Evaluating the effectiveness of a first year module designed to improve student engagement
journal contributionposted on 13.03.2012 by Peter Willmot, Glynis Perkin
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
A key challenge for universities is to provide motivators beyond those gained by the award of marks. Student engagement is essential for learning - even the best teacher cannot succeed without it. This paper describes the evaluation of an innovative year-long module for mechanical engineering students that embraces competitive challenges, student-centred learning activities, problem solving, creative design and skills workshops that was designed to sit alongside and provide motivators for a broadly traditional first year curriculum. The module was under development for three years and anecdotal evidence suggested that there were positive benefits, thus an independent evaluation, funded by a small grant from the Higher Education Academy, was commissioned. The evaluation used both qualitative and quantitative methods of enquiry and largely confirmed what had been noted anecdotally. Following the evaluation, additional minor changes were made and feedback from the improved module is reported.
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