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UCD Fellows in Teaching & Academic Development 2009-2011 General Electives Group: John Dunnion - School of Computer Science and Informatics Hilda Loughran.

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Presentation on theme: "UCD Fellows in Teaching & Academic Development 2009-2011 General Electives Group: John Dunnion - School of Computer Science and Informatics Hilda Loughran."— Presentation transcript:

1 UCD Fellows in Teaching & Academic Development General Electives Group: John Dunnion - School of Computer Science and Informatics Hilda Loughran - School of Applied Social Science PJ Purcell - School of Architecture, Landscape and Civil Engineering

2 Project Goals Study and analysis of elective choice in UCD Presentation of findings to SMT Plenary Analysis and Review of the five new General Elective modules in Participation in call and selection of new General Elective modules for Gather feedback from Heads of School and Deans on electives Papers on comparison of General Elective provision in UCD with other institutions

3 Method Perform a statistical analysis of elective choice (Follow-up of Bairbre Redmond's paper of May 2009) Give presentation to and receive feedback from the SMT Plenary Meeting, (late) Summer 2010 Analysis and review of five General Electives: Attendance at lectures Discussion with module co-ordinator/lecturer Report on Electives and proposals for

4 Method Give input to call for General Electives for and participate in selection process Interviews with Heads of School and Deans: School/Head/Programme/Dean/Staff interest in General Electives and electives in general Academic/Educational/Promotion issues Resource/Financial issues (including RAM) Investigation of General Elective provision in other universities and third-level institutions, in Ireland and abroad

5 Outputs Papers on Elective choice, with particular concentration on the new General Electives Presentation to SMT Plenary Meeting Report on five General Electives in Involvement in proposal and selection of further General Electives for Report on interviews with Heads of Schools and Deans Papers on General Elective provision elsewhere and comparison of UCD General Elective provision to that in other institutions

6 Attitudes to Electives  Why give electives? To give students "breadth" To provide the opportunity for students of a subject to study the subject in greater depth ("depth") To give staff in the School the opportunity to design and give an introductory module Students from outside School/Programme may enhance/enrich a lecture experience (different perspective, etc) Financial reasons

7 Attitudes to Electives  And why not? Students from outside the module may require extra work and/or resources (remedial tuition, more time/work by module co-ordinator/lecturer and tutors/demonstrators) May slow class down? Staff not recognised/rewarded (eg promotions) Finances aren't important? (Or important enough?) Zero-sum game (or is it?)

8 Attitudes to Electives  Income  Extra income: "resources will follow the students"  BUT...  RAM (currently) doesn't drive the allocation of budgets to Schools, it "informs" the allocation of budgets

9 Questionnaire Questionnaire to Heads of School and Deans of Programmes Heads may have to/want to/choose to poll their staff Deans won't be asked about staff or resources/RAM Follow-up interviews To take place in May-June (after Semester 2)

10 Elective choice Analysis of elective choice in Follow-up paper to Bairbre Redmond's paper of May 2009 on data Preliminary analysis confirms findings of last year Two most popular modules have been top two since 2006 Number of elective modules went down in Number of places on key modules also went down

11 Most popular Electives Module codeModule titleTotal Electives taken Total Electives missed FDSC 10010Food Diet and Health LANG 10230Spanish Gen Purp PSY 10090Intro to Applied Psychology39536 NURS 20070Women's & Men's Health35113 NURS 10100Health across the Lifespan32029 GEOL 10040Earth, Environment and Society25246 NURS 20060Psychosocial Perspec forHealth2480 NURS 30030Politics of Health2380 NURS 10090Soc History Irish Healthcare22115 LANG 10050French Gen Purp NURS 30650Cultural Competence-Clin Prac2030 LANG 10010Italian Gen Purp HUM 10010Study Skills in the Humanities19524 BIOL 10070Biology for the Modern World1941 PHTY 20090Introduction to Massage169155

12 Module codeModule titleTotal Electives taken Total Electives missed ECON 10040Economics and Society1592 LANG 10210Japanese L & C ANSC 10010Intro to Animal Science14973 LANG 10020Chinese L & C PSY 10050Introduction to Psychology SPOL 10170Alcohol and Drug Policy12548 RDEV 20140Health, Welfare & Safety1200 ANAT 10030Forensic Anthropology1209 PHYC 10050Astronomy & Space Science1192 FS 10030Film Style and Aesthetics MUS 20310Popular Music and Culture1120 LANG 10260Spanish Gen Purp CPSC 10010Introduction to Crop Science10118 EQUL 10060Inequality in Irish Society10059 BSEN 10010Biosys Eng Design Challenge9973

