Teaching excellence

HFU Teaching prize

The HFU Teaching Prize is awarded to teachers of the university and aims to support qualitative, innovative teaching in a sustainable manner. Both professors and lecturers of HFU can be nominated for the prize.

The prize is awarded annually and the winner is decided by means of the following multi-step process:

Every semester students nominate courses for the HFU Teaching Prize. 

Step 1: All students who attend the nominated course have the opportunity the evaluate the course using various criteria (topicality and quality of teaching content, innovative teaching approaches, supervision and support in the course, teacher's personality, teaching style).

Step 2: The courses which come out top in these student evaluations are then reviewed by a commission made up of internal and external advisors who select the winner using further criteria.

Any course which has been awarded the HFU Teaching Prize is ineligible for nomination for the next 2 semesters. A course can only be awarded with the HFU Teaching Prize a maximum of 3 times.

The HFU Teaching Prize, which was initiated in the winter semester of 2014/2015 and is the successor to the HFU e-Teaching Award.

HFU Teaching Prize 2018

For the 2018 HFU Teaching Prize, over 140 student nominations were submitted to the Information and Media Centre. From these nominations, 78 courses actively participated in the selection process for the 2018 Teaching Prize. The top courses from the student ranking, in which over 750 students participated, were submitted to two specialist juries for evaluation.

2018 Teaching Prize for "Sustainable Process Technology" by Prof. Dr. Holger Schneider

In the "Sustainable Process Technology" course students have to develop complex processes for the sustainable manufacture of intermediary products and particularly environmentally friendly end products, present them in a comprehensible manner and evaluate their profitability. The course is a combination of active plenary work and traditional lectures with exercises. The didactic concept is based on the involvement of all participants with their own experience and opinions.

Why did this course receive the award?

The students found the course "well-structured, educational, motivating and fun."

Winner's statement:

"I am particularly pleased about the recognition from the students for these demanding lectures. It is a very positive confirmation of my efforts to move away from traditional lectures to using alternative teaching methods such as an active plenaries and for and against discussions in order to make the course more lively. Students are expected to voice their opinions on current problems at all times and automatically develop solution-oriented suggestions for complex, waste-free production processes on the basis of sustainable raw materials using alternative energies."

Teaching Prize for Adjunct Lecturers 2018 - "Marketing Automation" by Oliver Schmitt

The course objectives are to introduce students to the broad field of "Marketing Automation". Besides theory, students also gain an insight into the practical activities of everyday work in medium-sized and large organizations. In groups, students work on various sub-tasks of planning, design and the production of a prototype for a multi-faceted online campaign using marketing automation and its various components such as social media posting, Google Ad Words ads, e-shots and a landing page.

Why did this course receive the award?

The students nominated the course for the following reasons: "up-to-date lecture, very good powerpoint presentations, very competent and pleasant lecturer."

Winner's statement:

"I'm absolutely delighted about the nomination for the HFU Teaching Prize. I am particularly happy that the nomination was made by the students. That's is the best confirmation of my work for me."

Jury 2018

Jury for professors and staff

  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Gollwitzer, Furtwangen University, Faculty of Industrial Technologies, winner 2017
  • Dr. Sabine Hemsing, Rheinland-Pfalz Virtual Campus (VCRP), Deputy director with responsibility for E-cademy and didactics of VCRP
  • Prof. Dr. Frank Kramer, Furtwangen University, HFU Business School, Vice-dean Academics
  • Katrin Weber, Catholic University Freiburg, Project coordinator Digital Teaching

Jury for adjunct lecturers

  • Dr. Christian Kreidl, Lecturer for Soft Skills and self-employed business and personal development trainer and consultant
  • Prof. Dr. Ruxandra Lasowski, Furtwangen University, Dean of Studies Computer Science in Media
  • Herbert Reiss, Adjunct lecturer for "Leadership and leadership culture" and self-employed management consultant and coach, winner 2017
  • Prof. Dr. Steffen Thiel, Furtwangen University, Faculty of Computer Science,Vice-dean Academics
2017 Teaching Prize for Prof. Dr. Andreas Gollwitzer and Herbert Reiss

For the 2017 HFU Teaching Prize a total of 106 student nominations were submitted to the Information and Media Centre. Of the 106 nominations, 60 courses took part in the selection procedure. The winner was chosen from these courses by a jury of specialists.

