Current Research Projects


Popular Middle Age Structures in the German "Middle Age Scene" - DFG Research Group

Project Management: Prof. Dr. Sven Kommer
Project Member: Dipl. päd. Kristina Wacker, assistant

With the "Middle Age Scene" in the sense of a thematically focused network of people, the research project investigates a popular contemporary culture, that can be understood as a culture of knowledge oriented towards a historic lifeworld due to its thematic formation. The investigation stemming from the subjective view and construction of meaning of scene members aims to demonstrate how constructions of knowledge (Middle Age) that are popularized in the media are used by a recipient group for processes of endowing life with meaning and their own construction of knowledge – and thus also for the generation of a culture of knowledge. "Scene members" refers to people who are actively involved in shaping Middle Age markets and other, including internal, events. Visitors of such events are not the focus of the investigation.

Based on an established tradition of media pedagogical research, elements of youth research and media research are jointed together and expanded with cultural elements. Aside from a (qualitative) survey of those in the scene (individual and group interviews), media and media content that are identified as particularly relevant (literature, magazines, movies, computer games) are analyzed within the survey for constructions and cliches of the "Middle Ages". The combination of recipient questionnaires and media analysis make the final step possible, a description and analysis of popularization processes in a selected field.


Teachers in the Digital World. Use of Tablet PCs for a Practical Implementation of the Innovative Concept "Learning through Shaping"

Project Management: Prof. Dr. Sven Kommer
Project Members: Dr. Thorsten Junge, Christiane Rust M.A.

Originating from courses offered in the New Meida module, the use of tablet PCs in teacher training are investigated as part of student practical projects on cyber bullying. Students learn concepts that can be easily implemented. The media-didactic concept "Learning through Shaping" provides the foundation. Students test out concepts from media education and didactics relevant to their future career field. They also learn necessary media pedagogical and media technical skills through handson practice.

The future teachers acquire skills in the field of didactically oriented digital audio, video, and photo editing, in order to work on media specific topics using digital media in school lessons. Tablet PCs are thus use as a multifunctional creative tool.

The project simultaneously aims to develop a deeper awareness among the teacher training students for problems regarding the risks of media use. The topic "Cyber Bullying" is particularly well suited due to its current social relevance.



Reading Requirements in Industrial-Technical Courses of Study as a Basis for the Development of Audience-Specific, Integrated Concepts for Promoting Reading Strategies and Motivation Structures of University Instructors

Project Members: Dipl.-Gwl. Christina Keimes, Dr. Volker Rexing
Advisor: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Birgit Ziegler

Empirical findings until now in the context of the promotion of reading skills in vocational training show a low level of effectiveness of corresponding promotional strategies. The problematic, motivational stance of students towards reading is particularly important regarding the insufficient efficiency of support efforts. It's clearly ineffective to show students the vocational relevance of reading skills. The need of support concepts in relation to authentic, vocational, challenging situations is a central result of research until now. Insofar, the project now has a central goal of summarizing the concrete relevance of reading skills in vocational situations. A question resulting from this work is the creation of a corresponding vocation-specific support concept. The effectiveness of this concept will be evaluated in an intervention study.

The project was initiated by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Birgit Ziegler in 2010 and has since been situated in the Teaching and Research Area Didactics of School and Vocational Education in the Technical Field.