Eight Fellowships for RWTH Instructors


Once again, the NRW Ministry of Science and Research and Stifterverband, provides Fellowships for Innovation in Digital Teaching & Learning at universities.

They are providing instructors from 15 universities with funding to introduce and implement digital teaching and learning methods. Eight instructors from RWTH Aachen were among those to receive the funding. The total funding volume amounts to two million euros per year, with each fellow receiving up to 50,000 euros to implement their concepts. Below are the RWTH Aachen recipients:

Professor Gabriele Gramelsberger, Chair of Philosophy of Science

Creation of a Teaching Lab for Computational Science Studies (CSS) for Students in Scientific and Engineering Research and Philosophy

Humanities and social science students should be taught and embrace the change of science in digital science. Not only are internships and the infrastructures of scientific work changing as a result of digitalization, research is also experiencing a fundamental transformation with computer simulation methods and big data analytics widely used. In the teaching lab students empirically and theoretically analyze this digital change, use softtware-based tools for code studies, and they conduct their own teaching and research projects in collaboration with natural scientists and engineers.

The teaching and learning lab is a central component of the RWTH Center for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Studies and will become a permanent component of the university curriculum with two mandatory modules in the Center's Master's courses of study beginning 2019/2020..

Professor Heidrun Heinke, Experimental Physics Teaching and Research Area

VidAMeda – Compendium with Instructional Videos on Evaluating Measured Data

Every year hundreds of Bachelor's students minoring in physics spend many hours creating detailed lab reports for the physics lab outside of class. A collection of instructional videos on how to evaluate data are intended to help students overcome the difficulties that arise. Aside from instructional videos, which teach the technical skills to adequately illustrate and evaluate data, there are also videos that aim to give students a basic understanding of how to handle measured data and measurement uncertainties. These tools will make the time student spend on lab work outside of class significantly more efficient and effective. Positive effects for students majoring in physics are also expected.

Dr. Steffen Jris, Biblical Theology Teaching and Research Area

A Micro-Bachelor: Using E-Learning to Fufill Admission Prerequisites for the Master's Program "Theology and Global Development"

The project's objective is a digital offering for students preparing for the Master's program "Theology and Global Development" to meet the targets set in RWTH's "Meeting Global Challenges" mission statement. Currently, students, who did not complete the Social Sciences Bachelor's program, must complete additional academic performance to be admitted to the Master's program. The planned project offers a solution to this problem by developing a micro-Bachelor's program, which will be offered as an e-learning course to help students learn the content and acquire the credit points necessary before the Master's program begins, thus allowing them to begin their studies without delay. Thanks to collaboration with the RWTH's Media for Teaching institution, the combined funding will be sufficient to form the content, management, and technical implementation of the micro-Bachelor.

Professor Aaron Praktiknjo, Assistant Professorship of Energy Resource and Innovation Economics

Using Games to Become Energy Experts – Virtual Energy System Labs

The energy system is currently experience a rapid structural change, which requires an increasingly intensive and fast exchange of information between many actors in a wide variety of disciplines. Simultaneously, it is evident that energy science graduates have a significant competitive advantages in the job market, when they possess an understanding of this extreme degree of complexity and can persevere and make the grade. However this increasing complexity to the traditional transfer of knowledge in energy systems teaching offers new challenges. The fellowship will be used develop three virtual energy systems labs as a solution to these problems:

  • Energy Stocks Game 2.0
  • Simulation of Balancing Group Management 1.0
  • Open Source Energie System Model

Dr.-Ing. Wilko Rohlfs, Institute of Heat and Mass Transfer

heatApp – Mobile App to Learn Temperature Profiles Through Gaming

As a part of efforts to digitalize teaching in the field of heat and mass transfer, an initial version of a game-based learning app has been developed to help students learn temperature profiles. The app will be further developed to provide students with a stable app, that consistently performs, which can be integrated into teaching. The current project status is a functional basic concept. However the design must be optimized. Furthermore, there are existing errors that must be analyzed and corrected. Further excercises will also be integrated into the app. Focus is being placed on optimizing the gaming experience and having the app approved and accepted by students.

Dr. Cord Spreckelsen, Institute of Medical Informatics

Healing Innumeracy – Longitudinal Blended Learning for Science and Risk Competence in Medical Studies

A series of mathematic and statistical concepts is invaluable to correct assess risks and evaluate scientific evidence in medicine. When they are traditionall taught during medical studies, students do not retain them. Many doctors drastically incorrectly interpret numbers relevant to treatment, for example when evaluating therapies. As a result, Gerd Gigerenzer embraced the term "Innumeracy." The project aims to improve medical students' number and risk competence long term with a blended learning offer that will take place over multiple course semesters. Short videos with integrated comprehension tests, question duels, and self-tests, which are presented as staggered challenges, are included in the offer. The results are collected in an e-portfolio, which contains fun incentives.

Professor Florian Wellmann, Junior Professor of Numerical Reservoir Engineering

Fit fr "Big Data" – Step-by-Step Interactive Scientific Programming with Jupyter Notebooks for Geoscientists

Programming is hard. That's the general consensus among geoscience students in classes. However, the quickly growing availability of large datasets in geosciences makes it necessary to efficiently process this data: during studies, in research, and increasingly in the professional world.

"Meet students where they are" – this is the approaching according to which a learning and programming platform is to be developed, which will reduce students' inhibitions. The program included a step-by-step introduction to programming with interactive programming methods. Through cloud computing, students will have the possibility to directly work together in projects. The project's innovative aspect is adapting and optimizing the newest methods in "Jupyter Notebooks" specifically to teaching. The objective is for students to learn the purpose and potential of scientific programming through gaming.

Annalena Wernz, Chair A of Mathematics

Teaching and Learning with an Inverted Classroom – A Model Course in Teacher Training and Bachelor's Education

In an inverted classroom scenario, students learn course content at their own pace without any conflicts. Because students learn content outside the classroom, lecturers and their aids are able to more intensively work with students during class than in a traditional lecture. In a second component, teacher training students learn skills and methods to include instructional videos in their lessons at schools while Bachelor's students work closely together with lecturers to gain a look at current number-theoretic research.

Source: Press and Communications