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Over the entire century of its existence, electronic structure theory and the use of electronic structure theory codes have been taught to the next generations in the form of printed books and classroom lectures/workshops. As for any human activity, this format was dictated by a compromise between effectiveness and economy. Today, technology has evolved beyond the level of printed books, VHS videotapes, chalk boards and slides. In response to this, and with some inertia, teaching models that make optimal use of these new technological possibilities are developing. The internet allows for a rapid distribution of digital video and digital text, with synchronous or asynchronous communication channels between teacher and students and/or among students, and with different types of (semi-)automated interaction between the student and the course material. This can be used for fully online teaching, or blended with physical class time. This is changing the higher education landscape in a way that cannot be fully predicted as yet.
Therefore, it is the right time to ask: what can we, as a research and teaching community, do about online teaching for electronic structure theory and codes?
A decade of exploration of online teaching has led to an emerging consensus about good practices in digital/online didactics. So far, this knowledge sits within pedagogical departments and with early adopters in different research fields, but it has not yet permeated the bulk of the electronic structure community. The aim of this workshop is to spread knowledge and lower thresholds to start using online teaching methods and creating educational resources to that end, with an emphasis on content that is relevant for the codes we use and develop in the electronic structure community. The approach will be practical and hands-on, such that participants develop a good view on what is possible for them, with their background and with the environment they operate in. In order to practice what we preach, the participants will collaborate on the spot to record and edit a scientific video, and to create a digital learning module out of it.
The workshop is structured along 6 thematic sessions, which pay attention both to the bigger picture and to the daily practice:
session 1 : digital learning: why should we bother?
Session 2 : from lecture to script
session 3 : do-it-yourself video production
session 4 : getting your hands dirty
Session 5 : interaction and platforms
session 6 : stories by early adopters
The Digital Turn - pathways for higher education in the digital age (by Hochschulforum Digitalisiering, a German think tank on higher education and digital learning)
Quantum Leaps We Can Expect in Teaching in the Digital Age - a roadmap (by Stephen Downes, a Canadian philosopher and commentator on online learning and new media)
Can the universities of today lead learning for tomorrow? The university of the future. (by Ernst & Young Australia, an analysis of the future of higher education in Australia)
e‐Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning (book by R.C.Clark and R.E.Mayer, 2016)