Teaching

Teaching 2017-10-18T14:15:52+00:00

Teaching Philosophy

Albert Einstein once stated that “the only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.” I believe this need not be true. University lectures and courses can be designed in ways that enhance student engagement, promote interest, and foster learning. In my experience, students learn best when they actively interact with the course material, are repeatedly tested on the material, and are reexposed to the same material at different points in time and in different ways throughout the semester, or even beyond. Students’ motivation increases further when they experience that they can shape the progress a course or a lecture takes. Therefore, formative evaluation in the form of short surveys that assess student perceptions of and satisfaction with the course is essential for a positive learning outcome.

In my teaching, I aim to interweave a variety of active-learning methods with instructor-based lecturing. The proportion of instructor-based lecturing without student participation of any kind is usually quite small. I frequently pose content-related questions that ask students to make informed predictions, relate new knowledge to prior knowledge, or apply newly acquired information to new problems or daily situations. Although I enjoy theoretical discussions with my students, I urge them to think outside the university classroom box and find ways to implement newly acquired knowledge. Thus, I aim at contributing to education that promotes – and does not interfere with – learning in students at the university.

University of Dundee

Undergraduate courses

Objective: In one lecture, we’ll talk how music and movies affect our cognition. We learn about research undertaken in these areas and elaborate on ways these findings are applicable to daily life. Students are encouraged to actively participate by tweeting live from the lecture.

Assessment: Exam

Objective: This course examines cognitive learning principles in regard to their applicability to authentic educational settings (schools and universities). We discuss various memory and learning effects, different theories, evaluate empirical findings, and generate possible learning strategies for real-world educational settings. This course aims at providing students with a comprehensive overview of cognitive principles and at emphasizing the relevance of these principles for real-world learning contexts.

Assessment: Exam

Objective: This set of lectures covers cognitive development of children from Piaget’s perspective and concludes with limitations of his approach and ways to overcome them.

Assessment: Essay, quiz, exam

Objective: This set of lectures looks at reasoning, problem solving, individual differences in learning and memory, and expertise and creativity. Students are presented with up-to-date research findings on this topic and we discuss practical implications of the presented studies. Students are encouraged to actively participate in the lecture using different in-class activities.

Assessment: Critical review and exam

Objective: In this practical students learn how to run an own experiment, analyse data, and write a report. In three sessions students are guided through the process and feedback is given on a forth session at the end of the semester. Students learn to conduct an experiment and to analyse data using correlation and regression.

Assessment: Report

Graduate courses

Objective: The goal of this module is to equip students with an in-depth understanding of standard statistical procedures by presenting and revisiting quantitative statistics procedures and tie them to actual data from published papers. Students replicate results from published papers in class by working on real data files. Theoretical input is directly connected to data processing, data analysis, and results reporting.

Assessment: Quizzes, poster, stats rocks assignment

University of Mannheim

Undergraduate courses

Objective: Learn about the experimental method and collect data running an own experiment on the spacing effect. Discuss theoretical explanations of this memory effect, design an experiment, and analyze the data using SPSS.

Assessment: Students report the results in the form of a poster and write a report.

Objective: We look at factors that affect the onset, the continuation, and the termination of a relationship and highlight the role of individual differences in that process. Theories are discussed critically and students are encouraged to find additional information on the media on the topic.

Assessment: In-class presentation, oral participation in every session, exam

Objective: This course examines cognitive learning principles in regard to their applicability to authentic educational settings (schools and universities). We discuss various memory and learning effects, different theories, evaluate empirical findings, and generate possible learning strategies for real-world educational settings. This course aims at providing students with a comprehensive overview of cognitive principles and at emphasizing the relevance of these principles for real-world learning contexts.

Assessment: In-class demonstrations, project-based group work activities, in-class presentations

Objective: We discuss different learning strategies from cognitive psychology and their theories. Next, we think of ways on how to apply them to authentic educational settings. Finally, students go into middle-school classrooms and apply their knowledge. Implementation of learning strategies are evaluated in the end.

