Chapter: Chapter 5

5.17 Closing Remarks


Whatever your chosen teaching method, you almost certainly want your students to engage wholeheartedly in their own learning. I recommended, in Chapter 2, Elizabeth Barkley’s book on Student Engagement Techniques (Barkley, 2010). It is worth listing here some of the tips she advocates, as ways of promoting student engagement. The following list is taken, selectively, from her … Continued »

5.16 Personal Development Planning (PDP)


All UK universities are strongly encouraged by their funding bodies to offer PDP to their students.  Personal development planning encourages the student to reflect on his learning, his achievements and his career development goals. This can be supported by paper-based or electronic recording systems, either of which can in principle be carried forward by the … Continued »

5.15 Feedback


In surveys of student satisfaction in the UK in the years 2005-2012, one of the most consistent problems identified was that of inadequate feedback on assessment. This simplistic statement hides a number of potential issues. What do we mean by feedback?  What do the students consider to be feedback?  When should they receive it? A straightforward attitude would … Continued »

5.14 OSCEs and OSTEs


Most medical students undergo practical examinations known as OSCEs – Objective Structured Clinical Examinations. In an OSCE, each student completes a set of closely defined tasks, in a circuit of half a dozen different stations, and is objectively marked (usually by an observer who does not know them) on each one. Typical 5-minute tasks might include measuring … Continued »

5.13 Assessment of Learning


A question: How should you score the pentathlon? What is the ‘correct’ way to add times and distances? Deciding on the assessment techniques for your module or course should be the second activity in the constructive alignment process, after defining the intended learning outcomes and before considering teaching and learning approaches. There are of course many ways of assessing … Continued »

5.12 Distance Learning


It is widely assumed that engineering, being a practical, largely experimental, subject, is unsuitable for distance learning. However it is worth questioning whether this needs to be the case. There is more to distance learning than the delivery of whole programmes to students living far from the host university. The key characteristic of distance learning is very … Continued »

5.11 Simulation and Games


Simulation is a key part of modern engineering. Our device circuits, our bridges, our aircraft, our ships, our cars, our chemical plant are all simulated before they are built. We cannot nowadays afford to do otherwise [1]. At one level you could argue that one of the important roles for an education in engineering is … Continued »

5.10 Technology Enhanced Learning, including E-learning


I tried to define e-learning in Chapter 3 and recommended that you look at the book by Diana Laurillard (2002). You should also look on the web site of JISC (the Joint Information Services Committee of HEFCE, for reports of the many IT projects they have sponsored over the last few decades. It might help you … Continued »

5.9 Cooperative learning


Co-operative learning is a phrase which is widely used in school pedagogy, but less frequently in higher education circles. It refers to the benefits to students of learning in collaboration with other students. I do not propose to write about it specifically, because the essential points have been covered in the sections on group and team work, … Continued »

5.8 Active Learning


Whole books have been written about active learning, as an approach to education at all levels. As with many topics (so my teacher friends tell me), higher education has woken up to it later than schools. Unfortunately the very scope of the approach means that there are a legion of examples and explanations. I have found … Continued »