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EVALUATING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CDIO PROGRAMS AT SINGAPORE POLYTECHNIC: THE FIRST YEAR

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Title: EVALUATING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CDIO PROGRAMS AT SINGAPORE POLYTECHNIC: THE FIRST YEAR


1
EVALUATING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CDIO PROGRAMS AT
SINGAPORE POLYTECHNIC THE FIRST YEAR
  • Helene Leong-Wee Kwee Huay, Dennis Sale, Cheryl
    Wee Soon Peng
  • Department of Educational Development

2
Implementation of CDIO in SP
  • October 2006
  • 13 engineering programmes revised and
    restructured
  • the School of Architecture and Built Environment,
  • the School of Chemical and Life Sciences,
  • the School of Electrical and Electronic
    Engineering, and
  • the School of Mechanical and Aeronautical
    Engineering.

3
Revisions
  • The revised programmes were implemented in April
    2008.
  • Revisions include
  • Integration of the CDIO skills
  • Personal skills and attitudes
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Introduction to Engineering (semester/year long)
  • Assessment schemes

4
Purpose of Evaluation
  • To provide a structured research driven approach
    to monitor and review the implementation of the
    CDIO Framework
  • Evaluation is the process of delineating,
    obtaining and providing information useful for
    making decisions and judgements about educational
    programmes and curriculum.
  • (Kemmis, 1989, p.117)

5
Research Questions
  • Were the learning outcomes, learning activities
    and assessments aligned?
  • Were the learning of the courses integrated in
    the Introduction to Engineering Module?
  • How has the integration of the CDIO skills into
    the syllabuses impacted the students?
  • What were the lecturers perception of the
    curriculum changes and their impact on students
    competence in the selected CDIO skills and
    interest in subject?

6
Data Collection Methods
  • Examination of a range of curriculum materials
    (e.g., course documents, module documents,
    learning plans, schemes of assessment, assessment
    items)
  • Student questionnaires
  • Student Blogs
  • Focus group interviews with students and
    lecturers teaching the CDIO programmes
  • Observation of selected lessons (e.g., those
    incorporating activities related to selected CDIO
    skills)

7
Examination of a Range Of Curriculum Materials
  • Examination of syllabuses, learning plans and
    activities, schemes of assessment and assessment
    items.
  • The aim was to ensure that the curriculum
    materials met the conditions of an aligned
    curriculum (e.g., Biggs, 1999) and were
    consistent with relevant CDIO standards (Crawley
    et al, 2007).

8
Student Questionnaire
  • Administered to all the students online at the
    end of each semester (Sept 08 Feb 09).
  • 45 response rate (549 participants in Sem 1 and
    647 participants in Sem 2)
  • Some key differences in the questions posed
    between the two administrations (e.g., Sept 08
    and Feb 09).
  • First semester, interest was in the infusion of
    the selected CDIO skills in the first
    questionnaire.
  • Second semester, the focus was more on
    establishing the extent of application of the
    skills.

9
Student Co-Participants and Blog
  • Student co-participants blogged their
    experiences of the lessons taught.
  • 47 student co-participants were involved semester
    1 and 55 for semester 2, with representation
    across schools
  • Briefed on the research purpose and their role
    and responsibilities

10
Responsibilities of Student Co-Participants
  • Chat to classmates and identify some broad
    experiences relating to learning the selected
    CDIO skills and the teaching approaches used
  • Make personal notes and/or blog their experiences
  • Meet with the researchers at least once a
    semester for group sharing

11
Student Co-Participants and Blog
  • Students were presented with specific questions
    relating to their experience of lessons taught,
    and asked to provide their responses with
    examples to illustrate where possible.
  • A useful and novel way to help build rapport with
    the students, encouraging more authentic and open
    communication.

12
Student Blogs
  • The semester will be ending in a few weeks time.
    List down the skills which you think you have
    developed through the Introduction to Engineering
    module in this semester. (E.g. ability to
    troubleshoot problems, teamwork, etc)

13
What the students blogged…..
  • In Introduction to Engineering, I learned how
    things around me are manufactured. Thats why I
    appreciate every little tool and object around
    me. I also developed skills like troubleshooting
    problems, how the work piece is to be clamped
    such that the workpiece is supported to undergo
    cutting.
  • Besides that, teamwork is another skill I
    developed. I noticed the strength of every member
    that I can learn from. Without good teamwork, I
    could not possibly develop such a workpiece. One
    of the most valuable skill I gained is
    brainstorming for using the right tool for the
    right purpose and thinking of developing the
    final product using the simplest manufacturing
    method.
  • Year 1 Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering
    student

14
What the students blogged …..
  • In my opinion, the best skill that I have
    developed through the module is teamwork and
    leadership skills. This module actually gave me
    an opportunity to train and develop my teamwork
    skills. As an introvert person, I did not really
    bother to be a leader before. However due to this
    module I have learnt how to gather the group
    members attention, assign work, manage conflicts
    and etc.. 
  • Other than the skills that I have mentioned above
    this module taught me some practical applications
    of the knowledge that I learnt during my
    lectures. The module helped me to see, integrate,
    design and implement the circuit to satisfy the
    required function.  
  • Year 1 Electrical and Electronic Engineering
    student

15
Focus Groups (Lecturers)
  • 1-2 hours
  • Twenty-one lecturers, representing all schools,
    participated in 4 focus group sessions
  • What have you been involved in doing, in terms of
    CDIO implementation?
  • What have you specifically done and how?
  • What is your perception of its impact on student
    learning, based on your experience with student
    groups?

