Prize for Excellence in Teaching
With the “Prize for Excellence in Teaching”, the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts (StMWK) annually honors the work of the best Bavarian university instructors. It aims to create a special incentive for universities to increase their commitment to teaching and to help ensure that teaching is placed on an equal footing with research tasks. The “Prize for Excellence in Teaching” is endowed with 5,000 euros.
Each year, TUM proposes one lecturer from among the academic staff and professors. For this purpose, the departments are invited to develop proposals together with the students. A central jury chaired by the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs invites the nominees to a selection interview.
departments and schools each year for proposals. Applications are invited directly. The departments and schools are requested to submit their proposals to the TUM Center for Study and Teaching – Communications by September 15. The jury, chaired by the responsible vice president, will nominate two persons for the “Prize for Excellence in Teaching” from among the proposed candidates. The jury will invite all nominees to a personal interview in October and ask them about their teaching commitment.
Awardees of Previous Years
Prof. Dr. med. Tilo Biedermann (TUM School of Medicine), full professor and director of the Clinic and Polyclinic for Dermatology and Allergology, is skilled at raising interest in his subject among his students with didactic excellence and a high level of practical relevance. He also maintains an active culture of teaching in everyday clinical activities. Furthermore he implemented a large number of innovative digital formats, even under the more difficult conditions of the Corona pandemic.
Dr. Nada Sissouno (TUM Department of Mathematics) teaches higher mathematics for civil and environmental engineers. She inspires great interest in mathematics as a core element of the basic curriculum among the new students of the engineering sciences. She even manages to motivate students to actively participate in lectures with audiences of 600 or more in the main auditorium. She has enriched her online lectures, necessary due to Corona, with a portfolio of additional exercises and explanatory videos.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heiko Briesen (TUM School of Life Sciences, Chair of Process Systems Engineering) designs his modules extensively in order to promote the learning success of the students in the best possible way. In addition to the normal courses, tutorials and revision courses are offered. Interactive elements, exercises, practical examples and group work characterize his teaching methodology. In addition, he organizes a field trip to industrial companies. Particularly noteworthy is his motivating lecture style, with which he passes on his enthusiasm to the students.
Johanna Baehr, M.Sc. (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Chair of Security in Information Technology) succeeds in meeting the special requirements of a heterogeneous group of students with modern forms of teaching and a wealth of ideas. She designs parts of a module that students from three different departments take. The theoretical contents of the lecture are made tangible through a large amount of practical examples, an extensive exercise script, quizzes and excursions. Through their innovative ideas, the content of the module and the learning success of the students are significantly influenced.
Prof. Christoph Gehlen (TUM Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering, Chair of Materials Science and Testing) uses supplementary e-learning offerings in his teaching formats to provide students with practical skills. Prof. Gehlen also focuses on practice in the examinations and developed a laboratory examination. This supplements the previous purely theoretical examination. His new conception of a module represents a teaching innovation with a lasting effect that can be transferred to other modules.
PD Dr. Jutta Möhringer (TUM School of Education, Chair of Methods in Empirical Educational Research ) incorporates her research findings into teaching. She designs new teaching formats for science education teacher training programs that are based on the fundamental principles of activation and reflection and integrate new media in a meaningful way. Digital tools, flipped classroom formats and the establishment of a link to professional practice characterize her innovative teaching concepts. The award also recognizes her many years of commitment to building up the TUMKolleg to support particularly gifted students, as well as her involvement as the department's gender equality officer.
Prof. Dr. med. Pascal Berberat (TUM School of Medicine, Chair of Didactics in Medicine) combines new ideas of teaching with constructive reality and always shows an open ear for the concerns of the students. Many wishes, such as the further development of e-learning, regular lecture recordings and new, innovative forms of teaching are currently being used on his initiative. Particularly noteworthy is his concept, which he developed for the entire medical program and not just for individual components. Particularly noteworthy is the direct feedback of his scientific findings into teaching.
Dr. Angelika Reiser (Department of Informatics, Cchair for Database Systems) impresses with her wide-ranging commitment to teaching. She consistently incorporates both gender and diversity aspects into her own teaching as well as into the overall organization of studies. For example, she has developed numerous formats for female students over the years. She has also set standards in the area of internationalization through proactive communication, so that the Department of Computer Science at TUM now has the highest number of exchange students in Germany. Furthermore, Dr. Reiser has created forward-looking structures in student advising in order to attract prospective students both nationally and internationally.
