Corinna Geppert:

International examples of innovative university concepts (IBIS)

The research project was carried out in September/October 2021. It was commissioned by the BMBWF and aimed at supporting the concept group in the development of the new Technical University of Upper Austria. Innovative approaches and solutions from universities and other (tertiary) educational institutions were researched, described and divided into three areas: (1) Design of Teaching, (2) Design of Curricula and (3) Student Admission/Student Recruiting. Some of these approaches will be presented and common themes that emerged from the research will be discussed.

Project members: Attila Pausits, Franziska Lessky, David F.J. Campbell, Corinna Geppert


Christina Ipser, Gregor Radinger, Filiz Keser Aschenberger, Sonja Brachtl:

Learner Experiences in Learning Space in Continuing Education

The number of students participating in academic continuing education programmes has steadily increased over recent years. However, currently, little is known about the experiences and learning conditions of adult students. This study examines students’ experiences of physical learning environments on an academic continuing education university campus. To gain a comprehensive insight, an interdisciplinary approach combining the fields of architecture, education, and psychology was chosen.  In a case study, we used a mix of qualitative and quantitative data-collection methods including a questionnaire, a semantic differential scale, walking interviews and facilitated focus groups, as well as technical measurements and photo protocols. Our results demonstrate that spatial characteristics such as acoustics, air quality, visual comfort, furniture and equipment, plants and greenspaces were essential factors in creating a conducive learning environment. Furthermore, students specified a strong need for appropriate spaces for collaborative work and individual and informal exchanges on campus. Noise disturbance and the lack of favourable design features were the most frequently mentioned characteristics perceived negatively. Our findings indicate that the design of informal learning spaces on campus that align with appropriate learning activities based on students’ experiences and expectations is crucial for continuing education students.


Filiz Keser Aschenberger, Christina Ipser, Sonja Brachtl, Gregor Radinger, Stefan Oppl:

Physical Home Learning Environments for Digitally Supported Learning in Academic Continuing Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, digital technologies for distance learning have been used in educational institutions worldwide, raising issues of social implications, technological development and teaching and learning strategies. While disparities regarding access to technical equipment and the internet (‘the digital divide’) have been the subject of previous research, the physical learning environment of learners participating in online learning activities has hardly been investigated. This study examined the physical-spatial conditions of learning environments including technical equipment for distance learning activities and their influence on adult learners in academic continuing education during initial COVID-19 restrictions. Data were collected with an online survey sent to all students enrolled in an Austrian continuing education university and a small number of semi-structured interviews. A total of 257 students participated in the survey during the 2020 summer semester. Our findings provide insights on two under-researched areas in learning-environment research: the physical learning environment for online learning and the learning environment in academic continuing education. The study illustrates that students in academic continuing education have spacious living conditions and almost all the equipment necessary for digitally supported learning. According to gender and household structure, significant differences were found regarding technical equipment, ergonomic furniture, and availability of a dedicated learning place. In their learning sessions during the restrictions, the students reported low stress levels and positive well-being. The more they perceived that their physical learning environment was meeting their needs, the higher their motivation and well-being were, and the lower their stress was. Their learning experience was further improved by the extent to which they had a separate and fixed learning place that did not need to be coordinated or shared with others. The study contributes to the literature on creating conducive learning environments for digitally supported online learning for adult learners.


Corinna Geppert:

Results of several studies on the situation of Pedagogical Universities in Austria - The Long Way from a Teacher Training Centre to a Research Centre:

At university colleges for teacher education in Austria, research has been anchored via The Higher Education Act of 2005, which led to a profound change and reorientation: Institutions that had not conducted any research up to this point have been transformed into “research-active universities” (Kastelliz & Hopbach, 2018, p. 10). Especially in the first few years following The Higher Education Act, the problem arose that research competence could not be expected per se from members of these institutions and that it was hardly possible to build it up alongside full-time teaching.

