With ProfiLehre, the University of Würzburg offers its teachers a thematically diverse educational training program. The impartation of practice-oriented university teaching methodology competencies makes up the core of the seminars, workshops and lectures. These services are complemented by trainings intended to prepare lecturers for leadership responsibilities at the university level and improve their ability to achieve individual educational goals.
Certificates and program levels
The overall goal of the certificate program is to facilitate the systematic professionalization of teaching. As proof of attendance, participants may acquire the "Certificate for Teaching in Higher Education of the Bavarian Universities - Basic Level" upon completion of 60 work unit credits, and with a further 60 credits (120 total) the "Certificate for Teaching in Higher Education of the Bavarian Universities - Advanced Level".
Meanwhile, the introduction of the specialization level (200 total credits) is intended to provide all graduates of the program with the opportunity to actively reflect upon the knowledge and skills they have acquired and to document their practical application.
After completion of the individual levels, participants who are interested in further involvement are welcome to continue to use the ProfiLehre program, i.e. attend seminars and apply for coaching.
Since 2012, as a result of restructuring within the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (FMER) project, the courses of the basic level are offered free of charge. A contribution fee is still charged for the training offered at the advanced level, while the costs of the specialization level are again covered by ProfiLehre.
Funding and Development of the ProfiLehre Program
Since the start of FMER funding of ProfiLehre, the basic program has been considerably expanded in terms of content and, above all, scope. Discipline and department specific seminars and individual coaching have both become well-established elements of the program.
The provided funds have also been uned to expand ProfiLehre's library of texts on university teaching, so that specialized literature on all areas of university teaching methodology is available and can be borrowed by program participants. In a PC training room, and with the help of smartboards, tablets, and clickers, educators may learn about relevant media usage in university teaching.
The entire program provided by ProfiLehre is intended for beginning teachers as well as - depending on the topic and mode of instruction - for university teachers with professional experience.
The Joint Project "ProfiLehrePlus - University Teaching in Baviaria 2020, Sub-project of the University of Würzburg"
The goal of the federal and state funded program "Teaching Quality Pact" is the systematic professionalization of teaching, and the program's primary focus is to provide lecturers with practice-oriented university teaching methodology competencies. University teaching certificates of the Bavarian universities can be acquired in three phases: the basic, advanced and specialization levels. The entire program is designed for both beginning educators and for those with professional experience.
The basic service provided by ProfiLehrePlus has been considerably expanded since the beginning of the first funding phase in terms of content and scope. Subject-specific seminars as well as coaching and counseling sessions are now among the well established elements of the program. It has additionally been possible to integrate new teaching and learning methodologies into the advanced training curriculum of ProfiLehrePlus over time. The observed consistency with which participants book coachings is indicative of educators' desire for professional advisement while they carry out regular teaching activities. Educators perceive the media and training materials that they are provided with during the course of the program as a positive opportunity to become better acquainted with contemporary teaching methodology which reflects the current technical level.
As part of the ProfiLehrePlus joint project, JMU has defined the thematic area "Digitalization of University Teaching" as it's area of expertise. The university plans to deepen and expand its activities accordingly in this field. Special attention will be given to inverted classroom training and the acquisition of professional hardware and software, the latter of which will be made available to participants to facilitate the practical implementation of what they have learned. Furthermore, a focus of the agenda is the continuous expansion of subject specific and interdisciplinary teaching seminars. The same applies to group and individual coaching - again with regard to topics relating to the digitalization of teaching. Services focusing on e-learning models, webinars, the international classroom, and writing advisement for students will also be introduced.