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One could also say that St. Nicholas brought something special to Dr. Jürgen Buder: The provisional head of the Knowledge Exchange Lab at the IWM has now received the "Best Reviewer Award" of the International Conference on Computers in Education (ICCE). The ICCE is organised by the Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education (APSCE), whose main objective is to promote the conduct and communication of scientific research related to all aspects of the use of computers in education.
"The job of a reviewer is immensely important, but usually receives little appreciation. You put a lot of effort into detailed feedback, but remain invisible in the background," explains Buder, who usually writes one to two-page reviews on scientific articles of the programme. For the first time, the ICCE is now paying tribute to reviewers who help the authors to improve their papers and inspire them to advance their research with particularly constructive comments. The award was presented at this year's conference, which takes place in Taiwan from 2 to 6 December. In the best reviewer manner, Jürgen Buder remained in the background and accepted the award in Tübingen due to time constraints.

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The new board of the Serious Games Society has been elected: At the Games and Learning Alliance Conference (GALA 2019) in Athens from 27 to 29 November, five new members were selected. Among them is IWM scientist Dr. Manuel Ninaus (second from right), who was appointed to the board for the second time.
The Serious Games Society purpose is to foster science, technological innovation and excellence in the field of Serious Games and Gamification – that means digital but also analogue games that are designed for a primary purpose other than pure entertainment. As a founding member, Manuel Ninaus has been contributing his psychological and neuroscientific expertise in game-based learning to the interdisciplinary association of universities, research centres and companies since 2014. The expert has already played an active role in shaping the company as a board member in the last period. From January 2020, he will continue this work for another two years. His main tasks include the publication of the Open Access journal International Journal of Serious Games and the organisation of the annual GALA and Serious Games Competition.

191202 DFG Fachkollegienwahl

Applying for funding is not easy. No less difficult is the selection of applications that are eligible for funding. Prof. Dr. Katharina Scheiter will now also get to know this side of the scientific process. The head of the IWM Lab Multiple Representations was elected to the Review Board "Developmental Psychology and Educational Psychology" of the German Research Foundation (DFG) on 22th of November. The DFG's 49 Review Boards are key players in the scientific evaluation of proposals: The main task of the members is to discuss these proposals in their respective disciplines and to recommend funding to the DFG's decision-making bodies.
Starting in January 2020, Katharina Scheiter will hold this office for four years - on a voluntary basis. What motivates her is the quality assurance of DFG-funded research: "The Review Boards play a major role in this by making funding recommendations based on consistent criteria. In addition, the work offers me an in-depth insight into the range of psychological research in my field".

2019-10-18  |  A look back at the International Autumn School 2019
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After four intensive days, the International Autumn School "Cognitive Interfaces" ended last Friday. This year, about 20 international PhD students accepted the invitation of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen (WCT). From October, 8 to 11, they came together for lectures and workshops to discover new cross-disciplinary perspectives and to identify potential research projects.

How can digital technologies support knowledge-intensive processes and what are the implications? The participants worked intensively on these overarching questions with renowned experts in biomedical informatics, Vimla L. Patel (New York Academy of Medicine, Arizona State University) and Edward H. Shortliffe as well as Evan F. Risko, one of the leading representatives of cognitive offloading research.

In addition to the interdisciplinary exchange, the aim of the workshop was to identify new research gaps in order to derive future-oriented research projects from them. The results were impressive: Project ideas were developed in interdisciplinary research teams on digital technologies in medicine as well as individual pre-registered research projects in the field of cognitive offloading.
"The workshop was very enriching. Critical questions stimulated exciting discussions in which all doctoral students could participate. It was very impressive to meet Evan Risko as an expert in this field and to learn from his expertise." summarizes Sandra Grinschgl the workshop "Cognitive Offloading". The individual feedback was also highly appreciated: "Receiving direct individual feedback on my research idea was very helpful to generate a research proposal in only two days," says Luotong Hui (Maastricht University, NL). The Autumn School thus laid the foundation for future projects: "We were able to put our heads together with people from completely different research areas and integrate their expertise into our own research field in order to jointly develop new research or project ideas. These opportunities are rather rare during a PhD, and they definitely have great learning potential," says Caroline Leroy, who attended the workshop on digital technology in medicine.
The promotion of PhDs is a central part of the Tübingen research network WCT. With the Autumn School, the WCT offered an interdisciplinary and international springboard to future collaboration.


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In 2018, Prof. Dr. Kai Sassenberg, head of the IWM's working group Social Processes, together with Dr. Micheal Vliek from the University of Amsterdam, edited the textbook "Social Psychology in Action: Evidence-Based Interventions from Theory to Practice", which was initially published as e-book by Springer-Verlag. Now the textbook on central theories in social psychology is also available in printed form. In 15 chapters, leading scientists summarize key concepts, their reliability and limitations and explain their application in researching different settings of life. IWM scientist Prof. Sonja Utz, for example, describes the application of social psychology theories to the emotional effects of social media use.
“Social Psychology in Action is targeting advanced undergraduate and graduate students in social psychology, as well as students of neighbouring fields. Since it can be successfully applied to benefit social and practical problems, it is also useful to practitioners working, for example, in the fields of health communication and educational science.

