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From November 15 to 16, 2018 the first meeting of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen (WCT) on „WCT meets HCI“ with external guests took place at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM). The workshop aimed at discussing interfaces of the research within the WCT and the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and at having a closer look on the question in how far they can mutually benefit from each other.

Dr. Elisa Mekler (Universität Basel, Fig. 1), Prof. Dr. Gerhard Fischer (University of Colorado, Fig. 2) and Prof. Dr. Heinz Ulrich Hoppe (Universität Duisburg-Essen, Fig. 3) presented their research on HCI and shared their experiences and longstanding expertise within this field with the Campus projects. They contributed to a lively exchange of ideas and a profound discussion.

The WCT project members, who are now in the mid-term of the project phase had the opportunity to present the current state of their research and to reflect the results with the view from outside. Within the scope of talks and a postersession, the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus as a unique interdisciplinary network could be experienced by the external guests. The campus meeting is also the opportunity for internal networking. Thus, for example, one of the newly associated projects in May 2018 of the University of Stuttgart were present at the meeting for the first time.


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Social media have become essential to the communication of companies. Today almost all businesses use Facebook or Instagram for marketing; and Enterprise Social Media for their knowledge management. “But if employees use Xing, LinkedIn or Twitter, it is often seen with scepticism”, says Prof. Dr. Sonja Utz of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM). “But especially these platforms offer benefits and can lead to more creative ideas, information advantages and informal learning.”

For several years, Prof. Dr. Sonja Utz has investigated at the IWM how social media can be used in a work-related context. She is the head of the junior research group Social Media and project partner of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus (WCT) projects Contact Recommendation Systems and Context Changes in Social Media Contributions. This November, she is on the move as expert on the effects of work-related social media use at different events:

At the 82. Mercedes-Benz Social Media Night (#mbsmn) on November, 14 Utz will answer the question what benefits LinkedIn, Twitter and Xing have ("LinkedIn, Twitter, Xing – was bringt (mir) das?"). She will describe the current state of science on this matter and will present results of her panel study on the use of business networks.

At the 1. Forum Fortbildung BW on November, 30 in Stuttgart, Utz will show that training and informal learning does not only take place in workshops but in everyday life through the use of social media. YouTube, for example, offers “How to…” videos on professional skills and Twitter provides with its hashtags opportunities to find communities for further training. In her talk on the advantages of social media for further training („YouTube, Twitter, Xing: Das Potenzial sozialer Medien in der (informellen) Weiterbildung“), Utz will show how to make use of this potential.

2018-10-17  |  15.-16.11.2018 Workshop „WCT meets HCI“
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From November 15 to November 16, 2018 the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen (WCT) workshop “WCT meets HCI” (human computer interaction) takes place at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM). On the first day of the workshop three distinguished plenary speakers will present their research on HCI: Prof. Gerhard Fischer (University of Colorado), Prof. Dr. Heinz Ulrich Hoppe (University of Duisburg-Essen) and Dr. Elisa Mekler (University of Basel). In the ensuing poster session the 16 projects of the WCT will present their current state of research. The Workshop provides a platform for active exchange and discussions. The second day is dedicated to the discussion about overlaps between the research of the WCT and HCI more generally.


At the end of September, 57 Clusters of Excellence were selected that will be funded by the federal and state government as part of their Excellence Strategy. Partners of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus (WCT) Tübingen “Cognitive Interfaces” are involved in two of the selected clusters. As Vice Director, Prof. Thomas Ertl has contributed to the renewed success of the Cluster of Excellence Simtech of the University of Stuttgart. Within the WCT he is a tandem partner in the project “Context changes in social media contributions”. Moreover, the Cluster of Excellence “Machine Learning: New Perspectives for Science” was newly funded. Among the partners of that cluster is Prof. Sonja Utz who contributes to the WCT in two projects: “Overcoming cognitive and motivational barriers for networking: Contact recommendation systems in professional settings” and “Context changes in social media contributions”. Both Clusters of Excellence investigate how knowledge work can be intelligently supported, thus having significant overlap with the research topics of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen „Cognitive Interfaces“.


With effect from July 1, 2018, Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress, Director of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) and Head of the Knowledge Construction Lab, has been appointed Deputy Chairwoman of the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung. The foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in Germany and pursues the goal of promoting good education for a networked knowledge and information society. Chairman is Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schuster, former Mayor of the city of Stuttgart. Ulrike Cress is looking forward to the new task and emphasizes the connections between the topics of the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung and her research work at the IWM: "With digitization, educational institutions are facing new challenges and tasks. Research can help to make teaching-learning settings more efficient and shows how digital media can support learning processes. Expanding these efficient scenarios is now a priority for educational institutions. The Deutsche Telekom Stiftung has an important pioneering role here. I particularly like that their initiatives take into account the entire education chain." Prof. Cress has been appointed to the office for five years.

