2 min

Learning outside of the Box

Interdisciplinarity, Internationalisation & Future Skills: A Report on the 11th Day of Teaching and Learning at the St. Pölten UAS

Learning outside of the Box

On 30 March 2023, the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences hosted the 11th Day of Teaching and Learning under the motto “Learning outside of the Box” and welcomed more than 100 teachers and researchers in higher education from the entire German-speaking region.

Manifold social transformations, the climate crisis, rapid technological developments, and economic and social challenges demand that higher education institutions transform as fast as possible, too. The Day of Teaching and Learning 2023 at the St. Pölten UAS presented good practices in terms of interdisciplinarity, internationalisation, and future skills and, at the same time, allowed for the exchange of success stories, challenges, and obstacles in an interdisciplinary and/or international setting.

“Teaching, research, and innovation are among the core responsibilities of higher education institutions. Through interdisciplinary and international cooperation, these topics play a central role in solving societal challenges. The Day of Teaching and Learning offered an inspiring, international exchange forum on this set of topics that are currently challenging all higher education institutions”, emphasises Josef Weißenböck, Section Head Higher Education Didactics at the St. Pölten UAS, who holds prime responsibility for planning and organising the event.

Interdisciplinary, Global and Sustainable Higher Education

Mirjam Braßler from Universität Hamburg held the keynote of the event. Under the title “The Future We Want – Interdisciplinary, Global and Sustainability Education and Its Power”, she talked about the changes and priorities that higher education institutions need to pursue now: “To enable students to tackle and solve these complex issues, HEI need to implement teaching-learning arrangements that support students’ development of interdisciplinary and global competence while fostering their sustainability knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours. With the implementation of interdisciplinary education, students learn to understand, integrate, and reflect on different discipline-based perspectives that are necessary to address the complexity of the problems.”

Bilingual and Hybrid

The different formats including presentations, a discussion forum, a set of online stations, and several hands-on workshops made for a varied programme. True to this year’s motto, the conference was bilingual and hybrid. A consistent English guide through the event was offered and several programme items were streamed via YouTube in addition to the on-site format.

Teaching Future Skills

Current outputs from projects and strategic initiatives of the St. Pölten UAS on strengthening internationality, interdisciplinarity, and future skills were featured prominently in the conference programme. Among them were presentations for the project “DIRENE – Competences for the New Era of User-Driven Digital Rehabilitation” funded by ERASMUS+ and the “Interdisciplinary, Interprofessional, and International Design Thinking Lab (ILL)” within the framework of the E³UDRES² consortium.

Development of Curricula

In the workshop on the implementation of educational offers across disciplines – headed by Lisa David (Head of Service Unit LEARN, St. Pölten UAS) and Christina Tanzer (Section Head UAS-Wide Offers for Students, St. Pölten UAS) – a very central strategy in curriculum development at the St. Pölten UAS right now was introduced and discussed: The knowledge and skills of the individual specialist discipline are firmly anchored in the respective study programme. Beyond that, interdisciplinary teaching and learning formats and internationalisation concepts open up additional cross-border perspectives. Flexible curricula allow for individual courses of study.

Exploring Creative Teaching Methods

In the plenum initiative on “E³UDRES²: Challenge-Based Learning and the Power of Creativity” led by Thomas Delissen (Lecturer, St. Pölten UAS) and Christian Freisleben-Teutscher (Section Head Inverted Classroom, St. Pölten UAS), the participants addressed the question of how students can be accompanied from socially relevant questions to innovative solutions. The participants seized this opportunity to try out the “design thinking” method themselves and to integrate the results into the design of innovative teaching.

About the Day of Teaching and Learning

The Day of Teaching and Learning is a conference on higher education didactics that takes place annually at the St. Pölten UAS. It is also the biggest on-site further training event addressing innovative teaching, learning, and examinations.

You want to know more? Feel free to ask!
Mag. Dr. Weißenböck Josef

Mag. Dr. Josef Weißenböck

Section Head Higher Education Didactics
LEARN: Service and Competence Centre for Teaching/Learning Development and Educational Offers