The coursework constitutes an ‘assessment for learning’ (AfL) to support and promote learning (1)
The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) (2) recognises that ‘watching training films and television programmes including the Civil Engineers Channel from TEN’ as constituting Continued Professional Development (CPD). Indeed former ICE Presidents have noted how influential and inspirational engineering can be when featured on television. In his 1980 address, William Geddes (3) spoke of programmes such as David Attenborough’s Life on Earth and he called for similar documentaries featuring the great civil engineers and their work- ‘what a fascinating tale of achievement, courage and resolution could be told’. Adrian Long (4) reminisced on his secondary school studies when his teacher showed a film about a bridges built over the River Tyne in the 1950s. Long argued that argued that the ‘impact of films of this nature should not be underestimated as three in that class successfully completed their Civil Engineering studies at university’.
(1) McDowell L (2014) Assessment for Learning, Chapter 6, In: Lynn Clouder, Christine Broughan, Steve Jewell and Graham Steventon (Eds.) Improving student engagement and development through assessment, Special Indian Edition, India, Routledge, India, pp73-85
(2) ICE (2010) Continuing Professional development, ICE 3006A, v3 http://www.ice.org.uk/getattachment/28abbbcc-3499-47c9-8891-197800dfec1a/ICE-3006A---Continuing-Professional-Development.aspx, (accessed 24/010 /2013).
(3) Geddes, W.G.N (1980) Presidential Address 1979-80, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Civil Engineering 68 (1): 1-11, DOI: 10.1680/iicep.1980.2501, (accessed 14 /04/2014).
(4) Long A (2002) Presidential Address 2002-2003, Transforming vision into service: Meeting the challenge through teamwork, ICE Library
A full set of results (Likert scale questionnaire and verbatim) are available as an attachment to this document. A selection of results are shown below.
159 students (84%) agreed / strongly agreed that the programme provided them with new knowledge that is useful for a UG civil engineering student.
134 students (71%) agreed / strongly agreed that the coursework (viewing / listening / reflections /critique / literature review) would be suitable for classifying as Continued Professional Development (CPD).
142 students (75%) agreed / strongly agreed that they would watch / listen to other eStream programmes related to civil engineering during their 4th year studies.
Establishinging a bank of programmes can be easily achieved once you have access to the online EPG (electronic programme guide) and you can then select programmes that will support your teaching. These programmes are then recorded and uploaded to the system for future access. The main BBC and ITV channels are recorded 24/7 giving a seven day ‘buffer’ to allow a member of staff to select a programme up to seven days from its broadcast date. (Contact Martin Laycock (2420) firstname.lastname@example.org)
A key enhancement to the assessment takes place when the students engage in peer collaborative learning. On completion of the individual task, each member of the group reviews all other reflective reports before undertaking the group task. As a group the students engage in peer learning through contrasting and comparing (vis-à-vis discussion, text and tabular format) each report and identify common themes (related to civil engineering) across all of the four programmes. For the past three sessions (2013-2016) this has been successful. However it is evident that this activity has similarities with the pedagogical concepts known as “jigsaw” and “flipped classroom”. For the 2016-2017 session this group activity will be reconstituted to align with the concepts noted.
Some groups expereinced disharmony due to personality differences and / or different perspectives related to the value / academic worthiness of the coursework.
Students with an apparent preference for rote learning found it uncomfortable to be tasked to identify gaps in their knowledge and assume responsibility for addressing these through their own actions. This was evident where students failed to include evidence of questioning their viewing / listening of the programnme and seeking out answers to questions.
No scalability issues. This coursework is suitable for any class size.
This courework is replicable in any course where suitable televison programmes are available to record and / or where DVD / Youtube / radio can provide suitable programmes.
The tutor has also recorded a number of BBC Reporting Scotland (6.30-7.00pm) programmes to use with 1st year students as a means to introduce the freshers to the scope of civil engineering in society. Programmes feature shorter reports on issues such as flooding, insfrsatructure building and longer reports on issues such as energy (oil & gas /fracking/ wind turbines) whilts other features examining ethical, political and financial issues related to civil engineering. These have be used with the 1st year students as a coursework during the 2015-16 session and will be repeated during the 2016-17 session.