Digital learning, teaching and networking

Field of action

The effect that digitality has on learning and teaching and how science organizations can and should be networked with each other and with the public, represent current challenges facing digital transformation which will have a lasting effect on future generations. There are numerous public offerings for online media and online courses (Open Education Resources) — as well as commercial suppliers — in an agile market which leading US universities, in particular, are trying to exploit for themselves. Certificates for passing online courses tailored precisely to provide the specialized expertise currently required in science and business, reveal significant differences from university degree courses designed for the long term. This field of action tackles these challenges, starting from the question of how to teach digital content and make it generally comprehensible, thereby distinguishing itself from transformation processes in science inherent in the system which are covered in the field of action “Scientific practice”. A separate field of action is devoted to the subject of “Digitally qualified staff”.

Priorities 2018 – 2022

Intensive cooperation between the players involved in digital learning and teaching in Germany to support the effective positioning of the German science system. The objectives are to facilitate access to third-party material and simplify the placement of proprietary research, educational and course material, i.e. online courses, introductory videos and methodological videos or digital course material reserved for students. The focus here for many Alliance organizations lies on how content relevant to the research can be combined with digital learning and teaching. As the German Rectors’ Conference is independently responsible for the subjects of studying and teaching among the Alliance organizations, activities with specific and unique relevance to these sub- jects are not to be covered within the Alliance Initiative but selectively agreed. Within the context of digital networking, the internet presence of science in Germany can be reinforced via expert platforms, encyclopaedias such as Wikipedia and social networks for scientists. This is also to support the creation of generally accessible learning opportunities for scientific facts, methods and perspectives which can help to make public debates more objective and develop the digitally enlightened society. This field of action is new in the Alliance Initiative and is first to be the subject of more intensive preparation using methods such as the exchange of information.

Working group


  • Chairperson:
  • Malte Persike 
    N. N.

NameNominated by
Fabian FrankeGerman Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG)
Malte PersikeGerman Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG)
Clara NeumayerFraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Diana TangenHelmholtz Association
Elmar SchultzGerman Rectors' Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz - HRK)
Martin RademacherGerman Rectors' Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz - HRK)
Markus DeimannGerman Rectors' Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz - HRK)
Tamara HeckLeibniz Association
Anne ThillosenLeibniz Association
Elke WittGerman Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
Annegret LorfMax Planck Society
Anett Sollmann Bibliotheken der Ressortforschungseinrichtungen des Bundes (BRB) (Guest)