Digital Transformation in Higher Education: Theoretical and Methodological Issues

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted educational practices overnight. Lockdowns around the globe required a rapid shift from conventional to distance teaching and learning. From a scholarly perspective, drawing the right conclusions for teaching and learning practices in the aftermath of the pandemic is of great importance. Central to this is the question of how learning can be enhanced integrating educational technology to best foster students.

A research collaboration between the Institute of Educational Sciences (Prof. Dr. Elena Makarova), the University of Strasbourg (Prof. Dr. Jacques Audran) and the University of Haute-Alsace (Prof. Dr. Dominique Kern) has been in place since April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the research, lecturers were surveyed during the first university lockdown about the abrupt transition to online teaching and the associated challenges and potentials. The first publications have since appeared, and others are in the review process The data and findings provide information about what happened during the transition to online teaching during the lockdown and allow conclusions to be drawn about the future design and preparation of teaching at universities.

In this PhD seminar,  participants will gain a broader perspective on the digital transformation of higher education institutions. The idea is to jointly design the cross-border seminar, that not only covers the theoretical and methodological goals, but also promotes Eucor networking among students.

The two-day seminar will take place in the third quarter of 2022 on Fridays 7/10 and 25/11. It will be possible to work on theoretical and methodological elements. The seminar foresees that the PhD students will present their research in a cooperative manner (languages: English, German and French), and will position themselves in the research field. The doctoral students will compare and contrast their theoretical and methodological approaches in order to bring out different research questions and methods. Thus, groups will be able to present the progress of their work during the final session of the seminar and maybe prepare a joint publication.

Three parts are planned:

1st part: theoretical and empirical introduction to the topic (at the Universität Basel)
2nd part: online collaboration
3rd part: presentation and discussion of the projects (at the Université de Strasbourg)

PhD students will have the opportunity to gain insights into current research from renowned keynote speakers and, on the other hand, to network within Eucor based on exemplary research collaborations.

The seminar is partly conducted in an online mode. With an introductory face-to-face event in Basel and concluding face-to-face event in Strasbourg. Thus, students are offered an on-site opportunity to network and exchange ideas.

Learning Objectives

Students …

- know the effects of the digital transformation on higher education and teaching.
- can transfer theoretical principles of the digital transformation to the development of higher education institutions (learning organizations) as well as to the professional development.
-  will be familiar with trends and new developments in educational technologies and their use in higher education.
- can identify strengths and weaknesses of educational technologies in the educational context of higher education.
- will understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on higher education institutions and the accelerated digital transformation it has brought.
- measure the importance of the Green IT for digital transformation.
- are aware of the perception of risk and opportunity among stakeholders and users at higher education institutions.


This seminar is conducted in collaboration with Eucor - The European Campus.

Seminar Details


Autumn 2022


    1. Part: Friday, 07.10.2022, 10:00-17:00h, Universität Basel
    2. Part: online
    3. Part: Friday, 25.11.2022, 10:00-17:00h, Université de Strasbourg

    Admission requirements:

    • Eucor PhD student in educational sciences
    • PhD project or keen interest in the topic of digital transformation of higher education

    Travel and expenses

    • Travel expenses are reimbursed
    • Lunch and refreshments during the seminar will be provided


    Organizing Eucor Universities:

    • Universität Basel
    • Université de Haute-Alsace
    • Université de Strasbourg

    Seminar Committee:

    • Prof. Dr. Jacques Audran (UdS)
    • Prof. Dr. Dominique Kern (UHA)
    • Prof. Dr. Elena Makarova (unibas)
    • Tomas Kaqinari (unibas)

    Keynote Speaker

    • Prof. Dr. Bernadette Charlier (Université de Fribourg)


    Tomas Kaqinari
    Tel. +41 61 207 53 12