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Higher Education Didactics

Higher Education Didactics

Developing Learning Environments in Higher Education and Didactic Counselling

In the context of (higher education) didactics, we as teachers - regardless of our respective subject discipline - ask ourselves comparable questions, including:

  • How do I design courses in such a way that the content is appropriate for the target group and students are enthusiastic about the content?
  • How do I design my courses in such a way that they arouse situational interest in the students and are perceived as cognitively activating, enriching and rich in teaching (learning)?
  • How do I ensure that students engage intensively with the learning objects and that the respective level of the intended competency goals can be achieved?
  • Which media and which use of media are useful in concrete teaching-learning processes?
  • How can I design complex teaching-learning arrangements that are effective for learning and support students in their competence development?
  • How can I promote collaborative learning of students in presence and in the digital space?

In addition to aspects of designing teaching-learning environments, reflecting on our professional actions allows us to uncover potential for optimisation and implement it in a beneficial way. In addition to the tried and tested, innovative approaches can enrich our teaching activities.

My concern is to provide impulses and suggestions that enrich our teaching activities and enable students to engage in intensive learning processes. I am available for conceptual questions and university didactic concerns and look forward to exchanging ideas. Please feel free to contact me!


Workshop "Problem-oriented teaching and learning" of BayZieL

On 24 and 25 October 2022, the workshop "Problem-oriented teaching and learning" with Agnes Weber took place at the OTH Amberg-Weiden. The seminar was fully booked, 13 of the 15 participants were colleagues from Amberg or Weiden. The lecturer, Ms Agnes Weber, is known for several publications on problem-based learning (e.g. Weber, 2007).

The approach of so-called problem-based learning has its roots in medical training at McMasters University in Canada and originated at the end of the 1960s. Maastricht University was one of the first universities worldwide to introduce the approach on a larger scale (Dolmans, 1994). The Maastricht model is also known as the seven-jump. Other models of problem-based learning can be found in Barrett (2010) or Hmelo-Silver (2004), among others.

The aim of the learning-centred approach is to facilitate theory-practice transfer or to bridge the much-cited gap between knowledge and action. To achieve this, learning takes place on the basis of exemplary problems of professional action, which are appropriately complex, not very structured, represent a slight overload and form the starting point of the learning processes. In working out possible solutions and the information required for this, learners deal intensively with the learning content and thus construct their knowledge.

In order to further accompany and discuss the transfer into one's own teaching practice, the Didactics Café offers the possibility of an informal and informal exchange over coffee/tea and/or lunch. I will be in Amberg on 11.01.2023 and in Weiden on 18.01.2023, both from 12:00 to 13:00. Specific information on the meeting places, such as the refectory, cafeteria, lounge, etc. will follow with a short reminder about a week before the dates. Interested parties who did not participate in the seminar are also welcome. I look forward to the exchange!

Literature selection:

Barrett, T. (2010). The problem‐based learning process as finding and being in flow. Innovations in Education and Teaching international, 47(2), 165-174.

Barrows, H. S. & Tamblyn, R. M. (1980). Problem-based learning: An approach to medical education (Vol. 1). Springer.

Dolmans, D. (1994). How Students learn in a Problem-based Curriculum (Dissertation). Presse der Universität Maastricht.

Hmelo-Silver, C. E. (2004). Problem-based learning: What and how do students learn? Educational psychology review, 16(3), 235-266.

Weber, A. (2005). Problem-Based Learning – Ein Ansatz zur Verknüpfung von Theorie und Praxis. Beiträge zur Lehrerbildung, 23(1), 94-104. Verfügbar unter: https://www.pedocs.de/volltexte/2017/13566/pdf/BZL_2005_1_94_104.pdf [01.11.2022].

Weber, A. (2007). Problem-Based-Learning. Ein Handbuch für die Ausbildung auf der Sekundarstufe II und der Tertiärstufe. hep Verlag.



Certificate in University Teaching Bavaria

On 6.10.2022, Prof. Dr. Heiko Zatocil received the "Certificate in University Teaching Bavaria" from the President of the OTH Amberg-Weiden, Prof. Dr. Clemens Bulitta. The Certificate in University Teaching of the Didactics Centre at the Bavarian Centre for Innovative Teaching (BayZiel) certifies a special commitment to good university teaching. This includes an intensive examination (120 work units of 45 minutes each) of essential topics such as: Teaching and learning concepts, presentation and communication, designing examinations, reflection and evaluation as well as advising and accompanying students.

More information on the Certificate in Higher Education Teaching Bavaria is available on the BayZiel website. I will be happy to answer questions about the certificate, registration and the creditability of events!

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