How does Corona feature in the DIE’s scientific work? Which aspects are being examined? By analysing and observing processes, it is our aim to provide support in handling the crisis, both in practice and policy. Here, we provide an overview of magazine articles, both published and planned, as well as blog entries, focal points, analyses and further formats.



Adult and continuing education under pandemic conditions. Challenges and perspectives

Issue 3/2021 of the Zeitschrift für Weiterbildungsforschung (Journal of Continuing Education Research) is dedicated to the impact of the Corona pandemic on adult and continuing education: Adult education in its social, cultural and professional contexts has changed with the pandemic. The effects can be seen in the social framework conditions, organisational prerequisites and formats as well as the forms of learning. The spectrum of topics and content has also shifted, as knowledge and skill requirements triggered indirectly or directly by the pandemic are reflected.

The consequences of the Corona pandemic for early childhood and school education are being intensively discussed in society. In addition, however, the question also arises as to how adult education is affected by the pandemic: Which life courses are delayed, broken, diverted in their direction or accelerated – permanently or temporarily? Which old privileges of participation in education are reinforced, which new disadvantages arise? What new demands will arise for educational staff? How do continuing education providers react to changing conditions and needs in the short and medium term? And above all, what exactly is the role of adult and continuing education?

First trends can be identified and initial findings are available on some aspects of these questions. The studies collected in this booklet to record the extremely diversified continuing education sector partly tie in with well-known, established studies and show changes. They refer in their data basis to the early phase of the pandemic in spring and summer 2020.  Continue reading (German only) >

DIE Trend Analysis 2021: scientifically sound basis for decisions in education policy and practice

Which current trends are relevant for continuing education? Who offers continuing education and who participates in it? What about the professionalisation of staff in continuing education? And what consequences does the Corona pandemic have for continuing education? The "DIE-Trendanalyse 2021" bundles the often scattered and difficult-to-access knowledge about continuing education in Germany, thus presenting the status quo of adult and continuing education in Germany and at the same time presenting a basis for decisions in educational policy and practice.

The complete DIE-Trendanalyse 2021 can be found here (German only) >

Es hat dramatische Einschnitte gegeben.
Magazin der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft vom 30.03.2021 mit Josef Schrader

Weiterbildungsbranche von Corona schwer getroffen
Deutschlandfunk, Campus & Karriere from 22.01.2021 with Peter Brandt

Trotz Trend zu Remote Work: Die erstaunliche Krise der Weiterbildung
WirtschaftsWoche Online 1/2021 with Johannes Christ

So geht digitale Weiterbildung
Zeit Online 1/2021 with Jan Koschorreck

After the first Germany-wide lockdown in spring 2020, which saw the closure of all cultural establishments, museums and other public institutions were gradually allowed to reopen in May 2020, under strict infection control hygiene measures. In the article Museum reopenings as seen from the (potential) visitor‘s perspective – spotlight on Germany, Dr. Inga Specht, from the DIE’s „Teaching, Learning and Counselling“ department, cooperated with the eight Leibniz Association research museums to examine visitors’ perceptions of museum reopenings and visits in the first phase of the Corona pandemic.

In their article “Education, health behavior, and working conditions during the pandemic: Evidence from a German sample”, Dr Kerstin Hoenig (DIE) and Dr. Sebastian Wenz (Gesis) consider the relationship between education and infection risk. The risk of contracting Corona is influenced on the one hand by an individual’s behaviour and on the other from structural factors, in particular working conditions. The article can be viewed via Open Access.

On 25.07.2020 the Deutschlandfunk radio programme „Campus & Karriere“ looked at the topic of “lifelong learning in times of crisis” and how the pandemic can be used to further one’s education. Dr. Sarah Widany represented the DIE in the discussion, reporting on the results of the national educational report. Listen to the report on (Dr. Sarah Widany can be heard at 18.15 minutes.)

Fleige, M., Gieseke, W. & Robak, S. (2020). Wir brauchen ein breites Bündnis für die Kulturelle Erwachsenenbildung. Blog entry by J. M. Wiarda. Available at [02.07.2020].

The EPALE blog entry „Adult educators and researchers under quarantine“ by Dr. Alexandra Ioannidou examines the restrictions experienced by further education researchers and teachers during the global lockdown.

wb-web blog entries provide target readers with further views and / or link various, existing wb-web reports. E.g. „Digital - Wenn nicht jetzt, wann dann?“, „Schwung in den Unterricht bringen“ or „Interaktion online - Wie kann's gelingen?“.



Is digitalised adult education of a high professional standard?

Dialog Digitalisierung

On December 1, 2020, the “DIE Further Education Forum” and digitalisation dialogue#04 took place as a free of charge, online event. The topic for 2020 was “Digital Adult Education – Quality and Professionality.”

There has been a fast-paced spread of digital formats and tools since spring 2020, but quality and professionality issues are often neglected due to time pressure. However, this does not make them any the less important, and with immediate survival issues having been tended to and spontaneous digitalisation taken place, they are now the subject of particular focus. The event was targeted at anyone involved in adult or continuing education or at those responsible for developing educational technology: from managers, planners and teachers on the practical side, to digital economy professionals, scientists and political representatives.

As part of the forum, we awarded this year’s „Prize for Innovation in Adult Education“ to three outstanding projects, which demonstrate how teachers in adult- and continuing education can be made digitally fit.

