Jürgen Handke

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Jürgen Handke
Jh st poelten small.jpg
Jürgen Handke talking about digital, interactive and innovative teaching methods at St Pölten University, Austria
Born (1954-04-13) 13 April 1954 (age 65)
Alma materLeibniz University Hannover
University of Reading
AwardsHessian Teaching and Learning Award for the Inverted Classroom Mastery Model (2013), Ars Legendi Prize for Digital Teaching and Learning (2015)
Scientific career

Jürgen Handke (born (1954-04-13)13 April 1954 in Hannover) is a German Professor for English Linguistics and a pioneer of new digital teaching methods.


Handke originally studied English, Sports, and Philosophy to become a teacher at Universität Hannover from 1975 to 1980 and did his Postgraduate in Linguistics at the University of Reading from 1981 to 1983.

He was Research Assistant in Hannover from 1981 to 1984. In 1984, Handke did his Ph.D., writing his dissertation on ‘Adverbial clauses in English’. From 1984 to 1991 Handke was Research Assistant at Universität Wuppertal, where he wrote his habilitation dissertation 'Natural Language Processing and Implementation in LISP' for Gisa Rauh in 1990. Since 1991, Handke has been working as a Professor of English at Philipps-Universität Marburg. His focus is on Linguistics and E-Learning.

Additionally, Handke is advisor to several German state governments and a member of the national board "Hochschulforum Digitalisierung".

The Virtual Linguistics Campus[edit]

A pioneer of digital teaching and way ahead of his time, Handke started to introduce innovative, digital, and interactive teaching methods in the form of CD-Roms in the early 1990s. This new way of teaching resulted in the creation of the world’s first and largest e-learning platform for linguistics, the Virtual Linguistics Campus (VLC).[1] The VLC offers more than 250 fully certified linguistic courses and course material for theoretical and applied linguistics, ranging from introductory classes such as Phonology, Morphology, Syntax und Semantics to highly specialized courses such as ‘The Use of English in Lyrics, ‘The Language and Culture of the Uyghur people’ and ‘Massive Open Online Courses’ (MOOCs).

Currently, the VLC has more than 15,000 active users with more than 3,000 visitors daily. In 2013, Handke started the Virtual Linguistics Campus YouTube channel, now the largest linguistics channel in the world with almost 3 million clicks and more than 38,000 users and more than 500 videos, which all involve the CC BY licensing model.[2]

In 2017, Handke has started integrating humanoid robots into his in-class scenarios as part of his government funded project [3]

Published works[edit]

Since 2012, Handke has published several books about modern teaching. The most influential ones are 2012 'E-Learning, E-Teaching and E-Assessment', 2014 'Patient Hochschullehre' and 2015 'Handbuch Hochschullehre Digital'.

Similarly to his videos on ‘Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century’ (German title ‘Die Hochschullehre im 21. Jahrhunder- vom inverted Classroom zum MOOC‘), ‘Patient Hochschullehre’[4] heavily criticizes the methods typically used by universities and colleges to teach content as well as their inability to adapt to their target group.

Music career[edit]

Alongside his academic work, Handke is also a musician and has been playing music since his early teenage years. In the 1970s, he played with Matthias Jabs (later Scorpions) and Hannes Folberth (later Eloy) amongst others in a band called ‘Deadlock'.[5] The band split in 1977 because Handke decided to solely focus on Linguistics and went to England. One of their old recordings has been published on YouTube. This recording was produced "live" in Deadlock's rehearsal room and recorded on a two-track reel-to-reel machine. Handke himself commented: ‘We were young and enthusiastic at the time and the music reflects the heavy rock of the roaring 1970s.’[6]


In 2013, Handke received the highest Hessian Teaching and Learning Award for his Inverted Classroom Mastery Model. In October 2015, he was awarded the highest German teaching award, Ars Legendi Prize for Digital Teaching and Learning. In 2016, he was awarded the Adult Teaching Innovation Award for his MOOC #DEU4ARAB, a contrastive pronunciation course for Arabic refugees in Germany. In 2017 Handke and his team won the national OER award with their MOOC #FIT4UNI.


Like many pioneers of various scientific areas, Handke has to fight skeptics. Only two of his co-workers congratulated Handke on his "Excellency in Higher Education" Award, MMOCs are being withheld altogether.[7]


  • Descriptive and Psycholinguistics Aspects of Adverbial Subordinate Clauses. Julius Groos Verlag, Heidelberg 1984, ISBN 3-87276-526-4 (Dissertation, Universität Hannover, 1984).
  • Sprachverarbeitung mit LISP und PROLOG auf dem PC. Vieweg, Wiesbaden 1987, ISBN 3-528-04570-1.
  • Natürliche Sprache: Theorie und Implementierung in LISP. McGraw-Hill, Hamburg 1989, ISBN 3-89028-164-8.
  • The Structure of the Lexicon: Human versus Machine. Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-11-014732-7.
  • Multimedia mit ToolBook und Macromedia Director. Oldenbourg, München 1997, ISBN 3-486-23972-4.
  • Multimedia-Anwendungen mit Macromedia Director. Einfache Anwendungen - komplexe Präsentationen - CBT - Multimedia im Internet. Oldenbourg, München 1999, ISBN 3-486-25204-6.
  • Multimedia im Internet. Konzeption und Implementierung. Oldenbourg, München 2003, ISBN 3-486-27217-9.
  • (with Anna Maria Schäfer) E-Learning, E-Teaching und E-Assessment in der Hochschullehre: Eine Anleitung. Oldenbourg, München 2012, ISBN 978-3-486-70800-4.
  • Patient Hochschullehre. Vorschläge für eine zeitgemäße Lehre im 21. Jahrhundert. Tectum Verlag, Marburg, 2014. 262 Seiten.
  • Handbuch Hochschullehre Digital. Eine Anleitung. Tectum Verlag, Marburg, erscheint im Frühjahr 2015.
  • Inverted Classroom. Reihe, die Handke zusammen mit seinen Mitarbeitern im jährlichen Turnus herausgibt.


  1. ^ [1], hosted on the website of Phillipps-Universität Marburg
  2. ^ [2] VLC YouTube Channel
  3. ^ [3] H.E.A.R.T.
  4. ^ [4], accessed 28 November 2014
  5. ^ Jethro Tull Music by JH, staff website of Jürgen Handke hosted by Philipps-Universität Marburg, accessed 25 August 2012.
  6. ^ [5], accessed 3 December 2014.
  7. ^ [6], Newspaper article in Frankfurter Rundschau, accessed 2 December 2014.

External links[edit]