific location and to further improve international competitiveness. The monitoring report on the pact recognizes the progress of its institutions annually.

Monitoring Report (PDF in German only)

2018-07-24  |  Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress appointed Deputy Chairwoman of the Board of Deutsche Telekom Stiftung

With effect from July 1, 2018, Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress, Director of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) and Head of the Knowledge Construction Lab, has been appointed Deputy Chairwoman of the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung. The foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in Germany and pursues the goal of promoting good education for a networked knowledge and information society. Chairman is Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schuster, former Mayor of the city of Stuttgart. Ulrike Cress is looking forward to the new task and emphasizes the connections between the topics of the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung and her research work at the IWM: "With digitization, educational institutions are facing new challenges and tasks. Research can help to make teaching-learning settings more efficient and shows how digital media can support learning processes. Expanding these efficient scenarios is now a priority for educational institutions. The Deutsche Telekom Stiftung has an important pioneering role here. I particularly like that their initiatives take into account the entire education chain." Prof. Cress has been appointed to the office for five years.

2018-07-24  |  Virtual Reality Workshop at the IWM

On three days scientists and interested students will have time to exchange and discuss ongoing developments and applications of virtual reality (VR) technologies in therapy, training, and education, as well as the prospects of these technologies regarding basic research. This year, the VECTOR workshop focus on the enhancement of VR trainings and therapies with principles of gamification, in order to increase the accessibility and to encourage the users.

From July 25th to July 27th 2018 the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) in Tübingen will host the second "Virtual Environments: Current Topics in Psychological Research" (VECTOR) workshop. The workshop is a cooperation with the Universtiy of Tübingen, further support comes from the Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience (CIN), the Serious Gaming Society, and the University Clinic.

One day of tutorials and two days filled with talks and posters will provide insights into current VR research. Furthermore, four distinguished plenary speakers will present their research on VR and Serious Gaming. Giuseppe Rive is a pioneer in the application of VR in psychological and neurophysiological assessment and rehabilitation. He promotes the distribution of innovative health care approaches and investigates the neuropsychological foundations of the sense of presence - the subjective sense of being there - experienced by users during VR exposure. Marta Ferrer-García applies VR technologies for her research in the fields of clinical and personality psychology, with a special focus on the relation between body image distortions and eating disorders. Valerie Shute is a leading expert in the field of digital learning environments. For more than 30 years, she has been investigating how to design, develop and evaluate advanced learning systems to promote the development of core competencies for successful interactions in a complex and interconnected world. Mareike Gooßes is a physiotherapist and neuroscientist, investigating how non-pharmacological interventions, like exergaming programs, can improve learning processes in patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.
The event is held in English.


2018-07-23  |  Conflicts in Bremen – Peter Holtz as expert at the BIGSSS Summer School on Computational Social Science

Conflicts are part of everyday life and unavoidable in a society. Especially situations in which different ideologies and beliefs clash together are vulnerable to conflicts. This is particularly noticeable in the current discussion on migration and refugees. But how do conflicts arise? And when do they turn violent?

The development of conflicts is the main focus of the scientists at the Summer School of the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Science (BIGSSS) from July 23 to August 3, 2018 in Bremen. During the summer school, participants are introduced to computational social sciences, the link of research on social science and computational methods of data mining and analysis.

Dr. Peter Holtz of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) has been invited as expert to the event and presents with Dr. Henrik Dobewall (University of Tampere) the project “Values in everyday language and inter-group conflict”: Together with PhD students from different countries, Holtz and Dobewall analyse discourses on social conflicts like the migration debate in Germany and other countries of the EU. Using linguistic analysis and computational methods, they investigate content of websites of right- and left-wing parties as well as comments on social media in order to reconstruct personal value attitudes of the respective authors and to link them with conflict-based discourse patterns.

„Reframing issues in terms of values that the conflict groups can understand facilitates agreement and conflict solution,” says Holtz. “The Summer School is an excellent opportunity to explore such conflict topics in a project with PhD students from different disciplines and to enter a dialogue with other experts on Computational Social Science.”

2018-07-20  |  How bias spreads over Wikipedia – Ina von der Beck defends her doctoral thesis
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“I knew that all along” – In hindsight, events often seem predictable, more obvious, and more likely than in foresight. This tendency of overestimating what one knew before an event happened is a psychological phenomenon called hindsight bias.

Ina von der Beck, PhD student of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien, focussed in her dissertation on hindsight bias at different stages of knowledge about an event: Among others, she addressed the question how hindsight distortions may be communicated and enhanced even after clarification of what happened (i.e., through Wikipedia articles). In several studies von der Beck got further insights into hindsight: Hindsight distortions in written artefacts are directly related to the author’s level of bias and reading such a distorted article can further increase a reader’s hindsight bias. However, differences in cultural background do not moderate this effect. These findings suggest that the hindsight bias of an individual can be communicated via written artefacts and thus spread and proliferated amongst many.

Ina von der Beck studied psychology at the University of Osnabrück (2008-2013, B.Sc. Psychology, M.Sc. Intercultural Psychology). In November 2013, she joined the IWM as a PhD candidate and research assistant in the Knowledge Construction Lab.

2018-07-10  |  SCIENCE-FLASHMOBS IN SHOPPING MALLS? Ulrike Cress about public relation and the social utility of science at the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) in Toulouse
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From scientific output to scientific use: Researchers from France, Germany, Italy and Spain discuss on the ESOF 2018 in France today how science communication and public relations can be improved. The panel is part of the 6-day conference on “Sharing Science – Towards new horizons”. The science of the future addresses topics like the development of robotics and artificial intelligence, big data and health, computerised intelligent home and town systems, fact checking as well as questions on ethic, risks and security.
Head of the Leibniz-Instituts für Wissensmedien (IWM) Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress participates with researchers of Baden-Württemberg international (bw-i), the German Research Foundaiton (DFG), the Institute for Research in Biomedicine Barcelona (IRB), the Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing of Environment (IREA-CNR) and the Maison des mathématiques et de l'informatique de Lyon (MMI Lyon) in a panel of the section “Social utility of Science”. The panel addresses the efforts of scientific experts and organization to contribute to social utility of science through outreach activities. It opens the discussion whether the values inherent in scientific careers need re-assessment, if the mission of scientific communication is to be pursued with a stronger dedication from scientists.
Cress emphasizes the relevance of science for knowledge transfer and the comprehensibility of research for the public: “Science still naively assumes that laymen comprehend the relevance of research findings. Unfortunately, empirical studies often show that for laymen results from science are only one voice among many.”

2018-07-07  |  How can learning be fun? Experiments on playful learning at the children’s university research day of the University of Tübingen at the IWM.

The workshops of the event “How can learning be fun? Experiments on playful learning” on Saturday, July 7, were completely booked up. Children flocked in the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) at 1:15pm and 3:15pm. In about two hours they playfully approached the questions: What is learning? How do we learn? Can we learn when we play? How can we measure learning? What helps us learn better? And how can we measure fun?
„It is not about listening but joining on the research day of the children’s university: Children between seven and twelve years old get to know the institutes of the University in small events and workshops and can become little researchers themselves,” said the organizers of the event.
At the IWM, the children found different stations with experiments. Researchers of the IWM had designed the experiments in order to understand how our brain can learn numbers well. Roberta Barrocas (IWM) and Katerina Tsarava (IWM) of the junior research lab Neuro-cognitive Plasticity, Dominik Krauss (Department of Informatics at the University of Tuebingen), and  Silke Maria Bieck (LEAD, University of Tuebingen) had prepared themselves well since it is especially challenging to give children an understanding of science and research.


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2018-07-05  |  Does the work place influence the way of working? Carolin Burmeister defends her doctoral thesis
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The term Ubiquitous Working describes work as phenomenon that became ever-present due to modern technological developments. It is also known as Arbeit 4.0 (Work 4.0), one of the central topics of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Due to mobile devices work can be done in spaces other than the office that are usually associated with leisure and free time (i.e. living room, park bench). This is particularly true for knowledge workers who acquire only few material resources beside their mind and therefore are portable. They only need a laptop with internet connection, access to information and files and a chat or mobile phone.  
Research has demonstrated that information processing and work behaviour are influenced by external factors and the environment. Therefore, it can be assumed that workers do not show the same performance when working in a typical work setting compared to typical places of leisure. Using lab experiments and field studies, Carolin Burmeister, a PhD student of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM), examined how cognitive performance (like attention and concentration) and decision-making behaviour differed when subjects had experienced a virtual office or leisure environment (i.e. a garden) before or actually had been in a work or leisure environment. Findings indicate that spaces associated with work lead to higher cognitive performance and more risky decisions. In addition, factors of the task (like time pressure or the fit between task and environment) and personal influences (such as personality traits or mood) might affect this correlation. However, employers should keep these effects in mind when assigning important decisions or tasks that acquire a high level of concentration.
Burmeister has been a research associate and PhD student since October 2015. Since 2014, she has been working at the institute, initially as a research assistant in the Knowledge Construction Lab. In her current research, she focusses on modern forms of work. Within the project “Ubiquitous Working: Challenges and opportunities for the net-worked world” she investigates different work environments and surroundings that influence work behaviour.