Dr. Philipp Dietsch As an instructor at the Chair of Timber Structures and Building Construction, he inspires not only students of civil engineering but also of architecture for timber construction. Whether with around 50 videos on the properties of timber components, which are intended to make the theory tangible in the lecture hall, or with seminars that accompany students from the design idea to implementation maturity and demand a lot from them.
Prof. Dr. Doris Lewalter trains future teachers at the TUM School of Education. In addition to teaching how good teaching can work, she wants to use "lecture seminars" to encourage students to look at their own identity in relation to the profession and to individualize teaching. She is also currently leading the development of the "Toolbox: Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age." This is intended to make digital teaching materials for all phases of teacher training available online to all universities.
PD Dr. med. Bettina Kuschel as head of student training at the gynecological clinic of the TUM Hospital rechts der Isar, has redesigned the one-week practical course in gynecology and obstetrics. The medical students are now supervised in small groups by physicians who are released from other duties for this time. The physicians go on their own rounds with the students, work with them on individual cases of illness and accompany them to operations. The students also use special mannequins to practice diagnosis and practice.
Prof. Gudrun Klinker (Ph.D.) is a professor of augmented reality. Four years ago, the bachelor's degree program "Computer Science: Games Engineering" started at TUM, which she was instrumental in establishing. The degree program uniquely combines the fundamentals of computer science with the design of computer games and other content that is important for game development, such as artificial intelligence, sensor technology and the interaction between humans and machines. This content is taught in hands-on, team-based projects that are also designed to foster problem-solving and communication skills as well as creativity.
Prof. Michael Krautblatter together with two colleagues at the TUM Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering, conducts the transdisciplinary lecture "Landslides" – an event model that is so far unique in the German-speaking world. In the interplay of geology, geodesy and risk analysis, teaching content is jointly designed and various topics and practical projects are examined from different perspectives. During his time abroad, Krautblatter was able to gain a great deal of experience, particularly with regard to the compatibility of studies or work and family. He is now also successfully putting these into practice at TUM. For example, he supports prospective female doctoral students by arranging for them to exchange ideas with female researchers at British universities.
Michael Folgmann likes to experiment with new teaching methods at the TUM School of Education and thus introduces his students to independent use of media and new technologies. For example, students are given an iPad for an entire semester so that they can use it both in the seminar under instruction specifically for assignments and privately. He also implements the flipped classroom concept in the seminar: topics are prepared by students through learning materials in such a way that there is more time for exchange and discussion. Folgmann also does not require performance evidence in the classic way by means of a presentation, but instead leaves students free to create an audio or video podcast. The second mainstay of Folgmann's teaching is the feedback culture. Among other things, he offers an open exchange of experiences on digital learning methods in a blog, conducts individualized course evaluations, and places an emphasis on detailed individual feedback in his courses.
Prof. Dr. Norbert Kaiser has already been awarded the "Golden Chalk" three times by the students of the Department of Physics – based on excellent evaluation results. Kaiser holds difficult lectures such as "Quantum Mechanics I" or "Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics", which are "normally a red rag for students", reports Diana Beyerlein, student representative of the physics student council. However, these were "invariably taught by him in a clear, easy-to-understand manner and with great enthusiasm. The students appreciate his approach of always linking predominantly abstract mathematical content very vividly with practical applications. During his lectures, Kaiser sticks to the classic blackboard approach, demonstrating that a good theoretical physicist only needs his head and a pen to go about his work. He nevertheless provides accompanying lecture notes adapted to the needs of the students. What is also special is his commitment outside of the lectures. The physicist's office door is open to his students from morning to night – his willingness to help and his interest in student feedback were among the factors that led to his nomination for the Prize for Good Teaching.
