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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Yesterday, 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:
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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)!
Especially 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.
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… :-))
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)
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.
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)
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.
@ Doris Ternes & Melanie Reddeker: Thank you very much for the invitation and your sympathy and support!
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.
@ Oliver Reis: Thank you very much for a year full of insights!
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.
@ Oliver: Thank you very much for the instructive and inspirational presentation!
On December 17, 2014 the second AIM student poster research conference took place at HAW Hamburg. Together with co-instructors Natalia Ribberink and Tine Schrammel, I organised the printing and hanging of the students’ posters.
Dean Dr. Pape awarded Thyra Dahl, Alyssa Uecker and Jan Meyer with the instructor’s best poster award.
We would like to thank Dr. Pape as well as all visitors and students for participating in the event!
Right after having finished our presentation at the “Tag der Lehre 2014” at HAW Hamburg, Stephan Beier and I jumped on the night train to St. Pölten in Austria. Thankfully operated by ÖBB and not DB, which was affected by a country-wide rail strike, we were heading towards the next conference at FH St. Pölten in order to participate in the “ICM Werkstatt” and to present our poster on academic research and writing at the conference “3. Tag der Lehre 2014“.
Our poster can be found at slideshare:
In the evening, we had a beer and an entertaining conversation with the German “grandmaster” of higher education, Rolf Schulmeister. A pleasant finale for two strenuous but rewarding days!
On June 18, 2014 the first AIM student poster research conference took place at HAW Hamburg. Together with co-instructor Stephan Beier, I organised the printing and hanging of the students’ posters.
Dean Dr. Pape awarded three students with the instructor’s best poster award.
Here is one of the awarded posters. It was prepared by Dawid Szmigielski:
Margitta Holler and Ivan Belyaev filmed the event and interviewed some of the participants. The video will be posted later on YouTube.
Stephan Beier and I would like to thank Dr. Pape, Margitta Holler and Ivan Belyaev as well as all visitors and students for participating in the event!
Stephan Beier and I presented a shortened version of our slides from the “Tag der Lehre 2013” at the “E-Learning Roundtable” of HAW Hamburg.
Consistently, colleagues are fascinated by the inverted classroom model. Again, we received a very positive feedback and encouraging comments from the audience, which keeps us motivated and rewards us for the efforts of the last years.
@ Christoph Wegmann: Thank you very much for the invitation!