Professor Ulrike Zitzlsperger

Multi-disciplinary programmes

Name Professor Ulrike Zitzlsperger


Director of Education for Modern Languages

College College of Humanities

Using technology to enhance learning

Ulrike Zitzlsperger’s research focuses on the culture and literature of Berlin in the twentieth century, with a particular focus on the historical and political impacts on semi-public spaces, such as hotels, department stores and train stations within this era.


E-assessment, as a part of e-learning, is “about the possibilities you have with formative and summative work, such as stimulating exercises that can be repeated; greater flexibility in terms of location and more straight-forward monitoring processes." The Modern Languages department is heavily involved in pioneering e-assessment, in order to improve the way students engage in their learning and how they are evaluated within the learning process. An example of this includes the ELE Quiz tools that Maria Lafuente-Marruedo has generated within the department.

With every innovative education tool, there are benefits and challenges. "Formative e-assessment has proved a very popular and helpful tool. Summative e-assessment is promising, but it is a learning process: we need to carefully monitor which tests are the most effective; we need to make sure that the environment in which the assessment takes place is reliable."

"E-learning reflects new ways of dealing with an abundance of information and it fosters collaboration, as discussions on ELE have shown." Using e-assessment tools within the learning process can benefit students in terms of their engagement with their studies and with each other. “Formative [e-assessment] has been extremely positive, because it has added so much flexibility in terms of location, timing, being able to repeat something, being able to adapt certain approaches… There’s been a really positive change.” Tools such as the discussions forums or blogs have delivered “amazing results that trigger focused and on-going debates outside the classroom. Potentially this is more inclusive, since it is less confrontational".

“Learning constantly changes, evolves; it’s never static.” Therefore, Ulrike believes e-learning is crucial for education and also for employability, as changing technologies is “part of the working life, therefore it must be also part of the learning process.” However, it is important to bear in mind that e-assessment will only be effective as part of wider ranging assessment tools.

Liberal Arts and Flexible Combined Honours

“The Liberal Arts programme is a bespoke pathway. You have a core interest, and you group other interests around it. It’s been around for quite some time, and it’s a really good way of approaching the demands of today… making you very employable for the market; the way it is now.”

The Flexible Combined Honours degree allows you to combine subjects of interest that would otherwise not be offered, such as Mathematics and Modern Languages. Both the Liberal Arts and Flexible Combined Honours programmes promote multidisciplinary learning.

Ulrike expresses how interdisciplinary learning is vital for the way we live and work in contemporary society: “We live in a multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-everything world. Therefore, we need to learn how to deal with considerable amounts of information and influences in an effective way. Taking an interdisciplinary approach reflects complex thinking; the ability to synthesise information and thereby facilitate results.”

Aim 6: Multi-disciplinary learning for global challenges 

To provide all students with the opportunity to explore the relevance of different disciplines to contemporary challenges facing the world

E-learning in Modern Languages

“You can combine very different skills… technology is really ideal”

Working at an interdisciplinary level

“Modern life is interdisciplinary…”