Teaching

BACKGROUND MATERIAL For Teaching and Workshops

Here are the of the workshop/tutorial: “The empirical study of altered states of consciousness – common standards in the psychometric assessment of subjective experiences”

TEACHING CONCEPT

In my teaching I have a strong focus on the integration of current research and neuroscientific methodology. When I started to give courses at the Humbold Graduate school, the Freie Universität Berlin and the Universität of Osnabrück from 2010-2015, I enjoyed great freedom in shaping format and content of my classes, as all of my teaching was voluntary. In 2015 I happily accepted a position at the Universität of Osnabrück, where I was asked to cover empirical training aspects of the Cognitive Psychology curriculum for Cognitive Science Students on BSc and MSc level. As this matched my passion to supply students with the methodological background and skills to critically evaluate cutting edge research, I was delighted to accept this responsibility for five semesters.

Feedback and Development

From the beginning of my teaching on I made use of evaluation structures. Please find below teaching evaluations from the Universität of Osnabrück that I voluntarily requested for all my courses and that were a great source for continuous quality control and improvments. These evaluations helped to develop supervision strategies to well integrate student presentations in seminars. I established a schedule for each presentation, to discuss the content and presentation style timely before the actual presentation and a communication on the embedding of each presentation within the seminar context. According to suggestions from didactic seminars at the Freie Universität Berlin (see University Didactic Education), I developed feedback-sheets to give anonymous simple evaluations of all students in the audience to the presenter’s performance – a mechanisms that students highly appreciated and called: “the first time a direct and honest feedback on my presentation”. These implementations significantly improved the student’s motivation to improve presentation skills and appreciate the value clearly structured presentations.

Example: Research and Development Project

In 2015/16, I had the great opportunity to supervise a 1-year ‘study project’ with 20 Cognitive Science MSc students. The format was intended to prepare students for research and development projects within and outside of academia. Under the title ABCD: Advancing Big Consciousness Data, we aimed to identify what human neuroscientific research has been performed on experimentally induced altered states of consciousness (e.g. with psychedelics), clarifying how such experiences can be quantified by questionnaires, and ultimately building a database encompassing all available psychometric data extracted from the literature.

After initial motivation of the work, I implemented several team building measures including group games and movie nights. In my role as a supervisor, I did not enforce a strict scope of the project, instead it was flexibly adjusted to the expertise and interests that the students brought with them. To plan and optimize the workflow we implemented organizational structures with online applications as in small business structures. Particularly we used Slack© and Trello© in line with Gantt-diagram project planning. During the year, the students used and refined organizational structures (switching between flat to hierarchical group structures) and gained experience in mediated conflict management.

Four of the students from this project consecutively conducted their Master thesis together with me. A group of six students and I were able to present our results on an international conference (ICPR 2016, Amsterdam) with two posters and a talk. We wrote two manuscripts, where twelve students participate in the publication process as co-authors. We founded the WikiProject: Altered States of Consciousness, which is an open online task force to improve Wikipedia articles that gave us the possibility to openly publish our results and continue the project beyond the end of the university course. In the meantime, also a  webpage that offers researchers the possibility for meta-analyses, based on the developed datase has been released: The AlterdStatesDatabase (ASDB).

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Please See CV (available soon…)

 

UNIVERSITY DIDACTIC EDUCATION

Delighted to see that German universities offer advanced didactic training for university teachers, I took part in the certification program ‘SUPPORT für die Lehre’ at the Freie Universität.

Teaching Awards

2017 1st place – Teaching Award of the Institute of Cognitive Science,  Universität Osnabrück,  1.000 EUR performance-based funding
2016 2nd place – Teaching Award of the Institute of Cognitive Science,  Universität Osnabrück, 500 EUR performance-based funding
2015,206 Nominated by students for the Hans-Mühlenhoff Award for excellent university teaching, Universität Osnabrück

MEDIA

University News on a study projet, which I co-supervised together with Dr. Uwe Friese [GERMAN]