2018-07-05  |  Education is the future and the future is digital – the IWM at the Festival for Digital Education

The future education is digital: At this year’s Festival for Digital Education,  the state government Baden-Württemberg took this idea as an opportunity to experience this future now and to become aware of it. The program on July 4 in Heidelberg was diverse: speeches, digital teaching and learning spaces, discussions, workshops, talks with ministers, a “market of opportunities” that offered meetings with ministers on equal terms, an education boutique with innovative projects and good practice examples from all over Baden-Württemberg.
Researchers of the Leibniz- Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM), the only German research facility that examines knowledge processes in the digitization age, were also represented. Among them were Thérése Eder, Andreas Lachner and Marie Krebs of the lab Multiple Representation of Katharina Scheiter. In addition, the Realistic Depiction lab of Peter Gerjets and the junior research group Neuro-cognitive Plasticity of Korbinian Moeller participated in the festival.
Two stands informed visitors about the TüDiLab and about learning with tablets and offered to try out the devices. The TüDiLab at the IWM pursues two objectives: the practical professionalization of teaching staff regarding their use of media in class as well as the research on the effects of such media use in teaching. A part of this research could now be experienced live in the tent in hall 02. Visitors tried out eye-trackers that recorded movements of the eye during learning on a computer – like when reading a text or looking at an animation. In this way the perception of images or learning progress can be evaluated. At the second stand, the visitors could test different applications developed in research projects of the IWM and the University of Tübingen. Examples are Semideus, a game for learning fractions, the eChembook, a prototype of a digital school book for chemistry lessons and the Feedbook, a digital book with interactive exercises for English lessons. Furthermore, a multitouch table to compose music digitally was presented via video.

Katharina Scheiter sums up: „At the festival, the representative of the state government spread a clear progressive tone for a digital Baden-Württemberg. Premier Winfried Kretschmann emphasized that instead of trying to avoid mistakes we should face the challenges. However, all actors involved know that digitization in education is not an easy task – besides challenges of infrastructure we have to answer questions about pedagogy: How can successful concepts of education with digital media look like? And how can we prepare (future) teachers for a successful use of such media in education? We hope to answer such questions with the work of our TüDiLab on educational research and teacher training. The TüDiLab received much credit and recognition at the festival inter alia from the science minister Theresia Bauer which made us very happy.”

2018-07-04  |  Minigolf with alpacas – Company outing of the IWM

Anyone who visited the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) yesterday probably stood in quite empty hallways: On Tuesday, the annual company outing of the IWM took place. The destination of the outing was an alpaca farm in Nürtingen near Stuttgart. Colleagues starting started relaxed in the day took the train or the car. The others climbed onto their bikes and pedalled in bright sunshine around 30km along the Neckartalweg.  

Each IWM employee had chosen between alpaca trekking with a guided tour around the farm and a round of alpaca minigolf. Both activities offered the chance to talk across work groups about professional issues like the previous lab day as well as about private topics. In the end, there were many happy faces which you can find now back in the rooms of the IWM.


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2018-07-04  |  Science meets politics. Ulrike Cress again at the Bundestag
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The meeting Leibniz im Bundestag of the Leibniz Association brings together scientists and politicians. The use of digital media in education, learning and teaching with media and media literacy are the main topics of the talk of Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress, head of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM). On 5 July, Cress will meet B Ronja Kemmer (CDU).  The IWM is the only German research institute that examines knowledge processes in times of digitization.
At Leibniz im Bundestag socially relevant topics are discussed in individual meetings from the point of various disciplines: Humanities, Educational Research, Economics, Social Sciences, Spatial Science, Life Science, Mathematics, Natural Science and Engineering as well as Environmental Sciences.

2018-07-02  |  The plastic brain: Better connectivity of brain regions with training
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Researchers at the Leibniz-Institutes für Wissensmedien (IWM) and of the Graduate School and Research Network LEAD at the University of Tübingen now found out: Short and intensive arithmetic training strengthens the neuronal connections between brain regions in adults. This neuronal plasticity through numerical learning was already detectable after only five training sessions. 

The findings not only indicate how learning processes manifest themselves in the brain, but also show the potential of neurocognitive plasticity in adulthood. Korbinian Moeller, head of the Junior Research Group Neuro-cognitive Plasticity, comments on the results of the study: “The study improves our understanding of the neuronal foundations of numerical learning and of the possibilities of neuronal reorganisation in the brain. The results can be used to develop interventions for children with learning disabilities and for patients with arithmetic difficulties after brain damage.”

2018-07-02  |  Lab Information Day at the IWM

Today, a so-called "Lab Information Day" took place at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) - an internal information event during which the scientific staff members inform each other about their research in order to make cross-connections and synergies visible.
The research staff discussed in small groups various topics such as mobile device learning, fake news & propaganda and the medium- and long-term effects of digitization. Following the group discussions, the groups presented their findings in a plenary session.
This was not the first time the Lab Information Day took place. Ulrike Cress, Director of the IWM, commented on the Lab Day: "This event has proven to be an excellent tool for formal and informal exchange between the IWM researchers."


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2018-06-26  |  Rediscovering learning in the digital age – Elke Kümmel at the “International Conference of the Learning Science” (ICLS) in London
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“Now more than ever, the learning sciences have a key role to play in unpacking the complexity of the teaching and learning processes. AI and Automation in the workplace, including within education, will alter what we need to learn and how we need to teach it. Therefore, as scientists and educators we need to explore learning in real-world settings in an interdisciplinary manner in order to understand how learning may be facilitated both with and without technology.” This is the intent of the 13th ICLS Conference taking place from 23 to 30 July in London.
Yesterday, Elke Kümmel of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) presented with her colleagues Gabriele Irle, Joachim Kimmerle, Ulrike Cress and Johannes Moskaliuk a joint poster. Her contribution addressed the question, how learning outcomes can be measured in empirical studies of digital learning environments in higher education. The researchers identified seven categories of learning outcomes: Self-reports, observable behaviour, learning skills, elaboration depth, personal initiative, digital activity, and social interaction. On the basis of these categories, opportunities for future research can be discussed.


 Paper available  

2018-06-25  |  Best Early Investigators award for new methods of cognitive workload measurements using pupil-related changes

Dr. Christian Scharinger and Prof. Dr. Peter Gerjets of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien received together with Tobias Appel and Enkelejda Kasneci the award “Best Early Inverstigators Paper” for their conference contribution “Cross-subject workload classification using pupil-related measures" at the ETRA 2018 (ACM Symposium on Eye Tracking Research & Applications).
In their talk, they presented a new method that allowed measuring the cognitive workload through changes of the pupil. The new approach is more broadly applicable than previous methods and, thanks to the use of Machine Learning, is able to determine the workload during an experiment in real time. The possible applications are diverse: For example, the level of difficulty of a learning exercise could be adjusted so that learners feel neither unchallenged nor overwhelmed.
The price was awarded in Warsaw, after the contribution had prevailed against 84 other Early Investigator Papers. The contribution emerged from cooperation between the IWM, the Graduate and Research Network LEAD and the Perception Engineering Group of the University of Tübingen. It is a model for the successful interplay between basics of psychology, IT knowhow and applications of educational research.

2018-06-21  |  “Service and Support of Digital Higher Education“ – Anne Thillosen and Markus Schmidt in Hamburg

On June 21, the three-part event series on “Bildung in der digitalen Welt im Hochschulbereich" (Education in Universities of the Digital World) of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs continues. It focusses on “Service and Support of Digital Higher Education”. The topics of the last conferences were “Digitization as Challenge of University Teaching” (March 21 and 22 at the University of Mainz) and “Virtual Events and Technical Challenges” (May 28 and 29 at the Leibnizhaus in Hannover).
Anne Thillosen and Markus Schmidt of the e-teaching.org team of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien are going to take part in the event sharing their experience on cooperation with universities and other partners of the portal in the two workshops “Staff and Quality” and “Service and Support”.
The event addresses representatives of the responsible Federal and State Ministries, experts on federal, state and university levels and especially representatives of university support facilities and (inter-university) institutions of the Länder with support function. The information and qualification portal e-teaching.org of the IWM aims to embed e-learning in higher education institutions. The portal provides a wide range of topics such as didactical, technological and organizational aspects. e-teaching.org cooperates with more than 90 universities in German-speaking countries. The community section of the portal offers the 5.000 members a broad range of functions.

Link to the portal e-teaching.org

2018-06-19  |  Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK): Meeting “Dimension Digitization – Strengthening Teachers”. Panel discussion and lecture with Katharina Scheiter
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On 20 June, Prof. Dr. Katharina Scheiter of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) will present her report and comments on cross-national cooperation regarding “Digitization and Education” at the Landesinstitut für Lehrerbildung und Schulentwicklung (Institute of Teacher Education and Educational Development) in Hamburg. Afterwards, she will talk in a group discussion with Prof. Dr. Josef Keuffer, head of the Landesinstitut, and with Udo Michallik, Secretary of the KMK, about future steps and implications.
The KMK about the conference: "The topic „Digitization and Education“ is  currently ubiquitous. The implementation in school and education as well as in training of pedagogic staff is both challenging and complex. The event “Digitization and Education – Strengthening Teachers” form 19 to 20 June 2018 in Hamburg provides a platform for mutual exchange. Its aim is to learn from each other by sharing ideas and experiences on the following questions: Which methods can be used for the qualification of the target groups? How can we reach as many teachers as possible in terms of numbers and content? What role do universities and the training of teachers play? What strategies have proved to be efficient?"
Prof. Dr. Katharina Scheiter is head of the Multiple Representations Lab at the IWM and full professor for Empirical Research on Learning and Instruction at the University of Tübingen. Together with her research group, she investigates cognitive processes underlying learning from multiple representations as well as means of supporting these processes. Results from this research are used to design digital textbooks and tablet-based applications for education.

