Want to change learning culture: Provide the opportunity

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Research in Engineering Education Symposium 2011, REES 2011, 2011, pp. 259 - 267
Issue Date:
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Many students resist having to take responsibility for their own learning rather expecting this to be the responsibility of their teaching academics. This resistance is often associated with Asian cultures where there is a perception of a reliance on rote learning and passively being taught. Furthermore, undertaking collaborative activities may be more difficult when students are not being taught in their primary language. While teaching an undergraduate engineering science program in Hong Kong the authors had initially found it difficult to motivate students to actively participate in their learning. In response, learning activities were redesigned to promote a culture of learning rather than a focus on passing a series of assessments. We found that despite some initial apprehension students enthusiastically engaged in collaborative learning when given the opportunity. Furthermore, formative activities freed students from the burden of strategically collecting marks, allowing them to focus on learning, enjoy the activities and take responsibility for their own progress.
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