Textbook and e-book on academic research and writing

Academic research and writing 9783981558616

Academic research and writing: A concise introduction, Frankfurt am Main 2016.

Product details paperback
Product details e-book

Listening tip “Freifahrt” podcast (in German)

Freifahrt ist der Interviewpodcast zum Thema Mikromobilität rund um Fahrräder, eScooter, Lastenfahrräder und neuen Fahrzeugkonzepten. Hier spricht Sebastian Hofer mit ExpertInnen, UnternehmerInnen, Herstellern, Entscheidern, Enthusiasten und Kritikern über die Zukunft der MobilitätHier erfahrt ihr aus verschiedenen Perspektiven warum das Fahrrad seit 200 Jahren existiert und dennoch weniger Beachtung findet als e-Scooter, welche innerhalb von weniger als zwei Jahren in aller Munde sind. Was wir tun müssen, damit Mikromobilität mehr Beachtung bei der Verkehrsplanung bekommt, das Ganze wirklich nachhaltig wird und wir so in Zukunft in gesünderen und lebenswerteren Städte leben können.

Den Podcast könnt ihr auf Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer und Podigee hören und abonnieren.

Für alle neuen Abonnenten werden 3 x 10 Credits für Dein VOI-Konto verlost. Dafür einfach eine kurze Mail an podcast@freifahrt.org schicken mit der Email, die auch bei dem VOI Konto hinterlegt ist.

In diesem Sinne: Lasst die Haare wehn!

*** English version ***

Freifahrt is the interview podcast on the subject of micro-mobility in connection with bicycles, e-scooters, cargo bikes and new vehicle concepts. Here Sebastian Hofer talks to experts, entrepreneurs, manufacturers, decision makers, enthusiasts and critics about the future of mobility

Here you will learn from different perspectives why the bicycle has been around for 200 years and still receives less attention than e-scooters, which have been on everyone’s lips for less than two years. What we have to do to make sure that micromobility gets more attention in traffic planning, that it becomes really sustainable and that we can live in healthier and more liveable cities in the future.

You can listen and subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer and Podigee.

For all new subscribers 3 x 10 credits will be raffled off for your VOI account. Just send a short email to podcast@freifahrt.org with the email that is also deposited in your VOI account.

In this sense: Let your hair blow!

Tenth AIM student poster research conference on “Data – The new oil?”

On Wednesday, 18 December 2019, the „Tenth AIM student poster research conference“ took place at HAW Hamburg. 48 junior researchers enrolled in the degree programme Foreign Trade/International Management (B. Sc.) presented their research work.

The posters were developed in the context of the course “Academic research and writing“. The coursework was organised by way of team teaching undertaken by Prof. Dr. Michael Gille and me. 

The general topic of the semester was “Data – The new oil?”. 

As at any AIM student poster research conference, individual topics addressed a diverse set of aspects. All visitors had the opportunity to study the exhibited posters in a pleasant pre-Christmas atmosphere with jazzy sounds. Given the outstanding quality of the presented work, the instructors awarded four junior researchers with the instructors’ best poster award. Additionally, the audience voted for the audience’s best poster award, which was awarded to another three junior researchers.

Prof. Dr. Henning Vöpel, Director and CEO of the Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI), delivered a keynote speech entitled “Are data the new oil? Digitalization and the new order of the economy”. In addition to general information on the idea and the latest development of the technological leap that leads to masses of data being processed in real time and mobile, he presented thoughts on the exponential growth of storage capacities and the „singularity“, and the transformation of data into a collective resource through artificial intelligence (AI), which will dramatically transform the economy and the society in the near future. The rise of platforms and the substitution of vertically organised industries by hybrid collaborations and the resulting consequences for companies were addressed as well as the change of business models and the impact on labor and education markets. Finally, the implications for international trade and the much-cited globalisation as well as geopolitics were assessed. Thus, questions were dealt with which are of great professional and personal value, especially for international business students. It was therefore not surprising that a lively discussion developed after the presentation. Together with the speaker, the students reflected on the positive and negative implications of digitalisation and the ever-increasing data collecting.   

@ Henning: Thank you very much for visiting us!

Additional information:

The teaching concept is based on blended learning and research-based learning. The course is modelled around the concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Students are provided with various access points to the course contents, which can be combined or used on a standalone basis: learning videos, textbook, webinars, library excursions, tutorials, walk-in labs and poster labs support individual learning styles.

For more information on poster conferences in general see my article.

Reflections on evaluations and (critical) feedback

The never ending evaluation cycle…

Recently, I have held a number of internal and external higher education workshops.

Due to the suggestions of the participants of the first workshops, I had changed some parts of my concept and was now curious to see how these interventions would be received. Surprisingly for me, those parts that were praised initially were now partially criticized. Also those parts were partially criticized which I had taken up (or changed) due to the wishes of previous participants. On the other hand, parts that I left in the workshop despite criticism from the last time participants were now positively appreciated. 

I know these contradictory statements from teaching evaluations of my own courses and lectures at my university:

“It helps that you teach with a headset microphone.” versus “I find it ridiculous and annoying that you teach with a headset microphone.”

“The speed is just right for me” versus “It’s all going way too fast (slow) for me.”

