Since Fall 2013, Prof. Schniepp has continuously invested in modern technologies to improve teaching efficiency and provide students with an enhanced learning experience. This applies to both classroom teaching and research advising.
In the classroom
To enhance classroom teaching, a dedicated format was developed to capture as much as possible the classroom experience and transform it into an audio/video stream. In this format, an audio/video stream showing the instructor giving the lecture is combined with a video stream showing the slides presented during the class as well as notes written to a “digital blackboard”. A sample video stream of this format can be watched here:
These videos streams are used for inverted teaching, where students can watch the video content first, which opens up greater possibilities to engage in interactive activities in the classroom. Students especially like the possibility to “rewind the lecture” to repeat difficult passages. This especially applies for non-native English speakers, who can repeat listening to parts of these video streams until their vocabulary is up to the task.
At this point, one undergraduate-level class (APSC 201, "Introduction to Materials Science", Spring 2014) and one graduate-level class (APSC 784 "Imaging Methods", Fall 2013) were completely captured and transformed into the new format; 30 hours of HD video streams are available, each.
For research advising
To enhance research advising, an online discussion forum and a lab wiki were set up.
The wiki was installed to assemble the most important knowledge used in the research group and present it in a canonical way. This wiki is continuously amended with new information (instead of only communicating with individual students). The wiki allows new students to get access to the most important information more quickly.
The online discussion forum was set up as a more transparent way of communicating within the research group. Rather than just sending e-mails and questions between individual group members, they are posted to the web forum, where they can be monitored by all group members. Moreover, this forum is searchable and allows new members joining the research group to catch up with ongoing activities and discussed problems more quickly.