Complex fundamental research coupled with the treatment of seriously ill patients – when designing degree programs for human medicine, didactics specialists have to address very special needs. The TUM Medical Education Center (TUM MEC) ensures that TUM excels in meeting these challenges. Pascal Berberat, professor for Medical Education, began developing the center in 2010 and is still its director.
The degree program Human Medicine has been redesigned in line with his concept. This has meant more seminars centered around an interdisciplinary approach to specific clinical cases, the inclusion of e-learning formats, and the introduction of peer teaching, in which younger students are taught by those in higher semesters.
An innovation that has sparked particularly strong interest is the Medical Training Center, which opened in 2014. It contains an operating room, an intensive care room and a regular patient's room as well as several examination rooms to simulate situations from everyday clinical work, including difficult conversations with patients. The training scenarios are recorded on video to permit detailed follow-up analysis.
The jury made special mention of the comprehensive strategy developed by Berberat based on didactic research and student feedback.
Equal opportunities for female students
From continuing education for teachers to diversity in degree programs to support for foreign students: Dr. Angelika Reiser of the Chair for Database Systems was among the first of her colleagues to take a serious and intensive interest in new approaches to teaching. Since 1977, she has had a major impact on teaching in the Department of Informatics – and throughout TUM. In 1993 she was an important contributor to the development of ProLehre, the continuing education program for university teachers. ProLehre has brought about far-reaching improvements in the quality of teaching and continues to exert a modernizing influence today.
In the once heavily male-dominated field of informatics, Reiser has not only introduced many learning formats for female students and pupils, but has also worked to ensure that equal opportunities prevail throughout the entire organization of academic studies. In her role as the International Relations Coordinator, she has also promoted diversity by creating the right conditions for foreign students to succeed.
And it is not only students from abroad who comment on Dr. Reiser's understanding of their needs. She has also demonstrated this awareness in setting up and expanding the department's student advice office and in designing new degree courses, most recently an integrative program on big data.
The jury made special mention of Dr. Reiser's extensive knowledge of her field, her outstanding ability to assess the feasibility of concepts, and her guiding principles when working with students: transparency, reliability, enthusiasm, curiosity, and trust.
The Prize for Excellence in Teaching at the State Universities in Bavaria is endowed with € 5,000. The Bavarian State Ministry of Education, Science and the Arts awards it annually to 15 university teachers. Nominations are submitted by the universities, with students participating in the selection process.