A robot with a friendly expression looks at the viewer.

Digitaliziation as a recipe for success

Innovation meets tradition: The University of Jena on its way to digital leadership in research, teaching and administration
A robot with a friendly expression looks at the viewer.
Image: Alex Knight
Programme code appears on a monitor and a screen in the background shows the website of the University of Jena.
Programme code appears on a monitor and a screen in the background shows the website of the University of Jena.
Image: Jens Meyer (University of Jena)

For the digital transformation, the University of Jena relies on joint strategic planning of the fields of action in research, teaching and administration. The spectrum of objectives extends from strengthening research performance, innovative teaching, studying and examining, digital access to knowledge and cultural assets to efficient and transparent work processes.

The users of the digital services are at the centre of the development and are actively involved in the strategic design. The strategy-building process does not take place in fixed periods of time, but continuously, in order to do justice to the high dynamics of innovations, user expectations and trends at all times.

The Office of the Vice-President for Digitalization with the affiliated University Computer Centre de, the Office for Digital Transformation, and the Office for Information Security de anchor the process of digital transformation directly in the university management.

Missions

Researchers work together on microscopes in a laboratory.
Image: Adobe Stock
Digitalization in research succeeds through close interdisciplinary exchange. To this end, scientists from many fields work together in diverse projects. The Michael Stifel Center offers a platform for constant networking and cooperation.
A monitor in the foreground shows the digital version of a lecture being held in the background in the lecture hall.
Image: Jens Meyer (University of Jena)
Digitally supported teaching at universities has long become indispensable. Online lectures and e-learning platforms offer location and time flexibility and access to a more diverse range of courses. The University of Jena is building on the use of digital tools and a comprehensive support service.
A male and a female student sit at a table and work together in a book. On the table are a laptop, tablet and smartphone for support.
Image: Christoph Worsch (University of Jena)
The University of Jena offers a variety of services to support its students and make their everyday study life and use of digital tools easier.
A finger taps on the "Knowledge Transfer" icon, which is surrounded by a network of person icons.
Image: Adobe Stock
The transfer of the latest developments into teaching is an important component of knowledge transfer. Through certificate programmes for artificial intelligence (AI) and data literacy, university know-how on these topics is bundled and opened up to all disciplines.
Teacher demonstrating streaming setup.
Image: Falko Sojka
The requirements for skills to find one's way in the digital space are growing rapidly in all areas. The development of digital competencies among students is specifically promoted at the University of Jena.
Two signs with the words Administration 2.0 and Digitalization point in the same direction.
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The University of Jena is committed to a university-wide digital administration of files and processes. The conversion from analogue to digital is being achieved through the parallel introduction of several large digital administration systems.

Strengthening digitalized research through interdisciplinary networking

Participants at the kick-off event of the ELLIS Unit Jena.
Participants at the kick-off event of the ELLIS Unit Jena.
Image: Anna Schroll

Using the latest technologies to solve complex environmental problems through the application of AI: this is what the AI Research centre for tackling global environmental problemsExternal link (ELLIS Unit Jena), funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), is doing.

The Cluster of Excellence "Balance of the Microverse"External link aims to understand the formation and balance of microbial consortia and their interactive networks and to develop innovative solutions to combat diseases and environmental imbalances.

To research safe and sustainable water supply and new water technologies, the BMBF is funding the "Thuringian Water Innovation Cluster" de (ThWIC) initiated by the University of Jena together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS) and the Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences (EAH) Jena.

The AMMOD projectExternal link (of the Computer Vision Group Jena, Prof. Denzler) aims at automated recording of biodiversity, from automatic sampling, image recognition and analysis of scents and acoustic signals to the development of technologies for data archiving, visualisation and analysis.

The joint project "Nucleus Jena – A Paradise for Innovation"External link of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and the EAH Jena aims to develop Jena into a leading transfer and innovation region in Germany and to recommend itself as a model region for similarly structured economic areas.

The Michael Stifel Center JenaExternal link (MSCJ) was founded in 2015 to continuously network scientists and strengthen their interdisciplinary exchange around digitalization. It is dedicated to data-driven and simulation-based sciences and their application from the natural sciences to the social sciences, behavioural sciences and humanities. It operates the virtual workshop on digitalization in the sciencesExternal link with funding from the Carl Zeiss Foundation and addresses fundamental questions of computer science there with the premise that breakthroughs in these areas are crucial for successful digitalization in the sciences.

