RECONCEPTION OF AN EXISTING LECTURE TO FIT CHANGING NEEDS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION

B. Küppers, C. Vonhasselt, M. Politze

RWTH Aachen University (GERMANY)
While already established in economics, integrated degree programs in STEM education got more popular in germany over the last few years. The bachelor degree course "Scientific Programming", offered at FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences, is such an integrated degree program, which consists of 50% mathematics and 50% computer science. It incorporates the MATSE (MAthematical and Technical Software dEveloper) training course in cooperation with research facilities and IT companies located in and around Aachen.

In the last years a change in the composition of the audience, attending the lectures, was noticed. The change from generation X to generation Y finally arrived in the lecture hall. Therefore the way of lecturing had to change, to be still attractive for new participants. This lead to the reconception of various lectures. This paper will exemplarily describe the reconception of the lecture "IT basics", which covers basic topics from the field of computer science.

Due to the integrated degree program, there are boundary conditions, that had to be met. Especially there is a compulsory attendance for each lecture. Therefore the changes were mainly focused on two aspects of the lecture: the provided materials and the way of presenting these materials in the lecture. Based on a survey, a profile of the audience regarding Richard Felder's "Index of Learning Styles" was built and used as pointer to identify meaningful steps.

According to the evaluation at the end of each semester, the changes made in the conception of the lecture lead to a measurable improvement, especially regarding structure and materials. Therefore the direction of the taken approach has proven to be working and should be pursued in further lectures.