Application of research-inspired assessment to enhance students learning in civil engineering

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 43rd SEFI Annual Conference 2015 - Diversity in Engineering Education: An Opportunity to Face the New Trends of Engineering, SEFI 2015, 2015
Issue Date:
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The relationship between teaching and research has become a highly challenging issue due to evidence of synergy between them and complexity of integrating them. As reported by Locke [1], the separation of research and teaching could be the result of policy and operational decisions to distinguish the way these activities are funded, managed, assessed and rewarded. However, this would not necessarily excuse higher education institutions from a commitment to optimise the beneficial relations between teaching and research. For example, research conducted by Posch and Steiner [2] at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich on innovation for sustainability, concludes that appropriate integration of research and teaching activities leads to mutual benefits for both higher education institutions and students. In this study an approach introducing research activities in Civil Engineering subjects to enable students to develop skills within critical and creative thinking and being lifelong learners has been developed and evaluated. Research based activities/assessments in two major Civil Engineering subjects at undergraduate level have been introduced, and students? learning process has been monitored and evaluated. The results of this project indicate that by incorporating research components in subjects, research-based learning culture among Civil Engineering students were developed. This clearly gave more satisfaction to the students about the learning experience. Statistical analysis of results indicated that students with better performance in mini-projects performed better in the final exam, which was a totally independent assessment task. In addition, the averaged final exam mark of students with good quality projects was higher than the one for other students.
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