“I find the online units very helpful” versus “I don’t like the online units at all”.

“I think it’s very good how we’re developing the content step by step on the blackboard.” versus “I find it annoying when I don’t get a finished (printed) picture served.” 

And so on…

Of course there is a natural dispersion in many aspects of teaching and learning, but especially with polar and conflicting evaluation results one can start to wonder whether one is doing it right or wrong.

What do I personally learn from this?

1) Small group sizes cannot per se convey a representative picture. Each group unfolds a different dynamic, which also results from the interaction of the individual participants. Although this is a truism, we sometimes tend to take criticism personally and/or professionally very seriously. Especially if we have reflected intensively on the instructional design beforehand.

2) It is unlikely that the expectations and needs of all participants can be fully satisfied. Therefore a seemingly unconditional positive feedback should be rather critically questioned. This holds true for the reverse case as well.

3) Diplomatically phrased statements like „I would have wished for…“ indicate individual needs, which do no not have to coincide with the wishes of other participants or the intended learning outcome of the workshop. Each participant has his or her own truth. And this applies to the instructor or coach as well…

Conclusion: Although evaluations and feedback can provide important indications for interventions, the instructor or coach is responsible for a theoretically and conceptually sound workshop concept. Not every criticism or suggestion should lead directly to an intervention.

In other words: Stay true to the intended learning outcome and the corresponding instructional design. Intervene cautiously and not erratically. Do not let yourself be carried away by the wishes of selected participants who speak out loud.

Ninth AIM student poster research conference on “Mobility – Social, political, legal, economic and managerial implications”

On Wednesday, 19 June 2018, the ninth AIM student poster research conference took place at HAW Hamburg. 31 junior researchers enrolled in the degree programme Foreign Trade/International Management (B. Sc.) presented their research work.

The posters were developed in the context of the course “Academic research and writing“. Coursework was organised by way of team teaching undertaken by our librarian Detlev Dannenberg, Prof. Dr. Michael Gille and me. 

The general topic of the semester was “Mobility – Social, political, legal, economic and managerial implications”. As always, individual topics addressed a diverse set of aspects. Given the outstanding quality of the presented work, the instructors awarded five students with the instructor’s best poster award: Anna Tessa Aul, Ayke Christian Feindt, Magnus Fielker, Johann Maximilian Mueller and Siran Zhu. Additionally, the audience voted for the students’ best poster award, which was awarded Jens Bohse, Magnus Fielker and Siran Zhu.

Sebastian Hofer, innovation manager at Hochbahn, delivered a keynote speech entitled “Micromobility meets public transport”. In addition to general information on the idea and the latest development of micro-mobility, he presented the cooperation between Hochbahn, Hamburg, and the Scandinavian company Voi, which will test the interlinking of public transport and e-scooters in the Hamburg urban area by means of several pilot projects. After the speech there was an intensive discussion of the presented concept. Together with the speaker, the students reflected on the positive and negative implications of modern mobility concepts. Finally, the students and instructors had the opportunity to test the e-scooter on the long corridor of the university building. For the students, the event was one of the highlights of this semester.  

@ Sebastian: Thank you very much for visiting us!

Additional information:

The teaching concept is based on blended learning and research-based learning. The course is modelled around the concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Students are provided with various access points to the course contents, which can be combined or used on a standalone basis: learning videostextbook, webinars, library excursions, tutorials, walk-in labs and poster labs support individual learning styles.

For more information on poster conferences in general see my article.

Workshop on Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) at ExAcT – RWTH Aachen University, 3 June 2019

classroom

On 3 June 2019, I held a workshop on Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) at ExAcT, RWTH Aachen University in Aachen. Together with eleven participants, mainly research assistants, Ph.D. candidates and postdocs, we were exploring aspects of the SoTL concept. As always, it was interesting to see how the participants approached the concept. SoTL is primarily concerned with the systematic inquiry into teaching and learning of students, but essentially postulates a professional attitude. A conceptual introduction cannot replace a more in-depth examination of the methodological and methodical foundations of teaching and learning research. However, it represents the first step towards a changed view of one’s own actions in academic teaching. Ultimately, I received valuable feedback from the participants to further refine the workshop concept. I am looking forward to return to RWTH Aachen in October.

Second workshop on Digital Mastery Learning Model (DMLM)

On 31 January and 1 February, Anna Mucha, Claudia Vogeler and I held our second workshop on online courses based on the Digital Mastery Learning Model (DMLM) at HAW Hamburg, Hamburg.

As explained in an earlier blog post, the DMLM is a time-independent and decentralized virtual educational setting based on the concept of mastery learning (Bloom 1968) and modern digital learning designs. Among others, we addressed theoretical foundations, practical examples, self-concept aspects and operational implementation in Moodle.

As always, we were able to gather valuable insights from the discussions with workshop participants. One more time, the relevance of the individual professional culture and its impact on the teaching methodology of subjects (engineering, computer sciences, social sciences etc.) as well as the academic self concept and educational ideals came to light.

We would like to thank all participants for their input.

Eighth AIM student poster research conference on “Digital Disruption – Social, political, legal, economic and managerial implications”

On Wednesday, 19 December 2018, the eighth AIM student poster research conference took place at HAW Hamburg. 37 junior researchers enrolled in the degree programme Foreign Trade/International Management (B. Sc.) presented their research work.

