Otto-von-Guericke Teaching Award

The Otto-von-Guericke Teaching Award takes into account the various aspects and the multi-faceted nature of good teaching. "The university sees the awarding of a university teaching prize as an instrument for raising the teaching reputation and making the teaching visible. We want to reward excellent teaching and teachers and set impulses that encourage an exchange about the importance of good teaching and point out potential for development," says Vice-rector Prof. Schmidt. The teaching award takes into account the existing spectrum of subjects and the entire teaching staff.

Teaching Prize Winner for 2020: Christian Kaspers

Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg has honored Christian Kaspers from the Faculty of Mathematics for his outstanding commitment to digital teaching with the Otto von Guericke Teaching Prize for 2020. In the Mathematical Methods II for Economists and Social Scientists tutorial, he acted as a “digital guide” for his students and was put forward by them most often for the teaching prize. Like lecturers across the university, for the digital summer semester of 2020, he too devised ad hoc innovative concepts for maintaining the process of teaching and learning under the conditions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic with the reduced face-to-face teaching time that this entailed.

“We were all a little caught on the hop when we suddenly discovered in spring that we would only be able to teach online for the time being,” recalls Christian Kaspers, who has been a research assistant in the Institute of Algebra and Geometry since 2017. “I myself would never have believed it would be possible to switch entirely from face-to-face to online teaching over a period of two weeks. Our main aim was to ensure that ultimately nobody failed their examination because they felt badly prepared for it as a result of the semester going online. In the end the work proved worthwhile, many students sent me emails saying that not only did they feel that they had really understood the mathematical content, but they had also developed an enjoyment of mathematics. This was the best discovery for me during the online semester.”


Teaching Prize Winner for 2019: Junior Professor Dan Verständig

In 2019 the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg Teaching Prize was awarded to the Media Literacy researcher, Junior Professor Dr. Dan Verständig. This recognized his outstanding commitment to university teaching, which is characterized by intensive use of digital media, interdisciplinarity and the close integration of theory and practice. He facilitates engagement with the course content through an interactive range of courses and the use of digital learning tools. “I love sharing my idea of science with the students,” says the prize winner. “Research means exploring and everybody has a certain amount of curiosity. It is not something that can be forced, but it can be awakened through exciting teaching projects. Above all, I try to structure my seminars in an interdisciplinary way, since after all, in a digital society, not only do we need specialists, but also all-rounders!”

Dan Verständig teaches on the program in Media Literacy - Audiovisual Culture and Communication with the emphasis on internet research, media and educational theory and project management. He conducts research on educational issues against the background of algorithmic systems and digitization.

In addition to the 2019 prize winner, a further 9 lecturers were nominated by their students for the award.



Teaching Prize Winner for 2018: Dr.-Ing. Mathias Magdowski

Dr.-Ing. Magdowski is a research assistant in the Department of Electromagnetic Compatibility in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology. He has shown outstanding dedication to the teaching of students for many years. His focus is on promoting a joint discussion of topics through a range of interactive courses in which he makes intensive use of digital learning tools.

“In a constantly changing world, new perspectives, necessities and questions arise which constantly require new problem-solving approaches in research and teaching,” explains the President of the University, Professor Dr.-Ing. Jens Strackeljan. “This also means that in future the University of Magdeburg will need to participate effectively in socially relevant discourse, to take a position on pressing topics and above all offer viable scientific solutions.”

In addition to the 2018 prize winner, a further 36 lecturers were nominated by students for the prize.


Teaching Prize Winners for 2017: Dr.-Ing. Hartwig Haase, Dr.-Ing. Henning Strubelt and Katja Richter

“My two grandchildren in particular constantly remind me that this planet must be preserved for future generations!”

Teaching Prize Winners 2017 (c) Harald KriegThe 6th Otto von Guericke Teaching Prize was awarded to a team of two mechanical engineers and an educational researcher, and honors different aspects of excellent teaching. Dr.-Ing. Hartwig Haase, Dr.-Ing. Henning Strubelt and Katja Richter received the prize for the cross-faculty course in Sustainability and Mobility. According to Henning Strubelt, student teachers and students on the Master’s degree in Logistics working together as part of an interdisciplinary lecture on the subject of sustainability bring differing ways of thinking and perspectives that enable them to learn from one another. “As with so many cooperations, the result is more than the sum of the different pieces of specialist knowledge. The students learned to look at issues in a more complex way and to see them in context, and experienced how important it is to take on board other positions.”

Sustainability is, in the view of the teaching prize winners, a topic for all faculties and disciplines, and should really be firmly anchored in the teaching offered. Students should be sensitized to sustainability issues as early as possible. According to the junior researcher, Katja Richter, closing one’s eyes to the subject will help nobody. “Student teachers in particular are future multipliers and will play a key part. They should be able to encourage school pupils to gear their lives towards the future, and we must enable them to do so.”

In particular, their teaching roles also enabled the trio to carry their own experience and knowledge further and so become more effective, says Dr. Hartwig Haase. “The subject of sustainability occupies me a great deal, because we cannot progress any further with the existing patterns of behavior. “My two grandchildren in particular constantly remind me that this planet must be preserved for future generations!”