Enabling innovative teaching and examining with digital media

Recording studio of the Multimedia Center of the University of Jena.
Recording studio of the Multimedia Center of the University of Jena.
Image: Jens Meyer (University of Jena)

The University of Jena offers lecturers a broad portfolio of high-performance multimedia services for digital teaching and examination.

The technical equipment of the lecture halls is continuously being expanded. To this end, the University of Jena has also participated in the development of tracking systems that enable automatic camera guidance and are based on a LiDAR system (Light Detection and Ranging, environment detection by means of laser beams). The large pool of mobile AV transmission solutions also allows conventional teaching rooms to be used flexibly as multimedia lecture halls. The technologies can be seamlessly integrated with the Moodle learning management system and the OpenCast recording system.

Beyond that, the equipment leaves hardly a wish unfulfilled: With high-speed cameras, drones for aerial shots, powerful 3D scanners, a fully equipped studio for sophisticated film productions, an easy-to-use self-recording studio, a speaker's booth for podcasts and other audio recordings, and a transparent learning glass whiteboard, extensive possibilities are offered for media production in teaching.

Supporting students in digital learning 

Two people at a monitor analyze persons in the next room, separated by a pane of glass.
Two people at a monitor analyze persons in the next room, separated by a pane of glass.
Image: Jens Meyer (University of Jena)

Digital learning requires know-how and equipment. The University of Jena therefore provides extensive support for students:

Self-management and time management, learning strategies, scientific work and presentation techniques are taught with the Digital Learning Kit. It contains interactive self-learning materials in German and English.

In the project "Digitale Lotsen" (digital guides), experienced students support their fellow students in self-directed and digital learning and the use of digital tools.

From the winter semester 2023, students will be able to network with their fellow students in digital learning communities and benefit from subject-related exchange and collaboration in small groups.

Teaching future skills in all disciplines

Lab Buddy System with highlighted components.
Lab Buddy System with highlighted components.
Image: Falko Sojka

Scientific findings on digitalization should be able to quickly unfold their impact in all disciplines. Elaborate teaching programmes accelerate this knowledge transfer and lay the foundation for further curricular developments:

With funding from the BMBF, the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena and the Ilmenau University of Technology are taking on the task of bundling their academic know-how on AI in a certificate programme in the THInKIExternal link joint programme and thus opening it up to students and young scientists from all disciplines.

To holistically teach and deepen the important data literacy skills, the University of Jena is developing DaLiJe, another multi-level and interdisciplinary certificate programme.

Both projects work closely with lecturers in the various departments to implement the topics in the students' courses in a sustainable way.

Funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the digiPHOTON project is an outstanding example of innovative digital teaching: to enable international students to conduct real laboratory experiments from afar, the remote-controlled laboratory environment XRTwinLab was developed there in collaboration with the Lichtwerkstatt Jena.

Developing digital competences through qualification and support

A typical lecture in the Abbe School of Photonics Gather.town environment
A typical lecture in the Abbe School of Photonics Gather.town environment
Image: Falko Sojka

Users are at the center of successful digital transformation. The University of Jena therefore offers a wide range of qualification and advisory services:

Advice for lecturers on the correct use of digital technologies from a didactic perspective is offered by the Service Centre for Higher Education Didactivs (LehreLernen) with its certificate programme on digital teaching. Technical support for digital services is provided by the Multimedia Centre de. To support lecturers in the creation of digital teaching materials, students are also available as e-tutors and can expand their own experience and media skills in the process.

With the Competence Center Digital Research zedifExternal link, the Michael Stifel Center offers researchers from all disciplines central support in networking with experts and using digital tools for their own research and FAIR research data management.

Through a grant from the Foundation for Innovation in Higher Education, a new portal for digital teaching and learningExternal link will be developed by 2026 to serve as a central entry point for students and lecturers into the world of digital services.

Implementing service-oriented administration digitally

Pictogram showing two folders emerging from laptop screen.
Pictogram showing two folders emerging from laptop screen.
Image: Adobe Stock

Achieving even more with existing resources: Digitalizing processes in the administration increases efficiency, creates transparency, avoids media discontinuities and thus above all: paper.

With an integrated programme of modernisation projects, the University of Jena is tackling several areas at once: A new SAP system will be introduced for the areas of finance and human resources in 2024. In the areas of students and third-party funding, the introduction of HISinOne will continue until 2028. For the digitalization of files and workflows in a document management system, the university will rely on the solution from d.velop in the future.

In application management, appointment management and many other areas, the course has already been set for a digital service-oriented administration.

Contact

Office of the Vice-President for Digitalization

Office hours:
Working days from 08:30 to 15:30