Facilitating active learning in the classroom
Ní Shé, Caitríona and Looney, Lisa (2007) Facilitating active learning in the classroom. In: International Symposium for Engineering Education, ISEE-07, 17-19 September 2007, Dublin City University.
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In the context of a relatively traditional second year module in for mechanical engineering students, Strength of Materials, changes were made to module delivery to facilitate more active learning. The motivation was a perceived need to improve the level of understanding achieved by the students. Justification for the changes was an assessment of student learning style preferences, which indicate a strong preference for active learning. Results show that changes in how lecture and tutorial activities were managed increased the level of student engagement during classroom sessions. In addition, 'small step' approaches to problem solving proved popular among students. The study also indicates that both students and lecturers need time to become practiced in the new approach, and that benefits of changes to traditional 'talk and chalk' lecturing may take time to become apparent.
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