Universität Wien

180109 KU Cognitive Science Peer Teaching Course (2021W)

5.00 ECTS (3.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 25 participants
Language: English



COVID-19 Information:

Update Nov 17, 2021
Due to the current COVID situation the rectorate advised us to reduce face-2-face meetings drastically.
Therefore, our Peer Teaching Course will be switched to ONLINE/digital as of our next session on Nov 22
We will stay in the digital format (until these restrictions do no longer apply).

In any case, the dates/times below remain the same.
Please take a look at the associated Moodle Course for all information concerning the details of the (teaching) mode (presence, remote, etc.) for this course! You will also be informed by mail.

Update October 8, 2021
Due to recent COVID restrictions and regulations/rules (concerning lecture rooms) at the University of Vienna we have to change some dates and locations for this course (so that we may offer this course in presence).
Please take a look at the new dates and new locations below. You will also be informed by mail.

Dates, times & locations:

Fri Oct 1, 2021 | 13.00 - 19h | HS 2i (NIG, Universitäststrasse 7, 2nd floor) | https://goo.gl/maps/zexCfcuDbJJtQjmz7
Introductory/Information Meeting and Teambuilding
This unit is open only to MEi:CogSci students! (there will be an introduction in the following session for all other students)

Mo Oct 18, 2021 | 13.00-18.00 | HS 2i (NIG, Universitäststrasse 7, 2nd floor)
Cognitive Science Open Space #1 (+ Introductory meeting for non MEi:CogSci students)

Mo Oct 25, 2021 | 13.30-18.00 | HS 2i (NIG, Universitäststrasse 7, 2nd floor) | new time & location
Neural Computation and Connectionism (consolidation)

Mo Nov 8, 2021 | 13.30-18.00 | HS 2i (NIG, Universitäststrasse 7, 2nd floor) | new time & location
Cognitive Science Open Space #1 (+ Introductory meeting for non MEi:CogSci students)

Mo Nov 22, 2021 | 13.30-18.00 | HS 2i (NIG, Universitäststrasse 7, 2nd floor) | new time & location
Cognitive Science Open Space #2

Mo Dec 6, 2021 | 13.30-15.30 | HS 3B (NIG, Universitäststrasse 7, 3rd floor) | new date & location
Cognitive Science Open Space #3

Mo Dec 6, 2021 | 15.30-18.00 | HS 3B (NIG, Universitäststrasse 7, 3rd floor) | new date & location
Cognitive Modeling – Kick-off Session

Mo Jan 10, 2022 | 13.30-18.00 | Online (see associated Moodle Course for modalities & links)
Cognitive Modeling – Coaching Session

Mo Jan 17, 2022 | 13.30-18.00 | HS 3B (NIG, Universitäststrasse 7, 3rd floor) | new time & location
Presentation of Cognitive Models & Semester Feedback Open Space

* IMPORTANT: You have to *register* for this course via https://uspace.univie.ac.at/ | Otherwise we cannot issue a grade. Further information about the registration period can be found in the description of this course and here: https://ssc-phil.univie.ac.at/en/


Aims, contents and method of the course

This course is complementary to the „Introduction to Cognitive Science“ Lecture and aims at consolidating the concepts having been presented and discussed in the lecture. Furthermore, this course prepares students for the exam of the lecture. This course is highly recommended for all students of the MEi:CogSci program and for those who want to deepen their knowledge in cognitive science.

This course follows a peer-teaching format: students collaborate in interdisciplinary teams and jointly discuss on the concepts having been presented in the lecture by working on core issues/questions/premises (e.g., what is cognition, knowledge (representation), cognitive models/architectures, learning, etc.) on which CogSci paradigms are based. This course takes advantage of students’ different backgrounds and engages them in a truly interdisciplinary discourse/dialogue. Furthermore, this course offers space and time to discuss more general, practical and personal issues in cognitive science and the study program in general.

This course unfolds in two (partly intertwined) phases/streams:
1 | Peer-teaching in an open space format
2 | Creating/Developing a cognitive system/model as a conceptual prototype

1 | Peer-teaching in an Open Space format
The guiding questions for this peer-teaching course are:
What is cognition?
What do we know about cognition?
How can we make (responsible) use of these insights?

To address these questions, this part of the course is run in an Open Space format (see https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Open_Space_Technology for details): students may collaborate in interdisciplinary teams and jointly discuss issues in the scope of cognitive science. In this format students may introduce their cognitive science-related topics around which they and their peers can start working in groups.

Open Space is a methodical approach in which a group of people can work together in a self-organized and self-motivated way in response to their curiosity. Anyone can advance an issue/topic that is of particular interest to him-/herself. This can be any kind of topic or question (on cognitive science), whether complex/simple, general/personal, etc. This creates a large "marketplace of topics" where participants can join together to form topic groups around which students start their discussion.

