Faculty of Engineering & Design staff

Sharing experience and best practice across the Faculty of Engineering & Design

A shared MSA mission

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📥  New initiative

The Faculty Professional Services are vital to the academic and student success we achieve. Without the dedicated team, who are enthusiastic, supportive and creative, many successes would not have been achieved.  We are in extremely exciting times with Postgraduate developments and our International agenda, the team are ready and geared up to support and make our new avenues even more successful than our past.

To ensure we all focus on the same goals and objectives I have developed a shared mission statement.

Our shared mission statement for the future is:

Collaboration, communication and planning between teams and the wider community

  • Increased collaboration and service sharing amongst our faculty teams.
  • Stronger and more integrated planning on local approaches to support our academic and student requirements.
  • Reduced duplication through service delivery efficiencies.
  • Improved coordination of decision-making and investment in our infrastructure, facilities, and equipment.
  • Increased accountability, as users and management will be better able to evaluate the performance of each faculty service.
  • Stronger services, benefitting from the collective strength of the faculty to meet common needs, and plan for the future.

Communication achieved by:

  • creating awareness
  • imparting knowledge
  • projecting an image
  • shaping attitudes
  • stimulating a want or desire

Collaboration achieved by:

  • fostering innovation
  • supporting the development of a team
  • creating more appropriate and effective outputs
  • building enhanced legitimacy and creditability

 

Macro of the month: Children display

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📥  Tracey's macro of the month

Introduction

Children display is another basic macro with one specific use. It is particularly useful for spaces with many nested pages ('child pages') which can be hidden from view; this macro enables you to help visitors to find those pages quickly.

Application(s)

Children display has one function:

  • makes a live, dynamic list of pages that are nested under a chosen page (does not have to be the one where the macro is placed)

How to add Children display

  • Place you cursor where you want the Children display to appear
  • Click on Insert (in the tool bar above) then Other Macros from the drop-down menu
  • In the pop-up window, type children display into the search box
  • Set the variables up as you wish (you can, for instance, choose to limit the level of nested pages that are displayed)
  • Click Save

How to use Children display

Look at how a list of the 'child' pages could be added to a page in your space to enable visitors to find the materials they need quickly. The addition of this macro is useful where:

  • you have a large number of pages, many of them nested (so not easily found)
  • you want a list of child pages (e.g. a contents list) to be dynamic to reflect frequent changes in the space

Example

children display

(click on image to enlarge)

 

 

TEL Event #2 Summary

  

📥  Staff event, Technology Enhanced Learning

Focus on Assessment & Feedback

This event enabled teaching staff to share an example of how they’ve used technology to enhance assessment and feedback activities.  We recorded this to share with everyone and here we offer a brief summary. (The final presentation by Philip wasn’t recorded as the session overran our lecture capture booking slot – there’s a lesson for the future! However, we’ve added a link to Philip’s slides so you can see what was covered.)

noun_10681_cc Tel Event #2 Recording
noun_345939_cc Using Moodle for FYP marking - for distribution (Philip's slides)

Presentation 1

Sabina Gheduzzi (Mechanical Engineering) explained how she came to use rubrics for assignments in Moodle.  The rubric enabled students to see the criteria by which they would be assessed but it also allowed Sabrina to mark work more swiftly.  The rubric also provides students with consistent feedback that can be supplemented by Sabrina’s comments and as a result she has seen fewer issues with students questioning their marks. Student evaluation data has also demonstrated an increase in satisfaction from students when rubrics are used.  The students like it!

Find out more about Moodle rubrics: https://docs.moodle.org/30/en/Rubrics

In discussion, after Sabrina’s presentation, there were questions related to suitability of rubrics when:

  • Assessment is based on creative tasks where the rubric may be interpreted too rigidly by students
  • When there are very large class sizes

Sabrina explained that in the context of this unit, rubrics enabled her to effectively address a specific issue raised by students in their unit feedback.