Assessment: In-class participation, in-field implementation, report at the end

Graduate courses

Objective: This course is an introduction to Human-Computer-Interaction (HCI) research. We approach this topic from a cognitive psychology perspective and ask how fundamental research in that area can help inform HCI. Additionally, psychology students learn how new technologies are developed and we take a small dive into the general design process. A special focus is the evaluation process of a new product or software.

Assessment: In-class oral participation, mini evaluation project, in-class presentation, spotlights

Objective: We discuss different learning strategies from cognitive psychology and their theories. Next, we think of ways on how to apply them to authentic educational settings. Finally, students go into middle-school classrooms and apply their knowledge. Implementation of learning strategies are evaluated in the end.

Assessment: In-class participation, in-field implementation, report at the end

Bachelor Supervision

Abstract: “Die vorliegende Studie beschäftigt sich mit der Untersuchung zweier Effekte, die im Rahmen einer Klassischen Konditionierung auftreten können: die Spontanerholung und der Erneuerungseffekt. Die Spontanerholung beschreibt den Effekt, dass es im Anschluss an eine Extinktion bei der Klassischen Konditionierung nach einiger Zeit zu einem Wiederauftreten der konditionierten Reaktion kommt. Unter dem Erneuerungseffekt wird das Wiederauftreten der konditionierten Reaktion im Anschluss an eine Extinktion aufgrund eines Kontextwechsels verstanden. Diese Effekte wurden anhand einer Stichprobe von sieben ProbandInnen, die die Kriterien einer Posttraumatischen Belastungsstörung erfüllen, mittels des Ein-satzes virtueller Umwelten untersucht. Die ProbandInnen durchliefen ein Paradigma der Klassischen Konditionierung. Zur Testung der Effekte wurden sowohl subjektive Maße als auch die Veränderung der Hautleitfähigkeit als objektives Maß eingesetzt. Dabei konnte weder in den subjektiven Maßen noch im objektiven Maß der Effekt der Spontanerholung oder der Erneuerungseffekt gefunden werden. In einer qualitativen Untersuchung war eine Tendenz in Richtung der Effekte feststellbar. Dieses Befundmuster wird in einer abschließenden Diskussion näher betrachtet.”

Abstract: “Wir mögen Menschen, von denen wir wissen, dass sie uns ebenfalls mögen. Dieses Reziprozitätsprinzip gilt in der Attraktionsforschung als wichtiger Faktor bei der Entstehung zwischenmenschlicher Anziehung. Kürzlich aber lieferte eine Untersuchung Evidenz dafür, dass Unsicherheit darüber, ob eine Person uns mag, noch mehr Attraktion produzieren könne als Gewissheit im Sinne des Reziprozitätsprinzips. In einem Onlineexperiment replizierte ich diese Untersuchung und erweiterte sie um die Persönlichkeitsvariable Soziale Bewertungsangst, um zu zeigen, dass der Unsicherheitsvorteil nicht für alle Menschen gilt. Bewertungsängstliche sollten die höchste Attraktion nach sicherem positivem Feedback empfinden, andere nach unsicherem Feedback. Tatsächlich konnte der Unsicherheitsvorteil nicht repliziert werden; es zeigte sich durchweg ein hochsignifikanter Vorteil des Reziprozitätsprinzips. Hierbei erwies sich die Häufigkeit, mit der die Versuchspersonen an Stimuluspersonen dachten, als partieller Mediator bei der Entstehung interpersoneller Attraktion. Soziale Bewertungsangst beeinflusste den Effekt, allerdings nicht so wie vermutet. Stärken und Schwächen beider Untersuchungen werden ebenso wie Besonderheiten eines Onlineexperiments diskutiert, um das Ausbleiben des Effekts in der Replikation ganzheitlich kritisch zu betrachten.”