We inspire and support professors to introduce interdisciplinary and critical thinking elements – the so-called Sprinkles – into fundamental BSc lectures, so that students can learn how to incorporate technical and nontechnical skills right away. A Sprinkle is small element that can be integrated into a lecture and should not change its content significantly, but rather the way it is taught. We help them put their technical knowledge into context and to question it by using storytelling, practical examples, open questions and interactive exercises.
Our aim is to help students see the broader picture, develop curiosity for other fields and an integrative perspective on how science and technology can help solve societal problems. We believe that this is particularly underrepresented on the Bachelor level at ETH, while strongly needed for most jobs the students will take up afterwards.
How was it done?
We provide a personalized set of Sprinkles to each participating lecturer.
First, we hold an introductory meeting with the lecturer to get a first intuition for the lecture. We then prepare an extensive table of suggestions, referring to a certain section in the lecture notes, out of which the lecturer picks a couple to be implemented. Finally, we assess the success of the applied Sprinkles by running a survey among the students.
Results &/or Outlook & Next Steps:
We find that providing a set of concrete examples to each lecturer results in a higher implementation rate than classical teaching workshops, which stay on a more abstract level. However, designing personalized elements takes up more time. We are currently trying out different strategies to reduce the time cost like e.g. developing the Sprinkles together with the main Teaching Assistant of a particular lecture.