Presentation 2

Tim Ibell (Architecture & Civil Engineering) explained how he used a Moodle database to provide a peer assessment experience for a large first year Undergraduate co-hort.  The database was set up with help from the Faculty Learning Technologists and used in the classroom by students accessing Moodle from their mobile devices (i.e. through BYOD – bring your own device).  Students were able to see feedback for their group presentations and receive a score – which was moderated by Tim before being displayed to the groups.   This exercise was part of a planned move to a flipped classroom approach with reduced summative assessment and more time spent problem solving with students.

Find out more about Moodle database activity: https://docs.moodle.org/30/en/Using_Database

Questions raised following Tim’s presentation related to the suitability of peer assessment when:

  • Such peer assessment is included in courses which are accredited - would such activities be allowed?
  • Students may turn up without a suitable mobile device (or with insufficient battery power) – was there a contingency plan in place?

Presentation 3

Philip Shields (Electronic & Electrical Engineering) explained how he used the Moodle database to keep track of final year student projects and in particular to provide a double blind marking process which couldn’t be achieved easily in other Moodle tools.  Working with a Faculty Learning Technologist and the eLearning team Systems Developer (for some JavaScript expertise), Philip was able to create a database that allowed people in specific roles (e.g. second or third marker) to only view the information they needed.  This was done by creating tabs in the templates which only displayed if the person logged in matched a specific role.

Find out more about Moodle database templates: https://docs.moodle.org/30/en/Database_templates

In discussion after Philip’s presentation, Sabina pointed out that she was able to take a copy of Philip’s database and adapt it for her own programme.  This is done by sharing the database via a Preset option available in Moodle.

Thank you to our three presenters for sharing their experiences.

We hope those attending found it useful and if you have any feedback please contact us at fed-tel@bath.ac.uk

We would particularly like suggestions for the next TEL event - what should the focus be?

 

Women in Engineering

📥  Staff experiences

To celebrate Women in Engineering Day, Dr Min Pan, Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, shares her experiences of studying and working in engineering:

How will you be spending Women in Engineering Day?

I think I will spend the morning in the office doing some research and then go to the lab in the afternoon to carry out experimental work just like any other normal day. To me, women are always 'in engineering'.

What are the most rewarding parts of your role?

I enjoy doing my research work and supervising students’ projects. I get a great sense of satisfaction when I see my ideas work and my students make progress.

What have you learnt from your career so far?

Find something you enjoy and find role models who inspire you. I have found something I really enjoy and it’s such a privilege being able to make a living doing something you love. I also think it is very important to be creative and confident when you are doing research.

Why did you choose to study engineering?

My father is a Civil Engineer and he was a big influence on me. Growing up I was very proud to tell people that he designed bridges and buildings. He taught me basic maths and physics when I was young, which I then excelled at in school. However, when I came to apply for university I insisted that computer science was the right choice for me. I enjoyed using programmes to analyse practical problems, to design smart controllers and find solutions, not just for fun and solving puzzles! I then applied for an MSc programme in Mechanical Engineering followed by a PhD, which was in the same area.

What is the future like for women in engineering?

I believe there is a rosy future for women in engineering. More and more female students are starting to consider engineering courses, and universities generally have very good support groups/systems to help women build confidence and develop skills. Industry also now offers more opportunities to women in different sectors. If you are creative, engineering is something you should consider.

I think the key influencers of young people are their parents and teachers. We need to present engineering as enjoyable; there is still some work to do and improve, but the future is definitely bright!

 

Introducing our Faculty Staff Wiki space

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📥  New initiative

As part of the CMS transition, our Faculty’s internal web pages have migrated to the University’s Wiki (called Confluence).

Our new Faculty of Engineering & Design Staff Wiki space means:

  • Faculty staff information is contained in one place
  • teams can take ownership of their own content and easily update their pages
  • staff can share information and collaborate more effectively

Since starting the project back in January, we have moved across our current content, as well as creating new content. We’ve also undertaken a user testing process to refine usability and design.