2018-06-18  |  IWM at the EARLI SIG 27 conference

The European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) is the central organization at European level, in which researchers from the field of empirical teaching-learning research have joined forces. Representing over 2000 members in more than 60 countries, EARLI is the biggest educational association in Europe. Researches from different labs of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) have participated in this year’s second Earli SIG Conference, which has taken place from 15 to 17 June 2018 in Warsaw.
Prof. Dr. Katharina Scheiter, head of the lab Multiple Representation at the IWM, was invited to held a keynote talk on “Offline and online gaze-based interventions: From fundamental lab research to real-world learning tools” on Saturday, 16 June. Dr. Yvonne Kammerer of the lab Multimodal Interaction of Prof. Dr. Peter Gerjets has spoken on the same day about “Learning about controversial scientific issues on the Internet: Relations between attention to source information and sourcing and argumentation in essays”. Dr. Christian Scharinger, also of the same lab, has presented his research on “Using the EEG and Virtual Reality to study the effect of immersion on cognitive processing and learning”. On Sunday, 17 June, Thérése Eder of the lab Multiple Representation has given a lecture on “Do eye movement visualisations foster the interpretation of radiology images and gaze behaviour of dental medicine students?”
After the first successful SIG conference in Oulu, at this year’s meeting the Special Interest Group (SIG) 27 of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) came together with the Polish Eye Tracking Conference (a community of researchers from various fields that utilize eye tracking). So the announcement says: „The combined conference will yield a great platform for the communication and exchange of experience with different fields of researches interested in different multimodal, multichannel process measures, such as computer log data, eye tracking, EEG, facial expressions of emotions, EDA, and observational data.“


Link to the program


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2018-06-14  |  Pencil or keyboard – Is writing the same as writing? Stefania Jung at the Annual Conference of the German Federal Association of Speech Therapy
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Pencil or keyboard – Is writing the same as writing? Stefanie Jung answers this question with a study on children with and without dyslexia (reading/spelling disability) from 55h to 7th grade applying a dictation of a cloze test as it is often done in linguistic experiments. The results demonstrate that children without dyslexia make more spelling mistakes when using a keyboard compared to hand writing. Children with dyslexia make more mistakes in general than the control group, but the number of mistakes decline when they use a keyboard for writing. The findings indicate that media context influences children’s ability of spelling differently. Furthermore, the use of digital media might help compensate linguistic deficits.

Stefanie Jung of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien presented her current research at this year’s annual conference of the dbl (German Federal Association of Speech Therapy). On 15. and 16. June,  she will show a digital poster presentation in the section “Spotlight” on current topics of speech therapy following a detailed discussion with the participants over the printed posters.
Since April 2017, Stefanie Jung has been employed as research assistant in the junior research group Neuro-cognitive Plasticity of Prof. Dr. Korbinian Moeller. Within her PhD project, she investigates the influence of digital technologies on written language development. In particular, she compares writing and typing in children with and without dyslexia. Her presentation at this year’s dbl conference with its focus on spelling ability in different media context stimulates the discussion and development of diagnostic and intervention methods in speech therapy together with practicing speech therapists.    

2018-06-11  |  How are information perceived, processed and knowledge acquired during the use of different media? The Summer School “Multimodality and Knowledge Processes“ at the IWM

Digital media for learning use combinations of different representational formats, such as texts, pictures, or animations, to represent matters to be learned. A precondition for successful learning with multiple representations is that learners select information from text and picture that is essential for the content area, organize these pieces of information and link them together in memory (cognitive processes). From the point of view of research, it is important to exactly describe these cognitive and metacognitive processes and – based hereupon – develop effective measures which can instruct learners regarding the execution of these processes. The Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) works intensively on this research matter.
From 6 to 8 June 2018 the IWM invited scientist to the Summer School “Multimodality and Knowledge Processes” to discuss the interplay between different sensorial channels (like vision, sound and haptics) and modes of information (like texts, pictures and animation) regarding the perception, cognitive processing and knowledge acquisition during the use of different media. John Bateman /University of Bremen (Pic.1), Neil Cohn / University of Tilburg, Netherlands (Pic.3&4), Mike Stieff / University of Illinois at Chicago (Pic.2), Zacharias Zacharia / University of Cyprus (Pic.5) und Leilah Lyons / University of Illinois at Chicago (Pic.6&7) presented their research as keynote speakers.
In an interview with the IWM the guest speakers explained the relevance of the research on multimodality: “I think we have a very good body of empirical evidence that people learn with multiple modes”, says Mike Stieff, Professor of Learning Science in Chicago. “But it’s crucial that we conduct research on understanding exactly how this happens both in service of better informing theories of multimodality as well as designing educational interventions to help people learn from multiple modes.” Leilah Lyons, Professor of Learning Science and Computer Science, says, “How could it not be important? It is such a dominant mode of human learning and human interaction. I think that not studying things from that perspective is just not relevant.” Professor of Linguistics John Bateman from London, who works at the University of Bremen, adds, “Life is multimodal. And up to now research on it has been fragmented for good disciplinary reasons. But that does not give us the necessary connection to understand how we interact in today’s society which is really multimodal.
Therefore, the Summer School brings together scientists from different fields including experimental psychology, neuroscience as well as computer science, learning science and linguistics. “These are communities that usually do not come together”, says Katharina Scheiter, one of the organizers of the event and head of the lab Multiple Representation at the IWM. “We have different approaches on multimodality, theoretical and methodical. That became evident during the three days of the Summer School. But it has lead also to the activation of new perspectives which the participant will use for their own research.


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2018-06-05  |  Multitouch table for the lobby of town hall Tübingen: Lord Mayor Palmer visits the IWM

A virtual walk through Tübingen: by zooming in the digital city map, exploring pictures of historical buildings and reading background information. The multitouch table developed by the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) and the city of Tübingen offers an interactive knowledge transfer on the history of the city. The table will serve as a visitor information system at the town hall of Tübingen providing an overview of the city centre. Popular spots like the town hall, the castle Hohentübingen, the Stiftskirche, the Alte Aula and the Neckargasse can be experienced virtually. The table can present different documents or images simultaneously to its visitors and enables them to use it at the same time.
The multitouch table and its interactive applications is a result of long-term research at the IWM. Though, research on it will continue after its installation at town hall. Thus, possible forms of interaction will be optimized in order to facilitate the access of information. One research focus lies on the cognitive processes which are relevant for the understanding and memory of multi-perspective, historical and geographic information.
Prof. Dr. Gerjets, head of the lab Multimodal Interaction at the IWM, worked on the development of the table and thus is concerned with the question how knowledge can be transferred in a way that persons can recall as much as possible of it:  “The project of the interactive information table for the town hall of Tübingen is a particularly exciting one since it does not only consider the perspective of application but enables a new access to the topic: On the one hand, we can convert our research findings on intuitive visitor information systems into attractive displays of knowledge transfer. On the other hand, the installation of the table in the town hall allows us to gather reliable data in the future on how much visitors will remember the city’s history after using the table and how they can orientate themselves in the city afterwards."
The Lord Mayor of Tübingen and the First Mayor Dr. Christine Arbogast together with other participants of the city visited the IWM yesterday in order to talk about the current status of the “Tübinger Tisch” – or in short “Tüsch” – like the development of its digital maps. Since November 2017, Severin Opel has been software developer at the IWM and is currently developing the software for the table: “The biggest challenge of the project for me is to write a highly intuitive multitouch interface that can be used from different users at the same time as well as from different angles of the table.”

2018-06-04  |  Science meets politics. Ulrike Cress at the Bundestag

The meeting “Leibniz im Bundestag” of the Leibniz Association brings together scientists and politicians. The use of digital media in education, learning and teaching with media and media literacy are the main topics of the talk of Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress, head of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM). On 5 June, Cress will meet Birke Bull- Bischoff (Die Linke) and with Dr. Wiebke Esdar (SPD) on 6 June.
The IWM is the only German research institute that examines knowledge processes in times of digitization. New technologies are ubiquitous, their progress rapid. Just as diverse are the questions on this development: How can digital media be used to improve knowledge processes? How can they deepen and optimize our understanding? Which role do they play in the transfer of knowledge? At the IWM, we answer tomorrow's questions today. “A central task of our country is to get children and adults fit for the digital era,” says Cress. “And researchers can make an important contribution to that. That is why I consider “Science meets politics” as an excellent discussion panel.”

2018-05-28  |  Ana Levordashka receives the Herbert S. Dordick Award for best dissertation in “Communication and Technology”
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On Sunday evening, May 27, Ana Levordashka held the award in her hands. She had written her dissertation at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) in Tübingen. There, she had investigated how people process news and messages on social media. The results indicate that the regular skimming of updates contributes to the development of so-called ambient awareness, the knowledge about the network members.
The Herbert S. Dordick Award was handed out during this year’s ICE (international communication association) conference in Prague. “This award honors the memory of Prof. Herbert S. Dordick (1925-1998), a distinguished telecommunications engineer, public/urban policy researcher and intellectual, teacher and mentor. […] The Dordick Dissertation Award recognizes the most outstanding doctoral dissertation in the area of communication and technology completed and defended in the preceding year.”

