gms | German Medical Science

Learning through Inquiry in Higher Education: Current Research and Future Challenges (INHERE 2018)

08.03. - 09.03.2018, München

Orientation and Motivation by Combining Research Based Learning and Orientation Studies

Meeting Abstract

Learning through Inquiry in Higher Education: Current Research and Future Challenges (INHERE 2018). München, 08.-09.03.2018. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2018. Doc32

doi: 10.3205/18inhere32, urn:nbn:de:0183-18inhere325

Published: March 1, 2018

© 2018 Yenice Campbell et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at



Research-based learning encourages students to engage with different topics and subjects in a motivating learning environment. The orientation program MINTgrün at Technische Universität Berlin offers two semesters for open choices of teaching modules including a series of specially designed project laboratories covering topics such as robotics, construction, environmental research, programming, mathematics, gender studies and chemistry [1]. The project laboratory chemistry (OPL Chem) follows the concept of research-based learning and allows students to define the aim of the project after participating in impulse talks which report on the experiments conducted by the previous cohort. The opportunity of the free choice motivates the students to pick topics of their interest. To date students tend to pick topics related to sustainability and current environmental issues such as decontamination of oil spills on water, production of biological plastics, the decomposition of plastic, quantification of heavy metals in tap water, investigation of electric producing bacteria or optimization of the oxygen generation by algae. It was also reported in literature that free-choose learning research promotes environmentally sustainable attitudes and behaviour [2]. In addition, a series of teaching videos were developed for this laboratory including theoretical fundamentals, preparation of samples, the configuration of complex setups, safety instructions and handling of programs for the correct data evaluation. Such videos were identified as helpful tools to reduce the effort for supervision during the project period while the quality of the experimental work of the students was clearly rising [3], [4]. OPL Chem allows the students to publish their own experimental results as self produced videos and internet blogs, in support of their written protocols. In that way a sustained pool of videos of various experiments was established for the public.


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