"Digital electronics and microprocessor technology" by Professor Dr. Andreas Gollwitzer

The Digital electronics and microporcessor technology course consists of two parts: the first covers the principles of digital engineering which is taught in lectures, practicals and labs. In the second part of the course, students learn to program microcontroller systems. As practical application is very important, the students can borrow the hardware system and prepare the lab experiments at home. To motivate students and clarify the process, the hardware is coupled with a Fischertechnik construction, e.g. the control of assembly line motors and photo-electric barriers. This motivates the student groups to find the best possible way to solve the tasks.

Why did this course receive the HFU Teaching Prize?

Students nominated Professor Gollwitzer because the course is well planned and structured. They also praise the high quality of his teaching and teaching materials, which incorporates media well into the course. The practical for the "Digital Electronics and Microprocessor Technology" lectures combines well the theory taught with practice." Students particularly praise the good lectures, the easy to read course materials, the video tutorials and the online self-tests.

Herbert Reiss with the "Corporate Culture & Leadership" course

This course aims to allow students to experience "leadership and leadership culture" in a passionate dialogue using many practical examples. The goal is to involve as many students as possible in the dialogue. Thus they learn that leadership can be an enjoyable task and that it is relatively easy to inspire people to work towards great mutual goals. However, this requires a high degree of "self-leadership" discipline as a leader is only a leader if people want to follow him or her as a role model.

Why did this course receive the award?

Students found that Herr Reiss "teaches theoretical content using a broad range of examples, wide-ranging practical experience and innovative teaching methods. The whole course is designed in such a humorous way that you just can't help loving the course."

2016 Teaching Prize for Dr. Heike Stengel

Dr. Heike Stengel for "Intercultural Management (ICC/MCD)"

The "Intercultural Management" course taught by Dr. Stengel has two parts. In the Intercultural Communication (ICC) module, the theoretical basis for understanding intercultural connections is laid. In the Managing Cultural Diversity (MCD) module which builds upon this course, theory is put into practice. The goals are to expand and improve intercultural core competences, to learn about and critically examine standard terminology and the most frequently used cultural models used in practice, and to become aware of cultural differences in the area of verbal, paraverbal and non-verbal communication. The main focus is on putting theory into practice in international management and in the students' lives and experience while avoiding stereotyping. The integration of foreign students is encouraged to expose cultural models and to clarify common misundertandings.

Students are challenged to reflect on their own cultural orientation through role plays in small groups and individual reflection exercises. They are encouraged to question how culture affects assumptions, values, behaviour, structures and processes, even the didactical methods used, and to see differences not as a problem but rather a normal state of affairs.

Why did she win this award?

Students found: "Dr Stengel's lectures are very current and varied using for example, pictures, videos and current examples. Her many personal experiences and examples make what we are learning understandable and makes for a relaxed atmosphere in class. She is always available to answer personal or course-related questions outside class either by email or telephone."

2015 Teaching Prize for Prof. Dr. Oliver Ruf

Professor Dr. Oliver Ruf for "Storytelling, Text planning"

The "Storytelling, Text Planning" course by Prof. Dr. Oliver Ruf teaches basic text production skills and skills for the design and planning processes of text-based media. What makes the course stand out is its mix of theoretical and practical phases. Impulse presentations give students an idea of the most important content and form the basis for the practical work to follow.

The results of the practical work are first presented and discussed in small student groups. Then one student from each group explains in plenary the similarities and differences of the solutions found. Finally students use the knowledge gained to work on a specific practical example, such as a film, a comic, a recording or a website. The lecturer acts as a coach with editing responsibilities. The media used and the teaching material for the course consist of lecture notes and slides, explanatory videos on the theoretical-practical content, tasks and exercises, and student presentations.

Why did he receive this award?

The students' feedback: "good content, varied, good help with homework." The jury praised in particular the successful didactic mix of theory and practice in the lesson plans. The jury also believed that the videos used to explain the theoretical-practical content and the innovative use of the peer review process in which the students give each other feedback on the solutions worked out, were worthy of the award.