Smart helper for studies: students contribute to the development of a digital assistant

As part of the funding programme “Innovation Potentials of Digital Higher Education”, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research has been funding the joint project “Study Individualization through Digital, Data-Driven Assistants” (SIDDATA) since 1 November. The HIS-Institut für Hochschulentwicklung e. V. (HIS-HE) will evaluate the model application of the digital study assistant, which is being developed at three universities under the leadership of Osnabrück University, as part of the joint project.

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The SIDDATA project investigates whether and how students can be supported in achieving individual educational goals by bringing together previously unlinked data and information in a digital study assistant. Students will be able to use the assistant on their mobile devices and individually determine which factors and data sources should be taken into account (e.g. data from learning management systems, offers and resources of other universities and institutions).

Students should be encouraged to define and consistently pursue their own educational goals. The digital assistant to be developed should support them in achieving their respective educational goals. In the future, the data-supported environment should be able to provide situation-adequate information, memories and recommendations, and enable comparisons with different reference standards. These hints and recommendations should help students to make informed decisions for their own individual study path.

Within the context of this complex research and development project, the HIS Institute for Higher Education Development will evaluate the assistant, which will be implemented as a model at three universities. During the course of the project, HIS-HE will establish a continuous clarification process that, among other things, will bring the goals and interests of the most important stakeholders – above all the students – into line with the state of the complex technology development.

The digital study assistant should take into account different user types, forms of study and learning conditions in order to let students make more out of existing data on courses, content and their own achievements. “To enable the assistant to support students in different life situations in achieving their educational goals, we are testing the effectiveness of the system at the participating universities for various example scenarios. Suggestions from student users are then fed back into the development process,” explains Dr. Klaus Wannemacher, head of the SIDDATA sub-project at HIS-HE.

The joint project SIDDATA, which involves experts from various disciplines such as Business Information Systems, Cognitive Science, University Didactics and the cross-sectional area of E-Learning, is being carried out jointly with the lead Osnabrück University, Leibniz University Hanover and the University of Bremen for an initial period of 3.5 years and may be extended by a further 2.5 years if successful. The total funding for the joint project amounts to 3.9 million euros.

Weitere Informationen:
Dr. Klaus Wannemacher
HIS-Institut für Hochschulentwicklung e. V.
Goseriede 13a
30159 Hannover
Telefon: +49 511 169929 – 23

Source: HIS-HE press release of 26 November 2018

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