2018-05-24  |  Put your phone done? Research on mothers and Facebook users. Lara Wolfers and Sonja Utz at the ICA in Prag
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Against a backdrop of evolving technologies and shifting sociocultural and political dynamics, the ICA (international communication association) hosts its annual conference from May 24 to May 28 in Prague. Lara Wolfers of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) will present here her topic “Put Your Phone Down? How Mothers' Smartphone Use Is Associated With Sensitivity” on Friday, May 25. With her junior research group Social Media she investigates the use of media and social networks of parents and how this affects their children and the everyday life of the family. Head of the junior research group Prof. Dr. Sonja Utz will give a talk on “The Effects of Facebook Use after Self-threat: Decrease of Negative Mood, but no Increase of Self-esteem“ on Saturday, May 26. In her study “Redefining tie strength” she has examined the effects of social media use. The results indicate that Facebook provides social support and does not lead to stress or less life satisfaction in the long term. The longitudinal study is available as Open Data. On Friday, May 25, Utz will also talk about the study at the panel “Open Data and Its Impact on the Discipline“.

2018-05-17  |  What are Experts, what are Laypersons? – Ulrike Cress about Citizen Science at the German Foundation Congress 2018
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Digitization is a social development, which encompasses nearly all aspects of our life. Now it’s up to the members of society to shape the changes through digitization responsibly. This responsibility particularly affects foundations. On this current occasion, this year’s German Foundation Congress, which takes place from May 16 to May 18 in Nürnberg, deals with the main topic “Update! Foundations and Digitization”.
Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress, director of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) and head of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen (WCT), gives a speech to the working group Science and Research of the Association of German Foundations on “What are experts, what are laypersons? How digitization changes the knowledge system”. Background is that digitization facilitates the participation of laypersons in science (Citizen Science) and might counteract the increasing estrangement of science and citizens.
Can Citizen Science help bring citizens closer to science again by making them co-actors? This talk examines the possible contribution of Citizen Science to the meanwhile highly complex science and the limits of this cooperation. The talk will be commented by Manuel J. Hartung, head of the section ZEIT-Chancen.

2018-05-09  |  Virtual worlds as gateway to the past – Stephan Schwan in cooperation with the Museum für Antike Schifffahrt des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums (RGZM) and the University of Mainz
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A research lab is under construction at the RGMZ in Mainz. Artificial realities will show visitors long forgotten worlds. Mixed and virtual reality as well as digital models and game application are used for the installations. An example: Diving into a new water world. Visitors can explore a Roman cargo ship that sunk in the first century.

This virtual experience is part of the cooperation project “Mixed Reality Open Lab” that taps into the potential of digital media for informal learning settings like the museum. The content experts of the RGZM work together with professionals from the computer science department of Mainz University and the visitor experts of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM). Prof. Dr. Stephan Schwan (IWM) is responsible for the studies on knowledge transfer of digital depictions and on visitor perception. The project is part of an action plan of the Leibniz Research Museums that design innovative information formats.
The 3D reconstruction of the Roman cargo ship is presented during der 1st Science Week Mainz from May 2 until 9. On May 9, Stephan Schwan will hold a lecture on the value of digital media for visitor perception in the accompanying expert workshop „Virtual, Mixed and Augmented Reality for Knowledge Transfer in Museums”. His research focus is on cognitive processing and comprehension of dynamic audio-visual media, knowledge acquisition with topographic and thematic maps, and the role of digital media and authentic exhibits for informal learning in museums.

2018-05-09  |  Learning calculating with fingers – Korbinian Moeller talks on Deutschlandfunk about learning aids and their use
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Almost all children use their fingers for counting and calculating. But there is still disagreement whether fingers are useful for learning. For a short time counting with fingers was even forbidden in class rooms.

The so called finger-based numerical learning is part of the research of psychologist Korbinian Moeller. He studies the cognitive and neuronal underpinnings of numerical competencies employing latest neuro-cognitive methods with his junior research lab Neuro-cognitive Plasticity at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM).
His research demonstrates: Fingers are important for initial calculation and counting as well as for the understanding of cardinal numbers. “Fingers are good,” says Moeller in a radio feature on Deutschlandfunk, “since they are more than just a tool. Children, who count with their fingers, play finger games, count loudly or point on numbers, use different channels while learning math: Seeing, hearing and feeling numbers they are able to better retain numbers.” In the interview for Deutschlandfunk Kultur he explains among other things the concerns of people rejecting counting with finger and which advantages it actually offers.
Listen to the full interview here (German only).

2018-05-08  |  Stephan Schwan at a Science Slam in St. Petersburg
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Soccer – a sport people are excited about not only during the World Cup. Even in Russia the ball rolls over sports fields and TV screens. And the question is always “Who is winning?”. But how do fans evaluate a game and assess the chances of winning for their team?

So, on May 5, Prof Dr. Stephan Schwan of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) explained at a Science Slam in St Petersburg how soccer fans watch a game. In a large-scale study with the department of Media Studies of Tübingen University subjects had watched a live Champions League match. During the match the scientists had tracked the eye movement of the participants and had observed how they structured the course of play by significant stages. Additional data had been collected through a survey right after the match. The findings show: The perceptual processes are similar during the game (because the viewing directions are the same) but the memories of the viewers are biased in favour of the own team. The participants recalled more ball possessions for their team and less for the opponents.

The Science Slam was organized by the German-Russian Forum e.V. and Bumaga on the occasion of the upcoming World Cup. The contributions of the German poets were translated simultaneously into Russian.

Link to the Science Slam – Lecture of Stephan Schwan at 1:06:50 (Russian/German)

2018-05-08  |  “Digitisation and Education: Potentials and Challenges from the Perspective of Educational Research” – LERN 2018 at the IWM
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The topics and speakers of this year’s scientific meeting of the Leibniz Education Research Network (LERN) were overall diverse: “Education counts among the most important areas of activity in society today and in the future. Shaping an education system and its institutions and ensuring their success is regarded as a central resource for prosperity, cultural wealth and social cohesion in modern societies.” (Fig. 17-20)
The opening talks, therefore, focused on the future of education: Martin Merkt (Fig. 1) of the German Institute for Adult Education (DIE) discussed how critical reflection of online information can be promoted – which is especially relevant for the debate around fake news, online privacy and cyber mobbing. Mirjam Weis (School of Education, Munich, TUM; Centre for International Student Assessment, ZIB) talked about the attitudes of parents on smartphone and tablet use of children in the age of 0 to 3, a potential target group of a growing sales market (Fig. 2). Still, tablets can be used in school lessons and their possible application has been reflected in several scientific studies. Findings and implications of a study on the use of iPads in math lessons at different schools were presented by Frank Reinhold (TUM), Sarah Hofer (ZIB), Stefan Hoch (TUM), Bernhard Werner (TUM), Jürgen Richter-Gebert (TUM) and Kristina Reiss (TUM) (Fig. 3).
Discussion and lectures followed inter alia by Felicitas Macgilchrist (GEI, University of Göttingen) „Datafication and Education“ (Fig. 4), by Olaf Köller und Jennifer Meyer (IPN) on “Automatic Coding of Arguments in English: Evidence from a Large-Scale Assessment Study“ (Fig. 5) and by Simon Janssen (IAB, IZA) with Jens Mohrenweiser (Bournemouth University) „The Shelf Life of Incumbent Workers during Accelerating Technological Change: Evidence from a Training Regulation Reform“ (Fig.6).
During two Knowledge Cafés the scientists could exchange views on learning support and digital education possibilities (Fig. 7 & 8). Furthermore, posters on topics like media didactics, game-based learning, digital media in schools and universities as well as adult education were presented and discussed (Fig. 9-13). On the second day of the meeting, Prof. Dr. Katharina Scheiter of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) – this year’s host of the LERN – introduced the Tübingen Digital Teaching Lab (TüDiLab). The TüDiLab simulates a class room with current digital media and survey instruments for the training of teachers as well as for the research on media-based lessons (Abb. 14-16).


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2018-05-07  |  „Heterogeneity in university education: What can digital media achieve?” – New topic special on e-teaching.org
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How can digital media compensate disadvantages of students? Can digital media balance individual differences in learning and optimize individual learning processes? What possibilities do digital media offer to include the diversity of students in teaching?
These questions and many more will be discussed with examples from teaching practice at the online events of the e-teaching topic special “Heterogenität im Studium: Was leisten digitale Medien?“ (Heterogeneity in university education: What can digital media achieve?). Between May 7 and June 9, six online events will be held on digital applications and programs that support the heterogenic backgrounds of students. The opening event on teaching quality for heterogenic students („Lehrqualität für heterogene Studierende gestalten: Welche (digitalen) Unterstützungsangebote sind sinnvoll?“) is going to take place on Monday, May 7 at 2.00pm. The events are open to all.

Link to press release and program (German only)

2018-05-04  |  Arguments, Emotions, and News distribution in social media: Two new projects of the University of Stuttgart at the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen „Cognitive Interfaces“
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The Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen (WCT) will be expanded through an association of two projects located at the University of Stuttgart in May 2018. The projects, which are formed by tandem partners from the IWM and the University of Stuttgart, will be financed for a term of three years by the University of Stuttgart. This association is an important preparatory work for the Excellence Cluster proposal “Understanding understanding: language and text”, which was submitted by the Universities of Stuttgart and Tübingen jointly with the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien.
The Scientific Advisory Board of the WCT recommended the projects “Emotion and argument in digital information environments“ by Prof. Dr. Sebastian Padó, Dr. Roman Klinger (Institute for Natural Language Processing of the University of Stuttgart) and Prof. Dr. Kai Sassenberg (IWM) as well as “Visual analysis of context changes in (social) media contributions“ by Prof. Dr. Thomas Ertl, Dr. Steffen Koch (Institute for Visualisation and Interactive Systems of the University of Stuttgart) and Prof. Dr. Sonja Utz (IWM) to be associated with the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen.