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From scientific output to scientific use: Researchers from France, Germany, Italy and Spain discuss on the ESOF 2018 in France today how science communication and public relations can be improved. The panel is part of the 6-day conference on “Sharing Science – Towards new horizons”. The science of the future addresses topics like the development of robotics and artificial intelligence, big data and health, computerised intelligent home and town systems, fact checking as well as questions on ethic, risks and security.
Head of the Leibniz-Instituts für Wissensmedien (IWM) Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress participates with researchers of Baden-Württemberg international (bw-i), the German Research Foundaiton (DFG), the Institute for Research in Biomedicine Barcelona (IRB), the Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing of Environment (IREA-CNR) and the Maison des mathématiques et de l'informatique de Lyon (MMI Lyon) in a panel of the section “Social utility of Science”. The panel addresses the efforts of scientific experts and organization to contribute to social utility of science through outreach activities. It opens the discussion whether the values inherent in scientific careers need re-assessment, if the mission of scientific communication is to be pursued with a stronger dedication from scientists.
Cress emphasizes the relevance of science for knowledge transfer and the comprehensibility of research for the public: “Science still naively assumes that laymen comprehend the relevance of research findings. Unfortunately, empirical studies often show that for laymen results from science are only one voice among many.”

2018-07-04  |  Science meets politics. Ulrike Cress again at the Bundestag
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The meeting Leibniz im Bundestag of the Leibniz Association brings together scientists and politicians. The use of digital media in education, learning and teaching with media and media literacy are the main topics of the talk of Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress, head of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM). On 5 July, Cress will meet B Ronja Kemmer (CDU).  The IWM is the only German research institute that examines knowledge processes in times of digitization.
At Leibniz im Bundestag socially relevant topics are discussed in individual meetings from the point of various disciplines: Humanities, Educational Research, Economics, Social Sciences, Spatial Science, Life Science, Mathematics, Natural Science and Engineering as well as Environmental Sciences.


Dr. Christian Scharinger and Prof. Dr. Peter Gerjets of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien received together with Tobias Appel and Enkelejda Kasneci the award “Best Early Inverstigators Paper” for their conference contribution “Cross-subject workload classification using pupil-related measures" at the ETRA 2018 (ACM Symposium on Eye Tracking Research & Applications).
In their talk, they presented a new method that allowed measuring the cognitive workload through changes of the pupil. The new approach is more broadly applicable than previous methods and, thanks to the use of Machine Learning, is able to determine the workload during an experiment in real time. The possible applications are diverse: For example, the level of difficulty of a learning exercise could be adjusted so that learners feel neither unchallenged nor overwhelmed.
The price was awarded in Warsaw, after the contribution had prevailed against 84 other Early Investigator Papers. The contribution emerged from cooperation between the IWM, the Graduate and Research Network LEAD and the Perception Engineering Group of the University of Tübingen. It is a model for the successful interplay between basics of psychology, IT knowhow and applications of educational research.

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On 20 June, Prof. Dr. Katharina Scheiter of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) will present her report and comments on cross-national cooperation regarding “Digitization and Education” at the Landesinstitut für Lehrerbildung und Schulentwicklung (Institute of Teacher Education and Educational Development) in Hamburg. Afterwards, she will talk in a group discussion with Prof. Dr. Josef Keuffer, head of the Landesinstitut, and with Udo Michallik, Secretary of the KMK, about future steps and implications.
The KMK about the conference: "The topic „Digitization and Education“ is  currently ubiquitous. The implementation in school and education as well as in training of pedagogic staff is both challenging and complex. The event “Digitization and Education – Strengthening Teachers” form 19 to 20 June 2018 in Hamburg provides a platform for mutual exchange. Its aim is to learn from each other by sharing ideas and experiences on the following questions: Which methods can be used for the qualification of the target groups? How can we reach as many teachers as possible in terms of numbers and content? What role do universities and the training of teachers play? What strategies have proved to be efficient?"
Prof. Dr. Katharina Scheiter is head of the Multiple Representations Lab at the IWM and full professor for Empirical Research on Learning and Instruction at the University of Tübingen. Together with her research group, she investigates cognitive processes underlying learning from multiple representations as well as means of supporting these processes. Results from this research are used to design digital textbooks and tablet-based applications for education.


The meeting “Leibniz im Bundestag” of the Leibniz Association brings together scientists and politicians. The use of digital media in education, learning and teaching with media and media literacy are the main topics of the talk of Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress, head of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM). On 5 June, Cress will meet Birke Bull- Bischoff (Die Linke) and with Dr. Wiebke Esdar (SPD) on 6 June.
The IWM is the only German research institute that examines knowledge processes in times of digitization. New technologies are ubiquitous, their progress rapid. Just as diverse are the questions on this development: How can digital media be used to improve knowledge processes? How can they deepen and optimize our understanding? Which role do they play in the transfer of knowledge? At the IWM, we answer tomorrow's questions today. “A central task of our country is to get children and adults fit for the digital era,” says Cress. “And researchers can make an important contribution to that. That is why I consider “Science meets politics” as an excellent discussion panel.”

