Laser Applications Flipped Classroom from Professor Poprawe at Tsinghua University

  A group of people standing on stairs Copyright: © ZHANG Zichen

The collaboration between RWTH Aachen and its strategic partner in the PR China, Tsinghua University, is now one innovative teaching project richer.

In March, Professor Reinhart Poprawe, head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology, Rector's Delegate for Collaboration with the PR China, and an honorary professor at Tsinghua University, offered his flipped classroom lecture "Laser Applications" for the first time at the Department of Precision Instruments at Tsinghua. 22 Master's and doctoral students from the fields of mechanical engineering, physics, and materials science participated in a one-week seminar, where participants were present for 20 hours.

Designed as a flipped classroom lecture, the in-person portion did not serve as a classic lecture to teach the fundamentals of laser technology but rather as a discussion of the content previously provided in 14 teaching videos. The tables are turned in the flipped classroom method: students independently work on course content at their own pace and then in class, the content is interactively explored both through applications and problems. This methods enables students to discuss specific questions about the lesson content with the instructor and places them in a more active role than in a traditional classroom setting. Professor Poprawe demonstrated his enthusiasm about the lively discussions with the students, for which there is often not enough time in classic lectures.

The 20-minute long teaching videos were producted in English by the Center for Media for Teaching at RWTH in advance and then made available to the students at Tsinghua University through the platform XuetangX.

The flipped classroom lecture is another building block in the strategic partnership between RWTH and Tsinghua University. It expands both partner's portfolio of the collaboration in the innovative field of digital teaching. The lecture will be offered this coming year as a three-credit course and will be open to students in the Aachen-Tsinghua double Master's program in mechanical engineering.