Prof. Jürgen Schlegel is known to students and staff of the TUM School of Medicine as a particularly creative and committed lecturer. In addition, he makes important conceptual contributions to the further development of teaching at the Department of Medicine. Some lecturers have the special gift of transferring their enthusiasm for their subject to the students. Neuropathologist Jürgen Schlegel is one of them. This is also due to the fact that he is always breaking new ground in teaching and tries to adapt teaching formats to the learning needs of the students. As early as 2007, Jürgen Schlegel launched a podcast group as part of the histopathology course. Four years later, the podcasts then became learning videos. Currently, Schlegel is developing another eLearning project: students of the higher semesters work out case-based contents from clinical everyday life and later make their results available online as learning cases for younger students. In addition to his great commitment to teaching, Schlegel contributes a great deal to the further development of medical education at the Department of Medicine in various committees and working groups – another reason for his nomination for the Prize for Good Teaching.
Prof. Jürgen Geist designs courses at the TUM School of Life Sciences in which students from a wide range of disciplines come together. He not only builds bridges between the disciplines in terms of content by repeatedly integrating references from different subject areas into his courses, but also strives to provide his students with interdisciplinary training. The biologist initiated seminars in which the focus is particularly on time-efficient and scientific work as well as on teaching presentation techniques. Geist also wants to prepare his students for the international job market and offers them a wide range of courses in English. In addition, he arranges final theses in cooperation with foreign partners. In the opposite direction, he is also committed to bringing outstanding foreign lecturers to TUM, whether in the context of guest lectureships or by organizing an international summer school. Gender and diversity aspects are of particular importance to his work. For example, he introduced flexible internship periods to improve the compatibility of family and career, promotes young women in science, provides assistance for foreign students, and strives to integrate different age groups – all of which Geist links together and demonstrates his special talent for building bridges here as well.
Christoph Meier is a research assistant at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and is not only responsible for managing the central exercise for the lecture on engineering mechanics, which is one of the most demanding courses in the bachelor's program in mechanical engineering, but also for supervising the additional courses. Meier coordinates exercises and office hours conducted by student tutors. The tutors receive guidance from Meier and also have the opportunity to continue their education in an advanced training seminar offered by ProLehre specifically for tutors. In addition, Meier ensures intensive support for his students through flexible and comprehensive office hours. However, not only the intensive support of students is an important factor of excellent teaching, but also the provision of various learning formats. In this respect, Meier offers a particularly diverse range of services: a "gap script" with additional service and supplementary boxes is designed to present the lecture material in a comprehensible manner according to the individual needs of the students – without compromising on the depth of content. Semester-accompanying e-tests on the moodle e-learning platform help them to self-monitor their own level of knowledge online. In addition, a "mid-term course" in the middle of the semester offers anyone who has lost touch the opportunity to repeat the material. At the end of the semester, students can also prepare for the final exam by taking a sample exam. Many of these measures had already been initiated by Meier's predecessor at the Chair of Computational Mechanics: "An essential prerequisite for the successful implementation of the teaching concept was the unrestricted support of the chair holder, Professor Wall, as well as all employees of the chair," says Meier.
Prof. Jonathan Finley, TUM Department of Physics
Dr. Eva Lutz, TUM School of Management
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Georg Herzog, TUM Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dr. Peter Schad, TUM School of Life Sciences
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Hausladen, TUM Department of Architecture
Dr. Florian Kraus, TUM Department of Chemistry
Prof. Dr. Jörg Pfadenhauer, TUM School of Life Sciences
Akad. OR Dr. Michael Rieder, TUM Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering
Prof. Dr. Gregor Kemper, TUM Department of Mathematics
Prof. Dr. med. Robert B. Brauer, TUM School of Medicine
Prof. Dr. Reinhard Rummel, TUM Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering
Dr. Uwe Wenzel, TUM School of Life Sciences
Prof. Dr. Dr. Ann-Kristin Achleitner, TUM School of Management
Dr. Christian Karpfinger, TUM Department of Mathematics
Prof. Dr. Hannelore Daniel, TUM School of Life Sciences
Dr. João Barros, TUM Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Prof. Dr. Steffen Glaser, TUM Department of Chemistry
Dr. Gerhard Lehrberger, TUM Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heinrich Kreuzinger, TUM Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering
Dr. Paul Hellerhoff, TUM School of Medicine
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rainer Barthel, TUM Department of Architecture
Dr. Christian Ucke, TUM Department of Physics
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karl Schikora, TUM Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering
Akad. OR Elisabeth Zeppenfeld, TUM School of Education
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Josef A. Nossek, TUM Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dr. Peter Vachenauer, TUM Department of Mathematics