Two pencils’ shadows forming an upward ladder—a guide to independence?

Dies Legendi 2020

A guide to independence? — Balancing guidance and openness in teaching.
Two pencils’ shadows forming an upward ladder—a guide to independence?
Image: Adobe Stock


The DIES LEGEND took place virtually this year on 24 November 2020 from 12:00 to 16:00, with more than 100 registered participants. The Teaching Awards 2020 were presented; and once again, we placed the focus on a challenge identified in the Strategy 2025—Teaching: how to promote students’ academic independence. In view of the far-reaching digitalization of teaching in 2020 due to the corona pandemic, we addressed the question of students' independent learning and work—a currently pressing issue. Three workshops approached the topic from different perspectives in a stimulating exchange of experience.

Teaching Award ceremony

With the ceremonial presentation of the teaching awards, we honoured outstanding commitment in university teaching in the usual manner. Dr Stefan Fedtke (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration) received the Teaching Award 2020 for the best course concept for his specialization module ‘Supply Chain Simulation’.
Jun.-Prof. Dr David Löwenstein (Faculty of Arts) received the award in the thematic priority area ‘Teaching in large groups (80 students or more)’ for the didactic conceptualization of the module ‘Logik und Argumentationslehre’.

Following the ceremony, both teaching award winners presented their respective teaching concepts and thus provided valuable insight into their academic teaching.

Presentation of teaching projects currently funded at the University of Jena

In addition to outstanding achievements in teaching being honoured, the Dies Legendi 2020 also saw presentations of teaching projects currently funded by the ALe as well as externally funded projects—in 2020 for the first time in the form of a podcast consisting of an overview poster and an audio commentary for each project. Everyone interested in the podcast can find it at the following link: link  

If you have questions on the projects, please do not hesitate to contact the project leaders by email.

Impulsvideo Dies Legendi 2020

Trigger video for the DIES LEGENDI 2020—Future workshop ‘Indepencence in Learning and Teaching’

Future workshop on ‘Independence in studying and teaching’

Three parallel workshops approached the question ‘A guide to independence?—Balancing guidance and openness in teaching’ from different perspectives, leading to an exchange of experiences and opinions on the one hand and to the development of university-specific ideas for the targeted promotion of students' academic independence on the other hand:

  • Workshop 1 (in German): Feedback culture—what is good feedback? How to give good feedback?
    Prof. Dr Timm Wilke, Prof. Dr Holger Cartarius, Dr Elizabeth Watts
  • Workshop 2 (in German): Independence between over- and under-challenging—teachers’ perspective
    Prof. Dr Miriam Rose, Prof Dr Mirka Dickel
  • Workshop 3 (in German): Independence between over- and under-challenging—students’ perspective
    Laura Sterba, Leonie Kuhn

In a concluding panel discussion, the results from the workshops were compiled and overarching aspects of the topic as well as two questions were discussed: ‘Is there such a thing as too much support with regard to academic independence?’ and ‘Is it possible to establish an error culture among students?’.

DIES LEGENDI in previous years

Dies Legendi 2019 cover photo: Measuring tapes symbolizing tailor-made teaching
Ready-made or tailor-made? Concepts for dealing with...
Dies Legendi 2018 cover photo: Attentive students in the lecture hall
Teaching Constitution—Sense or Nonsense?
Dies Legendi 2019 cover photo: Interactive Teaching
As an annual new discourse format, DIES LEGENDI…

The Teaching Award is presented with the support of the Sparkassenstiftung Jena-Saale-Holzland.