Academic Teaching in times of Corona

Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt relies on online formats and secures the semester

Screenshot of a presentation / video conference

Screenshot of an online video conference conducted by Prof. Dr. Konrad Költzsch. Source: THI

Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt (THI) is using online formats for teaching in the current summer semester 2020. Even though attendance lectures are currently not possible, lectures and seminars have been taking place virtually since the start of the semester on 16 March. In order to maintain teaching activities, the university lecturers have prepared their courses for distance learning within a few days.

Since then, students and lecturers have met in video and audio conferences, chats or discussion forums to work on content interactively. For example, Prof. Dr. Konrad Költzsch, Professor of Fluid Mechanics and Aerodynamics, holds his lectures in Fluid Simulation and Fluid Mechanics as a video conference with the online service Zoom. There he discusses the presented lecture contents with the students and calculates exercises on a digital whiteboard. To consolidate the knowledge from the previous online lesson, Prof. Költzsch uses surveys with multiple choice options. Students can enter the conference room at any time - even before or after the lecture - to personally exchange ideas with fellow students. Even outside of the lecture, students work in small online groups. In addition, they have access to the high-performance computers in the wind tunnel laboratory of the university, so that they can also carry out numerical flow simulations from home. The recorded video conferences are made available to the students on the learning platform Moodle.

The THI lecturers also produce teaching videos for their students, who can access these and other teaching materials via Moodle. Online interim tests, quizzes and surveys allow students to check their learning progress. Lecturers also offer online consultation hours so that personal advice is guaranteed for projects or final theses, for example. Prof. Dr. Rudolf Dallner, Professor of Statics, Strength of Materials, Finite Element Method and Computer Aided Engineering, uses screencasts for his teaching sequences, for example, which students work on independently, independently of time, together with subsequent tasks. They also use e-books and YouTube videos, among other things. Prof. Dallner makes sample solutions and detailed tutorials available to students on Moodle. In addition, he presents the students with illustrative videos, e.g. on the deformation of components or the stressing of a container under internal pressure. In a forum on Moodle, students can exchange information with each other. Live question hours via zoom allow for a direct exchange.

In addition, THI students can access around 90 PCs in the PC pools with important programs such as CATIA from home, so that CAD courses can be held as well as projects in which design and calculation tasks are pending.

The lecturers are supported by the THI's Competence Centre for Digital Teaching and Learning (KdL2), which has been promoting the expansion of digital teaching at the university since the 2019/20 winter semester and serves as a contact point for all questions relating to the digitisation of teaching. At the same time, the THI's computer centre is significantly expanding its capacity to cope with the digital rush. The digital media of the university library, including some 215,000 e-books and 35,000 e-journals and databases, are now also in high demand. Information events for prospective students are held as webinars or chat specials.

THI President Prof. Dr. Walter Schober: "In times of Corona we have to make sure that our students do not lose a semester. Since 16 March, our professors have been offering online teaching. With the short-term digitalisation of teaching, all lecturers at the THI are making an extraordinary contribution - for which they deserve our recognition and thanks".