HFDxChange – Collegial Consultation

With the HFDxChange format, the Hochschulforum Digitalisierung 2021 and 2022 invited teachers and staff from teaching support institutions to engage in an intensive, collegial exchange of experiences. Participants brought a concrete challenge from their teaching or university and developed initial solution ideas together in small teams. They were guided and accompanied by the HFD team.

HFDxChange – A review

HFDxChange was performed three times in 2021 and 2022. A total of 140 participants worked in small consulting groups in a solution-oriented manner on individual cases from their own practice, taking different perspectives.

The format was aimed at teachers from all universities and disciplines as well as staff from teaching support institutions. No special previous knowledge was required.

The last run was from mid-September to mid-November 2022. Over the course of ten weeks, three large-scale online meetings (kick-off, office hours, and wrap-up) and five digital consultation sessions were held in each of the consulting teams.

HFDxChange – The method

In HFDxChange, the method of collegial case consultation was used. The special feature of this method is that the participants support each other in solving concrete challenges or questions (examples of possible questions can be found below).

For each consultation session, one case presenter presents a concrete case, at least one consultant contributes suggestions for solutions and new perspectives, and one moderator structures and documents the exchange. Roles are redistributed for each counseling session so that all team members have a chance to move into the role of caseworker.

Collegial case consultation is primarily about supporting the caseworker by bringing up new ideas or options for action, or even a novel way of looking at a particular problem or challenge. At the same time, the collegial consultants receive suggestions for their own work. The six phases of the consultation session are shown in the following diagram.

Questions and testimonials from alumni

Marlen Schumann, staff member in the area of teaching & media at the Center for Quality Development in Teaching and Learning at the University of Potsdam, participant HFDxChange 2022

Key question for collegial case consultation

“How can instructors be encouraged to engage in a research-based approach to their teaching practice (keyword: SoTL)?”

My experience with HFDxChange

“Our group was wonderfully composed and I found the exchange also on the topics of the other group participants very enriching. At the same time, the HFDxChange program has given me the opportunity to experience different counseling settings or to expand my own facilitation experience as well.”

Jens Andreas Faulstich, Deputy Head of Languages/International Affairs, HS Koblenz, Participant Digital Summer School 2020 and HFDxChange 2022

Key question for collegial case consultation

“At the departmental level, how can we achieve a balance between face-to-face and digital teaching and learning formats that promotes communication skills as well as the 21st Century Skills that are so important to the profession?”

My experience with HFDxChange

“After the positive experiences from the collegial consultation in the summer of 2020, it was clear to me that I would use this format again for myself in 2022 to gain impetus for the next (digital) didactic departure. Once again, the exchange within my team was as creative as it was helpful. I have already been able to put some of the ideas from the collegial consultation into practice or get them off the ground – and we are still in virtual exchange! The summer break virtual sundowner is already taking shape!”

Jaqueline Schulz, Staff Member for Digitization in Teaching and Learning | eTeach Contact Point, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Participant HFDxChange 2022

Key question for collegial case consultation

“How can the various services for instructors on digital teaching be brought together in a way that provides a one-stop shop for instructors?”

My experience with HFDxChange

“I took away a lot of tips and perspectives from the consultation, some of which can be implemented very concretely and practically, and other ideas we will pursue in the long term. It was great to see how committed everyone in our team was. It was very motivating and you no longer felt your ‘problem’ was quite so critical because of the many possible solutions.”

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christina Schindler, Faculty of Applied Sciences and Mechatronics, Munich University of Applied Sciences, participant HFDxChange 2022

Key question for collegial case consultation

“How do you achieve the best motivation and learning with hybrid internships?”

My experience with HFDxChange

“The collegial guidance was great. I was in a team where I was the only female engineer and actually had concerns about whether my topic was even properly placed here. But just the change of perspective was helpful. So many new ideas and suggestions for internship procedures and accompanying material came up that I came out of the meetings very motivated!”