SEED projects 2019 – A new Canvas for teaching and learning
In-class and asynchronous student response systems for enhanced learning in engineering classrooms
Engineering students are required to learn a vast amount of subject knowledge to apply in their practice. Therefore, students in the BE (Hons) degree are presented with large amounts of readings to cover the disciplinary content. To date, textbook and external readings have been the main methods for engaging students in the engineering classroom. Not only is this an unexciting learning environment, it also does not provide opportunities for emergent engineers to attain the skills as outlined in the graduate attributes, such as critical thinking and communication skills. Incorporating active learning in these medium to large classes has been challenging.
The project has worked with one possible solution, the use of a student response system (SRS) on reading assignments and course content. The study explored the benefits of in-class and asynchronous (outside class) SRSs for enhancing student learning in engineering classes using plugins and applications of the university’s learning management system, Canvas. The study aimed to increase student engagement by the use of SRSs and to identify learning misconceptions by providing timely feedback and interventions which can help students’ performance improve. The project included collaborative tools and elements of Canvas (such as online quizzes and Qualtrics surveys), both in-class and outside the classroom, to foster understanding of engineering concepts in undergraduate (ENGVENG 342) and postgraduate (ENVENG 707) studies coordinated by the project lead.
The key benefit to students has been detailed and more frequent feedback to support their learning. This is possible through in-built analysis of results available in Canvas for SRSs. Short online assessment throughout the course have helped students to study regularly throughout the semester instead of having one summative assignment at course end.