The general topic of the semester was “Digital Disruption – Social, political, legal, economic and managerial implications”. As always, individual topics addressed a diverse set of aspects. The instructors awarded Gina Camacho, Jenny Saganty and Koen Veldkamp with the instructor’s best poster award. Additionally, students voted for the students’ best poster award, which was awarded to Alexandra Naujoks, Gina Camacho, Lukas Szmigielski and Minh Duc Nguyen as well.

The posters were developed in the context of the course “Academic research and writing“. Coursework was organised by way of team teaching undertaken by our librarian Detlev Dannenberg, Prof. Dr. Michael Gille as well as me.

Peter Kabel, professor for interaction design at HAW Hamburg, delivered a keynote speech on digital disruption entitled “Enjoy the change and surf the wave”. Attendees received an enlightening presentation enriched with personal reflections from the perspective of an Internet pioneer, entrepreneur, design scholar and practitioner. The speech was followed by a lively discussion of selected issues.

@ Peter: Thank you very much for visiting us!

Additional information:

The teaching concept is based on blended learning and research-based learning. The course is modelled around the concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Students are provided with various access points to the course contents, which can be combined or used on a standalone basis: learning videos, textbook, webinars, library excursions, tutorials, walk-in labs and poster labs support individual learning styles.

For more information on poster conferences in general see my article.

New book chapter on academic self-concept in explorative learning designs (in German)

Mucha, A., & Decker, C. (2018).
Das akademische Selbstkonzept als Adventure Capital in explorativen Lernumgebungen. In Problembasiertes Lernen, Projektorientierung, forschendes lernen & beyond: Tagungsband zum 7. Tag der Lehre an der FH St. Pölten am 18.10.2018 (S. 51 – 60). St. Pölten: Fachhochschule St. Pölten.

New article on Internationalisation-at-Home (in German)

New article:

Decker, C., Mucha, A., & Gille, M. (2018).
Organisationale Diversitätsrendite und individuelle Heterogenitätskosten: Internationalisation-at-Home in einem international ausgerichteten Studiengang. Idie hochschule. journal für wissenschaft und bildung 1–2, 138-146.

New book chapter on team teaching in e-learning and blended learning settings

Decker, C., & Frielitz, F. (2018).
Team Teaching in E-Learning and Blended Learning Settings. In B. Jansen-Schulz, & T. Tantau (ed.), Excellent Teaching. Principles, Structures and Requirements (p. 291 – 302). Bielefeld: WBV/W. Bertelsmann.

Pre-conference interview “#tdlfhstp18: Studierende übernehmen Verantwortung”, Tag der Lehre 2018, FH St. Pölten, Austria (in German)

The pre-conference interview on “Das akademische Selbstkonzept als Adventure Capital in explorativen Lernumgebungen” with Christian F. Freisleben-Teutscher as well as Dr. Anna Mucha and me is now available on YouTube:

More information can be found on the website of “SKILL – Service und Kompetenzzentrum für Innovatives Lehren und Lernen” @ FH St.Pölten.

@ Christian: Thank you very much!

Conference paper on research-based learning (in German)

New article:

Decker, C., & Mucha, A. (2018).
Bridging the Gap: Vom passiven Lesen zum aktiven Forschen.
In N. Neuber, W. Paravicini, & M. Stein (Hrsg.), Schriften zur allgemeinen Hochschuldidaktik Band 3. Forschendes Lernen. The Wider View (S. 201 – 204). Münster: WTM-Verlag.

Conference proceedings

Seventh AIM student poster research conference on “International Corporate Governance – A Transatlantic Perspective”

On Wednesday, 20 June 2018, the seventh AIM student poster research conference took place at HAW Hamburg. 21 junior researchers enrolled in the degree programme Foreign Trade/International Management (B. Sc.) presented their research work.

The general topic of the semester was “International Corporate Governance – A Transatlantic Perspective”. As always, individual topics addressed a diverse set of aspects. The instructors awarded Natalie C. Klein, Natalie Mielczarek, Vanessa Mielczarek and Lars J. P. Kamm with the instructor’s best poster award. Additionally, students voted for the students’ best poster award, which was awarded to Natalie Mielczarek, Vanessa Mielczarek and Lars J. P. Kamm as well.

The posters were developed in the context of the course “Academic research and writing“. Coursework was organised by way of team teaching undertaken by our librarian Detlev Dannenberg, Prof. Dr. Michael Gille, student assistants Dawid Szmigielski and Serhat Akkaya as well as me. Graduate student Philipp Schenk helped to organise the conference.

Dr. jur. Carsten Jungmann, Programme Director Law, Bucerius Law School, Hamburg and Chief Legal Officer, Birkenstock Group, Neustadt (Wied) delivered a keynote speech on “Liability of Board Members for Business Judgements”. Attendees received an enlightening presentation enriched with stochastic reflections from the perspective of a legal scholar and practitioner. The speech was followed by a lively discussion of selected issues.

@ Dr. Jungmann: Thank you very much for visiting us!

