Teaching

Teaching 2020-05-11T17:16:50+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 Glasgow

Undergraduate courses

Objective: An introduction to Philosophy of Science. Students will learn the historical background of the scientific method and we will discuss how conclusions are drawn in science. We will meet Sir Karl Popper and his falsificationism and talk about Thomas Kuhn’s revolutionary science approach. The lecture series wraps up with a critical evaluation of the current scientific philosophy in Psychology.

Assessment: Exam

Objective: In two lectures students learn what test anxiety is, why it matters, where it comes from, what contributing factors are, and what can be done about it. The lectures conclude with hands-on tips on how to deal with text anxiety.

Assessment: Exam

Objective: This set of lectures covers the quantitative methods of the factorial ANOVA, ANCOVA, and effect sizes. It concludes with a revision quiz.

Assessment: Exam

Objectives: In these labs students acquire writing and data analysis skills. Data wrangling, visualisation, and analysis are done with R.

Assessment: Reports, presentations, take-home exercises

Graduate courses

Objective: Service Learning as an innovative teaching concept that applies knowledge obtained at university to real-world problems. It promotes understanding through the application of newly acquired knowledge to the community to meet prevailing needs. In my Service Learning courses, university students are
taught learning principles from cognitive psychology and – based on this new knowledge – they design tutorials for pupils and deliver them in local schools to help pupils adopt more successful study strategies. This teaching innovation has been commended by the BPS review committee in 2019.

Assessment: Reflection report

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

Objective: Service Learning as an innovative teaching concept that applies knowledge obtained at university to real-world problems. It promotes understanding through the application of newly acquired knowledge to the community to meet prevailing needs. In my Service Learning courses, university students are
taught learning principles from cognitive psychology and – based on this new knowledge – they design tutorials for pupils and deliver them in local schools to help pupils adopt more successful study strategies. This teaching innovation has been commended by the BPS review committee in 2019.

Assessment: Reflection report + Exam

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