Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds new research project

Study more independently and efficiently with the digital study assistant

In the new joint project “Study individualisation through digital, data-supported assistants (SIDDATA)”, Leibniz University Hanover (LUH) is working on the development of a digital assistant (“Robo-Software”), which will help students to better design their personal study path. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the project within the framework of the research programme “Innovation Potentials of Digital Higher Education” with a total of 3.9 million euros, of which LUH will receive around one million euros. Other project partners are the Osnabrück University, which has taken on the lead role, the University of Bremen and the HIS Institute for Higher Education Development (HIS-HE) in Hanover. The project duration is initially 3.5 years. If successful, the project can be extended for another 2.5 years.

In November, the BMBF joint project SIDDATA “Study individualization through digital, data-driven assistants” was launched at Osnabrück University. Co-initiator Prof. Dr. Michael H. Breitner, Institute of Information Systems Research at LUH, and the eLearning Service (ZQS/elsa) have raised one million euros in third-party funding for the first phase up to spring 2022.

The project explores whether and how students can be efficiently supported in achieving their individual educational goals by combining previously unlinked data and information in an individual, digital study assistant. The “work” of the digital assistant is based on existing data on courses, content, learning progress and performance. From this, the assistant is to derive recommendations for the further study path and sensible study options. The project also focuses on artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The Institute for Information Systems Research meets the challenge to develop, implement and execute the IT overall project management process as well as the software quality management process. Technical, functional and didactic requirements must be defined and included. Various experts, students and lecturers are actively involved in the development process in order to meet the interests of the users and the diverse requirements of the different study programmes.

“We see great potential in the digital assistant to support our students automatically, but intelligently and individually in the design of their educational path and thus contribute to more personal responsibility in their studies. It is also important to us to protect privacy, especially when merging personal data”, explains Prof. Dr. Michael H. Breitner, Director of the Institute for Information Systems Research and Project Manager at LUH.

Since valuable information can be derived from the students’ data, which could also be misused, the project focuses in particular on the topic of data protection: “Students often do not know which data traces they leave behind and must be sensitized to this. We will therefore design learning and reflection offerings that enable users to make informed and critical decisions about the use of their own data,” explains Dipl.-Inf. Arne Koesling from ZQS/elsa, who coordinates the work pact on data protection in the project. The overall contribution of ZQS/elsa is coordinated by Dipl.-Soz.-Wiss. Doris Meißner.

More information:
Prof. Dr. Michael Breitner
Institute of Information Systems Research, Leibniz University Hanover
Phone +49 511 762 4901
E-Mail breitner@iwi.uni-hannover.de

Dipl. Soz.-Wiss. Doris Meißner
ZQS/elsa, Leibniz University Hanover
Phone +49 511 762 17442
E-Mail meissner@elsa.uni-hannover.de

Source: Press release of Leibniz University Hanover of 21 November 2018

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