Teaching Prize Winner for 2016: Professor Dr. Andreas Knabe

“The students come to lectures with specific questions - I want to make the most of this motivation.”

Teaching Prize Winners 2016 (c) Harald Krieg / Uni MagdeburgThe holder of the Chair in Public Economics began studying economics 14 years ago at the University of Magdeburg. After a period spent as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, he also took his Master’s degree at the University of Magdeburg. In 2008 he obtained his doctorate and was then, until his appointment, junior professor of Labor Market and Social Policy at the Free University of Berlin. The economist is enthusiastic about passing on knowledge, conveying ways of thinking and jointly finding answers to pressing social issues. The teaching prize is dedicated in 2016 to the lecture notes that in the winter semester 2015/16 or summer semester 2016 most convinced the students, supported them best while learning and/or inspired them to read more.



Teaching Prize Winner for 2015: Professor Dr.-Ing. Thorsten Halle

“I am happy that the students see that I have time for them, even outside of lectures.”

Teaching Prize Winners 2015 (c) Harald Krieg / Uni MagdeburgProfessor Dr.-Ing. habil. Thorsten Halle studied Materials Engineering at Chemnitz University of Technology. He obtained his doctorate there in 2005 and was awarded the Heinemann Prize for his thesis on “Relationships between machining processes and the mechanical behavior of materials at high strain rates.” Four years later he was promoted to professor in the field of Materials Engineering. Since 2013, Professor Dr. Ing. habil. Thorsten Halle has been head of the Chair in “Metallic Materials” in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg. In 2015 the engineer was honored for his outstanding dedication to university teaching at Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg. Professor Dr.-Ing. habil. Thorsten Halle was selected by the Student Council and the faculty student bodies for his above-average commitment to supporting students. This support includes regular and constructive feedback on students’ performance levels, close support during internships and the writing of theses, and also offering innovative and individual counseling in chats and online consultation sessions.


Teaching Prize Winners for 2014: Lecturers from the “Learning Systems / Biocomputing Summer School”

“The summer school inspires students to think in networks and promotes interdisciplinarity.”

In 2014, lecturers from Computer Science, Neurobiology and Psychology jointly received the University’s teaching prize for the first time. They were recognized for their innovative interdisciplinary Learning Systems / Biocomputing summer school. This seminar is the introductory session in the eponymous track in the Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. On this program, for the first time, students gain knowledge of the different approaches to researching the topic of learning in different disciplines. The course builds a bridge between the aspect of artificial intelligence in computer science, which researches self-learning methods, and observational research activities such as in neuroscience and psychology, where, for example, attempts are made to measure brain states with the help of imaging techniques. With the support of experienced scientists, the aim is to enable students, within the new teaching program, to generate innovative approaches to research. The originators accepted the prize on behalf of all participants from the Faculty of Computer Science, the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology (LIN), the Institute of Psychology and the Institute of Biology: Dr. Georg Krempl, Professor Dr.-Ing. Klaus Tönnies, Professor Dr. Myra Spiliopoulou, PD Dr. Reinhard König and Dr. André Brechmann. In addition, Junior Professor Dr. Michael Hanke and Professor Dr. Stefan Pollmann (Psychology), Prof. Dr. Frank Ohl from the LIN and Professor Dr. Jochen Braun (Biology) were also involved in the 2014 summer school.


Teaching Prize Winners for 2013: Yvonne Kalinna, Björn Bergold and Marija Stanisavljevic

“For us, interdisciplinary teaching and research meant bringing together specialist know-how and gaining new perspectives in order to solve joint problems and achieve our goal.”

Otto von Guericke University recognized a three-person team of lecturers with the 2013 Teaching Prize for its interdisciplinary teaching project on the subject of “Researching memorials and their visitors”. The historian, Yvonne Kalinna and her colleague Björn Bergold, plus the sociologist, Marija Stanisavljevic from the Faculty of Humanities, Social Science & Education, received this award for their jointly devised seminar, “In search of the authentic experience - memorial work put to the test” on the course in Cultural Studies/European History. The seminar was incorporated in the “Places of learning: communicating history in the media society” pilot project. In the award-winning class, students, scientists and employees of the Marienborn German Division Memorial worked across disciplines as research partners and together developed micro studies on the work taking place in the memorial. The seminar enabled students to gain knowledge and practical experience in extramural places of learning - the venues for their future careers. The jury explained its decision by stating that the teaching team had succeeded in outstanding fashion in combining university research and the teaching of students from different subject areas with one another and moreover creating a strong regional connection.

After the project seminar, the following essay was written and published: Bergold, Björn; Kalinna, Yvonne; Stanisavljevic, Marija: Interdisciplinary teaching - a project seminar on the historical and sociological research of memorials. In: Ulrike Senger / Yvonne Robel / Thorsten Logge (Ed.): Project teaching in the study of history. Locations, perspectives and reports. Bielefeld 2015. Pp. 321-340


Jahr Prize Winner(s)
2012 Prof. Dr. med. habil. Christian Vorwerk und PD Dr. med. habil. Dörthe Küster

Last Modification: 03.08.2023 - Contact Person: Allgemeine Studienberatung