Additional information:

The teaching concept is based on blended learning and research-based learning. The course is modelled around the concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Students are provided with various access points to the course contents, which can be combined or used on a standalone basis: learning videos, textbook, webinars, library excursions, tutorials, walk-in labs and poster labs support individual learning styles.

For more information on poster conferences in general see my article.

New publication on research-based learning (in German)

New article:

Decker, C., & Mucha, A. (2018).
Forschendes Lernen lernen. Zu den didaktischen und emotionalen Herausforderungen der Integration von Lernen über, für und durch Forschung.
In die hochschullehre 4, 143 – 160.

Link to article (open access):

New publication on learning without fear and shame (in German)

New article:

Mucha, A., & Decker, C. (2018).
Lernen ohne Angst vor Scham – wie geht das?
In: DUZ. Deutsche Universitätszeitung (2), 69 – 71.

Link to article (restricted access):

DUZ

New publication on explorative learning settings in higher education (in German)

New article:

Mucha, A., & Decker, C. (2018).
Explorative Lernumgebungen in der Hochschullehre: Eine Zumutung? In: Die Neue Hochschule (1), 28 – 29.

Die Neue Hochschule

Workshop on Digital Mastery Learning Model (DMLM)

On 2 and 3 February, Anna Mucha and I held a workshop on online courses based on the Digital Mastery Learning Model (DMLM) at HAW Hamburg, Hamburg.

Anna Mucha

The DMLM is a time-independent and decentralized virtual educational setting based on the concept of mastery learning (Bloom 1968) and modern digital learning designs. Among others, we addressed theoretical foundations, practical examples, self-concept aspects and operational implementation in Moodle.

A number of colleagues will adapt the concept in order to rework their courses and to test the new design during the summer term 2018. An evaluation will accompany the transformation process.

Sixth AIM student poster research conference on “United Nations – Providing Stability in an Unstable World”

On Wednesday, 10 January 2018, the sixth AIM student poster research conference  took place at HAW Hamburg. 32 junior researchers enrolled in the degree programme Foreign Trade/International Management (B. Sc.) presented their research work.

The general topic of the semester was “United Nations – Providing Stability in an Unstable World”. Individual topics addressed a diverse set of aspects. The instructors awarded Tom Teubert, Selma Wünsch  and Philipp Jakubczyk with the instructor’s best poster award. Additionally, students voted for the students’ best poster award which was awarded to Umut Kaya, Yunus Yürümez and Tooba Shahid.

The posters were developed in the context of the course “Academic research and writing“. Coursework was organised by way of team teaching undertaken by our librarian Detlev Dannenberg and me as well as my student assistants Dawid Szmigielski and Serhat Akkaya.

Prof. Dr. Elvira Rosert, Institut für Friedensforschung und Sicherheitspolitik, Universität Hamburg delivered a keynote speech on “Mediation, Intervention, and Peacekeeping. The United Nations as a Provider of Peace and Security”. Attendees received an insightful and critical analysis from the perspective of a political scientist. The speech was followed by a lively discussion of selected issues.

@ Elvira Rosert: Thank you very much for visiting us!

Additional information:

The teaching concept is based on blended learning and research-based learning. The course is modelled around the concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Students are provided with various access points to the course contents, which can be combined or used on a standalone basis: learning videos, textbook, webinars, library excursions, tutorials, walk-in labs and poster labs support individual learning styles.

For more information on poster conferences in general see my latest article.

New publications on case-based examinations and poster conferences (in German)

Two new articles:

Decker, C. (2017)

Fallbasierte Klausuren. In J. Gerick, A. Sommer, & G. Zimmermann (Hrsg.), Kompetent Prüfungen gestalten: 50 Prüfungsformate für die Hochschullehre (S. 80 – 83). Münster: Waxmann/UTB.

Posterkonferenzen. In J. Gerick, A. Sommer, & G. Zimmermann (Hrsg.), Kompetent Prüfungen gestalten: 50 Prüfungsformate für die Hochschullehre (S. 185 – 188). Münster: Waxmann/UTB.

New publication on doctoral studies as explorative learning environments (in German)

New article:

Mucha, A., & Decker, C. (2017)

Der Dissertationsprozess als explorative Lernumgebung: Warum erfolgreiches Promovieren (auch) eine Frage der sozialen Herkunft ist. In: ZDfm. Zeitschrift für Diversitätsforschung und -management 2(2), 29 – 34.

Link to article (restricted access)

Diversitätsforschung

New publication on Learning-how-to-learn (in German)

New article:

Mucha, A., Decker, C., & Szmigielski, D. (2017).
Learning-how-to-learn oder Sich selbst eine gute Lehrperson sein. Zu mehr Selbstkompetenz durch Selbstreflexion. In J. Haag, J. Weißenböck, W. Gruber, & C. F. Freisleben-Teutscher (Hrsg.), Deeper Learning – (wie) geht das?!: Tagungsband zum 6. Tag der Lehre an der FH St. Pölten am 19.10.2017 (S. 37 – 47). St. Pölten: Fachhochschule St. Pölten.

