Professor Gerhard Müller


Senior Vice President: Academic & Student Affairs, Technical University of Munich

Prof. Dr. Gerhard Müller Copyright: © TUM

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

We have a unique opportunity to further develop university teaching based on the experience gained with new virtual teaching formats, in combination with existing and new face-to-face teaching formats. We have to take advantage of this opportunity.

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

I assume that a whole range of larger, predominantly lecture formats can be transformed into shorter video sequences that can be viewed repeatedly on a case-by-case basis. The time gained can be used for more in-person formats that include discussions and interactions.

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)?

By supplementing face-to-face teaching, with lectures complemented and, in some cases, substituted by videos, time is gained for group work, quizzes, smaller competitions, and even projects. Depending on the topic and context, this can significantly develop the element of project-based learning and working in teams.

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

The importance of instructors is increasing, not decreasing, as the new teaching formats particularly thrive on interaction with professors. Students benefit from the professors' expertise and personality more directly. More than ever, the university is becoming a place of lively interactions and discussions.

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?

This has to be discussed on a subject-specific basis and has always had to be discussed on a continuous basis. It is important to regularly align the content of the courses offered with the desired and changing competence profiles. However, it is also necessary to clearly differentiate which components absolutely have to be included in the curricula, which can possibly be taught more efficiently when beginning their career, which should be meaningfully embedded in cross-disciplinary university formats, and which elements can be used to prepare students for their role in society, with the associated communication competences and the necessary attitude to continuously develop and educate themselves.