up2date. Das Onlinemagazin der Universtiät Bremen

Berninghausen Prize: A Special Award for Dedicated Teaching Staff

Without a doubt, holding seminars in times of corona is challenging.

On Wednesday evening, December 2, 2020, in a public online award ceremony, teaching staff of the University of Bremen will be honored for their extraordinary commitment. Every year, the University of Bremen and the “unifreunde” friends of the University of Bremen and Jacobs University award the Berninghausen Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Clearly, the year 2020 is different. From one moment to the next during the summer semester, teaching staff had to hold their seminars online. Many were extremely dedicated and resourceful. This was appreciated by the jury: The longtime university music director Dr. Susanne Gläß and the political scholar Sebastian Möller are each awarded a prize in the category “excellent teaching under COVID-19 circumstances”. The traditional student prize is awarded to the didactics of mathematics professor Maike Vollstedt. We will not only introduce their projects to you briefly; we also asked the three of them to tell us how they define excellent teaching.

“Ravel’s Boléro”: An Orchestra Goes Online

Can an orchestra rehearse or even play online? Not really. Because there are always some audio delays. But Susanne Gläß found a solution with her project “Ravel’s Boléro”: The orchestra members recorded their instrumental parts from home one by one. These recordings were then assembled on the computer. The whole project received professional technical support by the orchestra team. Last summer, the result was presented in the St. Stephani culture church at several different occasions.

Here you can watch the orchestra project “Ravel’s Boléro” on YouTube.

We already reported about this project last summer.

Susanne Gläß
How does Susanne Gläß define excellent teaching?
“If I was able to inspire the students with such enthusiasm for what I have taught them that they are eager to learn even more – then I have taught well.”
© Jörg Landsberg

An interactive port blog

Due to the Corona pandemic, political scholar Sebastian Möller converted an interdisciplinary exploration tour through the fascinating worlds of ports into a digital port seminar. He used educational videos, recorded interviews with port stakeholders, and a port blog. He was not the only one who regularly published content on the blog, as his students also created short articles or podcasts.

Read what we published about his project in up2date. last summer.

Sebastian Möller
How does Sebastian Möller define excellent teaching?
“It encourages, inspires, and enables students to work on questions of their own choice and to contribute their results also beyond the course. Excellent teaching enables them to escape the role of passive knowledge consumers and greatly appreciates students’ own contributions to learning”.
© Charlotte Hammes

Looking beyond their own horizons

For Maike Vollstedt, the student prize is very special: “Being a specialist in didactics, excellent teaching is naturally very close to my heart,” says the didactics of mathematics professor. She was very happy that she was suggested by the students for this award and nominated by the jury. In her seminar “Thinking and Acting Mathematically”, she and her students looked beyond their own horizons. The concept included the exploration of a topic area by the students, as well as the organization and realization of a student conference, at which the students’ own findings were presented.

Here you can find out more about the student conference.

Maike Vollstedt
How does Maike Vollstedt define excellent teaching?
“For me, it means an orientation towards the students, the discipline, and science as such. This includes positive interpersonal relationships, a sound professional theoretical foundation, and a proper link to practical applications, as well as the integration of current research results and the discovery of science by the students”, explains Maike Vollstedt.
© Katrin Neuhauser

Celebrate your teaching staff at the online ceremony

The Berninghausen Prize ceremony will be held online at 6p.m. on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. You can be part of it and celebrate your teaching staff. Just register at events@uni-bremen.de.

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