 Press Release

2018-04-27  |  Prof. Dr. Korbinian Moeller speaks at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Montreal
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Interactive interfaces such as smartphone displays or multitouch tables are becoming more common and allow more and more physical interaction: on the one hand with those media itself and on the other hand with their learning content on the other.
From 21 to 26 April scientists, business representatives and users have discussed how interactive technologies can be used effectively in various areas of life in the future at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors at Computing Systems in Montreal. Prof. Dr. Korbinian Moeller from the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) – a Knowledge Media Research Center - presented the results of a training study on Wednesday, April 25, in which preschool children used oversized LEGO-like stones to improve their numerical skills. In his research, Moeller focuses on the influence of physical experiences on the development of computational skills in children. This embodied cognition approach has been successful in several studies, demonstrating the importance of physical experience for numerical competencies.

2018-04-26  |  Habilitation of Dr. Peter Holtz „Social Psychology in the Information Age”

How do digital communication technologies affect processes of political opinion formation? Do specific forms of media use have a negative influence on the development of young people? How can social media be used as data source for research in Social Psychology?
Dr. Peter Holtz addresses these issues in his habilitation. With his thesis “Social Psychology in the Information Age” at the Johannes Kepler University Linz Holtz has qualified as professor in Psychology. The psychologist uses for example internet data like forum posts to examine dynamics in opinion formation. “Social media are becoming increasingly important in almost every aspect of our daily lives. Social psychologist today face the challenge to utilise data from social media for research in both the most efficient and ethical way”, explains Holtz. Since December 2015, he has been working as research associate in the EU-project “AFEL- Analytics for Everyday Learning" with the Knowledge Construction Lab at the IWM.  Within the project he focuses on socio-cognitive models of media-based everyday learning and aims together with colleagues in IT at making the findings applicable to the development of online learning platforms.

2018-04-25  |  Annual Research Meeting LERN 2018 at the IWM “Digitisation and Education: Potentials and Challenges from the Perspective of Educational Research”
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Education is a central pillar of our society that is more and more supported by digitisation. Digital media already help us develop the education system and make it more efficient.  But how we make effective use of these possibilities in order to support teachers and learners equally, is still a central question in research,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress, head of the Leibniz- Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM).
Therefore, the IWM hosts the Annual Research Meeting LERN “Digitisation and Education: Potentials and Challenges from the Perspective of Educational Research” on 26 and 27 April 2018. During the two days researcher of the Leibniz Education Research Network (LERN) present inter alia their findings on the use of digital media in class, discuss about success factors of digitisation projects and respond to the often ignored concerns of teachers. Thus, the meeting identifies the current state of research and expertise of its member institutions as well as further research demands.

2018-04-10  |  Stephan Schwan as expert for the committee “Science and Culture” at the Landtag of Lower Saxony
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Yesterday, a consultation upon the request „Chancen und Potenziale der Digitalisierung für Niedersachsen nutzen - Digitalisierungsprofessuren fördern“ (Exploiting opportunities and potentials of digitization for Lower Saxony – Promoting professorships in digitization) by the SPD and CDU is taking place in a public session with the committee “Science and Culture” at the Landtag of Lower Saxony. Prof. Dr. Stephan Schwan of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) has stated his opinion as an expert yesterday at the Landtag. On the basis of the IWMs profile, his position will concentrate on the role of digitization professors – as mentioned in the application – regarding the transfer of knowledge on digitization, the digitization of education as well as the development of digital and media literacy in university studies and training, especially in teacher training. Overall, the IWM supports the introduction of digital professorships that provide expertise in both computer science and social science.

2018-04-10  |  Workshop on selective information processing at the IWM
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The postdoc network Cognitive Conflicts during Media Use hosts a workshop on “Selective Information Processing during Digital Media Use” on 10 and 11 April at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) in Tübingen. Scientists – including some IWM alumni – from Germany and the Netherlands present their current research.
Digital media nowadays provide access to a wealth of information. “But with a high density of information comes the danger of overload. Users often don’t know which information is relevant for their purposes,” says Dr. Anne Schüler (IWM), Deputy Head of the Multiple Representations Lab at the IWM and one co-organiser of the workshop. “It is crucial to understand how users process information in order to systematically prepare and edit content so unfavourable processing does not occur.” In the workshop, the researchers examine quite different (positive and negative) examples of selective information processing such as the formation of opinions in echo chambers, information biases in science as well as the processing of data in digital environments and during multimedia learning.
“The workshop offers the unique opportunity to bring together researchers from various fields like Communication Studies, Social Psychology, Political Psychology and Multimedia Research and to discuss from the different perspectives how information is processed in the digital age and what possibilities digital media offer in this area,” so Anne Schüler. 


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2018-04-09  |  Figures in mind. Dr. Julia Bahnmüller and Silke Bieck at the conference “Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society“ in Oxford
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Math and numbers are everywhere – at the supermarket, when looking at timetables and when reading prescriptions and expiration dates. They are also central for the use of modern technology. Dr. Julia Bahmüller of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) investigates with the junior research group Neuro-cognitive Plasticity the behavioural and neural underpinnings of numerical processing as well as the development of numerical competencies.
The Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society (MCLS), too, set itself the aim of promoting the communication of scientific research on mathematical cognition and learning, and advancing the study of its typical and atypical development, neural substrates, genetic and environmental influences, cultural variation, and malleability. At the international conference Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society on April 8 and 9 in the heart of Oxford, Julia Bahnmüller presents her work about the influence of linguistic factors on the cognitive processing of multi-digit numbers. Furthermore, Silke Bieck, PhD student of the LEAD Graduate School and associate researcher at the IWM, talks about the outcomes of a game-based study on the learning of fraction numbers. In the study training success was measured by performance indicators as well as on a neuronal level. 

2018-04-05  |  Composing music with LEGO bricks. The IWM LEGO table at the Phaenomenta in Flensburg
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The Phaenomenta, a Science Center of Flensburg University, bought a LEGO table and set it up with the software of the media development department of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM). Dr. Uwe Oestermeier, head of software development at the IWM, presented the table to the press on Thursday, March 29th.
The Phaenomenta counts around 65.000 visitors every year and shows exhibits that invite visitors to explain, describe and even test them. For example, a long metal spiral allows producing transverse and longitudinal waves; there are cable pulls where one can lift oneself up and many other mechanical, optical and acoustic experiments. Visitors should be encouraged to engage in a dialogue about the interesting and astonishing phenomena.
Chairman of the Phaenomenta e.V. Dr. Michael Kiuple first heard about LEGO table during a presentation of Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress (IWM) at the 5th Sankelmanker Talk on Teacher Education in Flensburg. The meeting of the IWM and the Phaenomenta now aimed at remodelling the LEGO table – which overall serves to develop a composition course of 8 to 10 double lessons – as exhibit that is suitable for the short stays at different stations of an exhibition. The Phaenomenta is going to try several variations in the course of a voluntary social year. The plan is to offer workshops for teachers and school classes together with the Education Department of the University of Flensburg.

2018-04-04  |  How crabs and turtles support computational thinking

Wooden turtles, colourful plugs and a treasure – Ph.D. student Katerina Tsarava of the project group Neuro-cognitive Plasticity of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) plays for science.
With her life-size board game “Crabs and Turtles”, Katerina Tsarava examines how the game environment affects the computational thinking development of children between 8 and 9 years. In the game children solve math related tasks with variables or have to figure out the most efficient way to collect treasures by creating effective sequences of commands which is similar to coding concepts. By doing so, computational thinking related skills are trained like abstraction, pattern recognition and decomposition.
“Games or game-based applications are an increasingly important mechanism for cognitive training, learning and educational interventions because of their ability to keep players motivated to play and to interact with the application or learning environment, respectively,” says Tsavara. Recent research even indicates that game-based learning is more effective in terms of learning and retention than conventional instruction methods.
In her Master thesis project, Tsavara has already studied computational thinking and designed a life-size board game for teaching students basic programming skills. Her current game was further developed and integrated into a new Core Course (“Verstehen wie Computer denken”) of the Hector Kinderakademie in collaboration with Luzia Leifheit from the LEAD Graduate School. The game was tested so far in a Student Enrichment Center in Thessaloniki, at the Kinderakademie of the Hector Institut fuer Empirische Forschungsbildung in Tuebingen (Wanne) and in several beta-test playing sessions at the IWM. The upcoming months, Katerina Tsavara and Luzia Leifheit will apply “Crabs and Turtles” in other Hector Kinderakademien in Baden-Wuertemberg (inter alia in Reutlingen, Nuertingen and Lossburg).


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2018-03-28  |  Summer School on “Multimodality and Knowledge Processes” at the IWM

The Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) cordially invites you to its Summer School on “Multimodality and Knowledge Processes“ on June 6-8, 2018 in Tübingen. The Summer School is jointly organized by Katharina Scheiter's Multiple Representations Lab and Stephan Schwan's Realistic Depictions Lab at the IWM.

The main topic of the Summer School is the interplay of different sensory channels (e.g., vision, sound, haptics) as well as different information modes (e.g., texts, pictures, animations) with respect to perception, cognitive processing, and knowledge acquisition when using different media.

