By John E Mitchell, on 21 February 2013
Engineering Teaching and Learning Workshop – Scenario and Problem Based Learning
Thursday 7th March, 1pm, Roberts Room 422
Active learning techniques such problem based learning have been shown to be very effective in engaging student, helping them conceptualise engineering principles as well as encouraging a range of team work and communications skills. This is one teaching technique which the IEP will be looking to make further use of across the faculty, particularly scenario based learning which was pioneered in UCL CEGE and successfully adopted in UCL E&EE. This month the workshop will look at three case studies of this these learning styles from different departments with the aim of leaving plenty of time for discussion and debate.
Problem based learning approaches to Apps development – Dean Mohamedally, Computer Science
What we’ve learnt from 7 years of scenarios - Paul Greening, Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering
Scenarios: Learning by doing – Benn Thomsen, Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Please feel free to bring lunch, soft drinks will be provided. Videos from previous talks are now available at: http://www.youtube.com/user/UCLteaching
Wednesday 13th March, - Social media for academic purposes
(Denys Holland LT, 13.05-13.55)
- Nick Dawe (Communications, Museums & Collections) Social media strategies.
- Anthony Finkelstein (Engineering), on how to use blogs effectively.
- Claire Warwick (Information Science), Twitter and digital identity.
Friday 15th March 2013 - “Perspectives” on Learning and Teaching Virtual & Visible: Blended Learning
from 2pm-3pm, Rockefeller 337 David Sacks, Please register via STBS
Using NI LabView in teaching - Thursday 21st March – Roberts Room 422
EARLY NOTICE - Incorporating Computational Techniques into the Curricula with MATLAB
Tuesday April 9th from 2-4pm – Room TBC by Loren Shure of MATHWORKS
Loren is a principal MATLAB developer and has worked at MathWorks for over 25 years. She has co-authored several MathWorks products in addition to adding core functionality to MATLAB. Loren currently works on the design of the MATLAB language. She graduated from MIT with a B.Sc. in physics and has a Ph.D. in marine geophysics from the University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Loren writes about MATLAB on her blog, The Art of MATLAB
By John E Mitchell, on 21 January 2013
There is a lot going on in the next month or so:
UCL CALT and ELE are launching a new series of lunchtime e-learning workshops, UCL Engineering holds the third Teaching and Learning workshop on assessment, and CALT begin a series of Perspectives on Learning and Teaching.
Wednesday 23 January ‘Beyond lecture recording’, from 1.05-1.55pm in the Denys Holland Lecture Theatre, 1-2 Endsleigh Street.
Thursday 31st January, ‘Efficient and Effective Assessment’ 1pm, Roberts Room 422
- How to mark 100 assignments and give feedback in an hour – Seb Savory, Electronic and Electrical Engineering
- Experiences of using peer assessment in a 4th year design module – Eva Sorensen, Chemical Engineering
- Automating the generation of mathematical questions banks – Tristan Robinson, Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering
- Acknowledging learner perspective in higher education: the importance of assessment for course design – Nihal Bayir, Chemical Engineering
Videos from the last set of talks are now available at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/teaching-learning/case-studies/e-learning
Face to face with mobile technologies
Wednesday 20th February - Face to face with mobile technologies
(Denys Holland LT,13.05-13.55)
Paul Burt (ELE), Technology in face to face learning environments.
Christian Spielmann (Economics), iPads for lectures.
Thursday 21st February, ‘“Perspectives” on Learning and Teaching: Student-Centred Assessment’ from 2pm-3pm, Foster Court Room 130, Please register here via STBS
By John E Mitchell, on 16 January 2013
In the process of trying to define the content of course, the box on the form marked learning outcomes, is perhaps the one that causes the most frustration and confusion amongst academics. However, if done well they are be a powerful tool that can be used to help students understand what they need to learn within the course and help staff to create assessment that really aligns with what we’d like students to be able to do.
Here I’ve tried to boil down to a few very basic pointers on what is useful to think about when defining learning outcomes in Engineering. There is a very good guide and rational for their use on the Higher Education Academy website called - Using Learning Outcomes to Design a Course and Assess Learning Outcomes.
- Learning outcomes are what the student should be able to do as a result of taking the course, ideally something that is measurable. So typically an action rather than a concept.
- Although understand is the first term that comes to mind this is often too broad a term covering a range of different levels. If a student has the understanding you are looking for what would they be able to do? If it is about knowledge they might be able to describe, define, list, recognise, explain, select, identify or sketch. For application they might choose, apply, determine, solve, use, perform, recognise . Analysis might require student to be able to calculate, measure, criticise, differentiate, evaluate, compute, analyse, conduct and experience to, contract, test or appraise. High level activities would require students to formulate, create, propose, develop construct, assemble and design. There is a much better list in the link above, but hopefully this gives some ideas.
- Where possible be specific (within reason). If you would only expect the student to be able to solve the problem in 1 dimension or for 1st order problems, say so.
Even the process of thinking these terms through can be useful, perhaps giving inspiration to set a different sought of coursework, to teach the topic in a different way or to attach a more interesting or engaging sort of lab to the course that really challenges to the student to put into practice the concepts that have been taught.
By John E Mitchell, on 29 March 2012
Engineers have always driven change and will continue to do so, making life better by advancing transport, healthcare, communications, impacting on all spheres of life. But what tools and skills will current Engineer students need so that they will be changing the world in 20 or 50 years time? Are our current programmes providing the best possible education to enable these world changers? These are big questions which are not easy to answer.
We know that the world’s big problems don’t respect disciplinary boundaries, we’ve been saying it for a long time. We talk about cross-disciplinary this, interdisciplinary that and trans-disciplinary the other, but how should we equip our graduates to operate in this multi-disciplinary world?
Although we offer highly regarded, rigorous programmes that are performing well against all the usual metrics, make more connections at a faculty level in the provision of teaching and learning could enhance the student experience and better equip our graduates for their broad range of future roles. Currently, we are reviewing how this can best be achieved. We have a foundation of excellent teaching but from this we want to develop a framework where common elements, discipline mobility and interdisciplinary working are part of the experience.
It’s clear that any changes must:
- Provide added value to the graduates produced by the faculty
- Result in no loss of rigour in the Engineering Science of the degrees offered
- Improve the student experience
- Produce a distinctive, UCL educational package
- Produce graduate Engineering leaders capable of looking at complex engineering problems across multiple disciplines but with a deep rooted understanding of a specialist discipline
- Be clearly aligned with the areas of research excellence of UCL Engineering
- Meet the requirements of all appropriate accrediting bodies
Not much to ask then. But then if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.