Building bridges over European knowledge gaps

The integral-learning company makes lessons that use online content more efficient. The solution: MUMIE

Prof. Dr. Ruedi Seiler, Marek Grudzinski (v.l.) Photo: integral-learning GmbH

At the end of the Ku’damm there’s a building company that isn’t really one: integral-learning builds bridges and closes gaps. However, the IT company doesn’t use plaster and a scraper, but rather bits & bytes. The team assembled around Prof. Dr. Ruedi Seiler and Marek Grudzinski specialises in bridging knowledge gaps, working in the e-learning sector, among others.

Seiler actually taught mathematics at the Technical University of Berlin (TUB) – and he noticed that it was getting more and more difficult to pass on the knowledge to the growing number of students using conventional means. „So he started giving them tools that they began to be able to use as the technology developed over time,“ says Grudzinski, who also refined the learning platform in the course of his informatics studies at the TUB. In co-operation with a number of universities in Germany and abroad, an open-source solution came about with a name evocative of ancient Egypt („Mumie“ being German for „mummy“) rather than vectors, binomial formulae and equations: the MUMIE learning platform (stands for „multi-medial mathematics education“).

Scientific studies were used to develop a didactic concept to support the students within the learning cycle of their academic week: „Explorative learning is in the foreground here. The aim is to nurture the commitment of the individual.“ As he explains, Grudzinski clicks through a demo version: aA little mummy stands at the edge of the screen and scratches his head while the program throws up colourful graphics and generates new tasks.

All over Europe, high-school graduates and budding engineers sit at their computers and use MUMIE to brush up their knowledge: While the platform is used at more than a dozen German universities as an online preparatory maths course for high-school graduates, the Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan in Stockholm uses it to close the knowledge gap between bachelor and master’s studies. „MUMIE is a system with different modules. It has a variety of applications, and any number of personalised tasks can be corrected and evaluated automatically,“ says Grudzinki. Along with technical support, integral-learning also provides a call centre where students have direct access to tutors.

Because the coffers of the universities are empty but the demand for online learning services is still there, integral-learning now also develops courses to meet individual needs. However, the customer not only applies its software development expertise to the e-learning sector: in collaboration with partner companies it develops software solutions for customers such as DHL, bettermarks or My Lorry. Ultimately, education is closest to Seiler’s heart. And it’s also worth paying for, in Grudzinski’s opinion: „The readiness to hand over a little money for education is much greater in neighbouring countries than it is in Germany.“ He’s in luck, because the market in Europe is a big one, there are a lot of budding engineers – and MUMIE speaks many languages.

Susanne Hörr
Kluge Köpfe 2014