Each student, in advance of their facilitation, must meet with the tutor to discuss the session they will lead. During this meeting the students will discuss the stimulus they will use in the session and will be able to provide a rationale for this stimulus while also being able to identify the philosophical themes embedded in the stimulus. Students are also able to raise any concerns or questions about facilitation at this meeting.
Throughout the observed session the tutor makes notes relating to the content of the dialogue and to the facilitation of the dialogue. Immediately following the observed session the student and tutor engage in a de-brief/evaluation session. The tutor writes up the extensive formative feedback more fully and sends this to the student within a couple of days. The feedback highlights key areas for development in the second observed session.
Prior to the second session, the student and tutor meet to discuss the areas for development and the stimulus to be used. The focus for the second observed session is the points identified from the first session. A further de-brief/evaluation is held after the second session and more written feedback is provided to the student, this relates to the identified development areas.
The final piece of summative assessment accompanying the observed sessions, is a written critical evaluation on the two sessions that must take into account the feedback given. Students then receive a final piece of written feedback in light of this.
Reorganisation of 3rd year teaching lab including changes to assessment and feedback practise and allocation of student experiments.
Use of Myplace quiz as a revision tool for a final honours class.
I have used Kahoot, a game-based digital learning platform https://getkahoot.com/ (freely available online)
Kahoot has allowed me to create questions which all students see on the board. Then, they all get a set amount of time to reply through their mobile or other electronic device and then get instant feedback on their answer. This means that all students engage in the exercise actively making decisions and answering questions and at the same time, the lecturer gets a very accurate picture of the level of understanding of a particular topic and also gets to see (and address the most common) mistakes on the spot.
One Minute Papers provide a cheap and easy instrument for students to give teachers feedback on each lecture (or other encounter), on top of a basic attendance check. A generic form is issued to the class at the start of each lecture, asking students to identify themselves and then fill in free text responses to “What have you learned in this lecture?” and “What should I try harder to explain?”, as well as quiz questions if appropriate. The students return completed forms as they leave the room. The teacher can then reflect on this feedback and respond to it (without naming names) at the beginning of the next lecture.
Another example of this inter-relationship of theory and practice forms the subject of this particular ‘Sharing Effective Practice’ case study. In the last section of the class on ‘Trade Unions and Employee Representation’, change consisted first of a reconfiguration of the lecture programme, and second of innovation in respect of the related assignment. A formal lecture on ‘Trade Unions and Representation’ was followed by a session entitled ‘What Do Trade Union Reps Actually Do?’. At this session, six trade union officers and reps were invited to attend. The idea was that each of the reps/officers sit at a desk and students in turn, for a set time, sit opposite the rep and ask questions of them. Students then visit another table and so on. On the basis of the notes taken, students were obliged to complete a report which answered that general question. This report constituted the final assessed assignment of the class.
Case 1: PH 352 Quantum Physics and Electromagnetism – In this class the students were split into four groups of approximately 30 students. In the electromagnetism tutorials the students were then sub-divided into groups of 5 to 6 students and then allocated problems to work through together. At the end of the tutorial the students worked through one of the solutions in front of all students explaining the key physics rather than going through the mathematical steps.
Case 2: PH 358 Condensed Matter Physics – In this class the lecturer allocated 10% of the class mark to the tutorials. Again the students were split into four groups of approximately 30 students The students were set homework questions which were to be completed outside of the tutorial. At each tutorial the students would tick a sheet indicating which questions they had done and a portion of the 10 % mark would be awarded to the student irrespective of whether the student had achieved the correct answer or not. The idea was to encourage the students to attempt the questions without worrying about the correct answer. At the tutorial any student who had ticked that they had completed a question could be asked by the tutor to explain his or her solution to the rest of the group (this was an honesty check) and then the tutor would lead a discussion about the student’s approach and the physics behind the problem.
