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A new strategy for active learning to maximise performance in intensive courses


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This paper describes an innovation in the delivery of an introductory thermodynamics course offered to students studying towards an engineering qualification. The course was delivered in intensive format, across three weeks of study.
Students find it challenging to engage with complex engineering topics in a short period of time, and there is no sizeable study break for pre-exam study. This means that students cannot afford to delay in learning and applying content. Every class must be an opportunity to interact with the content immediately.
The innovation described here involved implementing a new daily structure for the course that attempted to mimic the standard process by which students learn material, apply it, study it and practice it in across a traditional-length semester. The new structure involved integrating the
lecture and recitation components to the course to increasing the active learning during material delivery, then allowing students to engage in guided study and open-book formative assessment.
This paper describes the implementation of this innovation. A brief review of the literature on intensive courses is provided, followed by a description of the approach used in this particular class. The results are then presented, and evaluated in the context of the research and the instructor’s own critical reflection.

Item Type: Paper presented at a conference, workshop or other event, and published in the proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords: Intensive courses, active learning, thermodynamics
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Divisions: Schools > Centre for Engineering and Industrial Design
Depositing User: Mohammad Al-Rawi
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2018 00:52
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 06:42

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