Universit├Ąt Rostock - Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Institute of Computer Science

Contact person:  Alke Martens 

alke.martens [at] googlemail.com

is leader of the research group Practical Informatics  at the Institute of Computer Science, University of Rostock, Germany.

Her current research interests are formal methods, software engineering, modeling and simulation, teaching and training systems, and a combination thereof, e.g. in game-based learning. At the University of Rostock, she is responsible for education of computer science teachers (all forms of schools), so she is also active as researcher in the field of instructional design (didactics) in computer science and empirical research in the context of digitally enhanced education. She was and is involved in several (national and international) projects, has served as chair, co-chair and track chair of international conferences and workshops, and is as scientific editor and reviewer for several journals. More about her work and research can be found at the PI website.

She is one also founder of Ada Lovelace Private Institute of Communication and Knowledge Transfer (InKoWi) GmbH & Co.KG (funded in 2015), focused on  design, (software) development, and research in the fields of creative industries and human computer interaction.



Description of the smart city learning group operating in the affiliated institution


The Practical Informatics Working Group at the Institute of Computer Science, University of Rostock, has currently five phd. candidates and one postdoc. All of them are working in the directions teaching and learning with digital media. We have the perspective of instructional design of new forms of teaching (e.g. digital lectures, alternative teaching strategies, and alternatives in organizing University education in the digital age), and new forms of access of student knowledge and knowledge development during lectures and in post-lecture phases. We have a broad expertise in game based learning, based on software engineering methods. Here, we also work on special eLearning aspects like adaptation, visualization, music adaptation and so forth. Deeper in model development in computer science, we are working on models of cognition regarding games and learning. Another sector of research is the field of empirical studies in digital learning. Here we are currently developing a set of methods for investigating digital teaching and learning scenarios from different perspectives.  At the University of Rostock, we are responsible for teacher education in computer science.

An underlying field, which is relevant in all of our different branches of research is individual knowledge management and the development of investigation methods and of supporting methods.

In general, we are working with formal models at different levels of granularity, from mathematical models up to graphical models. Our software development approaches are all generic and based on software engineering methods. 

At the Institute of Computer Science, we also have other working groups, which are working at large on 'smartness'.





• Design, development and support of digitalization strategies at Universities


• Design, development and empirical investigation of digital teaching and training systems


• Empirical investigation of digitally supported teaching and training situations


• Design, development and empirical investigation of eLearning content  


• Mediation and communication support in interdisciplinary research 



Relevant achievements, best practices, products


Relevant achievements


• The Tutoring Process Model – formal model for development of adaptation processes in Intelligent Tutoring Systems


• Generic Software Model for Game-based Learning for role playing games


• Process Development Model for eLearning System development




• WebLab South Baltic WebLab, Funded by: SouthBaltic Cross-border Co-operation Programm

• eLearning Skills – Collaboration Tools, Funded by: Life Long Learning Programme, Erasmus, Intensive Programme (IP) 

• BioMoSi Modeling and Simulation for Biologists, Funded by: DFG

• IndIA 2.0 Web 2.0 in the education at vocational schools, direction computer science. Funded by: BMBF



On going challenges


The challenges in the group are mainly steered by the idea of development of education in the digital age, the role of information and of computer science in this context.We think that:


•  Computer Science at schools is necessary to support algorithmic thinking, modelling, and the responsible treatment of information.


•  Digitally enhanced learning can be an optimization of educational processes, if it is developed based on software engineering methods and has a sound didactical (instructional) basis. Including the fact that the decision regarding which medium to use in the instruction has to be part of the instructional design (and not vice versa)


• Empirical investigation of digitally enhanced teaching and learning is possible, but required a fine grained study design.


• Individual knowledge management is the basic requirement in modern (working and after-work) societies and helps to support research due to focused and content related communication in inter disciplinary groups.



Relevant publications


• Martens, A. 

“Software Engineering and Modeling in TEL”

In: R. Huang etal. (eds.), The New Development of Technology Enhanced Learning: Concept, Research andBest Practices, Lecture Notes in Educational Technology, Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, Germany, 2015

• Martens, A., Malzahn, N., Hoppe, H.U. 

“Pattern-Based Approaches to Introducing New Technologies in Vocational Training” 

In: ICT in Education in Global Context, Ronghuai Huang, Kinshuk, Jon K. Price (Eds.), Springer Verlag Lecture Notes in Educational Technology, ISBN: 978-3-662-43926-5 (Print) 978-3-662-43927-2 (Online), Pp. 199-141, 2014

• Maciuszek, D., Weicht, M., Martens, A.

“Composing game-based learning scenarios by connecting instructional design patterns” 

In P. Felicia (Hrsg.): Game-Based Learning: Challenges and Opportunities. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, S. 29-54, 2014

• Maciuszek, D. and Martens, A. 

“Balancing Instruction and Construction in Virtual World Learning” 

In: Serious Games and Multi-User Virtual Environments in Professional Development and Healthcare, Bredl, K. (Hrsg). IGI Global, 2013

• Maciuszek, D., Ladhoff, S., Martens, A. 

“Content design patterns for Game-based Learning” 

In P. Felicia (Hrsg.): Developments in Current Game-Based Learning Design and Deployment. Hershey, PA, USA: IGI Global, S. 118-135, 2013

• Maciuszek, D. and Martens, A.

“A Reference Architecture for Game-based Intelligent Tutoring'

In: P. Felicia (ed) Handbook of Research on Improving Learning and Motivation through Educational Games: Multidisciplinary Approaches, IGI Global. (ISBN 978-1609604950), 2011

• Ruddeck, G., Martens, A., Maciuszek, D., Weicht, M. 

“Communication Patterns in Component-Based Intelligent Tutoring Systems” 

in: The European Journal for Informatics Professional, Special Issue on ‘Engineering in eLearning Systems’.

• Maciuszek, D. and Martens, A. 

“Patterns for Designing Digital Educational Game Content”

International Journal on Game-based Learning, 2011

• Martens, A., Diener, H., Malo, S.

'Game-Based Learning with Computers: Learning, Simulations, and Games'

Transactions on Edutainment I, LNCS 5080-0172, 2008

• Martens, A., Hellmig, L. 

“Blends, Patterns und Flips, a Method-based Approach”

In: Proceedings of the ICALT 2014, IEEE International Conference on Advanced LearningTechnologies, Athens, Greece, 2014