Doctoral Position

Evaluation of the influence of learning environments on the effectiveness of bridging courses and the development of digital methods to support

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Kathrin Thiele und Prof. Dr. Reinhard Hochmuth

In order to build a bridge between learning mathematics at school and at university, Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences offers two-week courses in almost all departments. The primary goal is to refresh and consolidate basic mathematical knowledge. Furthermore, students should improve their learning behavior and attitude to mathematics. Active participation of students has positive effects on skills acquisition and learning growth (Hake, RR, 1998). Therefore, the concept relies on interaction and activating teaching methods (e.g. group work, peer discussion and much more) as well as taking responsibility for one’s own learning success, The used methods base on the direct contact between teacher and student or between the students. So far, digital approaches are not used. Using a Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS) (Smith, Jones, Gilbert & Wiemann, 2013), initial studies on the activation of students were made.

In the doctoral project, these approaches are to be evaluated. Based on the actual setting e-learning material should be developed, which supports the active methods used in the courses.


Hake, R. R. (1998). Interactive-Engagement vs. Traditional Methods: A Six-Thousand-Student Survey of Mechanics Test Data for Introductory Physics Courses. American journal of Physics 66 (1), 64-74.

Smith, M. K., Jones, F. H., Gilbert, S. L. & Wiemann, C. E. (2013). The Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS): A New Instrument to Characterize University STEM Classroom Practices. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 12(4) 618-627

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