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1 Activity-based Student-oriented Teaching & Learning My Engineering Perspective in student retention issues Presented by Dr Darwin Liang School of EDT.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Activity-based Student-oriented Teaching & Learning My Engineering Perspective in student retention issues Presented by Dr Darwin Liang School of EDT."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Activity-based Student-oriented Teaching & Learning My Engineering Perspective in student retention issues Presented by Dr Darwin Liang School of EDT University of Bradford

2 2 Common myths or facts? If I put on better handouts on Blackboard, then my students should learn better If I improve my lecture material, my students should benefit from my expertise and appreciate my effort I must dump down my course in order to pass more students, as they are not the same kind of students nowadays

3 3 Why I chose this approach… (AbSo Teaching) in response to the question: To come to lecture or not, is that the question? ?!?

4 4 Questions I ask myself on a yearly basis: Why do we need to improve our current student retention? What are key obstacles and threats to current practices? Is maintaining the status quo an viable option? What innovations can we implement in our teaching practice?

5 5 Statistics show… 1.Gradual decline in % of students passing the module(s) at first attempt 2.Gradual decline in the average marks achieved in the module(s) 3.General dissatisfaction from student feedback to mode of delivery

6 6 INFORMATION teachingINFORMATION teaching –with delivery and assessment based upon traditional chalk and talk & written exam paper –with practical laboratory and tutorial support (drills based on material presented in lecture) Past Teaching Methods

7 7 Students’ achievement in 2007-08 (example in Analogue Electronics module – level 2, semester 2)Students’ achievement in 2007-08 (example in Analogue Electronics module – level 2, semester 2) Linking Past Teaching Methods & Poor Student Performance  Poor Student Retention Max 71.6% Mean 31.6% S.D. 18.4% Pass 35.4%

8 8 Linking Teaching with Performance Students’ achievement in 2006-07 (example in Circuits module – level 1, semester 2)Students’ achievement in 2006-07 (example in Circuits module – level 1, semester 2) Max 92.6% Mean 42.4% S.D. 15.4% Pass 59.6%

9 9 Student Achievements in 2008-09Student Achievements in 2008-09 New Teaching Method & Improved Performance Max 85.9% Mean 44.0% S.D.19.2% Pass67.2%

10 10 Student Achievements in 2007-08Student Achievements in 2007-08 New Teaching Method & Improved Performance Max 97.2% Mean 55.9% S.D.24.3% Pass73.5%

11 11 Module Review outcomes 1.Improved student performance resulting in higher retention and progression 2.Removal of “dreaded” assessment and enhancing with activity for improved student learning

12 12 A. Letting students do some of the learning ( design their own experiments – problem based) B. Involving students in a range of dissemination activities (on line quiz, weekly tutorial sessions) C. Lecturers do lectures and teach their students using activity as opposed to actual “lectures” – more tutorials D. Other ways (to be developed – self- learning support group – similar to Face book/Twitter) E.Lecturer lecture more than in previous years – before laboratory sessions F.Letting students do part of the teaching – tutoring one another Which do you agree with? What really is ABSO Teaching & Learning?

13 13 Some student perspectives about what AbSo Learning is I think “activity led teaching” is the lecturer drawing upon his/her scholarly knowledge and experience to illuminate their lecturing via activity and thus extend the students' learning experience. This is what I learn best - I learn by using my hands and actually doing it instead of listening to it. Without such activity, my learning can only be superficial - gained from a text book in the same way that I learn from my school teacher. Activity-Based Student Oriented Teaching & Learning… Activity-led teaching must actively engage me in the process of learning so that I can acquires the skills required for the module. This would probably involve true Problem-Based Learning - as such, this is unlikely to happen as it is very time intensive in the first stages of student development and staff may not have time to help me. Teaching by one to one tutorial activity to ensure that the taught material reflects true understanding and benefiting from the enthusiasm of a lecturer providing continual feedback

14 14 Current AbSo-Led Teaching Practices in EDT: On- line Quiz Self-paced learning Tutorial Support : Drills + Lecture + Laboratory Mid-term assessment(s) Final Examination Feedback