TDL17 FH St. Pölten

Pre-conference interview “Geförderte Reflexion als Form von Deeper Learning”, Tag der Lehre 2017, FH St. Pölten, Austria (in German)

The pre-conference interview on “Geförderte Reflexion als Form von Deeper Learning” with Christian F. Freisleben-Teutscher as well as Dr. Anna Mucha and me is now available on YouTube:

More information can be found on the website of “SKILL – Service und Kompetenzzentrum für Innovatives Lehren und Lernen” @ FH St.Pölten.

@ Christian: Thank you very much!

New publication on learning styles and instructional design (in German)

New article:

Decker, C., & Mucha, A. (2017).
Der Lernstilansatz als Inspiration für die universitäre Lehre: Theoretische Grundlagen und exemplarische Anwendung. In B. Berendt, A. Fleischmann, N. Schaper, B. Szczyrba, & J. Wildt (Hrsg.), Neues Handbuch Hochschullehre (Griffmarke A 3.25). Berlin: DUZ.

Conference presentation on research-based learning in corporate finance

Forschendes Lernen

On 27 September 2017, Anna Mucha and I presented our findings on a research-based learning intervention at the research conference “Forschendes Lernen – The Wider View” which took place at Wilhelms-Universität Münster.  In our presentation entitled “Bridging the Gap – From Passive Reading to Active Research”, we elaborated on an instructional design that was introduced in the Corporate Finance course of the Master of International Business Programme (M. Sc.) at HAW Hamburg. The instructional design consists of five core phases:

Phase 1: Transparent explanation of instructional design to students
Phase 2: Reception and reflection of selected seminal papers of Nobel laureates in groups of two students
Phase 3: Development of a new (own) research question
Phase 4: Exploration of the new problem
Phase 5: Presentation of (i) seminal paper and (ii) own research findings to other course participants

The instructional design helps to overcome the gap between reception of research findings (and underlying methods) on the one hand side and production (derivation) of new research findings (using newly acquired research methods) on the other hand side. Thereby, students are guided from “learning about research” via “learning for research” to “learning through research”.

In 2018, a summary of our findings will be published in the conference proceedings.

Hamburg Teaching Award 2017

Together with Fabian Frielitz, I was awarded the Hamburg Teaching Award 2017 (Hamburger Lehrpreis 2017) for our team teaching efforts in the context of the course “Academic research and writing” (ARAW), which forms part of the degree programme “Foreign Trade / International Management (B.Sc.)” at HAW Hamburg – Hamburg University of Applied Sciences.

First and foremost, I would like to thank my students for the nomination: I feel deeply honoured by your sympathy.

Furthermore, I would like to express my gratitude to my two academic tutors Dawid Szmigielski and Serhat Akkaya as well as to our librarian Detlev Dannenberg for constantly supporting the course. You would have deserved the price as much as we do.

Last but not least, I would like to thank Rita Werner and Stephan Beier for their ongoing support of the ARAW project.

The award highlights a temporary point of culmination of a design-based research project, which started with the development of a completely new course design in 2012 and continued with the introduction of a blended learning scenario in 2014, the competency-based restructuring in 2014/15, the implementation of a dedicated website with video tutorials and the publication of a corresponding textbook and an e-book in 2016.

And yet, the ARAW story goes on. The ARAW team is preparing the next big step, which will be announced soon: Stay tuned!

 

Fifth AIM student poster research conference on “Risk, crisis and catastrophe management”

On Wednesday, 21 June 2017, the fifth AIM student poster research conference  took place at HAW Hamburg. 28 junior researchers enrolled in the degree programme Foreign Trade/International Management (B. Sc.) presented their research work.

The general topic of the semester was “Risk, crisis and catastrophe management”. Individual topics addressed a diverse set of aspects (e.g. country risk, kidnapping, piracy, hurricane, compliance, telemedicine, forensics and cyber crime). The instructors awarded Claudia Lange, Rebecca Sabrowsky, Antonio Petrovic and Christian Rohde with the instructor’s best poster award.

The posters were developed in the context of the course “Academic research and writing“. Coursework was organised by way of team teaching undertaken by Dr. Fabian Frielitz, our librarian Detlev Dannenberg and me as well as my student assistants Dawid Szmigielski and Serhat Akkaya.

The conference was framed by a keynote speech on “Global Existential Risks” that was delivered by Dr. Andreas Martin Lisewski, Scientific Fellow, Life Sciences & Chemistry, Jacobs University Bremen. Attendees received an insightful and entertaining presentation from the perspective of a natural scientist, which was followed by a brief discussion of selected issues.

@ Martin: Thank you very much for visiting us!

Additional information:

The teaching concept is based on blended learning and research-based learning. The course is modelled around the concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Students are provided with various access points to the course contents, which can be combined or used on a standalone basis: learning videos, textbook, webinars, library excursions, tutorials, walk-in labs and poster labs support individual learning styles.

For more information on poster conferences in general see my latest article.

New publication on SoTL and agile (dynamic) digital higher education (in German)

New article:

Mucha, A., & Decker, C. (2017).
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning für eine agile digitale Hochschuldidaktik. In Synergie. Fachmagazin für Digitalisierung in der Lehre 3(2), 20 – 23.