16
Focus Groups (Students)
  • 1-2 hours
  • Asked about their experience relating to aspects
    of CDIO.
  • No right or better answers, only the best
    representation of their experience
  • The typical interview process for each area of
    interest involved
  • A standard opening scenario is presented to the
    students
  • Encouragement to students to explain and provide
    examples
  • Clarification of meaning and checking
    understanding where appropriate

17
Observation of Lessons
  • To obtain
  • an ethnographic insight into what was actually
    occurring in the classroom
  • what might be useful for enhancing understanding
    of how students experience learning activities
    related to the selected CDIO skills.

18
Observation process
  • The classes to be observed are mutually agreed by
    lecturers and EDU staff
  • The lesson must incorporate a component relating
    to the teaching/assessment of a CDIO skill area
  • There is opportunity to ask student questions (at
    the end of the observation) pertaining to their
    experience of the learning activity and CDIO
    skill areas

19
Key Findings Curriculum Documents and Materials
  • Some courses needed significant revision
  • writing of learning outcomes generally (e.g.,
    rationalization, performance focus, clarity of
    intent, etc)
  • Infusion of selected CDIO skills appropriately.
  • Designing of key learning tasks and assessment
    activities (including the scoring systems)

20
Key Findings Student Questionnaire
  • Nearly 50 agreed and 25 strongly agreed, in
    favour of the implementation of CDIO.
  • Semester 1 mean scores ranged from 3.73 to 4.03,
    with an overall mean of 3.90 (SD 0.90) .
  • Semester 2 mean scores ranged from 3.74 to 4.10,
    with an overall mean of 3.85 (SD 0.93).
  • The Cronbach alphas showed high internal
    consistency in student responses.

21
Key Findings Student blog and focus groups
  • Students perceived the importance of the CDIO
    skills as a valuable part of the curriculum
  • The explicit teaching of the selected skills
    seems to vary from module to module and across
    lecturers
  • Authentic learning opportunities for such skills
    to be fostered created
  • Specific real world tasks linked theory to
    practice and made the learning experience more
    meaningful and interesting

22
Key Findings Lecturer Focus Groups
  • Lecturers saw the relevance of the CDIO framework
    and have experienced the positive impact of the
    changes made to the curriculum on student
    attention and interest.
  • More motivated students coped better with the
    more challenging integrated learning tasks, the
    less competent students required more help and
    time.
  • There was a range of practices concerning the
    explicit teaching of the selected CDIO skills.
  • There has been an increase in workload, resulting
    from the preparation and assessment involved.

23
Key Findings Observation of Lessons
  • Some learning tasks provided opportunities for
    the development of types of thinking, teamworking
    and communication skills.
  • Students were generally positive about the
    learning activities, some needing more support
    than others.
  • The actual skills and what were involved in
    developing them were not seen to be taught
    explicitly in most observations.

24
Recommendations
  • Differentiate the learning tasks and teaching
    approaches to accommodate students different
    learning abilities
  • Continue to encourage the explicit development of
    CDIO skills
  • Address increase in lecturers workload
  • Provide necessary training to expand lecturers
    expertise

25
Conclusions
  • The eclectic methodology employed in the
    evaluation has provided a range of insights into
    aspects of teaching and learning relating to both
    CDIO implementation and the student experience of
    teaching and learning in SP
  • Selected CDIO skills implemented so far have been
    sufficiently well received by both students and
    lecturers
  • The next focus is on verifying and extending the
    range of pedagogic and assessment practices
    necessary for effectively meeting the range of
    CDIO standards.

26
Student Blogs
  • Samples

27
What the students blogged…..
  • Having gone through 2 semesters, how would you
    rate (1-5) your interest in your field of
    engineering? (1 being Not Interested and 5 being
    Very Interested) Briefly explain your rating.
  •  
  • Rate 5. What I love most in this module was the
    project. We were allowed to work as group and be
    independent. We have to complete the project in
    group. During the process of doing the project,
    we were like small engineers. Although our skills
    were far from the Professional engineers, we
    experienced many situation which allow us to
    improve and find solution. Problem-solving is
    what engineers should do.
  • Year 1 Architecture and Built Environment student

28
What the students blogged…..
  • Having gone through 2 semesters, how would you
    rate (1-5) your interest in your field of
    engineering? (1 being Not Interested and 5 being
    Very Interested) Briefly explain your rating.
  •  
  • I would rate it 4. I feel that it is very fun and
    exciting learning things that are related to
    products that can be seen in our everyday lives.
    Very few modules show the link between studying an
    d the real engineering world. However, I would
    grade it 5, if the products to be manufactured
    are chosen by us.
  • Year 1 Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering
    student

29
What the students blogged…..
  • Having gone through 2 semesters, how would you
    rate (1-5) your interest in your field of
    engineering? (1 being Not Interested and 5 being
    Very Interested) Briefly explain your rating.
  •  
  • I rate 5 for my interest in the field of
    engineering. Well before joining the school I was
    thinking of which course to join. I did not
    really have any specific course but since I like
    math and science, I decided to join the
    engineering course. At this moment, I am quite
    satisfied with my choice and gaining more
    interest in engineering although its hard to
    study and learn something new. Due to the
    knowledge that I have learnt, now I can see and
    understand some practical applications in our
    world which is fun.
  • Year 1 Electrical and Electronic Engineering
    student

30
Thank you
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