Against this background this presentation aims to answer the following research questions, drawing von APIKS (The Academic Profession in the Knowledge-Based Society) Austria data: How does academic staff perceive research activities at university colleges for teacher education in Austria?

Marlene Wagner, Tobias Ley:

Digital competence of Austrian teacher educators - initial results of a mixed method study

The project focuses on two systemic obstacles for the implementation of Austria’s ambitious reform agenda for the digital transformation of the education system. Firstly, there is currently no systematic, curriculum-based approach to ensure that teacher educators at Austrian university colleges of teacher education have the necessary skills to effectively develop teachers' digital competences. Secondly, the current delivery model for free and quality approved educational media for Austrian schools is based on print products (textbooks) and does not sufficiently integrate digital education media products. Emergency online schooling during the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to urgently address these shortcomings. Based on an analysis of the status quo in Austria and good practices from other EU Member States, this project sets out to develop and pilot a proposal for a digital upskilling curriculum for teacher educators. It also aims to make recommendations for its adoption and roll-out across the country. Regarding the provision of educational media, a revised delivery model and a roadmap for its implementation are being developed. By the end of the project, it is expected that the Austrian authorities will have a tried and tested a set of tools to support the digital upskilling of teacher educators. The project is also expected to provide them with a validated proposal for a revised delivery model for educational media and a concept for its implementation. They will also present a clear roadmap with proposals for the implementation and communication of these two key areas on the reform agenda for the digital transformation of the education system.  
The talk presents emerging results from a study on digital competence of teacher educators at Austrian university colleges of teacher education. 


Tobias Ley & Gerti Pishtari:

Towards a partnership of teachers and intelligent learning technology: the role of model-based learning analytics

Adaptive learning technology has been around for decades and its use in classrooms around the world is growing steadily. However, it is often targeted solely at learners and lacks a focus on teachers. Recent advances in Learning Analytics dashboards have tried to change this by making educational data available to teachers, but these very often have not provided actionable or useful information to teachers. We advance the idea of Model-based Learning Analytics, an approach that uses pedagogical-psychological models and makes them transparent to teachers. We present a systematic literature review that uncovers some of the potential opportunities in Model-based LA and some future research directions. With increasing use of AI in the classroom, model-based LA is a way to realize a close coupling of humans and intelligent technology in the age of smart services in education.


Magdalena Fellner:

The ability to study as a collective construct. Facilitating and inhibiting conditions in continuing higher education

This study aims to explore the conditions of the construct on the "ability to study". To reconstruct the changeability of the ability to study and the accompanying mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion, a historical outline is first given in the theoretical part of the study, dating back to the beginnings of higher education history. This is followed by a description of the paradigm shift in the 20th century in the course of the Bologna Process and the accompanying expansion of education. Finally, the current social structure is analysed including the institutional conditions that favour or hinder the possibilities to take up or complete a study programme.  

In the empirical part, the subjectively perceived ability of students to act will be examined. For this purpose, problem-centred interviews with narrative elements were conducted with prospective students and students who have been admitted to the Master's programme via the so-called “equivalence assessment”. As a further level, interviews with course leaders were included to find out how they assess the study ability of students with qualifications to be held equal, taking into account the institutional forms of support and expectations.

In bringing the two parts together, which is carried out within the framework of Grounded Theory Methodology, the question arises as to how the subjectively perceived ability to study is compatible with socio-theoretical structures. Behind this lies the assumption that the scope of action is not only influenced by the perception of the individual, but significantly by the respective historical-political, socio-economic and cultural living conditions of the narrators. Thus, a nuanced representation of the construct "study ability" will be given.


Milica Vujovic

"Exploring the Use of Sensors and Multimodal Analytics in Understanding Student and Teacher Behavior in Learning Environments: A Study of Movement, Speech, and Stress."