Synergie

Workshop on “Online courses” at Universität zu Lübeck, 12 & 13 June 2017

On 12 and 13 June 2017, I held a workshop on “Online courses in higher education” at Dozierenden-Service-Center (DSC), Universität zu Lübeck. Together with seven participants, I was exploring selected facets of online teaching.

Among others, we did a card assisted brainstorming on identifying characteristics of “online courses”. It still seems to be a challenge to find a consistent idea among a group of informed participants about what characterises an “online course”. Maybe this should not come as a surprise since the term carries many connotations. Moreover, I observed that discussions tend to become more fruitful when moving away from technological aspects while approaching higher education issues (i.e. instructional design aspects).

@ Dr. Bettina Jansen-Schulz: Thank you very much for the invitation and your sympathy and support!

New publication on shame and failure in problem- and research-based learning scenarios (in German)

New article:

Mucha, A. & Decker, C. (2017).
(Die Angst vor) Scheitern und Scham in problemorientierten und forschenden Lehr-/Lernszenarien.
In B. Berendt, A. Fleischmann, N. Schaper, B. Szczyrba, & J. Wildt (Hrsg.), Neues Handbuch Hochschullehre. Berlin: DUZ.

Scham und Scheiter

Link to article (restricted access)

Fourth AIM student poster research conference: Research-based learning in action

In December 2016, the AIM Student Poster Research Conference Winter 2016 took place at HAW Hamburg. Approximately 20 students enrolled in the degree programme Foreign Trade/International Management (B. Sc.) presented their research work. The general topic of the semester was Sustainability Management. Individual topics addressed aspects for example of population growth, vegan lifestyle, sustainable higher education and renewable energies. The instructors awarded Janne Wurr, Jan Gandera and Till Lojewsky with the instructor’s best poster award.

The posters were developed in the context of the course “Academic research and writing“. Coursework was organised by way of team teaching undertaken by Dr. Fabian Frielitz, our librarian Detlev Dannenberg and me as well as my student assistants Dawid Szmigielski and Serhat Akkaya.

The teaching concept is based on blended learning and research-based learning. The course is modelled around the concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Students are provided with various access points to the course contents, which can be combined or used on a standalone basis: learning videos, textbook, webinars, library excursions, tutorials, walk-in labs and poster labs support individual learning styles.

For more information on poster conferences in general see my latest article.

New publication on posters and poster conferences (in German)

New article:

Decker, C. (2016).
Die Posterkonferenz als hochschuldidaktische Methode und Alternative zum Referat.
In B. Berendt, A. Fleischmann, N. Schaper, B. Szczyrba, & J. Wildt (Hrsg.),
Neues Handbuch Hochschullehre. Berlin: DUZ, G 1.2.

NHHL

Link to article (restricted access)

New publication on case-based written examinations (in German)

New article:

Die fallstudienbasierte Klausur als schriftliche Prüfungsleistung: Ein Beispiel für die kompetenzorientierte Restrukturierung einer Modulprüfung. In J. Haag, J. Weißenböck, W. Gruber, & C. F. Freisleben-Teutscher (Hrsg.), Kompetenzorientiert Lehren und Prüfen. Basics – Modelle – Best Practices: Tagungsband zum 5. Tag der Lehre an der FH St. Pölten am 20.10.2016. St. Pölten: Fachhochschule St. Pölten, S. 77 – 86.

TDL16 FH St. Pölten

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Night train to St. Pölten (5. Tag der Lehre 2016)

On Thursday, 20 October 2016, I jumped on the night train to St. Pölten in Austria in order to attend a conference on competency-based education (5. Tag der Lehre: „Kompetenzorientiert Lehren und Prüfen“). After a strenuous ride in a very small train compartment, I arrived at the FH St. Pölten in order to discuss various aspects of competency-based education.

For the first time, I participated in a so called “DisqSpace”, a relatively new discussion format that is designed to allow for a higher level of interaction between the presenting speaker and the audience. In each corner of a room, a topic is presented by a guest speaker. All speakers and topics are introduced by a moderator. Thereafter, the participants split up into four groups, which will ascribe themselves to an individual corner (topic). After 15 to 20 minutes the groups rotate and move on to the next “station”. Within 60 to 90 minutes, the audience has visited all corners (topics) of the room.

Advantages

  • A smaller number of participants will be able to listen to a presented topic and discuss individual questions with the guest speaker.
  • Participants are able to attend four interrelated presentations on a given general topic, thereby identifying connections and realizing different solution approaches.

Disadvantages

  • The guest speaker has to present the topic four times in succession in a very condensed way, which I experienced as somehow exhausting.
  • Interesting and lively discussions might have to be aborted when the group has to move on to the next corner (topic).

The poster can be found at slideshare:

Die fallstudienbasierte Klausur als schriftliche Prüfungsleistung from Christian Decker

As always, the conference was perfectly organized by the friendly team of SKILL @ FH St. Pölten: Thank you very much!

And I really enjoyed the vegan stuffed peppers at the lunch buffet!

Pre-conference interview “Kompetenzorientierung mit fallstudienbasierten Klausuren”, Tag der Lehre 2016, FH St. Pölten, Austria (in German)

The pre-conference interview on “Kompetenzorientierung mit fallstudienbasierten Klausuren” with Christian F. Freisleben-Teutscher and me is now available on YouTube:

More information can be found one the website of “SKILL – Service und Kompetenzzentrum für Innovatives Lehren und Lernen” @ FH St.Pölten.

