The division Teaching and Learning Research in Non-formal Education focuses in its research on the conditions and effects of fostering an understanding of science through participation in research, such as in citizen science projects, and digital media in formal as well as non-formal learning contexts.

Participation in research

In science, scientific laypersons are increasingly participating in research processes, so that there is potential for promoting an understanding of science. However, it has not yet been clarified what effects participation in research processes has on an understanding of science and what conditions must be met for this to happen. While in formal contexts teaching-learning concepts for inquiry-based learning support individual research processes, in non-formal contexts it is still unclear how open research processes can be structured. Our research projects address the question of how participation in research processes can be promoted and how research-based learning can be supported.

Three people record bat calls. Three people record bat calls. Three people record bat calls. © Christof Häberle
Three people record bat calls during a bat researcher project in Berlin.

Selected publications

  1. Bruckermann, T., Stillfried, M., Straka, T. M., & Harms, U. (2022). Citizen science projects require agreement: a Delphi study to identify which knowledge on urban ecology is considered relevant from scientists’ and citizens’ perspectives. International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, 12(1), 75–92.
  2. Bruckermann, T., Greving, H., Schumann, A., Stillfried, M., Börner, K., Kimmig, S., Hagen, R., Brandt, M., & Harms, U. (2021). To know about science is to love it? Unraveling cause-effect relationships between knowledge and attitudes toward science in citizen science on urban wildlife ecology. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 58(8), 1179-1202.
  3. Greving, H.*, Bruckermann, T.*, Schumann, A., Straka, T., Lewanzik, D., Voigt-Heucke, S., Marggraf, L., Lorenz, J., Brandt, M., Voigt, C. C., Harms, U., & Kimmerle, J. (2022). Improving attitudes and knowledge in a citizen science project on urban bat ecology. Ecology and Society, 27(2), [24]. *shared first authorship

Other contributions

Digital Media in formal and non-formal learning contexts

In a lab, a video is recorded using a tablet. In a lab, a video is recorded using a tablet. In a lab, a video is recorded using a tablet. © Anne Germund
Working methods in the lab can be documented in video logs using the tablet.

Furthermore, digitization enables expanded forms of representation and collaboration for knowledge construction in research in the natural sciences. For example, dynamic representations, such as videos and animations, of experiments are increasing practice, as laboratory techniques can be reproduced in more detail in video protocols. Online platforms open up possibilities for capturing, but also analyzing, collaboratively generated data sets and thus for collaborative knowledge construction in research projects. In this research focus, we therefore investigate the extent to which digital media as an epistemic practice in the natural sciences promote individual learning and knowledge construction.

Selected publications

  • Bruckermann, T., Greving, H., Stillfried, M., Schumann, A., Brandt, M., & Harms, U. (2022). I’m fine with collecting data: Engagement profiles differ depending on scientific activities in an online community of a citizen science project. PLoS ONE, 17(10), e0275785.
  • Fischer, J., Machts, N., Bruckermann, T., Möller, J., & Harms, U. (2022). The Simulated Classroom Biology: A simulated classroom environment for capturing the action-oriented professional knowledge of pre-service teachers about evolution. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 38(6), 1765–1778.
  • von Kotzebue, L., Meier, M., Finger, A., Kremser, E., Huwer, J., Thoms, L-J., Becker, S., Bruckermann, T., & Thyssen, C. (2021). The Framework DiKoLAN (Digital Competencies for Teaching in Science Education) as Basis for the Self-Assessment Tool DiKoLAN-Grid. Education Sciences, 11(12), [775].

Other contributions

Information about the research projects
Publications from the current and previous year