Code of Practice for Effective Teaching

based on the senate resolution of 28 May 2014

The University of Konstanz strives to provide its members the best possible conditions for study, teaching and research. Its Code of Practice for Effective Teaching expresses its understanding of teaching and studying. In accordance with the mission statement of the University of Konstanz, the codex defines the goals and guiding principles which apply to all study programmes and are based on the guidelines of the Qualifications Framework for German Higher Education and the criteria for the accreditation of study programmes.

Furthermore, the codex explains what it understands to be effective teaching practices. It provides a summary of effective practices for teaching and study that is compiled and maintained through the combined experiences of the faculty, students, departments, the University Executive and the administration of the University of Konstanz.

Additionally, the codex explains the quality criteria which are used to regularly evaluate and improve the study programmes.

The Code of Practice for Effective Teaching provides orientation for defining the qualification goals of study programmes and their modules.

Essential goals of effective teaching
Seminar an der Universität Konstanz

Essential goals of effective teaching

The purpose behind teaching at the University of Konstanz is to provide students with first-rate opportunities to qualify for academic and non-academic employment. Teachers are to impart disciplinary and interdisciplinary competencies that are important for scientific work and for scientifically based and responsible action during practical application of said competencies.

University of Konstanz graduates are to be able to demonstrate wide and integrated knowledge of scientific and research fundamentals in their respective fields of study. They should have a critical understanding of the most important theories, principles and methods in their field of study and be able to enhance their knowledge independently. Their knowledge should correspond to the latest professional literature and in some aspects include the most recent findings in their field of study.

With a master's degree, graduates of the University of Konstanz should have significantly enhanced their knowledge in respect to the most recent findings in their field of study. They should also be able to define and interpret the special features, limits, terminologies and doctrines for their field of study. Master programme graduates should be able to apply previously acquired critical judgement and complex problem solving abilities in their field of study and beyond, even in situations when information is incomplete or limited.

Studying and teaching at the University of Konstanz should promote the personal development of its students. Their knowledge and abilities should empower the graduates to reflect on the social and ethical aspects of their actions and to take on societal responsibility. Furthermore, they should be able to communicate their findings and the information, theories, and motivations behind them in a clear and straightforward manner.

The teaching profile of the University of Konstanz
Seminar an der Universität Konstanz

The teaching profile of the University of Konstanz

A crucial component of effective teaching practices at the University of Konstanz is a lively teaching and learning culture that respects the freedom of academic teaching, provides diverse free space for the design of teaching and learning processes, and sets high standards for the scientific and academic level, engagement and personal responsibility of all participants.

The University of Konstanz is certain that this desired qualifications profile for its students can be best achieved through research-oriented teaching. The university understands research-oriented teaching to involve the inclusion of the newest research findings about teaching and the earliest possible student introduction to innovative scientific methods.

Teaching in the study programmes aims to provide bachelor students with a wide and basic foundation that transmits the most important knowledge of a subject as well as the guidelines for scientific work. High quality research-oriented education should be achieved through very good skills in methods and through the early introduction to an interdisciplinary working methodology. Such skills in methods are especially relevant for the faster development of knowledge. Besides a specialized education in a specific subject or field, the development of personal competencies like critical thinking and critical self-reflection play a crucial role. This is how the foundations for a potential scientific career are laid during university studies. With the understanding that most of the graduates will not work in the scientific or research-related fields, students are also prepared for careers in the private and public sector. The university’s study programmes provide its students with the opportunity to attain interdisciplinary and career-oriented competencies. These complement the students’ professional education and training while enabling them to continue to independently develop their knowledge base for the rest of their lives. These interdisciplinary qualifications can be attained via professional education and training or are made available through elective course options.

The organisation of the study programmes plays a crucial role. The study programmes at the University of Konstanz are constantly being updated to reflect the continuous development of the research landscape. The goal is to increase the attractivity of university studies at Konstanz for both German and international students. The university is very interested in motivating its students to go abroad (for study and internships), while at the same time increasing the appeal of our university for international students and teachers.

The University of Konstanz strives to design its curriculum to be responsive to both gender and diversity considerations.

The university carries out the necessary measures to ensure high quality standards for didactics in teaching. It provides the necessary structures for students to complete their studies in a reasonable time. The university professionally manages its study programmes and provides targeted advisory and support opportunities for students and teachers.

high-quality teaching
Dozent schreibt an Tafel

Safeguarding the quality of effective teaching

The University of Konstanz is obliged to ensure and promote the continued development high-quality teaching. For this reason, responsible parties within the study programmes maintain a meaningful and constant dialogue with their students. Additionally, the University of Konstanz offers its faculty the free space to enhance their teaching methods.

All participants are supported by a systematic monitoring of study programmes. This will ensure that both the standards and criteria for the accreditation of study programmes and the overarching subject specific quality criteria of the university are satisfied. These quality criteria relate to the following aspects:

  • the admissions process
  • the composition of the student body
  • the qualification goals
  • the conditions for studying
  • the feasibility of the study programmes
  • the exam system
  • academic success and transitions
  • the acquisition of knowledge and skills
  • the success in job and career