Presentation on ICM @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.


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…