IT Center Blog

Experience Report – ZKI Training Working Group

June 14th, 2023 | by
Office table top view business meeting.

Source: Freepik

From May 9 to May 11, 2023, the ZKI training working group met in Ulm. Of course, we from the IT Center of RWTH Aachen were also represented! What the ZKI training working group is, which activities this working group has and what this year’s meeting was about, we have summarized for you in this blog post.

ZKI – What is that?

The association “Zentren für Kommunikation und Informationsverarbeitung in Lehre und Forschung e.V.” (ZKI) is the association of IT service centers of colleges, universities and research institutions in the Federal Republic of Germany. It is divided into various working groups, for example the Training Working Group, IT Service Management Working Group or Campus Management Working Group.

What does the ZKI training working group do?

The tasks of the ZKI working group “Training” are manifold and contribute, among other things, to promote personnel development at the university centers and to build up qualified specialist personnel. Training at the various universities is becoming increasingly important due to the shortage of skilled workers! Especially in the IT sector. A particular challenge is the different framework conditions at the various institutions, e.g., regarding the focus of the training or the number of trainees. To overcome these challenges, the working group deals with the following tasks:

  1. Establishing training models in the data centers
  2. Communication platform for the instructors involved
  3. Observation of trainees at other data centers
  4. Program for joint training and further education of trainers and trainees
  5. And much more

Through the lively exchange and good cooperation, new work packages are always being developed.

Working group meeting in Ulm 2023

After a three-year online phase, this year we had the opportunity to participate in person at the Training Working Group Meeting in Ulm. Trainers from various universities and colleges from all over Germany came together for three days.

After an exciting and early journey from Aachen to Ulm, the ZKI meeting started at 13:00 in the communication and information center kiz. After an extensive round of getting to know each other, the chairwoman of the working group presented the work and results of the last years. For the evening, this year’s host had organized a special guided tour of the old town followed by a cozy get-together in a rustic pub.

The next morning we all started the day fresh and motivated. It started with an exciting lecture on ChatGPT by a psychologist from adult education and highlighted the influences of AI tools on education and teaching at universities and colleges. During the rest of the day, we worked on the further development of a guideline for trainers, which should serve as a guideline to make training at colleges, universities and research institutions possible and to keep it up to date. To this end, we formed small groups in which we worked on work packages on topics such as onboarding, trainee exchanges and the quality of training. In the cross-facility work, we encountered many similar hurdles and processes that are quite different from ours. But we also found many similar approaches. The joint work in the working groups was very intensive, interesting and informative. Towards the evening, we again dedicated ourselves to a more leisurely part in the medieval city and went to a pub directly on the Blau river.

On the last day we exchanged the first results and agreed on the further procedure. One thing is certain: We must continue, move with the times and always keep in mind the people we are talking about.

During our time together we were able to gain valuable experience, make new contacts and develop numerous inspiring ideas! We are very pleased to be part of this innovative working group and to work together to improve education at universities.

This much is certain: There will be more meetings! We are already looking forward to it!

Responsible for the content of this article are Miriam Petry and Katharina Röhrig.

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