Scratch that itch to learn: a comparative study

Engineers Australia
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE2011) - Developing Engineers for Social Justice: Community Involvement, Ethics & Sustainability, 2011, pp. 601 - 606
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Engineers today are required to make critical judgements involving decisions that often extend beyond traditional discipline boundaries. This requires professional engineers to undertake ongoing learning. Much of this learning is informal, learnt on the job from peers from different disciplines. To enable students to develop the skills required for professional practice they need opportunities to experience, practise, reflect and improve their ability to work in a collaborative environment. One method used at the University of Technology, Sydney to develop these skills is collaborative activities incorporating immediate feedback. Subject topics are tested through quizzes that are initially undertaken individually and then collaboratively using immediate feedback assessment technique (IF-AT) cards. These activities allow students to first identify and subsequently have gaps in their learning addressed initially by their peers within the one activity. This paper reports on a comparative evaluation of the collaborative use of IF-AT quizzes in four subjects taught by the authors. We found that these methods not only consistently improved student engagement, learning and developed skills required for life-long learning, but also promoted changes in their learning culture by having them take more responsibility for their own learning.
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