This presentation discusses the research on sensor technology and multimodal analytics applied in learning spaces to understand student and teacher behaviour better. The focus is on three key aspects: furniture shape, movement, and electrodermal activity. The talk will present insights into how sensors can obtain meaningful data and which novel analytical techniques can generate results that contribute to improved student engagement and performance through optimized learning conditions. Firstly, the presentation highlights the importance of considering the shape and design of furniture in learning spaces and the use of movement, speech and electrodermal activity to monitor student engagement and physiological responses. Experiments and published work in this domain will be elaborated. Secondly, this presentation explores the use of Electrodermal Activity (EDA) sensors to measure teachers' stress levels during lesson orchestration. The published results provide insights into the emotional states of teachers and inform future strategies for reducing stress during orchestration activities. Finally, the presentation discusses the future role of technology in analyzing the influence of the environment on human behaviour in the learning context, applying evidence-based design and informing future learning space design.


Filiz Keser-Aschenberger, Christina Ipser (UWK)

"Informal learning spaces at UWK: A holistic descriptive analysis"

We present the findings of our research ceollecting data on (technologically enhanced) informal and non-conventional learning environments regarding: a) Spatial characteristics, availability, accessibility, equipment and infrastructure of informal and non-conventional learning spaces provided by the University for Continuing Education Krems (UWK) for focused and collaborative learning activities, and b) Awareness and existing strategies of university administration and public authorities to promote inclusive and supportive technologically enhanced informal and non-conventional learning environments and to mitigate existing inequalities. We will provide a brief introduction to the project NIILS (New Approaches for Inclusive Informal Learning Spaces) and then summarize the main findings of the interviews/focus groups conducted with the key stakeholders of the university. Further we will provide a preliminary analysis of the survey investigating students’ perception concerning availability, accessibility and satisfaction concerning informal learning spaces on the UWK campus.


Jaanika Hirv-Biene (Universität Tallinn), Tobias Ley (UWK), Marlene Wagner (UWK), Gerti Pishtari (UWK), Milena Sarmiento (Universität Tallinn)

A course design to support transfer of training in Continuing Education

Transfer of Training refers to the application of what has been learned in formal educational settings to the workplace. While technologies for workplace learning have gained ground in recent years, there is less of a focus on course designs that bridge formal and workplace learning contexts and effectively support transfer. We present a design-based research intervention in which we developed a course design guiding learners through several stages of planning, transfer and reflection. We demonstrate implementation of the learning design with a cohort of students in two courses at the University for Continuing Education and an evaluation with the teaching staff. Data collected during implementation suggests that students had strong transfer intentions and were successful in attempting transfer, but that reflection needs stronger scaffolding and social support. We propose adaptations to the learning design including conversational guidance and automated analysis of free texts collected from students in the transfer process.


Dr. Youn Joo Oh (University of Southern California (USC) (USA))

Gamifying Statistics: Using Immersive Video Games to Boost Learning

Drawing on social-cognitive and socio-technical perspectives, I develop a novel learning and teaching program in STEM. Expectancy for success (i.e., personal beliefs in successful performance in a task) and value (i.e., intrinsic interest and attainment value in a task or activity) are the key proximal psychological determinants of activity choice, engagement, and performance. Based on an expectancy-value model of achievement motivation, I propose an immersive video game intervention and learning analytics algorithms to promote career and college readiness in Statistics and Data Science. A pilot study was conducted – a mixed-methods research design with iterative end-user testing trials – to assess the feasibility and usability of video games. Preliminary evidence suggests the effectiveness of the game intervention on performance and intrinsic interest/attainment value in Statistics among low-performing and underserved high school students in STEM in Massachusetts (USA). Further findings from customer discovery interviews and the pilot R&D study will be presented.

Brief CV
Youn Joo Oh received her doctorate in Educational Psychology and Technology from the University of Southern California (USC) in the US and was a postdoctoral researcher at the USC Center of Outcome Research and Evaluation. After USC, she designed and directed multiple research and evaluation projects in STEM funded by the US federal government agencies and private foundations as a PI and Co-PI at the Education Development Center and ElephantSTEM, a private-sector initiative in Boston. She also provided education and mental health organizations with technical assistance services for their R& D projects proposed to and funded by various government agencies and international organizations.


