KAVA Q: A digital assistance system to support virtual exchanges for higher education teachers
12-02, 12:30–13:00 (Europe/Berlin), Stage 1, Leibniz-Saal, BBAW

One of the main reasons, why VEs are not yet widely used in education is the lack of the respective knowledge and skills among teachers. KAVA Q is designed as a digital assistance system to qualify teachers for conducting virtual exchanges. In the presentation, we will share the results of our needs analysis and our concept for KAVA Q in order to get helpful feedback for further development.

Research shows that one of the main reasons, VEs are not yet widely used in education is the lack of knowledge and skills among teachers. Therefore, the qualification of teachers seems to be urgently needed. This is the starting point of the KAVA Q project, which is developed by the Herder Institute at the University of Leipzig in cooperation with the Institute for Applied Computer Science (InfAI) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) as part of the Federal Ministry of Research and Education's (BMBF) funding line for the development of a national education platform: KAVA Q will serve as a digital assistance system to qualify higher education teachers to conduct VEs by initiating and supporting processes of orientation and qualification as well as participation and design. KAVA Q will also support the development of an online community of practice. The three technical functional components of KAVA Q will include a social information and qualification network, partner and project repositories, and a VE planning assistant.
At the beginning of our session, we will introduce the goals of the KAVA Q project. We will then describe the methodological design and technical solutions which are based on a needs analysis of the target group. This analysis included two surveys among higher educators and several interviews, e.g., with project coordinators of the DAAD program IVAC (International Virtual Academic Collaboration). We will present the results of this analysis and mainly focus on the question, of what challenges teachers face in VE development, implementation, and evaluation and which competencies and skills they need to successfully overcome those. At the end of the session, we would like to discuss our concept with the audience in order to get helpful feedback for further developments.

See also: Presentation Slides

Mihaela Markovic is a Ph.D. student and works as a research fellow in the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funded project KAVA Q (KAVA Q: digital assistance system to support virtual exchanges) and at the co-founded DAAD initiative for the Arqus European University Alliance, at Leipzig University. Since 2016 she holds a degree (diploma) in German Language and Literature and Sociology of Culture from the University Ljubljana, Slovenia. In 2020 she finished her Master of Arts in German as a Foreign and Second Language at the Herder Institute, Leipzig University. Her research interests in the field of foreign language learning are computer-assisted language learning, virtual exchange, and cultural studies.

Prof Dr. Nicola Würffel has been Professor of German as a Foreign Language with a focus on
didactics/methodology at the Herder Institute of the University of Leipzig since 2016. Previously, she held the professorship for Didactics of New Media at the PH-Heidelberg. Her
research focus is on the digitalisation of foreign language teaching (including blended learning, virtual reality and virtual exchanges), cooperative learning, learning strategies and the professionalisation of future teachers. Her methodological focus is on language teaching and learning and educational media research. She has been an international trainer for many years in all areas of digitalisation of foreign language teaching, blended learning and virtual exchanges.

  • 2005 PhD in Computer Science, Chemnitz University of Technology
  • Project Management at BMW and DHL
  • since 2009 Head of Applications / E-Learning at Leipzig University Computing Center