Interactive teaching formats via StudOn

Dr. Ruth Stadler Chair of Molecular Plant Physiology on online teaching in the "Corona semester". (Picture: FAU)

Dr. Ruth Stadler has even switched over to “fully digital” plant determination exercises in the biology course. The lecturer at the Chair of Molecular Plant Physiology realizes interactive teaching formats this semester via StudOn. In the interview she tells how she digitized a presence practical course, how the exchange with the students works and what did not work out so well.

How did you experience the corona pandemic at FAU?

Of course we are confronted with restrictions, but we have managed to do the teaching in the regular time slots. I have not had to skip anything so far and have not postponed anything. Even the plant physiology practical course, which started before the outbreak of the corona pandemic, was able to be carried out by my research group on a regular basis.

How did you digitalize the course?

In the practical course in plant physiology, the students will normally pipette and carry out experiments. Of course, this is not possible online. Instead, my colleagues and I informed the students about how the experiments should have been carried out and gave them the experimental protocols and measurement data. Because we did not have a zoom at that time, we offered the lecture on StudOn as a PDF. There we also set up a chat and a forum and discussed a new topic every two days. At the end the participants had to answer questions via quiz and create a protocol.

How did you get this up and running so quickly?

We took what we already knew: We had already worked with StudOn before Corona and knew how to create an online quiz, for example. When it became clear that we would have to digitize the entire semester, we also started using more complex structures. For example by digitizing the botanical determination exercises. The students actually go out into the field with us and pick plants under supervision, which they then learn to identify with us on site with the book on their knees.

In the identification exercises, students learn how a flower is structured and the terms used in the identification literature. With the question modules the students can test their knowledge. At the end of the seminar there is an online exam. (Picture: FAU)


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