The driving force for my teaching let´s call it teaching philosophy, is to motivate the students by making even boring or complicated content interesting, challenging and fun. Therefore, I always try to place my acting in the center of the didactic triangle from Kleiding meaning that the content, the student and the teacher are equally included. Depending on the content the students have different roles that reach from passive consumption of knowledge to actively developing skills and competences. Observing from the outside, the passive part might be controversial, but it is from my perspective as an engineer the only way to transfer the enormous amount of knowledge in an acceptable time to also allow room for the higher learning goals. For me as a teacher also the role changes continuously. While I might be in the center while transferring knowledge, I am sitting more in the moderator or observer role for skills and competence development.
However, the roles of the student and the teacher while interacting is something that arise almost naturally, so that not much thinking and discussion is needed here. The challenging part in the didactic triangle model is the content. Especially in the early semester the share of basic knowledge, methods and tools is considerable high, making it difficult to apply concepts of research-based teaching. Therefore, I have extended the concept of research-based teaching (RBT) to research and industrial based teaching (RIBT). But what does that mean and where does it help?
The concept of research-based teaching is at least for the technical study programs a bit narrow, since it applies that only research related problems are addressed. Beside the academic research the industry is an extremely strong driver in the development of new technologies and processes.
Since I am teaching both graduated and undergraduate students I have two different ways of applying RIBT: In the first semester the content is very far away from the cutting-edge technologies where actual research is going on. However, that does not mean that in the first semester no RIBT is possible: In the first 3 semesters of electrical engineering students basically learn the tools to identify and solve problems and they are equipped with general knowledge in the field of electronics. When I teach the first electronic course I include the academic way of working. That means that in addition to lecturing I give the students task that they must solve by applying research methods. That include that they must build knowledge by searching and reading literature to get an idea what the task is about. In the next step they should define and conduct experience or simulations in the lab and finally they have to document their results in a paper and present it to the class or a teacher committee. On the other hand, the content is very relevant for the work as an engineer. Therefore, I try to give as often as possible examples there I have used this method to solve a situation, then I was working in industry. This leads always to an increase of motivation and often also a dialogue arises
The graduated students are able to understand the themes of the latest research. Here I do not use any textbooks but explain dedicated methods, technics and knowledge during the lecture. For the exercises the students must solve problems that I solve either during my own research or as an engineer in industry. The student’s feedback is extremely positive because they get an idea what the daily work will look like after their studies and with every problem they become more confident that they will manage their future task since they are trained on actual problems and are trained to apply methods that lead to success.