Teaching

Teaching Overview

Here is a list of lectures that I teach or participate in teaching (overview of all DSG 184-1 lectures)

Winter Term 2014/15

184.159 Software Architectures VU 2.0h
184.237 Verteilte Systeme VO 2.0h
184.714 Bachelorarbeit für Informatik und Wirtschaftsinformatik PR 5.0h
184.715 Projekt aus Software Engineering & Internet Computing PR 6.0h

Teaching Statement

Teaching Philosophy

In my teaching I focus on following learning objectives. These are not necessarily applicable to distributed systems only but relevant to software engineering and internet computing in general:

  • Insuring that students understand fundamental concepts: to provide them with the entities, relations, constraints, and implications necessary to apprehend the problem at hand.
  • Developing students’ problem solving strategies: to outline various paths on how to approach and solve the problem.
  • Modeling expert problem solving: to master techniques, languages, and tools on how to structure a problem and its solution.
  • Teaching students to work collaboratively: to practise join problem solving activities as typical for real-world work environments

The following techniques help me achieve these objectives can be roughly grouped according to engagement, techniques, and assessment.

Student Engagement

In order to interest and engage students I consider learning-by-doing to be an essential complimentary aspects to classroom lecturing. In situations where students already possess work experiences from part-time jobs and internships, I encourage them to complete the course’s assignments in the context of their own experience or subjects they care about.
Once familiar with a topic’s basic principles, discussion of and working on authentic problems continues to engage students as they experience relevant tasks and observe actual evidence similar to experts in real world environment.Other strategies to foster a students learning process consist of assignments that require investigating a topic in more detail, beyond what is discussed during lecture. Finally, for any course work (other than exams) I ask students to provide a short report where they need to reflect on their assignments, the experience they gained, and the challenges they had to overcome.

Technique Diversity

There is no single teaching style suitable for all students. I, therefore, consider it vital to apply multiple approaches, especially to convey difficult ideas and concepts. An effective course will thus include several approaches from the following not necessarily complete list: lecture, group work, discussions/reflections, paper writing, presentations, and demonstrations.
Especially multi-stage techniques (e.g., project work followed by discussion) prove to be very effective when students are enabled to make mistakes. Thereby students improve their knowledge by correcting their work in multiple iterations; possibly applying different techniques.
This approach, however, requires clear communication what is expected from students in each phase.

Learning Assessment

Determining whether my teaching is effective cannot be purely based on course work and exams alone. Receiving immediate feedback enables assessing whether I was correctly understood and highlights topics that should be repeated or clarified. One way to achieve this are short, informal, anonymous questionnaires available after each lecture coupled with mini-quizzes that test general understanding but won’t reflect negatively on the final mark when answered incorrectly.

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