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Transdisciplinary Learning Lab


Project Duration: 04/2016 - 12/2020
Project Leader: Prof. Dr. Uta Wilkens
Project Coordinator: Saskia Hohagen, Marleen Voß
Funding: Within the framework of the RUB Initiative "Forschendes Lernen" (until 09/2017) Additional Information
German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)
Funding Code: 01PL16072
Target: To offer a transdisciplinary teaching module for exploring and designing collaborative value-added processes using the example of Product-Service Systems (PSS).


Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung 


Background and objective:

The Ruhr-University Bochum aims to increase the attractiveness of academic studies and to promote its teaching profile nationally and internationally. In line with this purpose, the future concept “Forschung erfahren, erlernen, leben” reforms the process of studying and allows for self-dependence. In the context of this initiative, the Ruhr-University Bochum fosters the development of the “Transdisciplinary Learning-Lab”, among other initiatives.


With the inSTUDIESplus project, the qualitative further development of teaching at the RUB is entering the second funding phase. The focus is on individual profile building in research-based, practice-oriented, interdisciplinary and international teaching. The goal of inSTUDIESplus is therefore to support students in their individual profiling in the best possible way by taking into account the different previous knowledge and interests of the students. Correspondingly, the institutional anchoring of this profile formation process in the curricula and regulatory systems of the faculties will be further promoted.

Maßnahmenfeld „In die Praxis“

While the RUB has very similar ideas of research-oriented teaching and internationalisation across disciplinary boundaries, the practical foundation is seen differently. Concrete applications and trials are associated in profession-oriented study programmes (e.g. medicine, teaching). In less profession-oriented subjects, the examination of practice and practical application can lead to a stronger motivation for the subject-related studies. The subjects have in common that they do not yet consider the question of transfer between science and practice to be an optimal solution. For this reason, new conceptual approaches are being developed in the field of measure "In die Praxis" in order to expand the interlinking of research and knowledge transfer as well as teaching and practice.

Background on the formation of the Learning-Lab

Within the project “SFB TR 29 Engineering hybrider Leistungsbündel” the transfer project T5 devised the prototype of a business simulation, showing the collaborative value-adding process in a Product-Service Systems (PSS). The application of this prototype offers students a chance to expose themselves to the specific challenges faced by organizations in the process of becoming an integrated solutions provider (new business models, coordination efforts, coping with complexity). Simultaneous, the simulation offers a multimedia-web-based platform for teaching and research within a protected laboratory environment. This project furthers the potential of this platform for research based teaching, thus enabling students to study in a sustainable way, developing approaches based on their own initiatives. In interdisciplinary teams, these students will be led to systematically discover the dynamics PSS and Industry 4.0.


The primary target of this research project is the creation of a laboratory environment for interdisciplinary research-based learning. This laboratory environment is available for students of Management and Economics, Engineering, and Work Science as a complementary course. In addition, students of other faculties are also considered (e.g. psychology or media science). As this learning environment is available to students of different disciplines, one of the project's basic targets is to promote interdisciplinary collaboration among students and encourage them to get involved in the process of learning through research. Additionally, the ongoing development of the Learning-Lab aims to:

  • Use simulations to explore subjects that have been not been thoroughly research reality, and to systemize this approach for academic teaching,
  • Include students in the framework of an interdisciplinary research-teaching-approach,
  • Use the simulation-approach to exceed the mediation of competencies related to real-life through the conception of a modular Learning-Lab.


Konzept der Laborumgebung

Books / Peer-Reviewed Articles / Articles in Edited Books / Reviewed Conference Papers

  • Hohagen, S., Voß, M., Wilkens, U. & Süße, T. (2020). Transdisciplinary Learning Lab – ein simulationsbasiertes und transferorientiertes Modul. In J. Straub, S. Plontke, P. S. Ruppel, B. Frey, F. Mehrabi & J. Ricken (Hrsg.), Forschendes Lernen an Universitäten – Prinzipien, Methoden, Best-Practices an der Ruhr-Universität Bochum (p. 515-522). Wiesbaden: Springer VS.
  • Voß, M. & Hohagen, S. (2019). Transdisciplinary Learning Lab: innovative teaching approach based on business simulation. Proceedings of the ISPIM Innovation Conference. (accepted).

Presentations / Posterpresentations

  • Hohagen, S., Wilkens, U., Mehrabi, F., Braukhoff, Y., Rohde, S., Vaughn, V. & Voß, M. (2020). Kompetenzentwicklung in transferorientierten Lehr-Lernformaten – Ergebnisse einer Evaluationsstudie mit Längsschnittmessung unterschiedlicher Kompetenzdimensionen. DGHD 2020, Berlin, 11-13.03.2020. (accepted).
  • Hohagen, S. & Voß, M. (2019). Transdisciplinary Learning Lab – ein transferorientiertes Lehr-Lern-Format. Posterbeitrag auf dem Symposium „Transfer in die Lehre. Zumutung oder Chance?“, Hegne, 13.-15.03.2019.
  • Braukhoff, Y., Engel, Y., Hohagen, S., Krukenbaum, T., Vaughn, V., & Voß, M. (2019). Verstetigungsstrategien praxisorientierter Lehr-Lern-Formate am Beispiel des Projektes „inSTUDIES“ der Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Diskurswerkstatt auf der dghd-Jahrestagung 2019, Leipzig, 05.-08.03.2019.