Documentation from the event, including videos and presentations can be found at

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The national education report „Education in Germany 2020“

The 2020 education report (PDF) features a data-driven analysis of the field of adult education and learning, on institutional and participational levels, as well as considering aspects of the teaching-learning process and its benefits. The report refers to the time before Corona, as there are currently no reliable or representative data from during the pandemic.

However, it still highlights possible developments that deserve attention in coming months. These include questions as to the areas of continuing education in which providers’ existence is at risk, whether and how businesses will maintain their engagement in continuing education, how the working and employment conditions of personnel are changing, in particular concerning course leaders, trainers and lecturers, and whether social injustices are increasing.

Last but not least, particular attention must be devoted to changes in the use of digital media and its effects.


2020 National Education Report Symposium – the demands on education in a digitalised world.

As part of the virtual conference on September 29, 2020, Jan-Martin Wiarda moderated a discussion between Prof. Dr. Birgit Eickelmann (University of Paderborn), Dr. Stefan Luther (BMBF), Rainer Schulz (Hamburg Schools and Vocational Education Authority) and Prof. Dr. Josef Schrader (DIE) on the demands made by a digital world on education – from early years through to adult learning and continuing education.

Youtube video of the podium discussion



An online study by Julia GranderathAndreas MartinMartin Merkt and Christina Sondermann (Researchers from two DIE junior research groups) investigated the connections between the perceived threat of the coronavirus, media use and perceived and actual informedness about COVID-19. Among other things, the results showed that people who felt more threatened by COVID-19 used media more often to inform themselves. In addition, frequent media use was associated with higher perceived knowledge about COVID-19, but not with higher actual knowledge.

The full study results are published in the Frontiers in Psychology journal and available with open access on Researchgate.


Additional Survey on DIE provider statistics – DIE Covid Survey

The Corona pandemic had a far-reaching impact on continuing education institutions, which had to put face-to-face teaching on hold for several months. The DIE “System and Policies” and “Research Infrastructures” departments are currently working with the German Adult Education Association (DVV) on a survey on the effects of the pandemic on the volume of events, financial situation, participant structure, digitalisation and strategies for dealing with the pandemic. The survey launch is October 2020. Results will be published here.


The 2020 wbmonitor survey took place between June 30 and August 9, 2020 with its focus on “Corona – the impact on continuing education providers.”

In cooperation with the Federal Institute for Vocational Training, the DIE collected extensive information on continuing education provision during the first national lockdown last spring, and the subsequent reopening phase in summer, as well as on the changes in terms of work organisation and the personnel situation among providers. Information is also provided on state aid applications and grants, as well as assessments and forecasts on the current and future economic situation.

Initial survey results in the form of interim data can be found here.  

General information on the wbmonitor survey, as well as previous results can be found at

wbmonitor project page at

wb-web Logo


Wb-web regularly compiles news items of interest to adult educators. In particular, the dossiers “Digitalisation” and “E-Learning” provide valuable recommendations for tools and resources to support teachers in their work during the pandemic. These include “How to design web meetings.”

Existing dossiers are expanded upon, updated or maintained with e.g. links and instruction manuals.

The EULE learning section helps teachers with application-oriented development, with a learning path on the subject of teaching and learning with digital media providing tips for the design of online lessons.

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The second issue of the magazine weiter bilden, the DIE magazine for adult education, features an interview in which questions are posed to the heads of seven institutions, in order to give an idea of the impact of the Corona situation. Among the questions are “How do you gauge your current economic situation, or that of your institution?” and “Are there any specific positive developments which have resulted out of the crisis?”

Read issue 2 / 2020 of weiter bilden



The „PAG 2“ project aims to provide quicker and easier access to free, approved material for literacy and primary educators.

This is expected to make home office work much easier and simplify learning at home.

Project page at


The project FAVILLE examines which professional competencies online teachers need to plan and run digital classes.

A further education course on this topic is being piloted in five European countries and is being expanded with an appropriate competence validation model. In addition, a methods app is being developed and tested to support online tutors in the didactic planning of digitalised learning units.

Project page at

Digitalisierung im Bildungsbereich


The BMBF has supported research into the effects of digitalisation processes and the prerequisites for their implementation since 2018, through its research line “digitalisation in education”, part of its „Empirical Educational Research Framework Programme.

Within the context of the accompanying meta research project Digi EBF, research results have been prepared for the continuing education practice and made available in various forms. In addition, work is being carried out on several dossiers on various aspects of digitalisation in adult and continuing education, which give an overview of the current state of research.

Project page at
Project website


The project Fubi_DiKuBi reveals how digitalisation is integrated into the further education structure, what educational needs there are in a digitalised society and how further education institutions react to these needs to fulfil their public education mandate and ensure access to cultural education programmes across the social strata.

Project page at


The KANSAS search engine is an online support tool for teachers of literacy and primary education and German as a foreign language. KANSAS is being developed as part of an interdisciplinary project.


DEMAL“ is a free, web-based course-planning app in six languages. Once they have completed the free registration at, teachers can plan adult education courses online, and, with the help of the app, select appropriate teaching and learning methods.


The website provides teaching staff with an adaptive tool to help plan language-sensitive lessons. The tool was developed in cooperation with the Mercator Institute for Literacy and Language Education in Cologne and currently features more than 50 tools to aid language-sensitive learning.


At, teachers can participate in online diagnostic skills training, both alone and in small groups.

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last changed: 2/22/2022