TEFFIC update at Aalborg University (AAU) – How it prepared us for the lockdown

As part of the TEFFIC project, AAU has singled out 4 pilot cases (A project-based module, and three course modules). Each module is offered once a year, meaning only two cases are active in the Spring semester. About one-third through the semester, the developing Covid-19 situation enforced a lockdown across Denmark, meaning students and staff were told to work from home. Teaching and supervision would be held on online platforms for the remainder of the semester. In essence, a major pedagogical challenge, with many questions on how to conduct our teaching activities – especially, how can we ensure that we develop the students that are needed by the industry if we cannot have physical teaching?

Luckily, the answer to that question was partly satisfied by the involvement in the TEFFIC project. Through the work packages in the project, the @Fagskolen Tinus Olsen developed a series of training material for how to improve teaching and supervision for Industry 4.0 related topics – here among, techniques for structuring online learning, and techniques e.g. blended learning and flipped classroom (See Figure 1).

Introduction view for the ninth videos (out of twelve), for e-learning elements.

One of the pilot studies at AAU had already implemented a lot of the techniques before the lockdown, and it is fair to say, that the course was better prepared than many others. The moodle platform was structured following flipped classroom principles, with one-way communication provided by videos, and questions posed to facilitate discussion at online meetings, videos were made using the Open Broadcaster Software, and lectures were held through Adobe Connect. 

Screenshot of Moodle-platform for AAU pilot

The consensus experience is that learning can be achieved through online platforms, however this required adaptions of the teaching style and format, rather than merely recording a traditional lecture. Despite the Covid-19 imposed circumstances, the adoption of these techniques have made the course a mild success anyway (More face-to-face time is always nice). Generally, AAU has raised to the challenge, with task-force initiative about spreading the techniques for e-learning, a path highlighted through the TEFFIC project.