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TAMK University of Applied Sciences in co-operation with Germany, the Czech Republic and Estonia
Studying automation and German language on an integrated web-based course

TAMK University of Applied Sciences is leading international co-operation in the creation of a new kind of course in technology and German language. This entails the basics of automation technology hands-on through the medium of German. The project, entitled Automation Technology and German as an On-Line Course (“Automatisierungstechnik und Deutsch als Online-Kurs”, the ADOK Project), is mostly funded by the LifeLongLearning Program of EU.

Preparing a new kind of course.
Claudia Daems of TAMK University of Applied Sciences (left), Baldur Veit and Claudia Friedl of Reutlingen University and Ulrike Eichstädt of the company Ulrike Eichstädt are preparing a new kind of course which integrates German language and automation technology.
High resolution image (387 Kb)
Photo: Andreas Berner

A course using on-line and social media combines the basics of automation technology and German language. In this course each student has access to supportive teaching material in his/her first language – Finnish, German, Estonian and Czech. Those co-operating are TAMK University of Applied Sciences (TAMK), Reutlingen University, Tallinna University of Applied Sciences, Technical University of Ostrava and the Finnish company Ulrike Eichstädt. The German companies In Punkto Softwareentwicklung and Hinterwaelt Grafikdesign are also involved. Siemens Finland Osakeyhtiö is supporting the project by providing authentic material.

For several generations now, the position of German in Europe has declined, while automation is currently needed in many fields of industry. Once it has been perfected, the course will be freely available to all – students, teachers and professionals seeking to update their competence. It will moreover serve to support teacher and student exchanges with German-speaking countries.

The material for the web-based course is based on Siemens’ German programming tools and manuals; the company is a leading manufacturer of automation systems in Europe. In its communications it uses primarily German – whenever possible; however, the official language of the company is English.

The learning environment guides the user to use German for all purposes: in the study of basic automation and in maintaining contact between student groups. A student from each of the four higher education institutions involved is nominated to a four-person group and the members learn to do telework in a multilingual group with German as their lingua franca.

Using the new learning method the student groups adopt by turns the role of client and manufacturer: as a client specifying a technical problem and as a producer of service solutions to the problem based on automation. All contact in the practice assignments – e-mail, telephone calls, videoconferencing – serves to help participants to learn German.

The development work on the on-line course combining automation technology and German language is part of R & D at TAMK. The learning platform is Moodle, which is used by Finnish higher education institutions, and also supports working with wiki tools. The name of the new course is “Project work for control technology in an international environment” (“Projektarbeit für Steuerungstechnik in internationaler Umgebung”) and it will be available in autumn 2012.

More information:

TAMK University of Applied Sciences
Senior Lecturer Claudia Daems
Tel. +358 50 527 3159
Siemens Osakeyhtiö / Industry
Training Manager Hannele Karmavuo
Tel. +358 50 553 1550
TAMK University of Applied Sciences
Principal Lecturer Olavi Kopponen
Tel. +358 40 593 7398

Feel free to use all news. Photographs copyright Kalle Heiska.
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