Zeynep Arslan (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)

Einfluss der Erstsprache auf den Zweitspracherwerb in der DaZ*-Erwachsenenalphabetisierung: Methodische Teilstudie zur Ermittlung der Leseflüssigkeit von Lerner*innen in kontrastiven DaZ-Alphabetisierungskursen

Bereits seit mehreren Jahren erwerben Teilnehmer*innen literale Kompetenzen im Deutschen in kontrastiv angelegten Alphabetisierungskursen des KASA-Projekts. Hierbei steht der kontrastive Ansatz und damit ein mehrsprachiger Zugang im Zentrum, d.h. literale Kompetenzen der Kursteilnehmenden in den Erstsprachen Arabisch, Persisch und Türkisch werden in das Unterrichtsgeschehen eingebunden (Marschke & Matta 2019). Im Rahmen des Forschungsprojekts ELIKASA (Entwicklung literaler Kompetenzen im kontrastiven Situationsansatz) werden Instrumente zur Messung basaler Schreib- und Lesekompetenzen bei erwachsenen Deutschlernenden entwickelt, die zusätzlich zu den individuellen Lernfortschritten im Deutschen auch die literalen Kompetenzen in den jeweiligen Erstsprachen (kurz L1) abbilden. Im Zentrum der Teilstudie zur L1 innerhalb des Projekts ELIKASA stehen die Fragestellungen, inwiefern die literalen Kompetenzen in der L1 einen Einfluss auf den L2- Erwerb des Deutschen haben und welche sprachlichen Ressourcen seitens der Lerner*innen aus der jeweiligen L1 für den mehrsprachigen DaZ-Alphabetisierungsunterricht zur Verfügung stehen. Bisher stellt die gezielte Nutzbarmachung der L1-Ressourcen in der Unterrichtspraxis häufig eine große Herausforderung dar, da für die Erhebung der individuellen L1-Kenntnisse von Lernenden in der Regel keine quantitativ erprobten Instrumente zur Verfügung stehen.
Um den Entwicklungsstand der Kursteilnehmer*innen im Lesekompetenzerwerb auf Satz- und Textebene zu untersuchen, bietet sich das Konstrukt der Leseflüssigkeit an. (vgl. Rosebrock & Nix 2017). Eine effiziente Möglichkeit, die Leseflüssigkeit zu erfassen, stellt das Vorlesen (lautes Lesen) dar. Ziel ist es, dass die Lesenden einen ihnen unbekannten Text in einem angemessenen Tempo lesen und sich so in die Lage versetzen, Sinn auf der lokalen Textebene zu entnehmen bzw. zu konstruieren (vgl. Sappok et al. 2022).
Im Rahmen der Präsentation soll das Erhebungsinstrument für lautes Lesen Türkisch und Deutsch im Vordergrund stehen. Die Daten der ersten Erhebung und das methodische Vorgehen sollen ebenso vorgestellt und diskutiert werden.

Brief CV

Zeynep Arslan
als wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am DaZ-Institut der FSU Jena und im Forschungsprojekt ELIKASA tätig. (

Marschke, Britta & Mary Matta (2019): Kontrastive Alphabetisierung für Schulungewohnte am Lernort Moschee. In: IDT 2017. Band 2: Sektionen (XVI. Internationale Tagung der Deutschlehrerinnen und Deutschlehrer in Fribourg). Ed. by Malgorzata Barras, Katharina Karges, Thomas Studer & Eva Wiedenkeller. Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag, 97-103.
Rosebrock, Cornelia; Nix, Daniel (2006): Forschungsüberblick: Leseflüssigkeit (Fluency) in der amerikanischen Leseforschung und –didaktik. In: Didaktik Deutsch 20, 90-112.
Sappok, Christopher; Linnemann, Markus; Stephany, Sabine (2022): Leseflüssigkeit – Prosodie – Leseverstehen: Eine Longitudinalstudie zur Entwicklung der Leseflüssigkeit von Jahrgangstufe 3 bis 7. In Rautenberg, Iris (Hrsg.): Evidenzbasierte Forschung zum Schriftspracherwerb. Baltmannsweiler: Schneider Verlag Hohengehren.


