The university certificate "ReflActive Teaching: Bewusst Handeln in der Lehre"

What's behind the certificate?

The combination of workshops on the basics of teaching and learning, collegial observation and teaching-related coaching aims to support teachers in systematically expanding skills, abilities and knowledge needed in higher education to professionally shape their central areas of responsibility. The structure and subject areas of the modules are based on the recommendations of the German Association for Higher Education Didactics. In addition, the certificate can be helpful for the career path to show structured qualifications in the field of teaching.

The university certificate ReflActive Teaching would like to invite you to discussions and confrontations with traditions, innovations and routines in teaching. Thematic workshops will be embedded in a connecting systematic approach to your individual development in the field of university teaching.

The programme will be designed according to your feedback needs and wishes and based on current research and lively discussions in the research field of higher education didactics and related disciplines. Systematically reflected teaching is constantly developing and is thus contemporary professional.


Who are they aimed at?

We cordially invite all persons who are employed at Flensburg University in the context of teaching to deal with questions about their teaching within the various formats of courses and to further develop their own teaching competencies

What are our expectations for the programme?

The Higher education didactic programme is based on

  • the interests and needs of university scientists
  • their teaching or learning experiences
  • the challenges in teaching and learning
  • the resulting practical demands requiring action
  • current science-based research trends in higher education didactic research and their reference disciplines.

We want to provide you with opportunities to exchange ideas, discuss experiences and offer opportunities to network amongst lecturers.

What are the objectives of the programme?

The certificate programme "ReflActive Teaching" aims to promote the abilities, skills and knowledge that are required in university teaching for the professional design of its central tasks.

Further development of teachings skills is supported in various ways:

  • by optimising the actual teaching situation and, subsequently, the study conditions
  • by encouraging and developing a learning culture that takes into account current demands and innovative forms of teaching to meet students’ needs
  • by creating time and space for self reflection and role reflection so providing the structure for development of a professional self-image. 

The competencies include the following tasks. These can be found in the subject areas of the certificate programme listed on the right.




Innovative development of teaching in a subject and interdisciplinary teaching

Higher education didactics and adult education

Dealing with potential challenges of a heterogeneous student body

Similarities and differences

Designing teaching and lectures to support learning

Methods and media

Goal-oriented advice to students regarding the learning process and supervision of learning situations

Guiding and advising

Examining in a learning target oriented, transparent and fair manner. Different evaluations of teaching to increase the quality of the learning process.

Examining and evaluating




The added value of the certificate

The structure of the certificate programme is comparable to other German continuing education programmes in higher education didactics. It comprises 180 work units (AE); 60 per module. Teachers can complete the courses belonging to the certificate in two to four semesters. A prototypical course, beginning in July 2021, can be found in Table 1.
The core of the programme is what makes it special. They strongly focus on reflection and development of their own teaching personality. These are set centrally through observation and collegial counselling in the basic module and the transfer module and are flanked by colloquial and workshop offerings. The researchers choose in-depth workshops (in the basic module and in the in-depth module) from the five thematic areas listed below.
In order to gain the maximum benefit, you should attend the modules in a building-up manner. The framing in the systematic personal and collegial reflection allows you a constant conscious and active transfer between course contents and your own teaching. You can also opt for the certificate after completing some of the workshops and have them credited. In this case, the systematising framing will probably take effect differently or not to the greatest possible extent.          
Furthermore, the door to the consultation hour for lecturers is open to you on a weekly basis. It takes place during the lecture period on Thursdays 14:45 in building Riga, room 701. Please register for an appointment by e-Mail.
The organisation, contents and formats of the certificate programme are constantly being further developed with specially designed evaluations according to the needs and suggestions of the participants and lecturers.

Overview over the Certificate programme/Modules

Below you can find a typical schedule of the Certificate Programme in Higher Education Didactics. Later entry into the programme is possible at any time. We are also happy to credit any Higher Education Didactics courses that you may have attended at the Centre of Continuing Education or at any other academic higher education institution. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Kathrin Rheinländer.