During three days, morning lectures will be given by leading researchers from various disciplinary fields, including learning sciences, experimental psychology and linguistics: Neil Cohn (Tilburg University) will provide an introduction on visual language and his cognitive multimodal model. John Bateman (University of Bremen) will present his linguistic and semiotic work on multimodality. Mike Stieff (University of Illinois at Chicago) will talk about learning from multimodal representations. Zacharia Zacharias (University of Cyprus) will discuss the role of physical and virtual manipulatives in learning about science concepts. Leila Lyons (University of Illinois at Chicago) will give an overview on using multimodal interaction devices in informal learning settings.
Each lecture will be accompanied by an afternoon workshop offered by the keynote speakers.

The morning lectures are open to the public. For registration please return this registration form via email to Luitgard Fink ( l.fink@iwm-tuebingen.de). Participation is free of charge. Please note that the number of participants is limited to 40, preferably at the Ph.D. and postdoc level.

Registration deadline: April 30.
Notification of acceptance by May 7.

Program with abstracts (PDF)

2018-03-23  |  Lara Ditrich at the Symposium „Brexit & The Rise of Populism - Insights from Political and Psychological Sciences" in Canterbury

Euroscepticism, Brexit, and the rise of populism – only three of the challenges with which the European Union is currently faced. Each of these phenomena harbors great social and political explosiveness, rendering them an interesting field of application for psychological research.
Recent results of this research will be discussed at the symposium Brexit & The Rise of Populism - Insights from Political and Psychological Sciences which will take place at the University of Kent in Canterbury. In this context, Dr. Lara Ditrich of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) will present a poster displaying her research on the identity-related dynamics among Scottish residents that are associated with the situation in the United Kingdom after the Brexit-referendum. In her research. Ditrich focuses on what factors and processes influence group composition in offline as well as online contexts.

2018-03-21  |  Dr. Manuel Ninaus as Keynote speaker at the International Summit on Serious Health Games in London

The use of serious games has received increasing attention – also in health care. Serious games have already been used in clinical medicine, surgery and public health successfully, allowing participants to observe the impact of their decision-making, practice clinical skills safely, and exposing them to infrequent yet critical scenarios.
Researches, clinicals and game designer have discussed future implementation and challenges of health games at the International Summit on Serious Health Games of the Imperial College London yesterday. Dr. Manuel Ninaus of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien shows as keynote speaker the importance of emotional engagement in games. In his research Ninaus focuses on game-based learning environments. His motivational approach and his different evaluation methods are crucial for the use of serious games in the health sector.


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2018-03-16  |  Responsibility as a burden: Responsible power-holders experience the highest stress levels

People in high-power positions experience more stress if they are aware of their responsibility than if they recognize the freedom their position provides. Research of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) in Tübingen has shown this. If power-holders think about their responsibility (rather than their personal freedom) they do act more fairly towards others – but at the same time, their own stress level rises. 

Press Release

2018-03-09  |  Second meeting of the Leibniz SienceCampus “Cognitive Interfaces”
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On 2 March 2018, the second meeting of the Leibniz ScienceCampus “Cognitive Interfaces” took place at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM). The meeting aimed to discuss first results of pre-tests and studies as well as current developments that have arisen from present findings.
All 14 projects presented their current status of work in a poster session to the Scientific Advisory Board. It revealed the diversity of the projects, all focusing on the question, how thinking, action and work can be improved by human computer interfaces. Hereby, multidisciplinarity is the defining feature through cooperation between psychology, computer science, medicine, dentistry, didactics of biology, media science, educational science and sports science.
After the short presentations practical relevance – for example the applicability of an app for patients with osteoarthritis – and contribution to the development of psychological theories were discussed. Overall, the meeting showed how well the projects are progressing. The dyadic teams of IWM employees and scientists of Tübingen University allow the experience of intensive interdisciplinary work.

2018-03-08  |  Dr. Annika Scholl is visiting the University of Amsterdam (UvA)
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Dr. Annika Scholl of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien is visiting the department of Social Psychology and Prof. Dr. Gerben van Kleef at Amsterdam University from 1 February to 27 March. Both scientists are working on a joint research project.
Gerben van Kleef conducts research – like Annika Scholl – on power and social norms. She reports: “It is enriching to combine different perspective and to develop a joint idea so intensively.” The visit is supported by the SAW postdoc network Cognitive Conflicts. The projects examines in which cases people give power to others. Still little is known about how the behaviour of people can influence others to transfer their power. “To shed light on this issue, we combine theoretical approaches on power, perception of persons and leadership. A conflict occurs: Having power often leads to persons behaving selfishly (i.e. to hold back knowledge).  However, self-seeking behaviour on the other hand does not seem to result in power transfer of others. People might expect that especially power holders share their knowledge instead of keeping it to oneself. In this project we observe how this conflict can be explained and solved in order to support, for example, the knowledge work of organisations”, Annika Scholl explains.

2018-03-06  |  Facebook and Co. – How social networks can help us receive useful information and emotional support
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Logging in Facebook or other social networks is nowadays part of our daily routine. While constant checking of status messages is often associated with stress, envy and reduced wellbeing, researchers of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) found out: Stress is influenced by external factors and not by Facebook usage. Concerns that Facebook has a negative impact on the wellbeing are therefore exaggerated. The platform even offers possibilities of social support. The professional use of social media pays off as well: Anyone who uses LinkedIn has professional information advantages. 

Press Release

2018-03-01  |  VECTOR workshop: Call for papers until 29 April 2018
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The second VECTOR workshop on virtual reality (VR) and games in psychological, medical and educational research takes place at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) in Tübingen on 25 till 27 July 2018. The VECTOR workshop 2018 aims at bringing together excellent researchers who uses virtual reality, serious games and related technologies as new approaches within the field of education and health. 

More information 

2018-03-01  |  Reporting and credibility: How well do laymen understand scientific uncertainty? Joachim Kimmerle talks to “wissenschaftskommunikation.de”
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Controversy and transparency are quality characteristics of journalistic work. This includes the reporting of limitations of scientific findings. “However, our research suggests that the juxtaposition of contradictory positions lead to more negative attitudes towards the reported scientific approaches. Readers may even find the report less credible. How this problem can be solved, has to be shown by further studies. One possible solution might be that journalists address this problem and emphasize the processual character of research in order to resolve the apparent contradiction of fragility and credibility”, so Apl. Prof. Dr. Joachim Kimmerle of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IMW) in the interview. “Our findings offer a basic approach for further examining how laymen understand the fragility of scientific results and must therefore be regarded as provisional. But they also show possible starting points on how recipients can be supported in understanding scientific information.  Most obvious is, that science journalists help their readers recognizing fragility by explicitly describing the results as preliminary and by offering a balanced presentation. When presenting new results and findings with weak evidence, contradictory positions should be reported as well. This is part of a good scientific practice anyway, but is often not realized in practice”, he adds. Kimmerle is Deputy Head of the Knowledge Construction Lab at the IWM.  In his research, he examines the fragility and uncertainty of scientific findings and their perception. In a field study on the reception of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), or in other words of pacemakers, Kimmerle investigates how the temporary character of scientific knowledge can be explained and clarified and how it is processed.

2018-02-26  |  How can companies position themselves in the period of digitization? Kai Sassenberg as guest at the panel discussion “Success factor betterment - what successful companies do?”
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In times of digitization, mobility, networking, clouds and artificial intelligence are possible success factors for the future of companies. Further training in this area should be part of strategic corporate objectives. Thus, following questions arise: “What kind of educational opportunities do companies want or need?”, “How can the success of further training be measured?” and “How does future training look?” Concerning cooperation within the company, it is interesting to examine how social processes affect computer-related collaboration. Social psychologist Prof. Dr. Kai Sassenberg of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) studies exactly this topic. With his lab „Social Processes“ he focuses on how social factors (such as hierarchy, identification, influence, power, collaboration or competition) help or hinder cooperation. His research findings enrich the panel discussion with Matthias Schäfer (CEO of MÖRK GmbH & Co. KG), Bernd Heinzinger (Solution Specialist Intelligent Cloud, Microsoft Deutschland) and Evelyn Koch (Management Emil-Gminder-Akademie). The discussion was organized last friday by the vhs Reutlingen together with its new institution, the Emil-Gminder-Akademie.

2018-02-21  |  First meeting of the scientific advisory board in changed composition
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This year’s spring meeting of the newly composed scientific advisory board of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien took place on 19 and 20 February 2018. (In the picture from left to right: Prenzel, Jonas, Leutner, Cress, van Merriënboer, Spinath, Stürmer, Aleven)

The new members Prof. Dr. Vincent Aleven (Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, USA), Prof. Dr. Eva Jonas (University of Salzburg, Austria), Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Manfred Prenzel (Technical University of Munich) and Prof. Dr. Stefan Stürmer, (FernUniversität in Hagen) provide very different scientific perspectives – form social psychology to educational research to human-computer-interaction – and therefore excellently complement the other members of the scientific advisory board of the IWM with Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Detlef Leutner (Universität Duisburg-Essen), Prof. Jeroen J. G. van Merriënboer (Maastricht University, Niederlande und Prof. Dr. Birgit Spinath (Heidelberg University).
We look forward to continue working with this strong team and like to thank the former members Prof. Dr. Monique Boekaerts, Prof. Dr. Bettina Hannover, Prof. Dr. Marcus Hasselhorn und Prof. Dr. Josef Schrader for their expertise and professional input in the last eight years.

