The teaching concept at GDI: An interdisciplinary, competence-based approach

  Exchange with students Copyright: © Wisam Zureik  

Engineers create technical solutions for the consequences of various global developments and thus shape social realities and trends with their work. Global challenges influence the complexity of the demands placed on the engineering profession.



  1. Methodological competences
     •  Abstract and analytical thinking
     •  Planning ability
     •  Differentiated application of qualitative and quantitative methods 
     •  Critical use of technical literature
     •  Rhetoric and presentation skills
  2. Social skills
     •  Empathy
     •  Intercultural competence
     •  Interdisciplinary thinking
     •  Team spirit and fairness
     •  Tolerance
     •  Social responsibility
  3.  Personal skills
     •  Sense of responsibility
     •  Creativity
     •  Persistance
     •  Self-confidence and charisma
     •  Motivation
     •  Willingness to learn
     •  Adaptability
     •  Stress tolerance
     •  Reflectivity
     •  Own initiative

Against this background, the GDI has developed a holistic competence-based approach for higher education in engineering sciences, which is intended to shape socially responsible engineers. The development of interdisciplinary competences is indispensable to consider the interrelationships between technology, people, culture, society and the environment in the development of sustainable, future-oriented and socially responsible solutions and innovations.

Interdisciplinary competences

In order to train students to become socially responsible engineers and to convey interdisciplinary content, application-oriented teaching that is closely linked to research is required. The interdisciplinary skills taught in this way go beyond specialist skills and are increasingly in demand by companies (see discussion paper Future Skills by Stifterverband).

In the GDI's courses, students learn to look at engineering topics from a different perspective and at the same time reflect on their personal attitudes. This process enables students to transfer their experience and acquired knowledge to their future working environment.

Practice-oriented, interactive and inclusive teaching formats

In order to gain individual and practical experience, teamwork is a central pillar of the courses at the GDI. Students should solve practical problems in heterogeneous groups in order to create sustainable solutions for social issues.

The inclusive and interactive teaching concept of the GDI aims to appeal to as diverse a student body as possible and to meet the needs of different types of learners. In practical implementation, the focus is on interactive teaching and learning, which is intended to encourage students to work independently and to think critically and analytically.

  Colour wheel of the Sustainable Development Goals Copyright: © UN

Sustainable Development Goals

In accordance with our mission statement, the Sustainable Development Goals provide a contextual framework for the teaching contents at GDI. Focal points in the courses are, for example, sustainability, urbanity, mobility, climate adaptation, diversity and change management as well as gender studies.

Our goal is to sensitize students to the complex challenges of sustainable technology development by increasing their own ability to reflect and to develop skills to deal with these challenges.