Exhibition "STAYIN' ALIVE!" © Robert Straubmüller, straubmuellerstudios

State teaching award for teaching concept

Teaching staff from the University of Konstanz, the HTWG Konstanz - University of Applied Sciences and the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Trossingen received the Landeslehrpreis 2021 (state teaching award) from the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg (MWK). The teaching concept gives students the chance to design interactive exhibition concepts.

Innovative university teaching: A team of lecturers from three universities has joined forces and implemented a teaching concept in which students can design cross-university exhibitions such as the recent "STAYIN' ALIVE!" project (see below): The concept for teaching in this practical manner was recently awarded the Landeslehrpreis by the (MWK).

The recipients were:

  • Harald Reiterer (University of Konstanz), 
  • Stefan Hauser (University of Konstanz),
  • Jan Behnstedt-Renn (University of Konstanz),
  • Steffen Diefenbach (University of Konstanz),
  • Ulf Hailer (University of Konstanz),
  • Alessia Mistretta (University of Konstanz),
  • Sven Reichardt (University of Konstanz),
  • Falk Schreiber (University of Konstanz),
  • Eberhard Schlag (HTWG Konstanz),
  • Florian Clemens Käppler (Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Trossingen).

The state teaching award, worth 50,000 euros, is awarded every two years, alternating with the "Landesforschungspreis" (state research award). In the MWK's press release (in German), Minister of Science Theresia Bauer applauds the teachers: "We are impressed by their innovative and creative approaches to teaching. They are representative of the many teachers who inspire our students every day and take them into new worlds of knowledge.

Teaching cooperation on exhibition design
The interdisciplinary teaching concept on exhibition design ("Mediale Ausstellungsgestaltung") comprises four semesters in which students from different disciplines and universities work together. Starting with a fictitious project, they later conceptualize and implement a real exhibition, thus collecting professional experience along the way. The intensively supervised work in small groups is didactically supplemented by additional excursions and lectures by the participating teachers and other experts.

At the end of the four semesters, the exhibition the students have created and organized all by themselves will be presented in the city of Konstanz and beyond for several months. Praise for the teaching cooperation, that has existed since 2013 and has already brought about four exhibitions on current topics, comes from Professor Michael Stürner, Vice Rector for Teaching: "The teaching concept perfectly corresponds to our idea of transfer and offers students a variety of subject-specific, professional and communicative learning opportunities.

Exhibition "STAYIN‘ ALIVE"
The teaching concept is part of a cooperation between various universities and disciplines that is unique in Germany. The result of the teaching cooperation in 2021 was the project "STAYIN' ALIVE!" – an interactive exhibition completely designed and organized by students, which was on display at the "Turm zur Katz" in Konstanz from 30 July to 3 October 2021. For this purpose, the four-story museum was transformed into a pandemic research centre.

The pandemic is an issue that continues to keep the whole world on its toes. The exhibition "STAYIN' ALIVE!" showed that pandemics and contagion are part of human history and impact all areas of everyday life. The goal of the exhibition was to provide insights into how past pandemics have been dealt with around the world and to convey medical, political and social perspectives. In the process, historical preconceptions about epidemics were revised, past pandemics were brought back into cultural memory, and visitors were offered a new and insightful perspective on the current coronavirus pandemic.

Key facts:

  • State teaching award from the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg (MWK) for the teaching concept "Mediale Ausstellungsgestaltung"
  • "Mediale Ausstellungsgestaltung": Project cooperation between lecturers and students from the University of Konstanz, the HTWG Konstanz - University of Applied Sciences and the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Trossingen.
  • Four exhibitions have been presented so far: "Tell Genderes – 20 Meter Menschheitsgeschichte“ (2015/2016), "Rebuild Palmyra? Zukunft eines umkämpften Welterbes", "LINK – Zur Künstlichen Intelligenz" (2019), "Stayin‘ Alive! Mit Seuchen leben" (2021)