© A. Etges/Mercator-Institut

COMeIN - Communities of Practice NRW for Innovative Teacher Education

According to the international comparative study ICILS (International Computer and Information Literacy Study), only a small number of teachers in Germany regularly take part in advanced vocational training courses on topics concerning digitalization. Moreover, school administrations describe the competences of their teaching staff as low on average (Schwanenberg, Klein & Walpuski, 2018).

Against this backdrop, the North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)-wide project COMeIN (Communities of Practice NRW for Innovative Teacher Education) was initiated. The researchers, involved in the project, develop concepts and products to promote digital skills of teachers. Experts and decision-makers in all three phases of teacher training, different school subjects and topics collaborate for this purpose in so-called Communities of Practice (CoP).

In the CoP Deutsch als Zweitsprache (DaZ) (German as a second language) the Mercator Institute cooperates with Bielefeld University. Together the project team deal with language education as a cross-sectional task in school and teaching considering Content and Language Integrated Learning settings in all subjects as the central fields of action. In this context, they address digitalization on the level of teachers‘ education and training with the aim to examine how digital media can contribute to the acquisition of language skills. Furthermore, they deal with the question which competences teachers need in order to effectively use digital learning formats in Content and Language Integrated Learning lessons. 

One objective of the work in the CoP is to link professional and scientifically grounded digital formats on language education and to expand them into a coherent overall offering. The NRW-wide accessibility of those products is to be realized via a COMeIN-meta-portal which will be open to all actors in the mentioned educational contexts. Another project goal is to create a competence profile regarding the use of digital resources in language education.

At a glance


The aim of the overall project is to promote digital competences of teachers. The research groups of the Mercator Institute and Bielefeld University in this regard focus on the promotion of digital skills in the context of teaching German as a second language and Content and Language Integrated Learning.


Qualitätsoffensive Lehrerbildung


all twelve teacher-training universities of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) 
Ministry of Schools and Education NRW
Ministry of Culture and Science NRW 
the governments of the five districts of teacher education in NRW (Bezirksregierungen: Arnsberg, Detmold, Düsseldorf, Köln, Münster)
QUA-LIS: Agency for Support and Quality of the Federal-State-Institute of Schools (Landesinstitut für Schule)

Funded by

Federal Ministry of Education and Research


March 2020 - December 2023

Project Management - COMeIN

Prof. Dr. Isabell van Ackeren (University of Duisburg-Essen)

Project Management - CoP DaZ

Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Roth (Mercator Institute)

Prof. Dr. Udo Ohm (Bielefeld University)

Project Team

Dr. Christoph Gantefort (Mercator Institute)

Janna Gutenberg (Mercator Institute)

Anne Wernicke (Bielefeld University)