2018-05-17  |  What are Experts, what are Laypersons? – Ulrike Cress about Citizen Science at the German Foundation Congress 2018
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Digitization is a social development, which encompasses nearly all aspects of our life. Now it’s up to the members of society to shape the changes through digitization responsibly. This responsibility particularly affects foundations. On this current occasion, this year’s German Foundation Congress, which takes place from May 16 to May 18 in Nürnberg, deals with the main topic “Update! Foundations and Digitization”.
Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress, director of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) and head of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen (WCT), gives a speech to the working group Science and Research of the Association of German Foundations on “What are experts, what are laypersons? How digitization changes the knowledge system”. Background is that digitization facilitates the participation of laypersons in science (Citizen Science) and might counteract the increasing estrangement of science and citizens.
 Can Citizen Science help bring citizens closer to science again by making them co-actors? This talk examines the possible contribution of Citizen Science to the meanwhile highly complex science and the limits of this cooperation. The talk will be commented by Manuel J. Hartung, head of the section ZEIT-Chancen.

2018-05-09  |  Learning calculating with fingers – Korbinian Moeller talks on Deutschlandfunk about learning aids and their use
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Almost all children use their fingers for counting and calculating. But there is still disagreement whether fingers are useful for learning. For a short time counting with fingers was even forbidden in class rooms.

The so called finger-based numerical learning is part of the research of psychologist Korbinian Moeller. He studies the cognitive and neuronal underpinnings of numerical competencies employing latest neuro-cognitive methods with his junior research lab Neuro-cognitive Plasticity at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM).
His research demonstrates: Fingers are important for initial calculation and counting as well as for the understanding of cardinal numbers. “Fingers are good,” says Moeller in a radio feature on Deutschlandfunk, “since they are more than just a tool. Children, who count with their fingers, play finger games, count loudly or point on numbers, use different channels while learning math: Seeing, hearing and feeling numbers they are able to better retain numbers.” In the interview for Deutschlandfunk Kultur he explains among other things the concerns of people rejecting counting with finger and which advantages it actually offers.
Listen to the full interview here (German only).

2018-05-04  |  Arguments, Emotions, and News distribution in social media: Two new projects of the University of Stuttgart at the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen „Cognitive Interfaces“
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The Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen (WCT) will be expanded through an association of two projects located at the University of Stuttgart in May 2018. The projects, which are formed by tandem partners from the IWM and the University of Stuttgart, will be financed for a term of three years by the University of Stuttgart. This association is an important preparatory work for the Excellence Cluster proposal “Understanding understanding: language and text”, which was submitted by the Universities of Stuttgart and Tübingen jointly with the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien.
The Scientific Advisory Board of the WCT recommended the projects “Emotion and argument in digital information environments“ by Prof. Dr. Sebastian Padó, Dr. Roman Klinger (Institute for Natural Language Processing of the University of Stuttgart) and Prof. Dr. Kai Sassenberg (IWM) as well as “Visual analysis of context changes in (social) media contributions“ by Prof. Dr. Thomas Ertl, Dr. Steffen Koch (Institute for Visualisation and Interactive Systems of the University of Stuttgart) and Prof. Dr. Sonja Utz (IWM) to be associated with the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen.

Press Release


The use of serious games has received increasing attention – also in health care. Serious games have already been used in clinical medicine, surgery and public health successfully, allowing participants to observe the impact of their decision-making, practice clinical skills safely, and exposing them to infrequent yet critical scenarios.
Researches, clinicals and game designer have discussed future implementation and challenges of health games at the International Summit on Serious Health Games of the Imperial College London on March 20. Dr. Manuel Ninaus of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien shows as keynote speaker the importance of emotional engagement in games. In his research Ninaus focuses on game-based learning environments. His motivational approach and his different evaluation methods are crucial for the use of serious games in the health sector.

2018-03-15  |  Second Meeting of the WissenschaftsCampus "Cognitive Interfaces"
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On 2 March 2018, the second meeting of the Leibniz ScienceCampus “Cognitive Interfaces” took place at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM). The meeting aimed to discuss first results of pre-tests and studies as well as current developments that have arisen from present findings.
All 14 projects presented their current status of work in a poster session to the Scientific Advisory Board. It revealed the diversity of the projects, all focusing on the question, how thinking, action and work can be improved by human computer interfaces. Hereby, multidisciplinarity is the defining feature through cooperation between psychology, computer science, medicine, dentistry, didactics of biology, media science, educational science and sports science.
After the short presentations practical relevance – for example the applicability of an app for patients with osteoarthritis – and contribution to the development of psychological theories were discussed. Overall, the meeting showed how well the projects are progressing. The dyadic teams of IWM employees and scientists of Tübingen University allow the experience of intensive interdisciplinary work.

Short project description

2018-03-15  |  Replacement of the coordination position of Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus

Since March 2018, Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen is coordinated by Dr. Manuela Lanwermeyer.