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/ log / 14th Nov, 2011

f2f: Implementing new ideas in engineering education

  1. Mon, 14th Nov 2011
  2. 0 Comment
  3. face-to-face
  4. engineering education
  5. seminar
  6. experience
  7. Teaching
  8. active

Some weeks ago I had been working with a colleague on a proposal to the funding programme Fellowships für Innovationen in der Hochschullehre (Fellowships for innovations in higher education). We have thought about different things to improve the way of teaching building physics:

  • a distribution of the exams over the semester, instead of one big exam at the end,
  • activating the students by small group exercises and challenging problems
  • different ways of swapping knowledge-transfer to course preparation and follow-up,
  • improving the connection between theory and practice.

Well, now waiting for something that may come during the next year is one thing but I could not leave all the ideas of improving the courses to this chance. So I decided to implement some selected aspects into the new semester that was waiting adoors. The idea was that some minor changes should not increase the workload of preparation too much. — I have erred. The changes I had in mind took more time to implement than expected. But on the other hand my impressions of their impact are quite promising. I had already given this seminar the year before and the content is quite similar to one of our online courses in eLearning Bauphysik. So I have some notes and impressions to compare to the current course.

The course is about the basics of building physics for the students of civil engineering. The students are usually in the first semester. It consists of a weekly lecture and an accompanying seminar. As the group of students is quite large it is divided into four groups. That is, every seminar is repeated four times a week. On the one hand this can be rather boring, on the other hand you have the opportunity to test your ideas and improve them by every repetition.

The ideas I wanted to implement were

  • to show practical aspects of the subject of building physics.
  • to move the calculation of formulas (the so-called ‚transfer of knowledge’) out of the seminar into homework.
  • to use this additional time to improve discourse and deep understanding.

Our university´s learning management system (LMS) plays an important role in this process. In the following series of articles I am going to write about the experiences, problems, etc. I stumbled upon.


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