University of Applied Sciences, Stuttgart (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 5102-5108
ISBN: 978-84-09-14755-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2019.1238
Conference name: 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 11-13 November, 2019
Location: Seville, Spain
The topic of "smart grid", i.e. the networking of electricity consumers and producers, is a highly up-to-date issue. Not only large companies invest in it: Especially private households increasingly generate their own electricity and get less and less power from the grid or feed more and more surplus electricity into the grid. This raises the question of whether the self-generated amount of energy can be distributed by an intelligent control of household appliances in such a way that it can be largely consumed by the generator itself and without additional volume of purchased electricity. Hence, smart grid solutions are approaches that attempt to consume as much as possible the electricity generated from renewable energy sources (for example, from a private solar system) and thereby to become self-sufficient and carbon-neutral with regard to the power supply.

Since the beginning of the year 2019, a project has been running at the Stuttgart Media University, which aims to familiarize students with the problem of carbon-neutral power supply and related topics. For the project "Smart Grid @ Home - problem-oriented learning based on a current social theme", an interactive simulation environment and a real-world demonstration laboratory is being developed. Both - the development and the use of the simulation in the context of the problem-oriented learning approach – are described in this paper.

This project demonstrates several didactic approaches used:
1. Increasing the intrinsic motivation of students:
• The students deal with a current social topic that is important to them in their everyday lives (climate protection, reduction of CO2 emissions).
• They are working on a project that will be further developed in the future and whose results will be used in further courses. Thus, they are aware of the project goal and that this is not another "game project".
2. Having an agile approach, the students define manageable and feasible weekly goals with they supervisor. Through these small learning sequences, they can easily review their learning progress and thus experience a regular learning target control (micro-teaching).
3. By dealing with real problems, the demands placed on the project's results are increased: Students learn that, unlike in “game projects”, they cannot simply change the boundary conditions of the project when problems appear: they must develop a solution within the given framework. In doing so, they learn to deal with unforeseen situations and also learn that most problems can be overcome, even though they seem unsolvable at first.
4. The chosen standard technologies for the project will provide all necessary learning resources online on digital platforms easily accessible to students. There are also university-internal courses including a learning control platform with numerous learning control questions.
5. Through personal and intensive support by the teacher, potential problems in the area of software development are reduced for the students. In particular, the introduction to the implementation tasks is stepped and accompanied by individual feedback loops.

In this paper, the didactic approaches used in this project, the results and the first results of a survey among the students involved in the project will be described and discussed.
Smart grid, problem-based learning, motivation, real-world problems.