COMPETENCE DEVELOPMENT BY DIGITALLY SUPPORTED LIVE-TEACHING TECHNIQUES: A CASE STUDY WITH WEBINARS

M. Leiss, J. Augat, E. Ponick

Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences (GERMANY)
Universities often experience the challenge of students who face a large and anonymous lecture setting with limited possibility for interaction and feedback. If students are additionally in the situation to have to combine work or family requirements with their classes the study situation can get quite tense with potentially negative impact on study success (Pumilia-Gnarini, P.M. et al. 2013; Ebner, M. 2009; Pfeffer, T. 2011; Glazer, F. 2012). The European Commissions priority on digitization has lead to legislation in various member states encouraging distant and self-paced learning also ensuring equal opportunities for students with diverse requirements. Our contribution reflects a pilot project startet in this context at Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences. The aim of our project was to offer an interactive and digital learning format that can be revised at own needs in terms of time and location at own pace and as often as students wish but still retains the group-situation of a classroom-lecture. A further motivation was for us to prepare students for practice in companies sized from SMEs to multinationals that require in their daily life digital competence e.g. for meetings, career-discussions, feedback-processes, information sessions etc. Additionally we wanted to provide first experiences on what context and groups specific digital formats are suitable for.

The webinar-format was tested in 2 different undergraduate courses: A lecture with about 140 participants and 5 seminar-groups with about 30 participants each. We prepared webinars as rehearsal-sessions after every 4-5 past lectures and included questions for students to test their knowledge on the rehearsed subjects. The questions were in multiple-choice format or open to be answered by text input. To test if this is an effective and useful learning format we included a few evaluation questions at the end of each webinar. The results provided evidence that over 85% of students want to have this format offered again in their classes (even though a majority had never attended a webinar before). Furthermore students like the interactivity and feedback-option of the format. We conclude that technology-supported live-teaching techniques such as webinars can substantially improve competence development in academic education aswell as professional development contexts and offer additional opportunities for inclusion of students who are not able to attend class physically or have missed lectures. We discuss further options for digitally supported live-teaching techniques and propose a future scenario also for success evaluation.