Where is the space?

You can find the Staff Wiki space in the same way as the old internal pages: by clicking the padlock link on the Faculty’s external landing page.

You can also log in to Confluence and search for the space or type in the web address go.bath.ac.uk/fedstaffwiki directly into your browser.

Who can access the space?

All staff at the University (who have a University log on) can view the space but certain pages may have viewing or editing restrictions applied to them. This is so that they can only be seen or edited by a select group or individual.

Design

The space has been designed by Rosie Hart (Postgraduate Taught Programmes Officer) using a colour palette of Faculty Orange, Stylus grey and About blue. All pages have consistent headers and footers. To reduce scrolling we have hidden some content under expandable headings.

Each page has been assigned a webmaster or masters who are responsible for creating and keeping content up to date (these names are listed within the page footer). Page design inevitably varies depending on the webmaster, but should retain the same design ethos and colour scheme as the rest of the space.

Navigation

The page tree in the left-hand sidebar lists all top level pages. Page headings with ‘>’ next to them (rather than a bullet point) expand to reveal child pages beneath them with further content.

The search box in the top right toolbar searches the whole of Confluence (all University of Bath Wiki pages). The search box on the Faculty Staff Wiki homepage only searches the space.

You can always return to the homepage by clicking the Orange Minerva head logo at the top of the Wiki space’s left-hand sidebar.

Each page is tagged with its function or team, which formulates an index (or A-Z) linked to in the left-hand page tree and on the homepage.

Take a video tour of the space


Managing the space

The Staff Wiki space will always be a work in progress. All staff are expected to take an active responsibility for keeping the space up to date. We all have editing rights for any page containing an edit button (located at the top right of a page). Teams who do not wish people to edit their pages can restrict this, so if an edit button is present then the webmaster is happy for others to contribute. The Wiki has a history function so if anything goes wrong you can always publish an earlier version of a page.

The homepage has a feedback link for staff to provide comments on usability, content and design. This feedback will be evaluated tri-annually (October, February, June) by the Wiki space editorial group consisting of Becky Garner, Beth Jones, Rosie Hart and Tracey Madden. The group will also review the space to ensure design and content standards are being met, and offer advice to webmasters.

Creating new pages

Should your team have a presence within our Staff Wiki space? In the first instance, it is best to contact Tracey Madden (Learning Enhancement Advisor) through the new content request table. Tracey can advise on your content needs, the design of your page and provide bespoke wiki training for your team. You may find that the Staff Wiki space is not the correct location for your content or that you only need to link to your own pages from it.

Webmasters of top level wiki pages already in existence can create as many child pages as they wish. All new pages must contain a header and footer to match the rest of the Wiki space and comply with our colour styles and brand principles.

Developing your wiki skills and finding help

Tracey Madden has created a bespoke help section with how-to guides and page templates to aid staff in using the Wiki space and creating their own content. You can also take a look at Tracey’s Macro of the Month feature and Rosie’s Top Wiki Tips on the blog to develop your wiki skills. You can practise editing and using macros on your personal wiki page (everyone automatically has one) or book wiki training with Computing Services. Tracey Madden is also available to provide bespoke training to members of our Faculty.

Thanks to...

Thank you to Rosie Hart (supported by Bex Mills) who transitioned our existing internal content and designed the space, and to Tracey Madden who has worked with teams to create new content. Thank you also to our user testers.

 

TEL Event #2 - Focus on assessment and feedback

📥  Staff event, Technology Enhanced Learning

Please come along to the second Technology Enhanced Learning event on 24 June 2016 11:15-12:05, CB 3.5

  • Assessment and feedback using the Moodle rubric - Sabina Gheduzzi (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Using a Moodle database for peer assessment with a large cohort of students - Tim Ibell (Architecture & Civil Engineering)
  • Managing group project assessment using a Moodle database - Philip Shields (Electronic & Electrical Engineering)

This will be a chance for colleagues to share some different approaches to assessment and feedback, and to discuss how they might work for you in your learning and teaching context. There will be a series of three short presentations, with time for questions and discussion on each topic.