March/April 2023 Fall Semester 2023/2024 Spring Semester 2024  Fall Semester 2024/2025
Basic module Basic module Advanced module Transfer Module
  • Preliminary discussion and registration for the programme
  • Block seminar "How to plan and design a lecture"
  • Consultation, sitting in on lectures and reflection
  • 20AE basic workshops (after registration)
  • 60 AE advanced workshops (after registration)
  • Consultation & sitting in on lectures
  • Discussion 

 Table 1. Typical schedule of the Certificate Programme commencing summer 2021

At the end of the lecture period you will attend a block seminar during which you will examine in detail the multifaceted topics regarding planning and holding lectures. We will also deal with issues relating to your specific lectures in the next semester. You will use the time spent in the workshop planning and preparing your lecture. With the support of the Higher Education Didactics team and your peers can you could adapt established lectures or plan an experimental format for a new event.

At the beginning of the following semester classes a sitting in on a seminar will be planned.  This observation will be accompanied by a structured, preliminary consultation and a sound, constructive evaluation according to agreed priorities.

You must select your key areas from the programme.

In the subject area "Methods and media" at least 20 AE must be completed for this module. The Advanced Module comprises up to two sessions per topic on your AE.

You may attend as many of courses offered in the programme (once you have registered successfully for each course) as you like.

The focus of this module is an in-depth reflection of your learning progress during the two previous modules. During the semester there will be further practical experience (sitting in on lectures) and consultation and evaluation. Alternatively there is an option of drafting an entire teaching plan for one semester, test it as far as is possible and evaluate it. Finally, in both cases, your developments in various areas of Higher Education Didactics (based on your chosen key areas) will then be discussed during colloquium.

Subject areas

Course content and topics

The University Certificate Programme can help teachers to systematically expand the skills, abilities and knowledge required in academic education. The range of tasks listed form the foundation of the subject areas of the Certificate Programme and are based on recommendations made by the German Society for Higher Education Didactics.

Some students already have diverse experience from previous studies, vocational training and working in practice in another field whereas others take up their studies straight after finishing school.  In this programme you will deal with various topics in Higher Education Didactics, including learning models and methods of structuring teaching units, adult education, neuroscience, the legal framework and  other educational systems used in Europe and worldwide.

In this subject area you will develop and extend your skills, abilities and knowledge that allow you

  • to teach at universities according to the stipulations of skill orientation and the constructive alignment
  • to act in accordance and develop teaching/learning processes within the framework conditions and challenges of teaching at universities
  • to align your own teaching with university teaching and link your teaching to your research within the context of university education
  • to refer to current learning theories, your own understanding of education and learning, didactic structures (higher education policy, within your university), subject-specific learning cultures and didactic teaching concepts and use these as a foundation for your own teaching.


Szczyrba, Birgit, Scholkmann, Antonia; Kordts-Freudinger, Robert; Schaper, Niclas (Hg.) (2021).

Handbuch Hochschuldidaktik. Utb.

This module also encourages discussion about how lecturers and students perceive themselves and how they are perceived by others. The heterogeneity of the people involved in an event can lead to interesting additions to their own field of expertise. Cultural awareness, physical and health related challenges, deviating life and career paths of students as well as teachers all have an impact on the individuals’ perspectives of the subject and the event. The Europeanisation and internationalisation of society and the University opens up further challenges to be met as well as opportunities.

In this subject area you will develop and extend your skills, abilities and knowledge that allow you

  • to identify the diversity of students with regards to the Diversity-Dimension: gender, age, ethnic group, religion, sexual orientation, physical, psychological impairments and deal with their potential talents/gifts and challenges appropriately
  • to take into account students' cultural backgrounds, different learning experiences, languages and linguistic abilities both structurally and methodically and make use of this information
  • to deal with differences within the higher education system and society in order prevent any connected discrimination
  • to apply possible anti-discrimination strategies which can extend to individual teaching situations and contents of teaching
  • to integrate structural aspects of integration and aspects of content into their own teaching didactically and methodologically.
  • to discuss and reflect on teaching with colleagues within the framework of the course.

In this module you will gain an overview on defined issues such as the use of visualisations or body language, lecturing and presentation techniques for large and small groups, on how to change your own method of holding lectures from teaching students to accompanying them, on how the curriculum influences your teaching and vice versa, for instance in constructive alignment, as well as ideas on how to implement this information in practice. The use of media tools that are appropriate in terms of content requires a certain readiness on the part of the students to take risks and enjoy experimenting or tackling new challenges. Whether a foundation lecture, a seminar or practical semester - every event can be organised in various ways by using methodological and technical possibilities. In the course of the events offered as part of this module you will learn about the existing options provided by eLearning and its legal framework.  Although a richer repertoire is necessary and more enjoyable, it must be remembered that content always comes first.

