The challenge of education. Pedagogy and didactics in applied professional communication disciplines


Submit your paper here!

List of topic areas

Conceptional papers that present a teacher's or institution's own 'philosophy' of teaching and learning in professional communication. While systematic reflection against the background of higher education studies is desirable, the guest editors explicitly welcome personal accounts that portray how successful approaches were developed over the years by trial and error. However, one selection criteria will be whether authors can demonstrably lay claim to consistent success (e.g. industry awards, high rate of student success). Ideally, papers will not only outline the philosophy in clear and actionable terms but also illustrate how the conceptual tenets are translated into concrete modalities of instruction. 

Focused theoretical papers that concentrate on a nexus of relevance for the applied communication disciplines, analytically dissect the problems associated with it, and discuss the options available. With communication planning often underpinned by folk psychology, it seems to us that the exact difference between research-based education as opposed to application-based education is insufficiently theorized, for example. 

Broader, more speculative reflection papers that discuss pedagogical-didactical issues against the background of larger, more encompassing debates. The spectrum ranges here from definitional debates (public relations vs. strategic communication) or philosophy of science (postmodernity vs. metamodernity) to higher education politics (austerity and shift towards the right) or future developments (advent of AI). One can ask, for example, which core skills future managers of communication need to master. Is communication management about creating content or about making decisions? Should public relations be taught differently than strategic communication, corporate communications differently than organizational communication? Should education in professional communication be relegated to the universities of applied sciences and university colleges? To what degree should ideological preconceptions be 'built into' research-based education in applied communication? Where are the upper and lower boundaries of activist scholarship? Despite a global debate about the role of AI, it remains inadequately understood, in our opinion, in what ways the global megatrends of globalization, mediatization and digitalization will impact the legitimacy and efficacy of higher education. 

The guest editors welcome case studies that concentrate on particularly powerful or innovative pedagogical interventions, be they long-, medium-, or short-term. The spectrum here ranges from the design of study programs to mentoring schemes, student agencies and portfolio systems to wargaming, crisis simulation, media training and role-playing. 

Overview articles and literature reviews that unlock relevant concepts from the pedagogy and didactics of higher education for the purpose of application in our own discipline. Ideally, these papers will not only systematically review literature from other fields but offer in-depth reflection of the applicability of concepts in our own disciplines.

The guest editors welcome comparative, especially interculturally comparative research into educational issues. One can ask, for example, whether instruction in culturally homogenous classes works in fundamentally different ways than education in culturally heterogenous, international classes. 

Finally, special attention will be given to empirical studies that demonstrate the impact (or non-impact) of teaching on students and practitioners in a systematic way that goes beyond anecdotal evidence from alumni surveys and conversations with former students. 


Guest Editors

Howard Nothhaft,
Lund University, Sweden,
[email protected] 

Jens Seiffert-Brockmann,
Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria,
[email protected]


Submissions Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available by clicking the button below.

Submit your paper here!

Author guidelines must be strictly followed.

Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to “Please select the issue you are submitting to”. 

Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.


Key Deadlines

Closing date for manuscripts submission: 30 September 2024