October 02nd 2023

Learning through "Storytelling" - The Embedded Systems Challenge as a Role Model

Innovative didactic concept promotes teaching quality in the field of Medical & Health Technologies

In an effort to promote excellence in teaching at MCI, particularly in the field of Medical & Health Technologies, Professor Bernhard Hollaus launched an innovative initiative - the so-called "Embedded Systems Challenge." (ES Challenge). Based on the didactic concept of "storytelling" and team-based learning, this teaching method shows how to improve the quality of teaching and the impact on learning.

The ES-Challenge takes place in the "Embedded Systems" and "Hardware-related Software Development" courses. It emerged from observing different knowledge and experiences levels of students in the area of "Embedded Systems". To ensure that all students are challenged, supported and able to apply the theoretical knowledge acquired in practice, Bernhard Hollaus has developed the challenge.

Students are divided into mixed teams for the ES Challenge, making sure to balance the different levels of knowledge to learn with and from each other. The teams then have to choose a topic related to their studies and work on it together throughout the lecture. Bernhard Hollaus will assist the students in the realization of their projects. At the end of the lecture, the projects are presented to the lecturer and fellow students in a pitch presentation. Afterwards, fellow students have the opportunity to nominate their favorite project anonymously. The chosen winning team then receives a certificate, a trophy and vouchers as recognition for their hard work. In addition, students must submit a video at the end of the course documenting the entire process, from conception to completion of their project.

The Embedded Systems Challenge demonstrates how theory and practice can be linked. In this way, the students learn more than just through traditional didactic methods; they actively apply their knowledge in their projects and are able to acquire and expand their knowledge on the basis of this "storyline". In addition, the Challenge enables cross-connections to other courses, such as project management, and improves the participants' social and team skills. The created synergies within the groups are an additional benefit of this innovative teaching method.

This didactic approach was published on the Atlas website as an example of "Gute Lehre" ("Good Teaching") by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (see "More information" on the right). Bernhard Hollaus of the department of Medical & Health Technologies thus sets an example for excellent teaching methods and the continuous improvement of teaching at MCI.


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Winning team of the Embedded Systems Challenge 2021 Project: "Bionic Hand" ©MCI