@ Christian F. Freisleben-Teutscher: Thank you very much for the interview!

Observations on the implementation of the ICM – Presentation@Nordakademie

cszjuz4wiaair5fYesterday, I shared my experiences regarding the inverted classroom model (ICM) with a group of colleagues from Nordakademie. After an insightful introduction to the ICM from Simon Hachenberg, I reported on the implementation of the ICM in two of my courses: Finance (German language) and Academic research and writing (English language). Both courses form part of bachelor programs. Whereas I introduced the ICM in my Finance course by way of a “big bang” in 2013, I phased in the ICM in my course Academic research and writing between summer 2012 and summer 2016.

During my presentation, I elaborated on observations, which in some parts correspond with other field reports but also go beyond what has been reported previously. The observations are as follows:

Observation 1

A significant number of students prefer traditional types of instruction (e.g. lecture) because they are associated with a reduced workload in comparison to the ICM.

Reaction/advise: Ignore!

Observation 2

A signifikant number of students show deficiencies if it comes to self-organisation, i. e. time and project management.

Reaction/advise: Strong guidance by way of pre-defined milestones and assignments as well as constant reminders by way of text messages and/or e-mails.

Observation 3

Students prefer informal means of information exchange (Facebook, WhatsApp etc.) instead of a formal information exchange (e.g. message boards in LMS).

Reaction/advise: Accept and keep using the formal channels!

Observation 4

The attention span of “digital natives” is remarkably low. A (perceived) cognitive overload may lead to discontinuation or jumping within video tutorials.

Reaction/advise: Information chunking!

Observation 5

Students do not understand how to receive and how to reflect upon information from video tutorials.

Reaction/advise: Explain and train how to work with video tutorials!

Observation 6

Due to individual cognitive conditions and preferences, some students are not good at learning with videos.

Reaction/advise: Create various access points to the content of the course (UDL)!

cszjttgwiaakqj5Especially the last observation leaves room for a further development of the ICM. However, didactical designs based upon an UDL approach require a tremendous amount of resources in terms of time and money if they are individually developed by instructors and/or educational institutions. An alternative might be the use of OER (see for example my own course on academic research and writing) or the sourcing of commercially produced course materials, which might eventually even be cheaper.

Workshop on competency-based development of degree programs with Oliver Reis

On September 13, 2016, roughly a dozen of my colleagues and me attended a three hour workshop on competency-based development of degree programs taught by Prof. Dr. Dr. Oliver Reis (University of Paderborn). We all teach in the degree program “Foreign Trade/International Management” and already apply more or less the principles of competency-based education. However, the workshop aimed at focussing on the overall competency-driven objective of the degree program.

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We are now heading towards a (general) competency-based development model that will help us to align the competency-based learning objectives at the level of the modules. Ultimately, this might lead to a (partial) redesign of the curriculum. I will report on the process…

Second MIB block course on financial modelling

The second MIB block course on financial modelling took place from 4 July 2016 until 8 July 2016. The “module” is a mandatory component of the International Business programme (M. Sc.) at HAW Hamburg. Approximately 20 students were challenged to tackle an especially designed case study entitled “Pulp Fiction”. The case addresses a complex investment decision to be made by a multinational corporation. The investment in question is a greenfield pulp mill project to be located in Southeast Asia. Students assume the role of a junior manager and are asked to develop a financial model as well as to prepare a report containing a strategic and financial recommendation for a fictitious board meeting.

The pedagogical framework of the course is based on the philosophy of competency-based education. The methodical-didactical design applies elements of project-based learning, case-based learning and enquiry-based learning. Preparatory instructional elements in the beginning are followed by supervision and (fading) support. Together with Stephan Beier, I taught the course applying a team teaching approach, which tends to create a positive working atmosphere and reduces the stress level for both students and instructors.

Classroom sessions took place in a computer lab. Daily sessions were scheduled from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. with a one hour lunch break. Students were only required to be present on the first day. Thereafter, they were free to work at home or elsewhere. Although the course started with a phase that requires teamwork (see photos), students are required to hand-in individual models and reports. However, students may collaborate in pairs or small groups while developing and coding their models.

The case work requires a solid understanding of finance and accounting as well as a basic skill set in Excel coding. Hence, students have to tap and apply knowledge that has been taught in previous courses, which seemed to be a challenge for some participants. In few cases, we observed ungrounded fear when faced with the magnitude of the modelling task. Moreover, it seems that fear is accompanied by shame which might be related to supposed group pressure and angst of public humiliation. We think that this observation deserves further analysis, which could ultimately lead to an adjustment of the course design.

Nevertheless, the majority of the participating students demonstrated dedication and a professional attitude towards the course objectives. It is always deeply rewarding to observe the quality of the output that students are able to achieve once they have accepted the task at hand. We have seen some very nice financial models and are looking forward to receiving the final versions of the reports to be submitted in mid-August.

New e-book on Academic research and writing

I am happy to announce that the e-book version of “Academic research and writing” has been published today.

