New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

From Lecturer to Moderator - An Alternative Seminar Concept in Bioprocess Engineering Courses

Holger Schneider, Hochschule Furtwangen University (Germany)

Roland Hirschmann, Hochschule Furtwangen University (Germany)

Volker C. Hass, Hochschule Furtwangen University (Germany)


An important objective of student training and education is the strengthening of the students self confidence in their capabilities on the basis of the existing knowledge base. In this contribution an alternative concept for student training in the 4th semester of a bachelor degree course in bioprocess engineering will be presented.

Within an academic seminar a complex task with a verifiably goal for a subsequent practical course was set (example: produce a target concentration of a certain bio-product within a total process time of 96 h). The students gained the theoretical knowledge and skills necessary to solve the problem from courses in previous semesters. During the seminar student groups were formed and encouraged to develop individual solutions to raech the given targets. A team of two lecturers moderated the seminar during the solution development process, which was split into four phases ((1) task analysis – (2) general process strategy – (3) interactive process simulation – (4) quantitative, final process strategy). After the planning phase the student-developed process strategies were performed by the student groups in a pilot plant. Real process results were compared to the target and the students planning figures.
During the seminars the lecturers basically provided methods for the development of ideas, methods for simulation and methods for process development. However, they did not intervene directly into the knowledge-based process. Monitoring of success was carried out by student peer-reviews. The student groups were strongly encouraged to select a team leader for their group in the first phase. During the work process it could be observed that student-specialists developed, who were formed into a team by the group leaders. The group leaders developed leadership strategies in order to make use of the individual strengths of the specialists with respect to the overall target.

The predominantly independent, process-oriented learning lead to an above-average motivation and a shift of the workload from passive to active study. This concept promoted teamwork and prepared the students perfectly to become professionals. The data quality from the practical course work was very high, the process targets could be met.

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