Prof Tina Düren from the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath discusses her use of screencast recording of solutions to problem sheet questions on her course.
Tagged: Chemical Engineering
This case study from Chemical Engineering, is part of a series providing short summaries of some of the different good practice models and approaches taken to department level support for graduate teaching assistants (GTAs).
In Chemical Engineering a member of staff takes on the specific role of coordinating the GTAs (lab demonstrators in this case who mainly support year 1 and year 2 labs). The following outlines the programme of development for demonstrators in the department:
- Department induction –covers induction to labs, key safety and other information, and expectations at department level, working alongside the central TIPs course.
- Lab Report Feedback session – all demonstrators meet to look at their first batch of feedback on undergraduate lab reports, which are discussed for consistency and help in assessing and writing feedback in conjunction with the academics involved in the labs.
- Review of the labs – a full team meeting of all involved in the lab including demonstrators, academics, technicians, to review any feedback or issues arising so far (the first time, this was run after the feedback session, and with pizza/drinks).
- Feedback – feedback from students about the demonstrators is passed via staff who then present it to the demonstrators (filtering for the relevant information and for rude/inappropriate comments) along with any other relevant feedback from staff evaluating their demonstrating so far.
If you would like more information, contact the Directors of Studies/Teaching in the department. Support for setting up or reviewing your own department’s support for GTAs, along with further information on the University level support and development and can be obtained from the Centre for Learning and Teaching (contact firstname.lastname@example.org).
The University has successfully run two Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs); one on ‘Inside Cancer’ and one on ‘Sustainability for Professionals’. These MOOCs have attracted different communities of participants, as reported internally at Exchange! 2014.
Social Network Analysis (SNA) is a technique used to identify the characteristics of a network. A variety of SNA metrics can be used to detect the overall character of a network (density, connectedness, ‘small world’ and so on). In addition node-level metrics (one at the level of the individual participant) can be used to identify different types of participant (for example, ‘hubs’, ‘spokes’ and ‘links’).
This project has applied SNA techniques to these two Bath MOOC courses. The study has been mainly descriptive rather than proscriptive. The hypotheses that have been explored are that:
- The differences between the courses leads to measurable differences in the nature of the resulting network;
- These differences could guide the development of new MOOCs.
In order to explore these hypotheses, the courses have be compared using a variety of SNA metrics. The findings show that:
- A pedagogical design encouraging community driven (‘connectivist’) learning does indeed lead to measurable structural differences in a MOOC network. Thus, design of a MOOC needs to take into account the desired learning behaviour of the participants;
- We were able to identify network learning – in which conversations are driven by the community rather than by tutors. Thus, the role of community gatekeepers are key and these individuals can be identified and supported;
- There is some evidence that a more centralized MOOC becomes more community led over time. Thus, it may be important to redesign a MOOC over time to take account of the evolving participant behaviour.
This 2014-15 project made an important contribution to the overall cost of a one-semester (S1, 2014/15) sabbatical aimed at improving the student experience through enhancing teaching, learning and feedback outcomes during UG degrees in Chemical Engineering at two leading universities in the Southern Hemisphere (and the most highly ranked Australian universities for Chem Eng): UQ (Brisbane) and the University of Melbourne. To maintain our excellent NSS position for student satisfaction we need to innovate and learn from other leading academic institutions. This sabbatical proposed to do this by:
- Benchmarking UoB measures of student satisfaction (including feedback methodologies) and other tools for enhancing the student experience against those in UQ and Melbourne;
- Examining the effectiveness of the teaching, feedback and student experience innovations that have been introduced in UQ and Melbourne. This was done both by examining outputs such ranking of subjects and universities, and by conducting interviews with academic staff, students and administrative support managers;
- Examining how QA documentation is interpreted through to the institutional committee structures down to improving and enhancing the individual student experience through assessment, feedback and student support outcomes. Of key concern was academic ownership of programme and changes made to it, which affects both student and staff identities, and social cohesion within universities.
Dr John Chew from the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath discusses how his teaching has developed and what has helped.
Dr John Chew from the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath describes how he introduces students to verbal and written feedback on his course and provides to option to receive feedback on some work.
Dr John Chew from the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath discusses how he encourages participation gradually in the early lectures of a course.
Dr John Chew from the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath discusses how he links to his research and that of the department to help motivate the students to think about applications.
Dr John Chew from the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath discusses his preparation for the first lecture of a course and the importance of revision to making good first impressions.
Dr Mirella Di Lorenzo of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath discusses using clickers to test students' knowledge in revision sessions at the end of term.