University of Duisburg-Essen (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN13 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 1989-1998
ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain
20 years ago, when our department was initialized, the thematically related lecture on production modelling was provided to a small number of students and included a comprehensive practical training. In the late 1990s, concepts and technologies around “Enterprise Resource Planning” (ERP) got more prominent in the discipline and the size of the lecture rose from below 20 to over 100 students in average; it became unman-ageable to conduct the original lecture design, which focused on direct interaction between the lecturer and the students. As literature on the lecture’s content still was rare, the lecture design turned into a frontal fact-teaching scenario. However, after computers became more common, ERP turned to a topic of public interest, and many publications followed; due this increasing availability of related literature, lectures that before rea-sonably were designed for frontal fact-teaching became more and more insignificant.

In the same time, the Bologna process was implemented in Germany. Very generally aligned diploma studies turned to consecutive Bachelor/Master programs. In this context, each lecture had to end with a written ex-amination. Thus, many study-programs limited their lectures to information delivery instead of providing vari-ous exercises on aspects like general scientific work, group tasks, and practical phases. However, after the change, we realized that once the students started to write their thesis, they where unaware how to system-atically do literature research, how to reference, how to format documents according to given rules, etc.

We basically redesigned our ERP lecture: Alongside the lecture’s topic, we focused on fostering the student’s development of general competences. The students were randomly grouped. Each group authored one pa-per on a given (pre-structured) subtopic on ERP in English language, using ICT for group/work organization and cooperative writing. Each paper had to be written under the strict conditions of a conference publication. Also in English language, each group had to present its outcomes to the class, which was the actual lecture. After an intensive reworking through the instructors, the students’ papers defined the content of the examina-tion. For the exam, exactly the same questions (we had a long list of defined questions) as before the lecture design change were used, but the number of failures was reduced from roughly 40 % to 5 %. In the very end of the lecture, we asked the 121 students of the lecture to write a critical self-reflection related to their own experiences in the lecture. For that purpose, we used questionnaires with a small number of open questions. We received 98 fully completed answers in return. In the paper, which we consider an example on how to shift from behaviourist to constructivist educational design in technology-related subjects, we focus on dis-cussing the results of these self-evaluations and provide information on special challenges that we experi-enced.
Competences, competence development, lecture design, constructivist, case study.