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UZH Journal

Studium Digitale

There is barely an area of life or work and barely an academic discipline that is not affected by the digital transformation. To understand and be able to assess digital developments and the opportunities and risks they present, students and graduates increasingly need digital skills. For this reason the UZH Digital Society Initiative has designed an online course that provides Bachelor’s students from all faculties with solid knowledge about data, computational thinking and about our digital world, and equips them with relevant basic digital skills. 
“The digital transformation is such a complex field that it must be considered and taught in a multi-perspective way,” says Markus Christen, Managing Director of the Digital Society Initiative. “This is why we have summarized the course content into four interdisciplinary topic clusters, which are addressed by teaching staff from different perspectives. Because interdisciplinary exchange between teaching staff is integrated in the course design, and for example a number of application examples and data sets recur throughout the course, students will find that the various parts of the course with different disciplinary focuses form a coherent whole.” 
The course looks at and tries to answer questions on issues such as artificial intelligence. What applications of machine learning already shape our daily lives? Which areas that are relevant to society could benefit from the new technology in future? What would happen to a society if adaptive machines ‘took over’? And what would be the ethical consequences? 
Alongside the introduction to the topic, participants also get a crash course in digital working that is related to day-to-day student life. For example, they learn how data are efficiently recorded, analyzed and organized, how digital resources should be used in a meaningful way for studies and how digital collaboration functions for group work.