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Leading scientists from the area of numerical cognition met at the 1st Winterschool on Numerical Cognition in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, from 5th to 9th of August in order to discuss latest research results. The exchange was initiated and organized by the Developmental Neuropsychology Laboratory of the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais and the junior research group Neuro-cognitive Plasticity of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien. The two institutions have cooperated in the DAAD funded project “A genetic and cross-linguistic Brazilian-German approach to children's numerical development” since March 2018.

In collaboration with the Brazilian partners Prof. Vitor Haase, Prof. Raquel Carvalho and Prof. Júlia Silva, Prof. Korbinian Möller, head of the junior research group, and his colleague Dr. Julia Bahnmüller had set up the first international meeting of this kind. A total of 50 researchers spend five days on the exchange of ideas across disciplines.

The top topics, in the eyes of Prof. Möller, included the influence of cultural and linguistic peculiarities (i.e. the so-called inversion of Germen number words, 21 = einundzwanzig = twenty and one) as well as of genetic factors on the development of numerical skills but also fear of arithmetic. The question of how concrete research results can have an effect on teaching and learning of numerical skills was also intensively discussed. Korbinian Möller himself provided two contributions to the program and focussed on neuronal correlates of numerical learning and embodied training of numerical abilities. Postdoc Julia Bahnmüller held a lecture on the linguistic influences on numerical processes.

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20190701 NG Moeller MCLS

We are confronted by numbers and math on a daily basis. Yet our knowledge of how people process figures is still emerging. This growing knowledge was explored by nearly 250 scientists at the Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society (MCLS) conference in Ottawa, Canada from June 16 to 18.

Roberta Barrocas, researcher in the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen project “Digits grasp digits” had also travelled overseas with Dr. Julia Bahnmüller and Silke Bieck from the junior research group Neuro-cognitive Plasticity of the IWM to present their work. The scientists have been researching numerical cognition for years with particular interest being paid to the neural correlates of number processing as well as its development during childhood. Junior scientist Roberta Barrocas discussed, whether counting with fingers promotes numerical learning in children – a topic which especially targeted teachers who were invited to the conference as well.

2019-06-06 ICA

The International Communication Association (ICA) is considered as the world's largest professional association in communication science. This year, about 3700 experts met at the 69th ICA Conference in Washington, USA from May 24 to 28, including scientists from the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen.

In an interdisciplinary panel on the regulation of online platforms, Dr. Jürgen Buder, project leader of the WCT project "Debiasing Social Media Use", gave an overview of the empirical state of research on echo chambers. The presentation was accompanied by a lecture in which data from a Twitter study of the WCT project on echo chambers were presented (Prof. Dr. Guido Zurstiege and Mandy Badermann). This study revealed that people who are mainly connected with like-minded people on Twitter write more extreme contributions than people in mixed networks. The panel then discussed the extent to which legislative institutions can benefit from such social science research findings when considering the regulation of online platforms.

Prof. Dr. Sonja Utz, project leader of the WCT project "Contact Recommendation Systems" and head of the junior research group Social Media, was also represented with her team. In a joint paper the scientists presented findings of a study on a new phenomenon in times of permanent smartphone use: Nomophobia (short for “no-mobile-phone-phobia”), the fear of being cut off from one’s social environment and important information when not having a mobile phone.


Who researches what, how and why in Tübingen? Once a year the “Tübinger Fenster für Forschung” (Tübingen Window for Research) grants insights which are normally denied to the public. On May 24, scientists of the University of Tübingen, the hospital and non-university research institutes presented their research projects. Curious guests of all age groups could observe tiniest organisms under microscopes, measure CO2 in the air and immerse into virtual worlds. Visitors were also drawn to the interactive stations of the IWM: With the educational game “Crabs and Turtles” IWM scientist Katerina Tsarava demonstrated at her booth how computing concepts can be learned in a playful way. Furthermore, the App, that was developed within the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus project “Digits grasp Digits” could be explored by the public. At the station of the digital classroom Tübingen Digital Teaching Lab (TüDiLab) visitors could try out learning applications on tablets and thus gain impressions of future teaching. "Our research attracted many visitors. They particularly enjoyed eye-tracking which we use to record eye movements while learning on the computer," reports Dr. Juliane Richter, coordinator of the TüDiLab at the IWM and WCT project partner of the project “Fostering image reading skills”.

2019-05-14  |  Visualization Research Centre welcomes scientists of the IWM
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How can huge amounts of complex research data be visualized and analyzed? This is one of the main research foci of the Visualization Research Centre (VISUS) of the University of Stuttgart. On May 13, 2019 scientists from the IWM had the opportunity to experience the excellent research of the VISUS at various demo stations: large-scale visualization of molecular dynamics simulations or the virtual flight across the globe on the powerwall as well as architectural models in augmented reality and the visualization of news distribution mechanisms showed how diverse and impressive the visualization of complex data sets can be.

