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Get Involved!

Get Involved!

All Freie Universität members are welcome to contribute to the “Teaching and Education in 2030” process at various points along the way and through different means. Each person can add their unique perspective and ideas about how to further develop teaching and education at Freie Universität.

Why get involved?

  • The future of education at Freie Universität Berlin will be shaped by the outcomes we achieve during the strategic planning process.
  • In addition to the mission statement for teaching and learning, the process will also serve to develop an educational strategy that will take on clear contours as we work specifically on different issues and overlapping themes.
  • Your involvement will help to strengthen the educational community as well as increase people’s appreciation of teaching and learning at Freie Universität. You will definitely be able to gain from sharing ideas with others.

It is up to you, whether you want to participate in all the events we have planned or just a few. You are welcome to join in at any time. Your participation is also encouraged even if your German is not strong – English as a working language is fine.

Digital Event “A Semester Like No Other: Challenges and Experiences in Studying and Teaching during the 2020 Summer Semester”

Freie Universität held a digital world café event on June 22, 2020. Anyone who was interested was welcome to attend – instructors, students, research assistants, laboratory staff members, library employees, as well as departmental or administrative staff members. It was an opportunity to discuss the challenges and successes of the digital summer semester and to share creative solutions with each other. The insights gained from the event will serve as a valuable basis for the strategic planning process and the kick-off event this fall.

Kick Off

The official start of the strategic planning process is a kick-off event scheduled for November 16, 2020. Anyone who is interested is welcome to attend whether they are an instructor, student, research assistant, laboratory staff member, library employee, or administrative staff member.

  • World Café and Group Discussion: We have invited experts from outside of the university to moderate and facilitate the event, which will focus on fostering an open-ended dialog between all university members in a world café format. It is an opportunity for you to casually discuss questions related to teaching and education in small groups progressing from one topic to the next. Each round of conversation allows new groups to form with a new mix of participants. As an exploratory mode of interaction, the world café allows everyone to contribute their specific knowledge and experiences in a short timespan. It is a great way to get started thinking about a common strategy for teaching and education. The small group discussions will then serve as the basis for a larger discussion together at the end.
  • Establishing Topics for Focus Groups: The kick-off event will also be an opportunity to collect topics brought up in the world café conversations. Special focus groups will then address these topics in more detail over the following weeks. The focus groups’ work will then be incorporated into the collaborative drafting of a mission statement and an educational strategy. On November 16, we will start putting together specific focus groups. You are welcome to join one of them within the two weeks following the kick off – or suggest one of your own.

The focus groups will keep track of the outcomes of their work and make them available on the website. Please register in advance so that we can plan accordingly.

Special Topics for Focus Groups

As part of the group discussion at the kick-off event on November 16, we will identify topics that will serve as the basis for the work that we will do in our focus groups over the following weeks. At the kick-off event you are invited to join one or several groups and start planning the first steps. Ideally, groups will include a mix of people with different perspectives from the various groups involved at the university. Each focus group will concentrate on its topic and develop its own vision, goals, and examples of possible measures to take. The focus groups’ work will then be incorporated into the collaborative drafting of a mission statement and an educational strategy. You are more than welcome to contribute to a focus group even if you did not attend the kick off. At the same time, you are free to attend just the kick off and not join a focus group. You are welcome to join one of the focus groups within the two weeks following the kick off – or suggest one of your own.

Wrap It Up and Feedback Campaign

The focus groups will present their findings at a public wrap-up event that will also provide a forum for further debate. A feedback campaign is planned for the following winter semester, which will again extend the opportunity for the entire university to respond to the process so far with praise, critique, and additional ideas.

Debate within Academic Bodies

The final draft of the mission statement will then be distributed among various academic bodies, including the Academic Senate, for debate.