IMA/ZLW & IfU, RWTH Aachen University (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 40-49
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
The continuing technological progress and changing conditions of studying have induced a demand for a realignment of academic teaching including the imparting of knowledge and competence transfer. The question “How do students learn?” becomes the focus of attention. As a result teachers take the tertiary didactical interventions and innovations into account. These trends are geared towards a “shift from teaching to learning” (Szczyrba; Wiemer 2011) and call for a student-centered teaching (Bologna Process, 1999). To meet the previously described developments the Center for Learning and Knowledge Management at the RWTH Aachen University presented a new designed didactical concept based on a method mix. Within the framework of the course „Kommunikation und Organisationsentwicklung“ (communication and organizational development, KOE) a combination of numerous established, positive evaluated plus new, innovative methods is used. The lecture is conceptualized for mechanical engineering students in their first term at RWTH Aachen University.

The lecture discusses various content-related aspects of organizational development such as work and cooperation processes in a company or repercussions and challenges of worldwide division of labor. The didactical conception of the lecture combines the following elements:
Based on the “flipped classroom”-approach a participatory learning curve emerges for the students. The course consists of two central elements. First there is the “online lecture”, a video recording from the last years’ traditional lecture. Students can access the “online lecture” via the RWTH elearning-platform L²P. In order to prepare for the “discussion forum” they are able to watch the “online lecture” in advance. The “discussion forum” constitutes the second element; it takes place every week and provides the opportunity to discuss open questions or to hold lively debates. In practical-oriented tutorials for large groups the learning contents can be reflected and deepened. The plenary “discussion forum” addresses several learning-types with different didactical concepts and demonstrates various ways of studying (Flechsig, 1996).

Further comprehension questions can be submitted to a special email-contact as well as on a elearning-platform. All requests are collected weekly and explained at the “discussion forum”. The utilization of an „audience response system“ allows the continual involvement of students. The system is online-based and simulates a televoting which presents the audiences’ opinion with a figure of frequencies. The integration of this proceeding facilitates an expeditiously inquiry of opinions in a large group. The practical relevance is increased by guest lecturers from well-known enterprises.
The portfolio of „online lecture“ and „discussion forum“ is complemented through a two-days training (so called KOE-Laboratory) in which practical experience and proving in a fictional enterprise simulation are fundamental. Students undergo the process of teambuilding; they are supposed to set up an automotive company, define departments and coordinate the intern communication procedures to design a product, an innovative automotive prototype.

In the context of this paper the didactical concept of „KOE“, which hosts over 1400 students, is described in details in its complex methodological structure. Future efforts for a continuous optimization of the concept and an adaption of the target audience are delineated.
Flipped Classroom, Excellent Teaching, Didactical Method-Mix.