2018-02-20  |  Digital education material at the Didacta. Katharina Scheiter of the IWM in an interview with Stuttgarter Zeitung
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“Digital learning must become a standard practise in German schools. All experts, who present themselves at the education fair Didacta in Hannover this week, agree on this point.  But how well are publishers prepared for it?“ says the introduction of the article. 
Katharina Scheiter is head of the Multiple Representations Lab at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) and full professor for Empirical Research on Learning and Instruction at the University of Tübingen. Together with her research group, she investigates cognitive processes underlying learning from multiple representations as well as means of supporting these processes. Results from this research are used to design digital textbooks and tablet-based applications for education. Therefore, she is an expert when it comes to evaluating and developing digital learning media at schools. Regarding her work at school, she notes: “Excedingly few media are designed in accordance with latest findings in teaching research” and “You have to consider under what circumstances digital learning has an advantage”.

2018-02-16  |  Symposium IWM #LearnMap about learning processes – research on digital media in university teaching. Call for Papers
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Your research focuses on learning processes from a psychological perspective, examines different facets of learning success respectively the characteristics of digital learning environments or deals with the evaluation of learning and teaching methods?
The Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) organises a symposium about learning processes – research on digital media in university teaching – on 11 and 12 October 2018. The conference is aimed at scholars of psychology and related disciplines, project participants of the current funding line on digital higher education of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as well as at interested teachers and students. Following research topics will be presented: Learning process during learning with digital media; empirically measuring the success of learning with digital media; digital learning environments in the university; theoretical approach towards learning and teaching with digital media.

Papers can be submitted now: Go to the event website or download the Call for Papers as PDF here (in German)

Detailed information about the symposium: https://learnmap.iwm-tuebingen.de (in German)

Contact: : fachtagunglearnmap@iwm-tuebingen.de

2018-02-15  |  Prof. Dr. Sonja Utz (IWM) as Senior Scholar at the conference „Computational Communication Science“ (CCS)

Within the framework of the CCS, the Department of Journalism and Communication Research at Hannover University of Music, Drama, and Media has invited selected professors to a “Roadmap Conference” on 15 and 16 February. In addition to training courses, the event aims to discuss possibilities and challenges of digital research with and on large data sets that can be addressed by the community. Key issues are “Access and Availability of Big Data Resources”, “Analysing Software and Techniques”, “Research Ethics and Data Science”, “Combination of computational and conventional Methods” and “Interdisciplinary Arrangement between Computer Science and Communication Research”. 

Prof. Dr. Sonja Utz of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien is excited: “Computational methods offer many possibilities. But since they are not part of the course of study, they are currently posing challenges for researchers. I greatly welcome that the topic is explored systematically at the Roadmap Conference and I am looking forward to synergy effects through new co-operations.”
Participants are Noshir Contractor of Northwestern University, Jan Kleinnijenhuis of VU University Amsterdam as well as data science experts who are not based in the field of Communications Research such as Wolfgang Nejdl (Computer Science) of the Leibniz Universität Hannover – principal investigator of a thematic ERC Advanced Grants and head of the Learning Labs Lower Saxony (L3S). In order to ensure the sustainability of the joint discussion and brain power, the results will be documented and published in a special issue of the “International Journal of Communication”.

2018-02-15  |  Dr. Anne Thillosen auf der ersten Sitzung der Arbeitsgruppe „Digitales Lernen, Lehren und Vernetzen“ der Allianz-Initiative
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Since 2008, the Alliance of Science Organisations has successfully contributed to an improved provision of information in research and teaching through its Priority Initiative “Digital Information”. Now the initiative starts into the third project phase (2018-2022) and responds to challenges of digital learning and teaching with a new project group. 
More and more digital services allow learning, teaching and even graduating online. Providers are not only educational institutions but also commercial suppliers. In order to support an effective positioning of science organisations regarding this wealth of information, intensive co-operation between the players is more important than ever.
At this point the new project group Digital learning, teaching and networking” of the Alliance sets in.  Dr. Anne Thillosen of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) represented the Leibniz Association at the first session of the project group in Berlin yesterday: “Unlike universities, teaching is not in the main focus of science organisations. But yesterday’s meeting has shown: Teaching and networking with digital media is crucial for all – within the organisation as well as in areas like Citizen Science. Until the next meeting, the open-minded and very active discussion about the future key topics the project group likes to determine – in comparison to universities – will be continued online. I have the impression that the group will deliver very constructive impulses not only for the science organisations but also for the education system and the society."
The Alliance of Science Organisations is an association of all large science organisations in Germany. It regularly comments on important issues of science policy. Besides the Leibniz Association additional members are: Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD),   German Research Foundation (DFG), Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Helmholtz Association, German Rectors' Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz - HRK), Max Planck Society, German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the Wissenschaftsrat (German Council of Science and Humanities).

2018-02-14  |  Handbook E-Learning published in fifth, updated edition
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In 2004, the first edition of the handbook was published, which has since become a standard work on teaching and learning with digital media.

In January 2018, Dr. Anne Thillosen of the Leibniz-Institut füt Wissenmedien (IWM), Patricia Arnold (HS Munich), Lars Kilian (TU Kaiserslautern) and Gerhard Zimmer (formerly HSU Hamburg) published the 5th edition. The manual was updated and supplemented again this time. It now includes, e.g., a section on the use of humanoid robots in learning contexts and an index. The eleven chapters provide a basic, application-oriented overview of all central areas of teaching and learning with digital media (except for the technical implementation). Topics are: ”Education with E-Learning”, “Virtual Educational Space”,  “Didactic Conception”, “Educational Resources”, “Competencies for Teaching and Learning”, “Learning Outcomes and Competency Web Testing”, “Quality Management”, “Evaluation”, “Standardization”, “Legal Foundations” and “Implementation”.

Anne Thillosen about the new edition: “The ongoing interest in the manual E-Learning indicates that the target group is steadily expanding.  As author I recognize with every necessary update how fast this area develops.  Of course, there was a major step between the first edition in 2004 and the completely revised edition of 2011 – but between 2015 and today many things have changed as well.”

2018-02-09  |  LISA at LEARNTEC 2018

10.000 visitors attracted the E-Learning fair LEARNTECT last week. Among the 302 exhibitors, the visitors could examine the cooperation project LISA – Learning Analytics for sensor-based adaptive Learning – of the Leibniz-Institut für Wisssensmedien (IWM). 
Project LISA shows how learning processes can be made more personalized and adaptive. It is a cooperation between the IWM, the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft in Berlin, the Humboldt Universität Berlin, Neocosmo, Solutions & Global Media GmbH and Promotion Software. At the booth of Neocosmo (Pic.1-3), visitors could measure by their pulse rate how their mood and power of concentration affected learning activity (Pic.4). Then, via smartphone they received information on how they could improve their learning situation. (Pic.5-7)
Regarding the evaluation of sensor-based data, the area of Learning Analytics still lags behind major providers like Google – with that Prof. Albrecht Fortenbacher of the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin opened his speech on „Learning Analytics für erfahrbares Lernen“. LISA takes an important step forward: It shows the link between learning content and learning success on the basis of sensor measurements, thus providing significant implications for the development of didactic concepts.


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2018-02-08  |  When fear is googling too, the motivation for cancer screening rises

Psychologists of the Leibniz- Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) in Tuebingen from the team of Prof. Dr. Kai Sassenberg found out: The fear of cancer influences whether people after searching medical information online go to cancer check-ups or not. People who look up information on cancer screening on the internet, plan to go to their screenings more often – but only if they are afraid of getting cancer. 
Although modern medicine has made progress in the fight against cancer, the fear of cancer diseases is widespread. Still, regular screenings are no matter of course.  Only almost every fifth person over 55 years has undergone a colonoscopy even though it is recommend for this age group as cancer prevention. What influences people to undergo these screenings?

Press Release

2018-02-08  |  Joachim Kimmerle at the Regierungspräsidium Stuttgart

Following an invitation from the speaker of psychology at the secondary school department of the Regierungspräsidium, Apl. Prof. Dr. Joachim Kimmerle of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) is holding a lecture today. In doing so, he starts off the training day on media psychology for teachers who teach psychology at course level in the 170 high schools of the Stuttgart region. 
Kimmerle offers an introduction to “Media and Media Psychology” and focusses on the choice of media, for example the media teens select, and on explanations of emotion-related media choices. In addition, he discusses media impact like for instance in relation to aggressive behaviour as well as media literacy. Workshops on teaching practice will follow the lecture. “The everyday reality of teens is highly influenced by the use of media. Thus, it is crucial that teachers are sensitised to the media consumption habits of their students and that they examine possibilities of increasing media literacy,“ says Kimmerle.

2018-02-07  |  IWM and e-teaching at LEARNTEC 2018: A resume.

Several research projects on digital media in higher education teaching of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) have been presented at the e-learning trade fair LEARNTEC in Karlsruhe last week. 

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Hirt (Pic.6) of the university clinic Tübingen reported about the BMBF-project (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) “Open Teach” – a cooperation project between the IWM and the online platform Sectio Chirurgica. The key question of his lecture was how digital media can support collaborative working in different medical professions. The BMBF-project “Digital Learning Map 2020” was presented the second time at LEARNTEC after its start in 2017.

