Learning Design

You want to learn more effectively? You feel anxious before the end of each semester due to the upcoming exam period? Is being part of a learning community a significant aspect for you? You like to have a close professional interaction with your professors and peers?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then UTN is the perfect place for you to pursue your academic goals and have a memorable learning experience. Our new learning design, based on well-founded research studies, focuses on your own actions and the reflection of your own activities. This means that no memorization marathon awaits you at the end of the semester, but that you already work on learning-oriented assignments during the semester and receive direct feedback from the instructors on your activities. This regular and individualized feedback is a big part of the learning process.

We design Meaningful Learning Experiences that are designed to encourage you to make research-based decisions in the field and use the knowledge gained to generate new research.

Our teaching and learning concept

All courses have competency-based learning outcomes. Our courses are based on these learning outcomes and co-developed with each instructor. Innovative, digitally-supported learning experience designs are used in the courses to enable active learning. We understand learning as a continuous, central process of our learning design.

What does that specifically mean? No lectures! Active and self-reflective participation (active learning) is required, but also encouraged, among other things through small course groups, individual feedback and new and diverse types of examination. Your existing knowledge from previous degrees, internships or completed courses and workshops will be utilized as a basis for your further progress.

The courses alternate between online phases and in-person meetings. Don’t worry, you will never be left alone! During the online phase, you will receive constant guidance, instructions, and feedback from your teachers.

Read the standards of Learning and Teaching at UTN here

Our competence-oriented examination system

You may be wondering what the assessment of your skills will look like when there are no more classic exams. Our competency-based assessment system consists of two options, which the instructors specify individually for each course.

Based on learning-oriented assignments

During the in-person meetings and online phases you are given various learning-oriented assignments on which you can directly apply your acquired knowledge, actively reflect on your actions and adapt them with the help of feedback from our lecturers. You will receive points for the learning-oriented assignments, which will be accumulated over the entire semester and will result in your final grade. As you can see, your assignments can be designed and structured quite differently.

For example, the learning-oriented assignments for your courses might look like this:

Asynchronous (online) discussion on a topic provided by the examiners.

Virtual Reality (VR) simulation, in which you have to solve a given problem in a VR simulation.

Submission of an essay, e.g. on the previous discussions and the results of the VR simulation.

Presentation of the results at the end of the course.

Based on a module final exam

In the module final exam, one of the available learning-oriented assignments will be selected. You have to complete this assignment to get your final grade. Depending on which one is chosen for the course, you can start working on the assignment during the semester.

You can read about all learning-oriented assignments in the General Study and Examination Regulations (ASPO) at any time.

Our study program

To fit our teaching-learning concept and examination system into our study programs, we have also redesigned them. Basically, each study program is structured in the same way.

Scientific Core

The Scientific Core is the heart of your study program and teaches you the basic knowledge of the subject. The number of modules varies from program to program. This is followed by three Specialization Modules that build on the Scientific Core.

Interdisciplinary Track

The Interdisciplinary Track includes two modules that can be chosen from Design, Social Sciences, Ethics / Philosophy, Law or Economy / Business Studies.

Key Competencies

The Key Competencies consist of a mandatory base module and two additional modules. The basic module includes the topics of good scientific practice, project management, and communication, which should form the basis for and support your Learning in Transformation Project. You can choose two additional modules from our elective offer, fitting to your studies or personal interests.

Learning in Transformation (Project)

Learning in Transformation (Project) focuses on hands-on learning experiences. In the interdisciplinary research module, you will learn with your project group to use a science-based approach to solve real-world problems that exist in, for example, industry, society, and politics. An important part of this research module is the transformation process. This means that you learn how to think and communicate across two different settings: you use your scientific knowledge (university setting) and apply it to the problem (non-university setting). In doing so you will have to regularly  reflect and re-think to check whether your approach works in the non-university setting. At the end, you transfer your knowledge gained from this into new research. This new research can be, for example, the start of a start-up company. The project lasts two semesters and encourages you to creatively apply your knowledge to a real-world problem.

Master's Thesis

You complete your studies with your master’s thesis, which consists of the final paper, a colloquium and final oral defense.

Digital LEAD (Learning Experience & Active Design) Lab

Still have questions? Then contact our Digital LEAD Lab! We are constantly developing our learning designs in cooperation with our teachers and you, our students!


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