Martin Dobiasch (University for Continuing Education Krems)

Development of Tools for the Creation of Feedback Systems with a Special Focus on Monitoring Training and Optimising its Prescription

In my presentation I will give an overview of my PhD thesis „Development of Tools for the Creation of Feedback Systems with a Special Focus on Monitoring Training andOptimising its Prescription“. The thesis focuses on creating feedback systems for sports, particularly for monitoring athlete training and optimizing  its prescription.

The thesis explores the use of standardized performance tests to avoid inadequate training loads and examines the impact of different feedback variants on adherence to targets in bicycle ergometer and running tests. The novel feedback variants showed promising results, indicating better adherence compared to traditional variants.

To systematize the creation of feedback systems, the "Direct Mobile Coaching" (DMC) model was introduced, which covers a wide range of application areas. The implementation of this model is the PEGASOS framework, designed to facilitate the creation of mobile feedback systems by offering various feedback variants and sensor integration.


Sabine Wesely, Hochschule Hannover, Germany

„Psychology at Work“ – Die Wirkung von online Weiterbildung mit Positive Psychologie auf Wohlbefinden und Leistungspotenzial.

Psychische Anforderungen der Arbeitswelt haben sich verschoben und psychische Belastungen am Arbeitsplatz nehmen zu. Es stellt sich die Frage, ob und wie Psychologische Ressourcen über online Trainings aufgebaut werden können. Zwei Modelle aus der Positiven Psychologie beschreiben den Aufbau von Psychologischen Ressourcen: PERMA (Seligman) und PsyCap Luthans et al) . In 2021 wurde eine online Weiterbildung mit Inhalten und Interventionen der Positiven Psychologie entwickelt. Von August 2021 bis April 2023 wurde diese mehrmals unter dem Titel „Psychology at Work“ als Quasi-Experiment (Interventionsgruppe und Kontrollgruppe mit randomisierter Zuweisung) mit BWL Studierenden, sowie Fach- und Führungskräften aus verschiedenen Branchen durchgeführt, um zu evaluieren, ob sich durch die Weiterbildung Wohlbefinden und Leistungspotenzial erhöhen und ob die Effekte bei einem Training mit Positiv Psychologischen Interventionen stärker sind als bei einem anderen ressourcenorientierten Training (Selbstmanagement). Gemessen wurde vor, direkt nach und vier Wochen nach Durchführung der online Weiterbildung. Der theoretische Hintergrund, das pädagogische Konzept, Methodik und erste Ergebnisse werden gezeigt, ein Ausblick wird gegeben.

Sabine Wesely, Diplom-Pädagogin und Magister Sozialpsychologin, war im Bildungsbereich und der Personalentwicklung in verschiedenen Unternehmen tätig. Seit 2008 arbeitet sie als Lehrkraft für besondere Aufgaben mit dem Schwerpunkt Soziale Kompetenz an der Hochschule Hannover.


Karmen Mlinar (University for Continuing Education Krems)

Reflections on intersectionality in continuing education research. A theoretical and analytical framework with practical implications"

Intersectionality as a theoretical framework explores the complex ways in which individuals' multiple social identities intersect and interact, shaping their experiences, challenges, barriers and opportunities within social structures and dynamics. Whilst it could be argued that the theoretical underpinnings of intersectionality are well established, their application in research presents multiple challenges.

