Talk Lehre 2022


On June 20, 2022, the twelfth edition of the Talk Lehre conference took place at the SuperC. After two years, where the event was held entirely online, this year’s meeting was held in a hybrid format. In addition to the in-person event at the SuperC, all talks were streamed live via Zoom. Around 250 people attended the conference, either in person or virtually. Dr. Malte Persike from the Center for Learning and Teaching Services moderated the event.

The key focus was on RWTH as a university that maintains class attendance and uses virtual formats. The event was opened by Orpha Fiedler (AStA Students’ Committee) and Lukas Schnelle (AStA speaker for teaching and university communication), who delivered a short greeting on behalf of the students of RWTH. Following this, the Vice-Rector for Teaching and Learning, Professor Aloys Krieg, outlined key challenges for RWTH in the area of teaching and learning in the coming years.

In the first part of the lecture, best practice examples and selected projects from teaching and learning were presented. University Professor Dr. Aaron Praktiknjo, Rector's Delegate for Sustainability, then introduced the Micro-Bachelor for Sustainability to the audience. In this interdisciplinary degree program, students learn the fundamentals of sustainability based on the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, and what they mean for our society today and in the future.

Professor Kai-Uwe Schröder presented the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering’s LernAppShop, a tool for integrative, interdisciplinary teaching. This instrument gives learners centralized, cross-course, and thus cross-institutional access to various digital tools (calculation routines, programs, and serious games) from individual institutes.

Dr. Mathias Wien expounded on the Jupyter concept and the genesis of the RWTH JupyterHub. In Jupyter Notebooks, texts, graphics, executable code, and visualizations can be integrated and displayed in an interactive web-based environment. Through the JupyterHub, such notebooks can be used remotely on powerful servers and with simple terminals, making them ideal for teaching and learning.

These talks were followed by the presentation of the 2021 Teaching Award in the categories of Lecturer and Sustainability. The first teaching award in the Lecturer category was presented to Professor Sandra Korte-Kerzel (Chair of Materials Physics and Institute of Physical Metallurgy and Materials Physics). The second teaching award in the Lecturer category went to Dr. Sebastian Daniel Reinartz (UK Aachen).

In the category of Sustainability, the first teaching award went to Professor Carmen Leicht-Scholten (teaching and research area of Gender and Diversity in Engineering), and the second award was presented to the Geography/Economic Geography Student Council at RWTH.

At the poster exhibition that followed, participants were able to learn about 19 selected projects and best practice examples related to teaching and learning at RWTH. The format invited people to get inspired, make contacts, and engage in lively conversation. In the second round of lectures, further best practice examples from teaching and learning were presented.

Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, Professor Heribert Nacken held a series of events that allowed students to collaborate and interact in virtually any 3D scenario using virtual reality goggles. The spectrum of VR scenarios ranged from role plays for developing communication skills to joint cross-disciplinary project work (by lawyers and engineers) and tactile activities in laboratories. Both the possibilities but also the limitations of this avatar-based teaching and learning experience were laid out in Professor Nacken’s presentation.

Modern biotechnical methods generate data with a high volume and complexity that can only be profitably analyzed with advanced digital skills. Dr. Ulf Liebal demonstrated how the simulation of biotechnological digital twins can be used to generate corresponding data individually and realistically. The analysis of the data is then processed in Jupyter Notebooks to make it more accessible for learners. This system allows instructors to design small tasks as well as large projects and employ them for students in asynchronous learning aided by automatic corrections.

Professor Rüdiger von Nitzsch presented the Entscheidungsnavi, an online training tool developed at RWTH that students can use to train appropriate decision-making skills. This is achieved with a closely managed yet flexible process of reflective decision-making, ideally based on a key question of your own.

In the last presentation of the day, Mr. Martin Breuer reported on the remote learning semester of 2021/22, which presented the university with significant organizational and technical challenges due to the Coronavirus pandemic. In total, over 100,000 individual exams (1,368 exams) were taken using the Dynexite examination system. The content, number of participants, and available resources resulted in a broad spectrum of exams. Mr. Martin’s talk offered insights in this regard and explored the question of whether and to what extent instructors used aids provided by the examination software.