Research and TeachingResearch-based teaching and learning

Excellent teaching in Heidelberg is distinguished by the university's unique proximity to research. The international research strength of Heidelberg University is therefore reflected directly in its teaching and the early exposure of young academics to the world of research.

The researchers in Heidelberg live the oneness of research and teaching across the entire range of subjects, from the humanities and social sciences to the natural and life sciences. From the start of the very first semester, students have the opportunity to join classes or student projects involving current research, to actively participate in them, and to grow on an inter- and transdisciplinary level guided by the instructors. Teaching and learning through research occurs in three different dimensions:

  • Students learn about and discuss current research (research-led learning)
  • Students acquire specific research skills (research-oriented learning)
  • Students themselves conduct research projects (research-based learning)

Students are exposed as early as possible to current issues in research and integrated into research and teaching processes. In research-based courses and projects, they are given an opportunity to learn and teach through research.

Teaching and learning through research often take the shape of innovative formats. Teaching and learning labs are thus used to test new instruction formats and to work with new digital learning tools. The teachers at Heidelberg University receive the necessary support from the University Didactics Department and the E-Learning Center. Exchange of best practices among the instructors spreads good ideas throughout the university. The "Welcome to Research" programme from 2013 to 2016, for example, funded 30 projects to test out new teaching and learning formats. A number of them were made permanent, thus enriching the courses on offer at our university.