At present, intersectional research resembles a vast, largely unexplored territory that leaves us unclear about its true nature and ultimate destination. It could be likened to a field waiting to be cultivated, with great potential. However, when it comes to intersectional continuing education research, it seems that the soil for cultivation has yet to be found. Despite its profound importance, intersectionality remains largely overlooked in continuing education research, especially when it comes to power dynamics, inequalities and injustices within educational systems.

Against this background, this presentation will critically reflect on intersectionality as a theoretical and analytical framework. The focus will be on the current debate around the two faces of intersectionality research, the simple, i.e. additive, and the complex. A critical reflection on the “demonisation" of the additive approach will also be presented, particularly with regard to the contextualisation of data within socio-historical frameworks and political environments.

This presentation argues for the integration of intersectionality into continuing education research to open a pathway to practical implications, i.e. to more inclusive and empowering learning experiences that meet the diverse needs and realities of learners in today’s society, advancing transformative agendas in continuing education..

Dr. Karmen Mlinar holds a PhD in Educational Sciences and the Education of Teachers at the University of Ljubljana, where she worked for thirteen years as a researcher and lecturer, most recently as an Assistant Professor for the Theory of Education. Since March 2024, she has been an Assistant Professor for Intersectional Continuing Education Research at the Department for Continuing Education Research and Educational Technologies at the Danube University Krems.

Her fields of expertise include, but are not limited to, power relations in multicultural societies, intersectional discrimination, critical race theory and racism, social psychology of prejudice and discrimination, anti-bias and intercultural education as well as gender studies. Her research includes mixed-methods studies in which she collaborates with diverse stakeholders and experts in different disciplines to implement inclusive pedagogical practises and culturally responsive teaching methods. Her research draws on new or underrepresented perspectives, with the aim to provide impulses for the development and/or improvement of (continuing) education programmes. Her notable contributions include ground-breaking studies on the intertwining of multicultural attitudes, ideology and national pride, on ethnic hierarchies, the universal value base of education and the recognition of diversity in schools.


Thomas Pfeffer & Alexandra Gössl (University for Continuing Education Krems)

„Future Skills and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): report on a project and considerations for continuing education research"

The 2030 Agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is an ambitious global action plan to tackle the most pressing environmental, economic and social challenges of our time, which Austria has also committed to implementing. In order to achieve these goals, the development of skills and competencies in the population is of crucial importance. The United Nations defines these competencies (or green skills) as “knowledge, abilities, values and attitudes needed to live in, develop and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society”.

It is necessary, but not sufficient, to train specialists in environmental sustainability. Rather, the entire population needs to develop skills that enable them to live in and help shape a sustainable society that enables everyone to actively participate and leaves no one behind. The study therefore distinguishes between general basic competencies, which are required by everyone to live in a sustainable society, and specialized professional competencies, which are expected of professionals in different vocational fields and economic sectors. Both types of competencies are necessary to achieve the ecological transformation. The distinction between these two types of competencies is of particular interest for continuing education research. For the first type, complex framework concepts exist while the second type is mostly defined in bottom-up ways by occupational fields.

References and Links:


Tobias Ley & Marlene Wagner (University for Continuing Education Krems)

„The EffecTive Project and how to apply in Horizon"

The Center for Digitalization in Lifelong Learning will present plans and first results of the Horizon project EffecTive (Efficiency and Effectiveness of Training for Teachers’ Pedagogical Digital Competence), a project funded under the Horizon Europe framework program (2023-2026). The main aim of the project is to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of different training methods of pre- and in-service teacher training on teachers’ pedagogical digital competence, their classroom practices and student outcomes. We will propose a cost-benefit framework for effective teacher training that summarizes evidence on the costs and benefits of different training methods so that future teachers are empowered to deal with the challenges of digitalization. Besides the project, we will also share our experiences of how we applied for grants under Horizon as an educational researcher and invite a broader discussion of possible strategies.


  1. Overview of the project
  2. WP4: Cost-Benefit Framework
  3. Some experiences in applying for Horizon
  4. Discussion
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