Outstanding Teachers

Interesting and innovative: That’s WU’s teaching in a nutshell. Our teachers were recognized for their efforts with numerous national and international awards in 2016.

State Award for Excellence in Teaching

Two of a total of five Ars Docendi awards, the state award for excellence in teaching at Austria’s public universities, went to WU in 2016.

Business Project

In this course, teams of bachelor’s students work on a business case study together with companies. Master’s-level students lead the teams as supervisors. Everyone wins: Bachelor’s students have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in class in a real-life situation, while master’s students learn to handle management issues like time pressure, problems with communication and motivation, and competence conflicts. The group members reflect on their experiences throughout the semester and discuss their thoughts with the course instructor, providing them with a “sandbox” to safely try out their first steps in business and develop their personalities.

Gerhard Speckbacher, Aleksandra Klein, and Gerhard Posch from WU’s Institute for Strategic Management and Management Control were awarded the Ars Docendi in the category “Cooperative forms of university teaching and learning across universities and disciplines.”

Globalization and Social Policy II

In the course Globalization and Social Policy II, students focus on specific scientific questions and theories and develop their own research question. The main objective is to produce and communicate research output intended for the public, meaning that students have to find appropriate vehicles for publishing their work. In addition to learning about the subject at hand, students also become familiar with the entire research project cycle.

Course instructors Ulrike Schneider and August Österle received the award in the category “Research-based learning and skill mastery on bachelor’s and master’s levels.”

CEMS Course of the Year Award

As in past years, WU received two of the prestigious CEMS Course of the Year Awards. One of them went to Phillip Nell for his course Global Strategic Management. The course is characterized by a mix of traditional and innovative teaching methods, and aims to encourage critical thinking and to give its students a deeper understanding of complex topics like corporate internationalization, subsidiaries, and emerging economies.

Phillip Nell and his colleague Diego Stea from the Copenhagen Business School were pleased to receive the Block Seminar of the Year Award for their seminar Strategy as Practice – Critical Thinking, Problem Formulation, and Biases. Unlike traditional strategy courses, the seminar is based on findings from behavioral science and examines decision-making processes, cognitive dissonance, and logical fallacies from this perspective. This gives students new insights into the strategic management of organizations.

Excellent and Innovative Teaching

WU’s best teachers were honored with Excellent Teaching Awards and Innovative Teaching Awards at the WU Awards ceremony in June.

Students were asked to nominate their favorite teachers for the Excellent Teaching Awards for the first time in 2016. Student participation exceeded all expectations: Approximately 3,000 students nominated a total of 720 teachers for the award. These numbers are an impressive confirmation of the high quality of WU’s teaching. Qualities that students appreciated the most in their instructors included a captivating and motivational speaking style, a diverse teaching concept, practical relevance, and a pleasant classroom atmosphere. The students’ nominations and the evaluation results of the respective courses were presented to a jury, who then selected eleven award winners.

For the Innovative Teaching Awards, the jury selects nine course designs that incorporate new ideas and approaches in the classroom. Innovative approaches in 2016 included collaborations between science and art, cooperation with coaches from the business community, teaching and learning across disciplines, sectors, and universities, and new forms of student assessment. The special eTeaching Award for outstanding eLearning projects was also presented.

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