Gabriele Irle and Elke Kümmel (IWM) invited the audience to join the best practice database (Pic.1 & 5) which is developed within the project and will go online in summer 2018. Gabriele Irle: “The database offers university teachers from all over Germany the possibility to share their experiences on digital teaching and to get to know the best practices of other teachers. The database is characterized by two features: It shows interdisciplinary solutions across universities and focusses on the individual learning process – not on the tools used.”
Both speeches were held at the well-attended exhibition forum university@LEARNTEC. The forum was again organized by the team of e-teaching.org and was moderated by its members Dr. Anne Thillosen (Pic.4 & 7) and Markus Schmidt (Pic.2). The presenters provided exciting insights into a broad range of applications of digital media in teaching: From agility to peer assessment, from robot vehicles to augmented reality, from gamification to the consequences for curricula and university administrations.
The forum was followed by a workshop for ten digitization projects at national universities that are currently funded by the program „Digital Innovations for Smart Teaching – Better Learning“ of the Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg. Organizer of the workshop was the IWM’s accompanying program „Smart Teaching Baden-Württemberg“ which supports the sustainable implementation of the projects inter alia through a series of events. Mareike Kehrer and Dr. Michael Hellermann (IWM), for example, talked in their workshop about the workflow during the production of open educational resources (Pic.8).


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2018-02-06  |  Dr. Anne Thillosen of the IWM on the move as expert: „Feasibility study for an (inter)national university platform”
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The Hochschulforum Digitalisierung (HFD) has taken first steps to advance the set-up of a national platform for Higher Education Teaching. In the final report of the first project phase (2014-2016), the HFD supported the idea of creating such a platform. There are several reasons for it.
First, on the existing non-European (MOOC-)platforms like edX and Coursera, the protection of student data cannot be guaranteed.  Second, the German – and in the medium term the European – university sector should be strengthened for example by a platform that all German higher education institutions can use for their own teaching and that strengthens university cooperation.

In order to evaluate the possibilities for the concrete implementation of such a platform, the HFD and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research had ordered a feasibility study in summer 2017. The study was given to the MBB institute and to neocosmo which invited experts – including Dr. Anne Thillosen of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) – to a “Stakeholder workshop” to discuss possible development scenarios and variations. At the workshop, first ideas and results will be presented. The key agenda is: How could and should a national university platform ideally look like and which requirements and options for development as well as problems and risk have to be considered?

“In any case it is useful to take different perspective into account especially at the beginning of the discussion process since e-learning actors, university administration and data centres all have very different views and interests – and they all, of course, should use such a platform. I am glad to bring the perspective of e-teching.org and our community into discussion”, says Thillosen.

2018-01-31  |  What about the use of digital media in German schools? Ulrike Cress in an interview with "Die Debatte"
2018 01 31 CressInterview

Future school education without the use of digital media would be inconceivable. Thereby, children of new generations (the so called digital natives) seem to know more about the use of digital technologies than adults who did not grow up with those media. But is this true? Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensemedien answers this question. In an interview with Die Debatte, Cress also talked about how digital media is changing school education and about their specific use for different age groups: 

If we successfully integrate media into school lesson as teachers, it means, that teaching changes as well. Lessons will be more self-directed, more collaborative as well as interactive.”   

Die Debatte discusses controversial scientific issues. It is organized by Wissenschaft im Dialog, the Science Media Center Germany (SMC) and the Technische Universitaet Braunschweig.

Link to the video  (german only)

2018-01-30  |  Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress at the first ISLS workshop in Africa
2018 01 30 Johannesburg university

To engage African scholars in advancing the Learning Sciences, the first Workshop of the International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS) will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 12 and 13 February 2018. The workshop will showcase inspirational research, drawing from multidisciplinary areas of the Learning Sciences, and presenting new and provocative debates on how people learn.

Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress, director of the Leibniz-Insitut für Wissensmedien in Tübingen, is one of the keynote speakers. She will talk about “Knowledge creation in mass-collaboration scenarios”, for instance on the online platform Wikipedia. Cress: “Although Africa is working on exciting research questions, it is still underrepresented in the international research of Learning Sciences. The workshop aims to explore possibilities for cooperation and to discover the different research foci.

The International Society of the Learning Sciences is an interdisciplinary society dedicated to the empirical investigation of learning as it exists in real-world settings. It is concerned with the question how learning may be facilitated both with and without technology.


Workshop program

2018-01-29  |  Congratulations Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress on the election as member of the VHB program commission

Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress, director of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM), was again elected member of the program commission of the Virtuellen Hochschule Bayerns (vhb) -  Bavarian Virtual University. Since 2017, she accompanies the development of the vhb: “I am very impressed how Bavaria is consequently spreading digital teaching with the vhb. It succeeds in identifying the mutual needs and offers of higher education institutions, thus facilitating cooperation between universities. Therefore, I am looking forward to continuing working at the vhb.”

The Bavarian Virtual University is an association of all Bavarian universities and higher education institutions for applied sciences. The VHB offers multimedia online courses on a wide range of scientific areas for students as well as non-students.

2018-01-26  |  Call for Papers for LERN member institutions until 31.01.2018
2018 01 26 LERN2018 papers

On 26 and 27 April 2018, the Annual Research Meeting LERN takes place at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) in Tübingen. Subject of the meeting is “Digitisation and Education: Potentials and Challenges from the Perspective of Educational Research”.

The Leibniz Education Research Network (LERN) aims to identify with the meeting the current state of research and expertise of its member institutions as well as further research demands. In order to prepare the conference, all LERN member institutions are asked to submit suggestions for presentations via mail to leibniz-bildungspotenziale@dipf.de until Wednesday, 31 January 2018.

Call for Papers (PDF in German)

2018-01-26  |  IWM and e-teaching at the LEARNTEC 2018
2018 01 26 LERN2018 seats-orange-congress-empty-722708

Most German universities use digital media for teaching. However, their potential is not yet fully utilised. How the use of digital media in higher education can be improved, is the topic of the exhibition forum university@LEARNTEC.

On 30 January 2018, scientists from the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) will present new impulses for the future of university education at the LEARNTEC fair:  Gabriele Irle (IWM) and Prof. Dr. Johannes Moskaliuk visualise the current state of digital university education with the Digital Learning Map 2020. They will answer the question, what makes teaching with digital tools effective. Prof. Dr. Joachim Kimmerle (IWM) together with Prof. Dr. Bernhard Hirt from the University of Tübingen will show how learning between specialists can be supported – especially between medical professionals.

We expect exciting insights into innovative ideas and best practice examples” says Dr. Anne Thillosen (IWM), head of e-teaching.org. The team of the information and qualification portal has organised the program and will moderate the forum. E-teaching.org offers extensive scientific content on the integration of digital media into higher education.


Information on the program (in German)

2018-01-25  |  New IWM film: Knowledge-related internet usage
2018 01 11 Film Internetnutzung

The internet is an integral part of our everyday life. Here we connect with each other. We use the internet to search, place and expand our knowledge - and the knowledge of others: consciously and unconsciously. The Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) in Tübingen is researching how the Internet is used in a knowledge-based way. The IWM focuses not only on digital knowledge processes at universities or in workplaces, but also on knowledge acquisition during our leisure time. At the IWM a series of research questions on knowledge processes are being investigated. Alone or in groups, at home or at school, at work or in the museum - knowledge emerges everywhere. Digital media exist in all these places and they accompany us at all times in our daily lives.


Link to video

2018-01-16  |  Interview with Dr. Anne Thillosen on studienwahl.de
2018 01 15 Thillosen

With regard to its digitization, the future of teaching at universities seems uncertain. Yet, in the area of e-learning – the electronically supported learning by the use of media – much has happened. Anne Thillosen from the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien talked to studienwahl.de about the future of higher education institutions. She is head of e-teaching.org, an e-learning information and qualification portal that provides extensive and scientifically based content about the integration of digital media into higher education.

Article (only german)

2018-01-12  |  7 tips for a good work day on the 7th anniversary of wissensdialoge.de
2018 01 12 wissensdialoge 7jahre 2

In January 2011, the journey of the online journal wissensdialoge.de, supported by the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien, began (IWM). Here, employees work as editors and guest authors, thus contributing to a continuous exchange of knowledge between research and practical fields. In the last seven years over 300 articles on current research questions and findings have been published on the platform. Topics include personnel development, teamwork, employee management as well as organisational learning and knowledge management.

To celebrate the 7th anniversary, the editorial team likes to offer you seven tips – their personal kit – for a successful work day (in german): For example “After the break is before the break” by Dr. Christina Matschke and “Practise active listening” by Dr. Annika Scholl.

More information on the online journal:


2018-01-10  |  How we understand understanding from misunderstandings. The IWM at the interdisciplinary workshop “misunderstanding” at the University of Stuttgart

“Misunderstandings are part of everyday life. They disturb communication but also stimulate it. Misunderstandings trigger arguments, are the source of conversation and not uncommonly only strategically simulated.” So how can we learn to better understand the process of understanding from misunderstandings? And what happens if we just do not understand.
On 12 January 2018 at the interdisciplinary workshop “misunderstanding”, researchers from the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmeiden (IWM) present latest insights and developments in psychology on this topic. With its focus on knowledge processes the Leibniz Institute provides a valuable input for the workshop. Therefore, Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress and Prof. Dr. Joachim Kimmerle address the question “How well do laymen understand the fragility of scientific content?” and Prof. Dr. Stephan Schwan gives insights into “(Mis-)understanding text-image combinations”. From the perspective of various disciplines, the participants want to discuss, inter alia, which roles context, medium, perspective and affects play in processes of understanding. The workshop will end on 13 January 2018.
Processes of understanding also take centre stage of the joint cluster application “Understanding Understanding“ of the universities of Stuttgart and Tübingen as well as of the Deutsche Literaturarchiv (DLA) (German Literature Archive) Marbach and the Leibniz-Institute für Wissensmedien Tübingen (IWM).

Program of the workshop (in german)

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