Paul Heuermann


Advisor for Teaching and University Communication, AStA – Students' Committee of RWTH

Paul Heuermann Copyright: © privat

Should we return to full live courses after the pandemic, continue to offer online-only teaching, or do hybrid teaching?

In the future, teaching offerings should be neither entirely virtual nor entirely held in person. Both formats offer advantages but also disadvantages. Hybrid formats are ultimately a way of combining the best of both worlds.

Which teaching formats would you like to see online, which ones in personal settings?

Lectures can be digitized well since there is very little interaction between instructors and students. Virtual sessions offer more flexibility for students. On the other hand, supportive formats, especially those with much discussion and interaction between instructors and students, should be face-to-face, as personal contact is clearly beneficial here.

Your vision: What should the successor model of a traditional lecture look like that integrates research and "doing" (no matter whether in presence or online)?

The traditional lecture as a teaching format will probably be available in a video format in the future. What will be interesting to see is the offerings that build on the taught lectures. Here, there should be a transition to interactive teaching focusing on students learning particular skills, while also encouraged to critically question the content.

Will lecturers still be needed in ten years' time or will AI/robots be enough to keep teaching?

A university is not a purely educational institution that is only concerned with absorbing knowledge. Good university teaching is also based in particular on sharing and discussing ideas. Lecturers will still be absolutely necessary for this in the future.

A number of demands are coming from industry and society as to what universities should include in their curricula in the future. If studies are not to be extended, one must also ask what we will no longer need in the future. Do you have any suggestions?

In the long term, courses of study should become more flexible in terms of content so that students can shape their own careers. On the one hand, this supports the development of the personality and, on the other, enables better specialization in an increasingly differentiated job market.