This event follows on from the successful Faculty TEL event in March. An attendee at the last event found:

"It was great to see some of the innovative use of technology in the faculty. I found it particularly useful that staff were sharing actual experiences; the pitfalls as well as the opportunities."

To register, please sign up via the following link: http://doodle.com/poll/yemp6ch77fm7ekct

Image Designed by Freepik

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Macro of the Month: Labels List

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📥  Tracey's macro of the month

Introduction

Labels List is a very basic macro with one specific use. It is particularly useful where you have a large space with a lot of content, including multiple different items on a page, as it enables you to create a dynamic A-Z or alphabetised index to help visitors find what they want.

Application(s)

Labels List has one function:

  • makes an alphabetised list of the labels used in a space

How to add Labels List

Firstly...

  • add labels to the pages of your wiki (click on the icon at the right hand side of the foot of the page)
  • type in a label and click Add
  • repeat this process until you have added all the label for the page
  • repeat the process for attachments if you wish

Then simply...

  • Place you cursor where you want the Labels List macro to appear
  • Click on Insert (in the tool bar above) then Other Macros from the drop-down menu
  • In the pop-up window, type label list into the search box
  • Set the variables up as you wish (you can, for instance, exclude some labels from appearing in the list)
  • Click Save

How to use Labels List

Look at how labels could be added to the attachments in your space and/or the pages themselves to enable visitors to find the materials they need. The addition of labels (and the availability of a labels list) is useful where:

  • you have a large number of pages
  • there are multiple items on a single page (which are not all reflected in the page title)
  • some items in your space can be known by multiple names

Example

Index

(Click on image to enlarge)

 

Raj Aggarwal's retirement event

  

📥  Staff event

After over 40 years in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Professor Raj Aggarwal is retiring. Raj, who started at the University in October 1973, is a familiar face around the campus.

Colleagues from across the University are warmly invited to mark the occasion with tea and cakes in Wessex House Restaurant on Tuesday 14 June at 4pm.

Please email Ann Linfield if you would like to attend.

There is a card for signing and an envelope for contributions in the EE Department Office, 2E 2.10.

Raj has requested that any money from a collection be donated to MIND and Sightsavers.

 

Imagining research to engage communities

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📥  Celebrating success, Staff experiences

Ammar Azzouz, PhD student in the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, talks about this year's Images of Research competition and the importance of communicating our research to the wider community:

Images of Research takes place every year at the University of Bath and across several universities in the UK. It aims to communicate complex research ideas to the public and reinvent dialogues between different departments across the University.

The 50 images submitted this year illustrate the extraordinarily varied research undertaken at our University and present these using novel techniques ranging from sketching and hand-drawing to collage and photographs. They individually and collectively present some of the critical issues we are facing in our modern society including Alzheimer’s, aging, building materials, 3D-printing, scams, asylum seekers and racism.

My entry Hand Versus Machine? has been awarded the highly commended best image award. I was also one of only three postgraduates to be shortlisted for the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Public Engagement with Research. I am really honoured that my passion for sharing my research with the public has been acknowledged.

Engaging the public

I believe events like this are of vital importance in bridging the gap between researchers and the public. Academics have to be more engaged with the community and follow in the steps of artists. Henry Moore, one of the most influential British artists, for instance, pioneered the use of films and documentaries to share his art with the wider public through television. He created a new way of showing art and presented the uncertainty surrounding the process of creating sculptures in regards to form and material in his films. Researchers have to look for creative and innovative ways to empower people, by transferring their skills and knowledge to our community. By doing so, our research will not only be documented in conference and journal papers, but also be translated into engaging projects.

