Teaching Award symbol: a golden paper plane flies ahead of three white paper planes

Teaching Award

Friedrich Schiller University Jena annually rewards excellent teaching concepts with Teaching Awards.
Teaching Award symbol: a golden paper plane flies ahead of three white paper planes
Image: adobe stock

The Teaching Award of the University of Jena

The teaching award is to recognize special commitment to teaching and make exemplary teaching concepts visible. All professors and academic employees at the University who are involved in teaching can be nominated. In addition to individuals, teams can be nominated as well. Direct applications are also accepted.

An award is presented for the best course concept. Since 2015, an additional award has been presented in a thematic priority area that changes every year.

The call for nominations for the Teaching Award is supported by the Sparkassenstiftung Jena-Saale-HolzlandExternal link.

Teaching Award 2024

Following a thorough review of the nomination documents and intensive discussion, the panel of experts from the Academy for Teaching Development (ALe) has decided on the winners of this year's teaching awards. A total of 28 nominations from ten faculties were received for the general teaching award and the teaching award focussing on "Special commitment in teaching". It was not an easy decision for the panel of experts, as all the nominated course concepts and teaching staff are examples of very good university teaching and a high level of commitment on the part of the teaching staff.

Due to the quality of the many nominations received, the committee initially agreed on a shortlist. These were as follows:

General Teaching Award:

  • Sarah Bützler with the course "The Office - An American Workplace" (short title)
  • Ilka Hameister, Peter Starke and Dr Mario Ziegler with the course "The controversy surrounding the controversy requirement: forming judgements from a political and philosophical didactic perspective"
  • Prof. Dr Beate Michalzik and Florian Achilles with the course "Assessment and evaluation of ecosystem processes and functions"

Thematic teaching award:

Prof. Dr Martin Ammon
apl. Prof. Dr Peter Frenzel

The prize for the best course concept (€2,500) goes to Ilka Hameister, Peter Starke and Dr Mario Ziegler (Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences / Faculty of Philosophy) for the block seminar "The controversy surrounding the controversy requirement: forming judgements from a political and philosophical didactic perspective":

The course "Controversy in the Classroom" honours a didactically outstanding teaching concept. The teachers succeed in addressing the learning objectives in an excellent way by combining suitable teaching methods. The seminar is dedicated to the interdisciplinary question of how controversial perspectives can be highlighted and didactically incorporated in the classroom, thus addressing a classic challenge of teacher training programmes: the combination of academic debate with the requirements of the professional practice of prospective teachers. Particularly noteworthy is the experience-orientated approach in which the students are initially involved in controversies themselves and then gradually change roles, becoming observers, then reflective academics and finally teachers who develop suitable teaching concepts to demonstrate controversial perspectives. The lecturers use different methodological approaches in the seminar, in particular the simulated conference format. In addition, the personal development of the students is explicitly included and methodically promoted. The interdisciplinary nature of the seminar should also be emphasised, which makes a further valuable contribution to teacher training. The extremely positive evaluation of the course by students emphasises the extraordinary quality of this course.

Another teaching prize was awarded in the thematic focus area "Special commitment in teaching" (€2,500). This year, only students were eligible to nominate for this topic and, in contrast to the general teaching prize, the focus was not on a course concept but on the teacher themselves. This prize was awarded to Prof Dr Martin Ammon (Faculty of Physics and Astronomy). The reasons for this selection are as follows:

From the students' point of view, Prof. Dr Ammon is an exceptional teacher who impresses with his outstanding commitment and didactic excellence.
The nominating students praise the clear didactic preparation and formulation of learning objectives, the comprehensible prioritisation of teaching content, the clear structure of the teaching units and the learning objective-oriented classification of exercises in Mr Ammon's teaching. The students also particularly appreciate the fact that Mr Ammon regularly obtains student feedback in the courses and offers additional courses for students who require more intensive support in their exam preparation.
From the perspective of the ALe panel of experts, it should be emphasised that Mr Ammon regularly manages to successfully convey highly complex teaching content to a very heterogeneous group of students and at the same time achieve above-average assessment results in the student evaluations of his courses. In doing so, Mr Ammon enables the students in a special way to penetrate the learning content and achieve the desired learning outcomes, for example by consistently taking into account the prior knowledge and different working speeds of the participants. Particularly noteworthy in the selection of Mr Ammon as the winner of the teaching award in this subject area is the fact that all selection criteria can be rated as outstandingly fulfilled.

Both teaching awards will be presented at this year's DIES LEGENDI - Teaching Day on 19 November 2024. In addition to awarding the teaching prizes and presenting the teaching projects funded by the ALe, the DIES LEGENDI - Teaching Day is the annual format for exchanging ideas and thoughts on studying and teaching across disciplines and throughout the university.

Announcement of the Thematic Teaching Award 2025

In 2025, the thematic teaching award will be awarded for the following focus area
"Teaching-learning culture in times of AI".

More information on the content of this thematic focus will be published here soon. 

The Teaching Award of Friedrich Schiller University Jena is presented with the kind support of​