Beside the presentation of research, the meeting was also used as an opportunity to identify interfaces between the IWM and VISUS. Within the framework of the project "Context changes in social media contributions” of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen "Cognitive Interfaces" there is already a close cooperation between IWM and the VIS (Institute for Visualization and Interactive Systems, University of Stuttgart). In addition the IWM offers further cooperation opportunities, such as the use of visualizations in education, which will be explored in the future.

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The International Autumn School "Cognitive Interfaces" of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen will take place from October 8 - 11, 2019 in Bad Teinach, Black Forest.

The Autumn School focuses on the complex interplay of digital technologies and human interaction. How do interfaces between humans and digital technologies need to be designed to encourage optimal knowledge acquisition, understanding and exchange, as well as optimal decision-making and what challenges and potentials are associated with this? These are the leading questions of the Autumn School 2019. 

Across two parallel workshop tracks, the Autumn School provides the framework for interested doctoral students and post-docs to exchange ideas, develop research ideas and discuss recent developments from a scientific point of view and to expand their interdisciplinary network.  

Trackleaders and keynote speakers are leading scientists in psychology and biomedical(informatics): Vimla L. Patel & Edward H. Shortliffe (Track: Digital Technology in Medicine) and Evan F. Risko (Track: Cognitive Offloading). Participation in the Autumn School is free of charge.


The Lab Information Days were launched in 2018 with the aim of fostering scientific exchange and networking among researchers within the IWM. The third edition of the Lab Information Days took place from May, 6 - 7. The focus this time was to present ideas and innovations that have already found their way into practice. Four projects of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen took part in the Lab Information Days and presented their practice-oriented research. The scientists showed their innovations at various demo stations. For example, the user interface of the Interactive Ward Round Table could be tested, impressions of the Sectio Chirurgica, as a cooperation partner of the project on medical online platforms were shown. Furthermore the game Semideus which is used in research on game-based learning environments could be played on tablets and the current research on contact recommendation systems and the network page developed for this purpose were presented at the IWM.

190426 Le Figaro

Social media make you depressed. This disturbing headline is not only circulating in German media. One of the most important daily journals of France, Le Figaro, dedicated a double-page special to social media usage in April. On the question of whether we are actually happier without a social media account, the national paper asked the expert opinion of Prof. Dr. Sonja Utz from the IWM. The psychologist, head of the junior research group Social Media and project partner of the WCT project Context changes in Social Media contributions, has been researching the effects of media usage for years and gave good news in the interview. Most scientific studies only showed short-term negative effects of media use for a small group of test subjects which, however, could hardly be mapped on the entire population. In the feature the scientist explained how our well-being is rather influenced by the way we use social media - both negatively and positively.

To the French online article (fee required)

2019-03-30  |  5th Campus Meeting of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen

On March 29, about 40 project partners of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen met at the 5th campus meeting at the IWM. The aim of the event was to present the progress and challenges of the 16 research projects within an open format, to discuss them and to strengthen the cross-project exchange.

From the research focuses of the projects, four contexts can be identified, which were addressed in two parallel sessions: While session 1 focused on projects with a focus on touch as well as school and learning environments, session 2 focused on projects with a focus on social media and the medical context.

The flexible format and thematic clustering of the projects offered the opportunity to network and to establish concrete links between the projects. Through the close exchange of experiences, suggestions and impulses for further research and ideas for joint research activities could be gained.


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Presenting scientific research to a non-expert audience in an entertaining, understandable and creative way in a very short amount of time is the aim of a Science Slam. That’s what Lisa Rabl, Ph.D. candidate in the WCT, achieved at the Science Slam that took place on February 20th at the Kupferbau. The event was organized by the Graduate Academy of the University of Tübingen in cooperation with the faculties. In her talk, entitled “I touched it, it's mine now”, she explained the theory on psychological ownership and presented the topic of her dissertation in less than 10 minutes. In her dissertation she deals with the question if the usage of touchscreens has an effect on attitude change.
Six Ph.D. candidates of different disciplines presented their research topic in front of a large audience: More than 650 people came to attend the Science Slam.
You can find the whole Science Slam on www.timms.uni-tuebingen.de

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What happens in the TueDiLab (Tübingen Digital Teaching Lab)? The research magazine attempto! of the University of Tübingen has investigated this question. In the current issue, the magazine reports on a lesson in the high-tech classroom of the IWM.  Prof. Dr. Katharina Scheiter, head of Multiple Representations, explains how digital media and state-of-the-art technology are used to research and teach the lessons of the future.

Link to the article (PDF)

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With effect to January 1, 2019, the head of the IWM, Ulrike Cress, has been elected new deputy speaker of the Tübingen Research Campus. “The TRC is a forum of exchange between the different research organisations and provides a basis for joint activities”, says Ulrike Cress on the advantages of the cooperation. The Tübingen Research Campus founded in 2016 aims at intensifying the cooperation between the local research institutions and offers joint services to the scientists who like to come to Tübingen.