Curriculum Design & Quality

One challenge associated with digitising teaching is the integration of digital formats within the study programme. Because of this, standards must be taken into account and, in some cases, finalised – particularly those relating to quality assurance, certification and crediting.

As far as quality assurance is concerned, a distinction should be made between didactic and academic quality assurance. Didactic quality assurance for digital formats can be based on quality criteria in the field of e-learning, relating to content or correctness, didactic structure, usability and media design. As in the case of classroom teaching, it is the professorships that are responsible for academic quality assurance. In addition, quality can be ensured through learning guides or tutors or through peer review. The latter can also be supplemented by group-to-group review, although it should be noted that, owing to the potential accessibility, this can lead to both constructive and destructive dynamics. Quality assurance instruments can also take the form of a multiple choice test or quiz.

One form of certifying digital formats is badges, which indicate successful participation in a programme. Some badges go beyond merely confirming participation and attempt to assess performance quality in digital formats. In this way, badges serve to document the acquired knowledge. For instance, participants can set up a badge profile with their contributions and, based on the organiser’s instructions, assign these performances various levels such as “Commentator (badge level 2) or “Curator (badge level 3)”. This allocation is monitored by the organisers by means of random spot checks.

If digital teaching formats are incorporated in the curriculum of an academic course, there is then the question of how to allocate credit points. It is also necessary to develop procedures or guidelines for recognising these.

Helmut Hoyer:

“Today, knowledge that was previously taught exclusively by higher education institutions can now also be accessed in different ways. This being the case, it is necessary to look into the question of curriculum development and design and of quality assurance and to prepare recommendations.”

Publications by the thematic group

Preamble and theses of the Curriculum Design & Quality Development thematic group (February 2016): In a brief paper, the thematic group presents its basic questions and working hypotheses.

Recognition, crediting and certifying digital teaching and learning activities (February 2016): The quality development of digital teaching and learning activities is a key aspect, particularly in view of the potential decoupling of content, institutional providers and various education participants. The working paper by the Curriculum Design & Quality Development thematic group asks how digital teaching and learning activities should be designed in such a way that the learning achievements can be recognised. As well as this, the authors deal with questions relating to quality assurance and the certification of digital teaching and learning activities.

Designing digital teaching, learning and assessment activities (February 2016): The thematic group’s working paper examines how digital teaching, learning and assessment formats should be designed so that they offer added value for study programmes. Based on a variety of questions, the paper discusses – among other things – how the formats should be adapted individually to the various institutions and students, how they can contribute to personality development and how ongoing further development can be ensured.

Opening and practical orientation of HEIs through digital teaching and learning activities (February 2016): The thematic group experts make recommendations for opening up HEIs for non-traditional target groups by means of digital tools. Here, the focus is on developing new forms of teaching and learning and new ways of participation.


Dr. Olaf Bartz
Managing Director, Foundation for the Accreditation of Study Programmes in Germany
Sonja Bolenius
Head of Higher Education & Academic Policy, German Trade Union Federation (DGB)
Dr. Heike Brand
Consultant for Higher Education Strategy/New Media, FernUniversität Hagen (distance-learning university)
Prof. Dr. Tobina Brinker
Chairperson hdw nrw training network for HEI teaching staff
Jan Cloppenburg
Former Chairman of fzs (free association of student bodies)
Prof. Dr. Ulf-Daniel Ehlers
Vice President, Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University
Marc Eickelkamp
Student assistant in eLearning Department, Ruhr University Bochum
Philipp Höllermann
Project Manager Company Programmes, IUBH School of Business and Management, Bonn
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Helmut Hoyer
Former rector, FernUniversität Hagen (thematic sponsor)
Dr. Michael Lehmann
Head of Department 4 “Higher Education Institutions & Science” (with responsibility for safeguarding transactions), Ministry for Science and Economic affairs of the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt
Prof. Dr. Philipp Pohlenz
Professor of Higher Education Research and Professionalisation of Academic Teaching, Otto von Guericke University, Magdeburg
Dr. Jochen Robes
Senior Consultant, HQ Interaktive Mediensysteme
Dr. Isabel Rohner
Education Consultant, Federal Society of the German Employer Associations (BDA)