Modular and active learning to support asynchronous learning in automation engineering

Research output: Contribution to book/conference proceedings/anthology/reportConference contributionContributedpeer-review



This paper discusses the application of modular and active learning concepts to courses in automation engineering for both vocational training and higher education. In the implemented concept, a course consists of several modular learning units that address different aspects of a single automation engineering process. To realize the complete cycle of activities every learning unit consists of a defined sequence of chapters, namely objectives, theoretical concepts, task definition, planning, and exemplary solution. The objective describes the contents so that the learner can decide if it matches his own objectives. Afterwards, theoretical concepts relevant to the objectives are presented to impart the basic knowledge. Now the definition of the tasks follows to realize the phase “recognition”. To combine the theory and the task the next part is planning to implement the phase “thinking”. Despite the fact that this phase is extremely important in the context of automation engineering, analysis of other course material and feedback from experienced trainers show that it is often skipped and is available only implicitly. By presenting one part of the solution the learner is led to a first solution. The presentation is done by structured step by step instructions so the learner can either follow every single item or only the main steps depending on his own level of knowledge. Eventually learners may evaluate a checklist to gain feedback which parts they managed and which ones they might want to repeat. After having finished the guided part successfully learners can switch to the exercises. Here they will get a task and need to plan their activities themselves. First evaluation results gained in a workshop with teachers support the hypothesis that the implemented concept is highly supportive.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 2014 Information Technology Based Higher Education and Training (ITHET)
Number of pages7
ISBN (electronic)978-1-4673-6730-1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


TitleInformation Technology Based Higher Education and Training
Abbreviated titleITHET 2014
Conference number13
Duration11 - 13 September 2014
Degree of recognitionInternational event
CountryUnited Kingdom

External IDs

Scopus 84988306513
ORCID /0000-0001-5165-4459/work/142248286


Research priority areas of TU Dresden

Sustainable Development Goals


  • automatic engineering