© ZHL - Robert Matzke

The Centre for Teaching in Higher Education (ZHL) is a researching institute. Our research activities focus on a broad range of issues pertaining to diverse challenges in university teaching and the expectations of academia and higher education. In addition to software development and usability (predominantly Internet-based support of cooperative, constructive teaching and learning methods), we specialise in the following pedagogical-psychological areas related to university, educational and scientific research.   


Views on higher education
In this research area, we examine how instructors, students and even parents view various approaches to teaching and learning. We also explore how these attitudes influence teaching and what kinds of things shape these attitudes (e.g. discipline). Our analyses offer insight into the individual and institutional differences and needs of teaching and help generate new impulses for successful instruction.

Selected publications in this area:
Riehemann, J., Hellmann, J. H., & Jucks, R. (2018). "Your words matter!" Relevance of individual participation in xMOOCs. Active Learning in Higher Education. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1469787418779154

Päuler-Kuppinger,L. & Jucks, R. (2018). Out-of-Class Instruction in Higher Education - Impact of Approaches to Teaching and Discipline. International Journal of Higher Education, 199-209. doi: 10.5430/ijhe.v7n2p199

Jucks R. & Päuler-Kuppinger, L. (2017). Teachers' and parents' perspectives on teaching: Not a topic of but a motive for communication. Journal of Educational Research Online, 9(3), 12-25.

Päuler-Kuppinger, L. & Jucks, R. (2017). Perspectives on Teaching: Conceptions of Teaching and Epistemological Beliefs of University Academics and Students in Different Domains. Active Learning in Higher Education, 18, 63-76. doi: 10.1177/1469787417693507

Relationship between research and teaching
Research and teaching represent the central tasks of all universities. But how do instructors integrate these tasks into their everyday routine? What conflicts, what synergies arise from this relationship? What role do instructors see themselves playing? Our goal is to qualitatively and quantitatively investigate the relationship between research and teaching in order to better understand the roles of academic staff and the challenges and career perspectives these create. By gaining in-depth understanding of the relationship between research and teaching, we can identify the conditions for a well-functioning, productive university.

Selected publications in this area:
Hillbrink, A. & Jucks, R. (2019). "What my Parents think I do..." — Doctoral Students' Assumptions about how Private and Work-Related Groups view their Work. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 14, 465-478. doi:10.28945/4381

Hillbrink, A. & Jucks, R. (2019). Pictures of Research and Teaching in Psychology — A Comparison of Early-Career Academics’ and Students’ Perspectives. Psychology Learning and Teaching, 18(3), 290-304. doi:10.1177/1475725719859707

Hillbrink, A. & Jucks, R. (2019). ‘Me, a Teacher?!’ – Professional Role Identification and Role Activation of Psychology PhD Students. Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, 10(2), 109-125. doi:10.1108/SGPE-03-2019-0031

Jucks, R., Fischer, F. & Scheiter, K. (2017). More research needed: Strukturelle und individuelle Rahmenbedingungen für die Wissenschaft als Beruf(ung). Kommentare zu Rentzsch, Hartzer & Wolter (2017). Psychologische Rundschau, 68, 279-281.

Jucks, R. & Hillbrink, A. (2017). Perspective on Research and Teaching in Psychology: Enrichment or Burden. Psychology Learning and Teaching, 16 (3), 306-322 doi: 10.1177/1475725717705205

Digitalisation in university teaching
Digitalisation not only plays a major role in private and social life, it also has a strong influence on higher education. Digital studying and examination formats are driving structural transformation at university. Online teaching as a supplement to classroom instruction is playing an increasingly important role in higher education. Our research activities in the area of digitalisation in university teaching focus on virtual learning environments (specifically "massive open online courses", or MOOCs, for short). We also examine the effects of personal address on learning behaviour, from which we derive methods for developing virtual learning environments.

Selected publications in this area:
Riehemann, J. & Jucks, R. (2018). 'Address me personally and I forget the others' Effects of language styles in a MOOC. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jcal.12278

Riehemann, J., Hellmann, J. H., & Jucks, R. (2018). "Your words matter!" Relevance of individual participation in xMOOCs. Active Learning in Higher Education. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1469787418779154

Riehemann, J. & Jucks R. (2017). How much is Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Digitized? Insights from Teacher Education. International Journal of Higher Education, 6, 129-137. doi:10.5430/ijhe.v6n3p129

Communication of scientific knowledge and science
Imparting knowledge and science is a central goal of all educational programmes. In this research area, we examine the conditions for conveying knowledge and science and the impact these have on their respective target groups. The resulting findings serve as principles for developing methods of instruction suited to communicating science-related information.

Selected publications in this area:

Kienhues, D., Thomm, E. & Bromme, R. (2018). Specificity reloaded: How multiple layers of specificity influence reasoning in science argument evaluation. In: F. Fischer, C. A. Chinn, K. Engelmann & J. Osborne (Eds.). Scientific Reasoning and Argumentation: The Roles of Domain-Specific and Domain-General Knowledge. London: Taylor & Francis

Mayweg-Paus, E., Jucks*, R. (2017). Conflicting evidence or conflicting opinions? Two-sided discussions contribute to experts' trustworthiness. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, Vol. 37(2) 203–223 doi: 10.1177/0261927X17716102 *shared first authorship

Tkotz, J.*, Kienhues, D.*, Jucks, R. & Bromme, R. (2020) (*=shared first authorship). Keep calm in heated debates. How people perceive different styles of discourse in a scientific debate. Frontiers in Education. DOI: 10.3389/feduc.2020572503

Thiebach, M., Mayweg-Paus, E. & Jucks, R. (2015). "Probably True" says the Expert: How Two Types of Lexical Hedges Influence Students' Evaluation of Scientificness. European Journal of Psychology of Education. 369-384. doi: 10.1007/s10212-014-0243-4

Understanding of science
A central aim of university teaching is to train students' understanding of science. This involves, for example, critical thinking and substatiated understanding that society is built on a foundation of academic expertise . Our research activities focus on finding ways to generate greater awareness for such understanding in university teaching (e.g. learning through research). We investigate society's expectations of academia and the public's understanding of science and academics.

Selected publications in this area:
Kienhues, D., Jucks, R. & Bromme, R. (2020) Sealing the gateways for post-truthism: Reestablishing the epistemic authority of science, Educational Psychologist, 55(3), 144-154, doi: 10.1080/00461520.2020.1784012

Sinatra, G. M., Kienhues, D., & Hofer, B. K. (2014). Addressing challenges to public understanding of science: Epistemic Cognition, Motivated Reasoning, and Conceptual Change. Educational Psychologist, 49(2), 123-138. doi: 10.1080/00461520.2014.916216.

Weinstock, M., Kienhues, D., Feucht, F.C., & Ryan, M. (2017). Informed reflexivity: Enacting epistemic virtue. Educational Psychologist, 52(4). 284-298. doi: 10.1080/00461520.2017.1349662

Software development and usability
The ZHLdigital office is actively involved in efforts to further enhance the open-source software Moodle and Opencast. These are required for managing the Learnweb and the e-lectures system.














Complete list of publications:

For a complete list of publications by the working group headed by Prof Dr Jucks, click here.