Accolade for Nanophotonics Course

The Inverted Classroom Course in Ultrafast Nanophotonics, designed and presented by Prof. Matthias Kling and Priv.-Doz. Vladislav Yakovlev, has won this year’s Prize for Innovative Approaches to Teaching at LMU Munich.The course was structured as a combination of pre-recorded online lectures intended for independent study and discussion-based instruction. The basic concept was perfected during a test phase in which a small group of Master’s students and doctoral candidates served as the guinea pigs. The course itself was hosted on the Moodle platform, for which Vladislav Yakovlev had already obtained the requisite teaching qualification. He has a Course Creator Certificate from eLeDia and is now Moodle Coordinator at LMU’s Faculty of Physics. The lecture videos were recorded and edited in a dedicated studio, and then embedded in Moodle. Participating students were also supplied (via Moodle) with further course materials (notes, slides, graphics), and a quiz designed to assess each student’s grasp of the course content. The responses to the online quiz in turn provided much of the basis for the discussion-based, face-to-face instruction that formed an integral part of the teaching module. In addition, students were actively encouraged to discuss the content of the video lectures, and issues arising from them, among themselves on a separate forum. Various active-learning approaches were employed in the face-to-face component of the course, both to evaluate the students’ understanding of the complex content of the lectures, and to enhance their comprehension with the aid of question-and-answer sessions and class discussions. Moreover, a clicker system was used to gauge student responses to questions, and the data were then employed to structure peer-to-peer discussions. Furthermore, the course designers regularly solicited feedback in relation to the methods applied and the materials supplied, which helped to optimize the course as a whole.The Prize is worth 10.000 euros, and is specifically intended to cover the cost of materials and the support staff required to extend the course format and develop new teaching strategies.

7th January 2019