Didactics / Teaching Methods

The mastery of digital technology plays a key role in today's and tomorrow's work- as well as personal life. Over the last ten+ years, I have been passionately teaching digital competencies and computational foundations in more than 30 informatics and interaction design courses. My mission is to help students understand 'the Digital' and how it can be designed to serve our needs.


To this end, I am interested in exploring proven and improved ways in teaching digital design == didactics. In line, with Denning and Tedre (2019, p.4) I believe that digital design and "computational thinking" involves

  • "designing computations that get computers to do jobs for us" and
  • "explaining and interpreting the world as a complex of information processes"

Hence, our task is to establish an in-depth understanding of the people for whom we build those technologies. Only then, we can assure that digital technology gets the job done for us as intended. Moreover, we need to develop concepts for the ways in which information can be digitized and then stored, transferred, processed, and so on. These are the digital building blocks that need to be (re-)arranged in a way to meet our desires.

But how can this be accomplished? - To make this educational challenge more tangible, I created the fictional character of 'the Diginaut' (see picture). The declared educational goal of our Bachelor's program "Design Digitaler Systeme - IoT" at the New Design University is to produce such Diginauts -- 'fearless' and competent navigators of the digital space with a rich skillset comprised of computational and designerly thinking tools (see also related blog post). To acquire these skills, we prefer using project-based teaching whenever possible. That is, the students make learning experience along the way when they frame and solve (digital) challenges. We argue that project-based teaching, with its theoretical foundations in constructivism, mixes well with project-grounded research or research through design, which often draws on pragmatist philosophies. In other words, both approaches share interesting similarities, which are based on the common believe that making and creating experiences can be a valuable source of knowledge.


In this category, I share some thoughts, articles, and blog posts about our research efforts and educational projects in order to advance digital didactics.



  • Denning, P., and Tedre, M. 2019. Computational Thinking. MIT Press: Boston (USA).