My 2015 Images of Research entry

Ammar's 2016 images of Research prize winning entry

Hand Versus Machine? - Ammar's 2016 Images of Research prize winning entry

My Hand Versus Machine? collage questions the tools and techniques that architects use to translate their ideas to real life. For most of our history architects have used traditional techniques to communicate their ideas such as, inking, hand-drawing and painting. These techniques are vanishing and being replaced by new emerging tools. Since the 1960s, architects have used computers to generate 2D drawings and 3D models to imagine the future of our built environment. These models are realistic, informative and engaging.

Nowadays digital models are becoming even more complex since they require 4D (time) and 5D (cost) to be attached to every element of the model. Despite these pioneering advances that technology has offered, we have to use it in a more efficient and intelligent way that will lead to a smarter built environment. So shall we use hands or machines to communicate ideas? Perhaps both at different stages of the project, but it is important to emphasise the way we use our hands and the way we use our machines.

Building the unbuildable, virtually - Ammar's 2015 Images of Research entry

Building the unbuildable, virtually - Ammar's 2015 Images of Research entry

 

Our second Faculty PGT Learning & Teaching Conference

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📥  Staff event

Sally Clift, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, gives an overview of our second Faculty PGT Learning & Teaching Conference: 'Defining Excellence in Postgraduate Education' and where we go from here:

The conference
Following on from the work of the ‘Defining Excellence in Postgraduate Education’ working groups, we organised a conference to draw together current practice on master's courses particularly with regard to dissertations, and discuss ways forward given the anticipated increase in numbers of master's students.

The conference attracted both academic and non-academic staff from across our Faculty and the larger University community including the Academic Skills Centre.

Sessions
I opened the morning session with an overview of our new master's courses that will be offered over the next four years. A survey of our current master's courses revealed a range of assessment patterns for dissertations, though all reveal similar aims and learning objectives.

In the first discussion session mixed groups discussed the challenges that increased numbers brought to dissertation supervision. Topics that were highlighted included:

  • staff resourcing and recognition
  • spread of load across departments
  • complexity of marking
  • possibility of linking with research centres

Following this were presentations from Dr Bruce Rayton (Associate Dean for PGT programmes, School of Management), Dr Peter Wilson (Electronic & Electrical Engineering, formerly University of Southampton) and Dr Dirk Schaefer (Mechanical Engineering, formerly Georgia Tech) who offered up their experiences of handling large numbers of master's level students.

In the afternoon, I opened the session by looking at alternative formats to the traditional dissertation. Following this, Dr Ricardo Codinhoto (Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering) gave an in-depth look at the use of industrial projects in the highly successful MSc Modern Building Design programme.

The second discussion session looked at what we should be doing as a Faculty to move forward. Ideas included:

  • better definition of the student-supervisor relationship
  • integrate projects with research groups
  • embed skills development within MSc courses
  • develop company-based alternatives to the traditional research project
  • streamline assessment
  • review resourcing for PGT programmes

Outcomes
The group sessions yielded valuable insights into issues such as maintaining the quality of the student educational experience whilst student numbers increase. We also discussed ways that we might meet these challenges that could bring improvements to the student experience overall and improve our ways of working.

Resources from the conference can be found on the Defining Excellence in Postgraduate Education Wiki.

Feedback
Feedback at the end of day indicated that those who had attended had a good opportunity to:

  • learn more about the topic
  • hear the views of others
  • ask questions and offer options

Attendees appreciated the:

  • mixture of talks and discussion
  • range of backgrounds of attendees

"It was great to have an outside perspective from other faculties/unis. We should definitely learn from others' successes."

"Good questions and engagement"

"Good mix of attendees with different backgrounds & perspectives"

"Open, inclusive format"

Next steps
The insights from this meeting will be used to support the development of a Faculty MSc sharing good practice guide for dissertation supervision, support and assessment.