In this subject area you will develop and extend your skills, abilities and knowledge that allow you

  • to structure learning situations for students horizontally, vertically and in terms of content and, by doing so, promote individual learning
  • to plan and implement learning skills-oriented objectives
  • to promote individual learning within the specific educational environment, to "activate" students during the course of the lectures thus stimulating the learning processes
  • to make use of a large repertoire of situationally appropriate methods, by using presentation, group and individual methods, differentiated Instruction (e.g. stations), activating methods within larger groups (lecture theatres) and seminar-like groups to boost students' individual learning processes and key competencies
  • to encourage and guide students to think critically in a method-driven way
  • to make use of the media specifically adapted to the individual learning situation and use it as a learning support.

In this module, you will discuss your questions about the professional and personal interactions with others that occur in difficult didactic or social situations during the course, for example in technical discussion regarding the transfer process from theory to practice, in learning advisory services or when instructing. The course also provides opportunities for lecturers and students to provide each other with feedback and develop further. The module also includes topics on how to support a tutor and how to organise consultation hours.

In this subject area you will develop and extend your skills, abilities and knowledge that allow you

  • to advise students individually on  skills so that they feel more secure when they take their exams
  • to use methods and models that enable individual and collective support and advice
  • to appreciate your role as a university tutor and leader and to act and respond appropriately according to the situation
  • to communicate and guide with understanding to find practical solutions
  • to critically reflect on your own and others’ actions and to be able to change/influence their perspective
  • to make optimum use of resources when prioritising and fulfilling  internal and external demands and to act appropriately in difficult situations
  • to act with self-assurance and teach complex topics in a professionally and didactically appropriate manner.


Wildt, Johannes (2006): Ein hochschuldidaktischer Blick auf Lehren und Lernen. Eine kurze Einführung in die Hochschuldidaktik. In: Brigitte Behrendt, Hans-Peter Voss, Johannes Wildt (Hrsg.). Neues Handbuch Hochschullehre A 1: Raabe Verlag, Stuttgart S. 1-10.

In this subject area you will develop and extend your skills, abilities and knowledge that allow you

  • to design skills-oriented exams as well as knowledge based exams
  • to use your knowledge of exam types (state exams, OSCE, short tests etc.) to choose examination methods that are specific to each discipline( knowledge based and skills-oriented), develop exam questions, reflect on your own behaviour in exams and improve the organisation of the exam situation
  • to deliberately use evaluation standards for exams, irrespective of discipline, as an important prerequisite for action
  • to select types of examination appropriate to the learning objectives and apply formative and summative testing and evaluation methods in a goal-oriented manner


  •  ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES (ACC&U): Rubrics. November 2016; (15.03.2022)
  • Gerick, J./ Sommer, A./Zimmermann, G. (Hrsg.): Kompetent Prüfungen gestalten. 53 Prüfungsformate für die Hochschullehre. Münster, New York: Waxmann 2018.
  • WALZIG, S.: Kompetenzorientiert prüfen. Leistungsbewertung an Hochschulen in Theorie und Praxis. Opladen u. Toronto: Verlag Barbara Buderich 2012

Organization, registration, participation and costs

Binding registration, participation

After a binding registration, the Europa-Universität Flensburg enables all teachers to participate free of charge in the university didactic events and the certificate programme ReflActive Teaching. After successful online registration, you will receive an automatic confirmation of registration.

Experience with programmes at many universities makes the following sections necessary in order to be able to offer you a programme of high quality in terms of content and methodology.

  •  Binding registration is requested 7 days before the workshop begins.
  •  If more people have registered than the maximum number of participants, a waiting list will be drawn up in the order of registrations. If a place becomes available, we will inform those waiting in that order. The person who accepts first will receive the place. If the number of registrations is too low for a profitable format, the event will be cancelled.


Please contact Kathrin Rheinländer if you would like to register for the Certificate Programme or if you have any questions or issues regarding courses.