Changed Roles

Changed Roles

For a course for advanced master students on disease resistance breeding in crop plants we suggested a number of topics and shared the topics among the participating students. Each teacher took over to mentor one student who then had to provide: 1) a 30 minutes lecture to all attendees and 2) a 3-5 pages mini paper for scharing among all participants.

Changed Roles

Resources produced as a result of a project: Escapade

Group size : Group (10-15 persons)

Modality : Presential

Duration of the teaching method : Over several sessions

Special equipment : classroom

Type of knowledge developed : Knowledge, Social skills

Target Audience : Students

Course Type : Course

Preparation time :4 working hours

Author and persons who made changes : Hermann Buerstmayr

Sources : Hermann Buerstmayr

Why am I using this technique?

For my learners...

Students who already possess  the necessary basic knowledge and skills,  can learn to dig deeper into a specific topic by: 1) reading current literature and 2) transferring the knowledge into a format that can be used for instructing other students and raising their knowledge and awareness. This course has two aims: 1) deepen the scientific knowledge in the topic disease resistance; and 2) get hands on training in scientific presentations and scientific writing.

For me, teacher or trainer...

I can learn for the different approaches the students take also for my own teaching and I experience a lot more active participation from the students, than in a standard lecture.

Framework and steps / Instructions

The framework

Master students with an already good level of knowledge in a specific topic

The preparation

Internet access, literature database access, library access, online library access.

The process

1) choose appropriate topics in a logical order

2) make short presentation about the available topics

3) allow students to choose their preferred topic(s)

4) allocate topics and teachers to individual students

5) weekly communication and mentoring during preparatory phase individually

6) presentations with presence of all students and teachers

7) hand in mini-review to allocated teacher

8) final evaluation and rating


All audience evaluate the presentations (students and teachers).

Teacher evaluates the quality of the mini-review.

I as a teacher often learn about new or previously not considered aspects.

Points of vigilance

Allocate clearly defined topics to individual students.

Agree on a time plan with your student from the beginning and monitor it and update it if necessary regularly.

Be active in keeping regular (weekly) contact with your student during the preparatory phase.

What if it doesn't work?

Main responsibility is with the student. Just make sure she/he feels fully supported then it will work.

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