15 15 What are the drivers for AbSo Teaching + Learning? Education Scenery has fundamentally changedEducation Scenery has fundamentally changed : Diversity –Less elite, more diversity –Students and parents have their own ideas on education –Emphasis on students’ learning rather than on lecturer’s teaching –Larger number of degrees available, mixed cohorts –Freshman year has become a way of balancing student knowledge involving some repetition of high school curriculum Rapidly changing professional world - GlobalizationRapidly changing professional world - Globalization –Engineering graduates will be more and more engaged in the generation of knowledge through research & practical projects –They should be educated to cope with risk and uncertainty associated with scientific and technical advances

16 16 Traditional ways to sell courses in the UK (Huntley-Moore & Panter, 2002) Assertion of Status: “We are not an ex-Polytechnic!” Declaration of Achievement: “We did well in the RAE!” TeachingResearch

17 17 AbSo Teaching: Is that the mission of the University of Bradford? Our core mission is that of “Making Knowledge Work” (University of Bradford, 2009) –We are a provider of high quality teaching, underpinned by internationally recognised research, –which enables our students to achieve their educational aspirations and enhance their career prospects within a sustainable, supportive and safe environment

18 18 Concluding remarks Need to establish an effective link between teaching/learning and student retention and mechanism to measure effectiveness Lectures given by a good presenter do not automatically improve the students’ learning experience, nor does it improve retention University, schools, departments and academics should put a joint effort in order to enhance the learning environment of the students – make it fun to learn. Activity-based Student-oriented Teaching & Learning (ASBo) is gradually being developed at EDT, but improvement are always possible and necessary to make it standard across the board.

19 19 Yes or No? Could you use activity-based student-oriented pedagogy within your current teaching practice? May be ?

20 20 10 Recommendations I.Make activity-based learning standard II.Have inquiry based freshman year III.Build on freshman year - continuity IV.Remove barriers to interdisciplinary education – School versus Department V.Link communication skill and coursework VI.Use IT creatively – set up Student Facebook, Ning network VII.Finish with “capstone” experience VIII.Students as apprentice teachers IX.Change faculty reward system X.Cultivate sense of community Appendix

21 21 I. Make activity-based learning standard Starting from the first year students should engage in learning on their own in as many courses as possible Students must learn how to convey results orally and in writing Students must explore other fields to contrast and complement major field Courses should allow for joint collaboration Fieldwork and problem-based lab should be promoted

22 22 II. Have inquiry based freshman year Students should be ready to study, with any remedial study done prior to entering program or during the delivery Freshman seminar/lecturer should be given by more experienced faculty, not just for junior staff Practical projects and mutual critiques of oral and written work – involving students in assessment

23 23 III. Creative use of IT – creation of self-help tutorial Students should be able to tutor each other, using study groups created virtually using Face Book or Twitter type of software exclusive for students at the programme (to be implemented next) Freshman seminar/lecture should be presented in technology-based teaching rooms with smartboard and supporting software. Maximum interaction between students and technology with guided supervision by teaching assistants and lecturer

24 24 Further developments in AbSo Teaching Teaching as activity-based learning vs. more didactic approaches to teach via lectures – sit, listen, take notes, drill, remember, etc. Designing degree programmes which capitalise on current research expertise in the school, emphasizing in hands-on experience Linking research in the context of degree programmes for professional development Learning environments which support a problem-based focus –e.g., good access to primary sources in library, good IT support, well- supported laboratories Course content is influenced strongly by the current industry needs In Engineering and the Sciences, final year undergraduate projects are frequently linked to the research interest of staff and students are given access to modern research equipment. Incentive for high retention rate. Very rarely, a lecturer will state that his or her teaching is informed by pedagogical research. Should it be encouraged?

25 25 Where are we at EDT in terms of AbSo Teaching? From a teaching staff perspective –Annual LTA conference for all academic staff – solicit and share good practices From the perspective of our students –Implement via module reviews to provide flexible & develop relevant curriculum and assessment methods for students in electrical, civil, mechanical, industrial technology and design engineering programmes based on feedback from regular Staff-Student Liaison Committee meetings

26 26 UG Learning Experience at EDT CEng MEng Design L1 L2 L3

27 27 Written Exam Classroom Tests Coursework Viva-Voce Exam UG Assessment Profile at EDT CW: 14% CW: 24% L1 L3 L2 L1 L3 L2 L1 L3 L2 CW: 82% Viva: 5%


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