Tag Archives: Electrical Engineering and Electronics

You teach? Try iTeach

iTeach is the online resource portal for those who teach and support student learning at The University of Liverpool .

Resources in key areas of learning and teaching are available. Recent additions include a glossary of teaching terms, discipline specific resources and access to other UoL teaching resources such as SPARK (new technologies in learning and teaching) and ‘how to’ guides in VITAL.

As examples, programmes going through approval have needed learning outcomes revision and colleagues have asked for information so these resources have been updated.  Some discipline-specific examples can be applied generally, such as Engaging Students in Engineering through their everyday experiences, which illustrates how the course design can improve student study motivation and interest. Tackling the challenges of teaching large cohorts, the Department of Electronics & Electrical Engineering highlight the importance of involving students and using technology – their examples are here.  Digital Literacy and Learning Capabilities are key strategic developments in Higher Education, so more is now available.

Three new areas will extend iTeach:  Education for Sustainable Development, Placements and Students as Partners.

Join your colleagues today – take a look and we hope iTeach is a useful source of support for your teaching and your students’ learning.

 

Jaye McIsaac

Satisfying the 300+: The Challenge of Teaching Large Cohorts

At the Learning and Teaching Conference last month we were treated to an awesome presentation by Dr Ali Al-Ataby, the winner of the annual Sir Alastair Pilkington Prize for excellent teaching. In his presentation, entitled ‘Satisfying the 300’, Ali explained how he has turned what was considered to be a boring and difficult, yet required, module with a large failure rate into one of the most popular and successful in Electrical Engineering and Electronics (EEE).

Science and Engineering are really tackling the challenge of teaching large cohorts with lots of good practice across the Faculty. I was reminded that I attended another fantastic event last term. Run by Dr Kathy Johnson in Science and Engineering and introduced by Mark Bowen, a whole day was dedicated to large group teaching with invited speakers from within and beyond the University, giving thought provoking and entirely practical strategies for teaching modules for groups of up to 600 students.

Executive Pro Vice Chancellor for Science and Engineering Professor Ken Badcock opened, underlining the importance the Faculty gives to the quality of the student learning experience. He was followed by five speakers, from Liverpool, Manchester and The Open University.

teaching large cohorts

Key messages from the session emphasised the importance of:

  • Students having the opportunity to interact with one another, something that can be done very well online.
  • Students feeling connected to the lecturer. They will overcrowd a live lecture rather than sit in an overspill and they need to know their lecturer is concerned about their learning. This requires planning and insight that takes as much effort as all other aspects of the teaching. But, it can be done.
  • A blended approach with on-line activities and discussions which can significantly enhance the student learning experience because the very nature of the large scale course means that there are many ideas, points of view, and knowledge to bring to the debate and insights to share. Well planned online elements are valued by staff and students.
  • Module efficiency was a key consideration for staff – including excellent administrative staff and well trained teaching assistant support.
  • Selecting tools that work for students, not simply like for like replacements for those that work face-to-face, but approaches that meet the aims and intended learning outcomes of the modules.

The presenters were (click the links for short interviews):

Dr John Moriarty (Manchester) – Feeding the four hundred – case study with a large class.

Dr John Marsland (Liverpool) – 3000 students and counting! Assessing and engaging large cohorts.

Erik Clark (Liverpool student) – Strategies for large cohorts – a student perspective.

Dr Matt Murphy (Liverpool) – Using more than just lectures to teach classes of 500+.

Dr Anne -Marie Gallen (Open University) – Developing large scale undergraduate engineering modules using VLE-based approaches.

 

You can view Ali Al-Ataby’s full conference presentation here.

 

Anne Qualter, Centre for Lifelong Learning

The Role of the Academic Advisor

On 19th March over 60 staff from across The University came together for a fascinating, and we hope, really useful, event focused on The Role of the Academic Advisor.

Since The University initiated the change from Personal Tutor to Academic Advisor there has not been a university wide opportunity to wrestle with the impact of the change, how it is working, and especially to think about issues such as; what works well? What could be better? How can we ensure equity for students? How do staff and students get the information they need to support their academic and personal development? How could we use the resources such as Liverpool Life to support staff to support students? And, sneaking in at the end, what are the implications of the Higher Education Achievement Record?

We would like to thank the following people for their presentations:

  • Leah Ridgway, Electrical Engineering and Electronics: A personal view of her role as Academic Advisor.
  • Matt Murphy, Carnatic Hall Warden: Arguing for closer ties between the halls, as a transition point for students, and academic departments.
  • Jonathan Iggo, Chemistry: Looking at the role of personal tutor within the context of a department wide approach.
  • Janet Strivens, Centre for Lifelong Learning: The role of Academic Advisers in relation to assessment and feedback.
  • Warren Barr, School of Law and Social Justice: The Academic Advisor as a major gateway to engaging students with the huge variety of services and opportunities offered by the University of Liverpool.
  • Jo Sharp, School of Health Sciences: On a structured, whole school, approach to Academic Advising and support for personal development planning.
  • Freya Jarman, Music: The role of the Academic Advisor and the delivery of ‘study skills’ sessions for first year students as a transition into academic and student life.
  • Lynn Williams, School of Medicine: The adaptation of the Academic Advisor system to the five year, non modularised programme in medicine to cope with placements in the contexts of very a large student body.
  • Liverpool Guild of Students: What does an Academic Advisor look like? Using feedback from students LGoS highlighted key aspects of the role and discussed examples of best practice and how to identify and disseminate further good examples.

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