Here you will find an overview of current and completed research projects of the Chair.

voLeA-TraIn – Transfer and individualisation of video-based teaching and assessment modules for communication skills in medical training

Principle Investigators: voLeA is a cooperation of


Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

FKZ: 16DHB2202

Research Employee project strand at University of Erfurt:

  • Sabine Reiser

What is voLeA-TraIn about?

Communication with patients is one of the core activities of physicians. Good professional communication by physician can facilitate rapport with patients, their compliance, and may even promote recovery processes. Therefore, current standards of medical education include comprehensive communication training. Realizing this on a large scale, however, constitutes a major challenge for medical faculties in terms of time and resources. This load can be mitigated through innovative digital and video-based learning and assessment formats that complement existing forms of communication trainings. 

The project voLeA-TraIn seeks to transfer the virtual, video-based teaching and learning modules for training and assessing medical communication skills developed in the first funding phase (voLeA) to cooperating medical faculties for sustainable use. The transfer process is accompanied by intensive scientific research. In addition, we are further developing the modules with elements for individual learning support in order to optimise their quality, effectiveness and attractiveness for use in higher education teaching. In Erfurt, the video-based situational judgement test for physician-patient conversation (Video-based Assessment of Medical Communication Competence - VA-MeCo) is being expanded to include features that enable students to receive feedback on their test performance and thus support them in the learning process. Therefore, the test can be used not only to record learning success, but also as a didactic tool to accompany learning.

Contact for project strand at University of Erfurt:

Johannes Bauer, Sabine Reiser

Age of Reason Reloaded: Changing Irrational Beliefs and Promotion of Scientific Thinking (University of Erfurt, ProForschung20)

Project Cooperation:

AuRel is a cooperation project of the chair of Empirical Educational Research and Methodology (Prof. Dr. Johannes Bauer, Dr. Eva Thomm) and the chair of Social, Organisational and Economic Psychology (Prof. Dr. Tilmann Betsch).


University of Erfurt - ProForschung20 Program

Research employees:

  • Holger Futterleib (Empirical Educational Research and Methodology)
  • Leonie Aßmann (Social, Organisational, and Economic Psychology)

Affiliated partner:

  • Jun.-Prof. Dr. Bernadette Gold (Professional Development and Teacher Education) 

What is AuRel about?

Participating responsibly in today’s knowledge societies requires scientifically literate citizens who are able to make well-informed decisions in everyday and professional life. Frequently, this means to take research-based expert knowledge into account. This is relevant in personal affairs, e.g. when deciding for or against getting a flu vaccination, but also in work life. Professionalism also requires individuals to act and decide based on the best available knowledge. This is highlighted in calls for evidence-based practice, most prominently visible in medicine, but also in education. However, even though rational decision making and scientific literacy are a core of civic participation in democratic societies, we witness strong tendencies of devaluating scientific knowledge in public discourses and even by political authorities. 

In this context, the AuRel project aims to analyze how people, who are not researchers (laypeople), can make use of scientific information and how barriers to do so can be mitigated. Specifically, we examine relevant cognitive skills, on the one hand, and motivational orientations, beliefs and values, on the other hand, that supposedly shape the ways in which laypeople select, interpret and use scientific evidence. The specific focus of the studies in our lab is on the reception and usage of evidence from educational research by teachers. For example, we investigate the effect of pre-existing misconceptions about educational topics on the evaluation of related scientific evidence. 

Evidence-based practice, scientific thinking and argumentation


Own funds

What is it about?

Further information will follow shortly.


Eva Thomm

Educational misconceptions


Own funds

What is it about?

Many people believe that tailoring instruction to a person’s learning style leads to more successful learning. However, this is a very popular educational myth. Educational myths are widespread assumptions about educational topics that contradict current research. Such false or questionable beliefs are often very stable and cannot be easily changed by providing scientific knowledge. This is especially problematic when questionable beliefs, for example among (preservice) teachers are the basis of decisions and professional action in education. Such misconceptions can also have consequences in everyday life – for example, when parents seek information about educational topics such as the effectiveness of class repetition, or when social and political decisions are made based on such assumptions.

The goal of our research is to understand and refute educational myths. Therefore, we address the questions of how to measure questionable beliefs about educational issues, which individual characteristics predict them, and which intervention strategies are effective for conceptual change.

Earlier projects

Further information will follow shortly.