The coursework submission method was changed from hard copy to electronic submission via online learning portal (MyPlace). Provision of both assessment and feedback was delivered via online tools (TURNITIN). This allowed students to see assessment against the rubric, relevant comments and content, issues of originality and to keep a long term record of feedback to refer to later. It also allows the academic to also keep a copy to refer to as required and use as examples of future work. This intervention was taken first in 2014-15 and each year I have built on the successes.
The coursework required the students to write in first person and to consider the relationship between civil engineering and society. Emphasis was put on looking backwards and forwards to enable the students to speculate on the role of civil engineering in the UK and abroad towards 2050.
The students who receive the top five grades for their coursework are invited to present (now 2nd year students) an abridged version (10mins each) of their address to the new first-year students during the following academic session. These new fresher students are asked to vote on their preferred candidate to become the Strathclyde ICE Student President. The voters are informed that their selection criteria should be based on (1) confidence in delivery / communication (2) visionary ideas towards 2050 (3) quality of information on the slides used.
The winner receives a trip to London (sponsored to £300 by an engineering company) to visit the ICE HQ and a prestigious civil engineering project and for the past three years we have also toured landmark Scottish bridges.
A compulsory book reading coursework for all 1st year civil engineers. Each year, the freshers are required to read one book from four that have been selected by the tutor (see the attached document for the 24 books used since the 2009-10 session).
The books selected for reading are chosen on the basis that they provide knowledge about the history and heritage of civil engineering including biographical text and / or contemporary accounts of inspirational civil engineering projects.
A department book club was established to run in parallel with the coursework and throughout the academic session so as to encourage students to discuss their book reading with peers, and to provide a platform to invite book authors to the department.
Book Club meetings to date have been:
Newspaper image by Silke Remmery, Flickr CC-BY-2.0
This case study presents evidence from an initiative employing a weekly industry magazine - New Civil Engineer (NCE) - as a vehicle for introducing construction technology to first year students (N=153).
Using one or more hard copy editions of the magazine (from inaugural edition in 1972 onward) available in the university library, and following guidance regarding the definition of construction technology, the students were required to select six technological themes from any section (news, projects, adverts, etc.) of the NCE magazine.
Students were required to produce six drawings/sketches on either A3 or A4 paper and annotate each sketch and provide further notes indicating evidence of further research (i.e. consultation with text books/scholarly journals/ manufacturer’s websites etc.)
A 1-hour essay exercise on a previously announced topic written under exam conditions. Individual written feedback was given on each paper, but not a formal mark which would contribute to their final grade. In a follow up tutorial, strengths and weaknesses of essay writing and exam preparation were explored, with time for individuals to discuss their personal performance afterwards. Having explained these points, an essay enhancement tool was provided which enables students to critically self-evaluate their own attempts at essay writing and thereby improve their performance. The tool enables them to do this independently, or with peers in small study groups if that is their preference. This innovation has been tried in both final year and second year students.
(1) The Open University (2016) Diagramming for development 1 - Bounding realities, Rich Pictures, http://www.open.edu/openlearn/science-maths-technology/computing-and-ict/systems-computer/diagramming-development-1-bounding-realities/content-section-3.1
(2) What is Rich Picturing? 6 Tips to Get Started with Rich Picturing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39Wc5ACx5v4
(3) Bell, S and Morse, S (2013) How People Use Rich Pictures to Help Them Think and Act, Syst Pract Action Res. 26:331–348.
In self-selected groups (n=3-5) the student mentees visited a graduate engineer (a mentor) either in a design office or in a construction project setting. The requirement was for the mentors to provide their mentee group with a minimum of two visits per semester with each visits being at least 2 hours in duration. The mentors and mentees were also encouraged to develop informal communications between the visits.
The mentee role is akin to that of a non-participant observer, whereby the mentor dispenses knowledge, guidance and advice and the mentees listen, observe, reflect, question and respond. These activities could be considered a partial fulfilment of the experiential learning (Kolb, 1984) theory designed to help individuals identify the way they learn from experience.