In 2010, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) received the Rhineland-Palatinate Award for Learning and Teaching Excellence for its strategic teaching concept and further development of teaching skills. A comprehensive higher education didactics approach is at the center of this concept. It will first be tested in the subjects Biology, German Studies and History, to be then gradually extended to all JGU faculties through peer group coaching (ZQ). This approach’s basic idea is to combine subject-specific courses with disciplinary and interdisciplinary forms of exchange on teaching matters.
In order to be up to speed on state of the art teaching, JGU offers various qualification and support programs to young researchers who aspire to pursue a career as university teacher. Moreover, they have many possibilities to seek advice or exchange their ideas on teaching with colleagues. These measures are all the more important as teaching skills and commitment to teaching are crucial factors in appointment procedures.
The Gutenberg Teaching Council (GTC)
The Gutenberg Teaching Council (GTC) was established as one of JGU’s central academic institutions through a resolution passed by the JGU Senate. Irrespective of the faculties’ responsibility to ensure and organize their course programs, the GTC aims at promoting teaching and academic teaching skills at JGU. Moreover, it strives to develop innovative new ideas on academic teaching all the while taking into account the university’s interdisciplinary and international character as well as its emphasis on research and the vocational future of its students. The GTC also works on making scientifically sound contributions to the further development of study program structures and learning conditions at JGU.
Project Lehren – Organisieren – Beraten (LOB) (Teaching – Organizing – Advising)
The project Lehren – Organisieren – Beraten (LOB) is dedicated to creating new higher education didactics courses for teachers. These courses are intended to teach skills-oriented teaching and put to the test new forms of skills-oriented examination. The project’s goal is to broaden and deepen the participants’ teaching and examination skills as well as to establish a culture of continuous exchange between colleagues on teaching and learning.
Center for Quality Assurance and Development (ZQ)
The Center for Quality Assurance and Development (ZQ) is committed to promoting teaching skills and the quality of teaching at JGU. It evaluates courses and supports teachers by offering several exchange and advice formats. In its capacity as an office of the South West Association of Higher Education Institutes (Hochschulevaluierungsverbund Südwest e. V.) it coordinates a higher education didactics program for all of Rhineland-Palatinate in order to support individual teaching skills. Moreover, it participates in several other programs and projects to promote teaching (LOB, Rhetoric and Didactics in teaching medicine).