Prof Andrew Heath, from the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at the University of Bath, describes how he uses peer marking in a course to help students develop writing skills as they attempt lab reports:
In this second video, Prof Heath discusses his experience of the practicalities and choices in setting up peer marking for the first time:
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.
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 Aydin Nassehi from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath discusses using the Poll everywhere audience response system in his lectures to gain feedback from students.
In the second video, Aydin directly compares the Poll Everywhere system with the common option of using clickers as an audience response system for use within lectures.
Dr Chris Blenkinsopp, from the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at the University of Bath, discusses how and why he uses videos in teaching.
Dr Chris Blenkinsopp, from the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at the University of Bath, describes his fourth year Civil Engineering Design project as a form of problem based learning in which students work for 'clients' on real world projects.
Dr Steve Cayzer from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath discusses some of the background and reasons behind the department exploring the use of Moodle for double blind marking.
In the second clip, Steve discusses the lessons learnt from exploring the use of Moodle for double blind marking, producing a set of requirements.
Project Leaders: Dr Paul Shepherd, Dr Nick McCullen, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering
This is a case study of one of the University's funded pilot Flipping Projects, looking at the motivation for flipping, the methods used, lessons learnt and impact.