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Building a bridging curriculum By Dharam Shadija.

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1 Building a bridging curriculum By Dharam Shadija

2 Structure 1.Introduction 2.Need for a bridging module 3.First delivery 4.Outcomes 5.Developmental activities 6.Second delivery 7.Observations

3 Introduction to the case study 1.Trans-national partnership between Sheffield Hallam University, UK and Vidyalankar School of IT, India 2.Two years of a university course at VSIT, 240 credits 3.Progression onto final year of BSc Software Development at SHU credits of honours award from SHU

4 Outcome of mapping process 1.Two years of study at Mumbai equivalent to 240 credits 2.Learners had satisfied course learning outcomes for the first two years 3.A number of gaps were identified between the two courses

5 Need for a bridging module Existing SHU students had experience of building substantial software applications. Students from VSIT had theoretical concepts but had not applied these concepts practically to the same extent. SHU learners used industrial software development tools VSIT students had very little exposure to tools VSIT learners were used to coursework but assessments were usually smaller pieces of work SHU students have bigger pieces of work.

6 First delivery Bridging module aims to fill the gaps identified by mapping exercise To be assessed using a SHU-style assignment. Module delivered over 2 weeks by VSIT staff Key topics covered were OO design, Java and J2EE technologies

7 Outcomes 1.All students submitted their work on time 2.Same structure of report 3.Number of students produced similar pieces of work 4.Students arrived late and missed SHU induction 5.At SHU some students complained about not liking programming

8 Your experience Turn to a colleague and briefly describe the key learning behaviours that international students can present. Write down three points that summarise your discussion. 2 minutes only!

9 Differences noted while students were in UK Marked difference between 'autonomy' of SHU learners in comparison to VSIT. Both sets had studied topics related to professional development. many SHU students have part-time employment, and some work experience to draw from VSIT students rarely have any work experience. Students weren’t used to different levels of support at VSIT they had single point of contact.

10 Differences noted while students were in UK Students missed a number of final year project supervisor meetings students didn’t have exposure to working on larger pieces of assessment. Students thought they could complete their project closer to the deadline. Issues with group work, as students weren’t used to team assessment. SHU regulations regarding assessment were different to the VSIT regulations Module at SHU usually taught by a team students not used to this as modules were usually delivered by a single member of staff.

11 Differences noted while students were in UK Short fat delivery of modules over the first two year of study, whereas module delivery at SHU primarily long thin. Learners were used to their lectures and tutorials in the same building, same room. At SHU students timetabled over a number of buildings During their first week at SHU learners were late for a number of lectures As timetable had a number of gaps, students used to go home rather than using learning centre for additional work around the module. Due to this learners missed their lectures later in the day.

12 Developmental activities 1.Joint workshop with staff hosted at SHU for both sides to gain better understanding of expectations 2.One to one contact between academic and support staff at both the institutions 3.Professional development module takes into account lack of prior work experience of student group. Module assessment redesigned to reflect the same.

13 Second delivery Long thin delivery by VSIT staff SHU staff delivering lectures/tutorials while in Mumbai as tasters Use alumni to address some of the issues, such as turning up to sessions on time Expose students to various levels of support available at the University Get the students used to their teaching team at SHU Phased submission of assignment. Use feedback on assignments to reinforce learning Pre-arrival session organised for students with firm offers, to get them ready for the final year. E.g. elective choices, final year projects

14 Current observations Students submitted first part of their assignment Majority of submissions of high quality Same structure of report Closer working between academic staff SHU and VSIT Closer working between support staff at SHU and VSIT to help bridge the gap

15 Future direction? Can experience from the case study be used to develop a bridging model?


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