Empirical Testing of a Technique for Assessing Prior Knowledge in the Field of Research Training

  • Thomas KöhlerEmail author
  • Bahaaeldin Mohamed
  • Stefanie Seifert
  • Thorsten Claus
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 807)


As discussed in the research of Mohamed et al. (2013), learning and studying via a different context, including the inter-cultural knowledge of a teacher, may present a challenge when trying to account for students’ prior knowledge. Enhancing their study, this paper addresses the question of whether or not an internal session comprising open discussion and brainstorming followed by asynchronous commenting and ending with self-reflection might help to assess students’ prior knowledge. Data was collected in the context of a series of academic teachings partly supported by the METIS project (The METIS Project is funded by the national German Federal Ministry of Science and Research, cp.: in two separate phases. Graduate students on master level attended the phase reported here in order to study research methods as a joint activity of Technische Universität Dresden, and Internationales Hochschulinstitut Zittau, both Germany. For the experimental group, the study found that there are no significant differences between the control and treatment group in terms of cognitive achievement and students’ attitudes. From the teacher’s perspective, however, this course is learning atmosphere challenged students’ reactions. Design is suggested to be enhanced to allow a closer look on different types of prior knowledge in the field of research training.


Prior knowledge Academic achievement Learning performance  Knowledge measurement Test methodology Research training  Post-graduate studies 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Köhler
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bahaaeldin Mohamed
    • 2
  • Stefanie Seifert
    • 3
  • Thorsten Claus
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationTU DresdenDresdenGermany
  2. 2.Teacher Training CollegeRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.International University InstituteZittauGermany
  4. 4.Faculty of EconomicsTU DresdenDresdenGermany

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