13 Missed Elective Places Module codeModule titleTotal Electives taken Total Electives missed FDSC 10010Food Diet and Health PSY 10060Brain and Behaviour42307 PSY 10050Introduction to Psychology GEOG 10050Physical Geog & Environ31272 FDSC 10020Human Nutrition I6224 PSY 10040Psychology of Perception44210 PSY 10080Intro to Social Psychology42210 SMGT 10070Sports Management45185 BMGT 10050Mangt Principles & Bus Environ20162

14 Module codeModule titleTotal Electives taken Total Electives missed PHTY 20090Introduction to Massage FS 10030Film Style and Aesthetics PSY 10070Intro to Child Development44141 LAW 10260Criminal Procedure52131 IS 10030Information Design43122 ENG 30870Creative Writing L39109 SMGT 10100Theory of Coaching I23107 GEOG 10040Global & Local Human Geog34100 ENG 10020Children's Literature4695 ENG 20510Creative Writing K3390

15 Elective choice  Further analysis: What students chose next How students chose their electives Comparison of students taking modules as electives with students taking modules as core/options:  Performance  Drop-out rate Flow of students and (potential) resources between Colleges

16 A Tale of Two Systems UCD Fellows in Teaching and Academic Development Group Project : Electives in UCD

17 The Harvard Elective System It is less moment what a young man studies in college than how he studies, if he can be inducted to make a judicious selection of studies for himself, freedom of choice may of itself be beneficial Elliot Harvard University Annual Report NY Times 1886

18 There is room in UCD Vietnam-era upheavals led to the American academy’s transformation into a politically correct multicultural smorgasbord seasoned to please the modern student palate. When today’s students demand to be entertained and scholars continue to narrowly train, is there still room on the plate for the best that has been said, thought, and written about the human experience? Nieli (2008) commenting on the American University

19 UCD transition Then and Now  UCD Strategic Plan 2005:  Implement a modularised and symmetrised curriculum, with a rolling implementation beginning September 2005 and complete September 2007  Drive curricular reform at programme and module level to focus on defining the core

20 UCD Education Strategy  The further exploitation of the modular framework to allow a wider range of coherent pathways within programmes and to allow individual students to adapt the curriculum to their prior learning, aptitudes, abilities and goals  The enhancement of elective opportunities to provide a broader educational experience

21 Key concepts in ‘elective’ rationale  Attracting the best  Electives as marketing strategy {Horizons}  Engaging  Electives offering choice  Retaining  Electives as motivation  Being the best  Electives offering breath and depth

22 Elective Provision  All students will take 6 modules over a three year period = 30 credits  Need to research the best practice in terms of offering / not offering direction and structure in their selection process.  The group have identified a continuum of options for elective provision

23 Those who favor the principle of the elective system, but doubt the capacity or disposition of the students to select studies wisely for themselves, very generally advocate a group or ‘block’ method, in which studies are laid out into groups of cognate studies. Elliot NY Times 1886

24 Continuum of Elective Provision BREADTHYALE DEPTHDEPTH

25 Continuum of Elective Provision BREADTH DEPTHDEPTH

26 Outline Other elective models Electives in Computer Science and Civil Engineering 5 New General Electives

27 Undergraduate education models  Newman  Learning for its own sake  Broad education  Von Humboldt  Unity of research and teaching  Specialisation

28 Other elective models  Major American Universities’ elective model  Distribution (breadth)  Concentration (depth)

29 Yale  Typically 36 modules over 4 years  Breadth  2 modules in arts and humanities  2 modules in basic sciences  2 modules in social sciences  2 modules in quantitative reasoning  2 modules in writing skills  >1 module in foreign language  Depth > 12 modules in a single discipline

30 Second Civil Engineering

31 Second Computer Science

32 Summary Civil Engineering  ~ 1/3 of students opt for in-programme elective  ~ 2/3 of students opt for general electives taken from approx 60 modules across University  ‘Traffic’ from Engineering to other disciplines. Only 5% of students taking Civil Engineering modules are non-engineering students

33 Summary Computer Science  ~ 1/2 of students from within programme  ~ 1/2 of students from outside programme

34 New General Electives School Module title Placestaken History of Art Art & Architecture in Dublin: A selected introduction 57 Geological Sciences Earth, Environment & Society 187 Irish, Celtic Studies, Irish Folklore & Linguistics Myths & Legends in Irish Folklore 38 Psychology Introduction to Applied Psychology 393 Music Opera from Monteverdi to Verdi 20

35 Methodology  Analysis of registration data  Attendance at lectures  Discussion with module co-ordinator

36 AH 10070

37 PSY 10090

38 MUS 10100

39 IRFL 20080

40 GEOL 10040

41 Comments  Motives of Schools  Class sizes  Modes of delivery  Advertising


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