It looks awesome on my Kindle and on my iPad… :-))

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Christian Decker & Rita Werner
Academic research and writing. A concise introduction
iCADEMICUS, Frankfurt am Main 2016
ISBN: 978-3-9815-5862-3 (E-book)
Price: 10.99 Euro (Germany)

Product details e-book

Textbook donation to HAW Hamburg’s library

Today, I donated 50 copies of my new textbook to the library of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences.

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Since I do not want my students to spend money on my textbooks, the copies will predominantly be reserved for participants of my courses on academic research and writing.

Third AIM student poster research conference on International Health Economics

On June 15, 2016 the third AIM student poster research conference took place at HAW Hamburg. Together with co-instructor Fabian Frielitz and student assistants Dawid Szmigielski and Serhat Akkaya, we organised the printing and hanging of the students’ posters.

The topic of this semester’s conference was “International Health Economics”. 28 posters addressed various aspects of the fast evolving health sector from an international perspective.

Dean Dr. Pape awarded Faidil Akbar, Kim Anna Kempendorf, Christian Kleeblatt, Falk Stegenwallner, Hamlet Tovmasyan, and Sönke Wallbaum with the instructor’s best poster award.

Co-instructor Fabian Frielitz gave a presentation on the status quo of the health sector, linking latest developments to the research findings documented on students’ posters.

We would like to thank Dean Dr. Pape as well as all visitors and students for participating in the event!

New textbook on Academic research and writing

Ultimately, after a three year long design phase, our textbook on “Academic research and writing” was published today. We spent substantial time and effort in order to create a textbook that corresponds with our e-learning tutorials and forms part of a classroom-tested, fully integrated and competency-based teaching concept.

The book is available in North America and Europe.

Academic research and writing 9783981558616

Christian Decker & Rita Werner
Academic research and writing. A concise introduction
iCADEMICUS, Frankfurt am Main 2016
ISBN: 978-3-9815-5861-6 (Paperback)
Price: 16.90 Euro (Germany)

Product details paperback

Workshops on “Inverted Classroom” at Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe, Lemgo, 28 & 29 April 2016

Last week, I held two inspiring workshops on the inverted classroom model for some highly motivated colleagues at Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe. After an unnerving breakdown of my car (transmission failure) at the periphery of Lemgo, I arrived just in time for the start of the first workshop. However, the whole team and the participants were quite empathic and helpful.

During the workshop, we had some lively, productive and insightful discussions that will help me to further refine the workshop concept.

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@ Doris Ternes & Melanie Reddeker: Thank you very much for the invitation and your sympathy and support!

Successful completion of advanced training on competency-based education, 14 October 2015

Today, I was awarded my certificate of completion in competency-based examination. The last twelve months were packed with seminars, self-study and didactical projects. I experienced a rewarding introduction to a theoretical concept of high practical value. Especially, the discussions with my colleagues were worthwhile and I received a great number of intellectual stimuli. I am looking forward to the implementation and further refinement of this fascinating concept.

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@ Oliver Reis: Thank you very much for a year full of insights!

Poster presentation on competency-based education, 26 June 2015

Yesterday, I presented my poster on the competency-based restructuring of one of my courses at an internal conference on “Competency-based teaching, learning and assessment” at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW Hamburg).

The poster can be found at slideshare:

Eine Fallstudie zur kompetenzorientierten Restrukturierung am Beispiel des Moduls „Academic Research and Writing" from Christian Decker

WiWi-Talents outstanding professorship – 21st round (“Talentschmiede), summer term 2015, June 2015

I have been awarded with the German WiWi-Talents outstanding professorship award for a third time, which is a great honor for me and my students. Especially, I would like to congratulate and thank Alen Veljan who was simultaneously awarded the WiWi-Talents outstanding student award.

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Interviews with Jutta Abulawi, Petra Naujoks and Christian Decker on competency-based education (in German)

The interviews with Jutta Abulawi , Petra Naujkos and me are now available on YouTube:

The interviews took place during a workshop on competency-based teaching and learning with Oliver Reis on 19 February 2015.

@ Margitta, Sabine & Ivan: Thank you very much!

Video conference presentation Valencia 23 Feb 2015 (YouTube)

My latest video conference presentation is available on YouTube:

@ Stephan: Thanks for editing!

New publication on inverted classroom model and academic research and writing (in German)

New article:

Academic Research and Writing. Eine Fallstudie zur Implementierung eines Inverted Classroom Models (ICM) an der HAW Hamburg, in: J. Haag, J. Weißenböck, W. Gruber, C. F. Freisleben-Teutscher (Hrsg.), Neue Technologien – Kollaboration – Personalisierung: Beiträge zum 3. Tag der Lehre an der FH St. Pölten am 16. Oktober 2014, St. Pölten 2014, S. 22 – 29. (gemeinsam mit S. Beier)

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Workshop on “Competency-based education” with Dr. Dr. Oliver Reis @ Department Wirtschaft, HAW Hamburg

On December 18, 2014 we had a stunning five hour long workshop on “competency-based education” with Oliver Reis at the Department of Business. Approximately 25 colleagues were attentively listening to Oliver’s presentation. It is always a pleasure to attend Oliver’s workshops.

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@ Oliver: Thank you very much for the instructive and inspirational presentation!

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