Transitions in Teaching Mechanical Engineering during COVID-19 crisis

Birgit Vogel-Heuser, Fandi Bi, Kathrin Land, Emanuel Trunzer

pp. pp. 27 - 47, download






The quality of teaching in mechanical engineering greatly depends on the practical application of the fundamental theory taught. During COVID-19, limited access to in-class lectures, practical courses with demonstrator plants, and active student participation forced us, an institute of a mechanical engineering faculty in the German higher education system, to transform the teaching strategy in a limited time of one month.  For class sizes of between ~25 and ~700 participants, mainly addressing mechanical, electrical and software engineering students, we share challenges and successes in our transformation strategy during April-October 2020. Furthermore, we present a collection of suitable tools, their functions, advantages, disadvantages, and feedback from three sources to provide profound assessment and adaptation criteria in digital teaching. Using quantitative evaluations of four lectures in automation and information systems over the past five years, we highlight the experience from the students’ perspective and evaluate our digital teaching methods compared to well-established in-class formats. This compilation of causes and consequences clarifies the effort involved in achieving the result and discusses the potential of digital teaching or hybrid teaching in engineering.  



Keywords: online education, teaching strategy, automation and information systems, mechanical engineering, COVID-19




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