In this peer-interaction/learning/teaching format participants will also learn how to engage in an interdisciplinary discourse by discovering, discussing, challenging, and breaking up their premises and patterns of thinking in a safe environment.

The method aims at encouraging voluntary engagement with those topics or questions any participant strongly cares about at a given point in time. The role of the instructor is to facilitate these knowledge (and social) processes and to provide an enabling and safe environment that supports these interactions.

In the final session we will work in an Open Space format on a joint review and feedback of the semester (see below for feedback criteria).

2 | Creating/Developing a cognitive system/model as a conceptual prototype
Students will work in teams and the assignment is to develop a basic (conceptual) cognitive model. The idea is that you will bring to life and operationalize the insights, concepts, and paradigms from the lecture in a basic conceptual cognitive model in light of your background experiences and interests.
By choosing a particular paradigm from cognitive science (or a combination of two), the teams have to develop the basic architecture and functionalities of a cognitive system on a conceptual level (see below for [evaluation] criteria). The instructor provides coaching for this process. In the final session you will have to present your cognitive system to your colleagues.

Assessment and permitted materials

see below

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

(Minimum) requirements for passing the course:
- Successful registration and being accepted for this course
- Your presence at the first meeting (otherwise you will lose your place for this course)
- Active participation in the course and teamwork sessions (you may miss max. 1 session [please inform the instructor ahead of time!])
- Please collect your personal question(s) (e.g., in a journal) before/between each (open space) session
- Work on cognitive model + presentation + documentation (in your team)
- Semester feedback paper (see related Moodle course for further details; submit before feedback session via Moodle)

Assessment criteria:
55% | (Conceptual) cognitive model (Presentation and documentation) | grading: for each team for deadline see associated Moodle course
35% | Semester feedback paper (submit prior to feedback session [via Moodle]) | grading: individually | for deadline see associated Moodle course
10% | Active participation in the course

%/points | grade
93-100 | sehr gut (1)
81-92 | gut (2)
71-80 | befriedigend (3)
61-70 | genügend (4)
0-60 | nicht genügend (5)

Criteria/Topics of semester feedback paper

- Submit this feedback prior to feedback session [via Moodle (see for details and deadlines there)]
- Address the following questions in your feedback:
1. What was one positive experience during this semester?
2. What was one challenge you faced during the semester?
3. How did you deal with that challenge? What would you do differently next time?
4. What is one thing you learned this semester that you want to remember for the future?
5. What could be improved?
6. General remarks (concerning content, administrative, etc.)

Criteria for basic conceptual cognitive model
Each team has to develop a basic conceptual cognitive model as a first prototype showing the basic architecture, functionalities, and cognitive processes.

- You do not have to program anything (unless you want to), but describe the basic ideas and functionalities on “paper”
- Your cognitive model represents a first approximation of these functionalities on a prototype level
- describe the (cogsci) paradigm(s) you are using for realizing your cognitive model
- make your premises explicit concerning:
-- What is cognition/thinking/emotions in your model?
-- What is knowledge, learning, perception, action, etc.?
-- How is your cognitive model embedded in/interacting with the environment?
-- What is the epistemological relationship with the environment,
-- etc.
- interdisciplinarity, plausibility, and originality

Important notes:
* Take a look at the associated Moodle-Course for further details.
* By registering for this course, you agree that the automated plagiarism check software Turnitin will check all written partial performances submitted by you (via Moodle).
* if you decide *not* to participate in this course, please inform the instructor immediately and de-register until the date displayed in this course description! Otherwise you will receive a negative grade.
* See below for possibilities of accreditation.

Examination topics

see above

Reading list

Suggested readings for open space method
Owen, Harrison. Opening Space for Nichtwissen (The Question). https://openspaceworld.org/wp2/hho/papers/opening-space-question/ [accessed, Aug 9, 2021]
Owen, Harrison. Expanding Our Now : : The Story of Open Space Technology. San Francisco : Berrett-Koehler, 1997.
Van Woezik, Tamara, Rob Reuzel, and Jur Koksma. "Exploring Open Space: A Self-directed Learning Approach for Higher Education." Cogent Education 6.1 (2019): 22.
Benecke, Dalien Rene, Naudé Malan, Nickey Janse Van Rensburg, Johan Meyer, Zach Simpson, and Suné Von Solms. "Engaged Learning." Projects as Socio-Technical Systems in Engineering Education. 1st ed. Vol. 1. Routledge, 2019. 27-46.

Suggested readings for cognitive science: see related "Introduction to Cognitive Science“ Lecture

Further information about cognitive science activities in the Vienna region:
If you are interested in being informed about cognitive science activities at the University of Vienna and in the Vienna region, have a look at the Vienna Cognitive Science Hub -> https://cogsci.univie.ac.at/
and subscribe to one of the mailing lists: https://cogsci.univie.ac.at/news-media/mailing-lists/

Association in the course directory

Last modified: We 17.11.2021 20:28