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Evaluation of the quality of teaching and learning for 1 st year engineering programmes - an initial contribution

Evaluation of the quality of teaching and learning for 1 st year engineering programmes - an initial contribution
Evaluation of the quality of teaching and learning for 1 st year engineering programmes - an initial contribution

A system for evaluating the quality of teaching and learning implemented at the University of Aveiro, Portugal, is briefly described. Data for five modules on the 1 st year engineering programmes was collected (using questionnaires and reports filled in by students and teachers) and analysed using quantitative and qualitative approaches. The 'strengths' and 'weaknesses' emerging from the data were discussed. Both teachers and students showed a reflective attitude by focusing on their different roles in the teaching and learning processes. Students identified two main sets of strengths, related to material resources associated with the modules and the type of assessment, but also related to their attitudes (interest and motivation). The assessment methods, in particular the number of assessment elements, were identified as strengths by both groups (students and teachers). Teachers also identified the alignment of the modules as a strength. The weaknesses identified by students were related to their attitudes (attendance and punctuality, and the reduced number of times they contacted the teachers outside the timetabled slots) and to the teachers (their lack of/or limited support, feedback and availability). Students answering questions on the teachers' competencies perceived those as strengths, including their pedagogical competencies. Such competencies may not have been put into practice adequately, as students did not feel supported properly by teachers in the learning process. Teachers identified the use of teacher-centred strategies and passive and deductive teaching approaches as weaknesses. However, the data analysed did not show any evidence of shifting the teaching and learning approach from teacher-centred to student-centred. The authors believe that there are several possible reasons that shape the resistance to more active learning approaches to learning and teaching: teachers are often overwhelmed by the workload associated with implementing student-centred strategies and active and inductive teaching approaches; what is verbalised and what is implemented by teachers often differs. This may indicate a 'single-loop learning' approach, focused on the quality of teaching, without linking it to that of learning. Additionally, career progression often ignores completely the performance of academics as teachers, focusing on research performance. To improve the quality of teaching and learning, and academic success of students, while reducing dropout rates for 1 st year engineering students, additional strategies are needed. Those include adopting student-centred teaching and learning approaches. Thus, higher education teachers should be supported and given adequate pedagogical training and resources. Simultaneously, teachers implementing such approaches to teaching and learning need to be encouraged and rewarded by their institutions.

Engineering education, Evaluation, Qualitative, Quality, Quantitative, Student-centred approaches, Teaching and learning
IEEE
Ferreira, Carla
d9349b51-8ea9-491f-b31c-e54df2cdb38f
Pinho-Lopes, Margarida
b7e5f7d6-90d8-48cc-b991-0495445fcea4
Huet, Isabel
5717258c-ccc7-4fa1-8404-d2e81545cc51
Ferreira, Carla
d9349b51-8ea9-491f-b31c-e54df2cdb38f
Pinho-Lopes, Margarida
b7e5f7d6-90d8-48cc-b991-0495445fcea4
Huet, Isabel
5717258c-ccc7-4fa1-8404-d2e81545cc51

Ferreira, Carla, Pinho-Lopes, Margarida and Huet, Isabel (2018) Evaluation of the quality of teaching and learning for 1 st year engineering programmes - an initial contribution. In 3rd International Conference of the Portuguese Society for Engineering Education, CISPEE 2018. IEEE. 8 pp . (doi:10.1109/CISPEE.2018.8593473).

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

A system for evaluating the quality of teaching and learning implemented at the University of Aveiro, Portugal, is briefly described. Data for five modules on the 1 st year engineering programmes was collected (using questionnaires and reports filled in by students and teachers) and analysed using quantitative and qualitative approaches. The 'strengths' and 'weaknesses' emerging from the data were discussed. Both teachers and students showed a reflective attitude by focusing on their different roles in the teaching and learning processes. Students identified two main sets of strengths, related to material resources associated with the modules and the type of assessment, but also related to their attitudes (interest and motivation). The assessment methods, in particular the number of assessment elements, were identified as strengths by both groups (students and teachers). Teachers also identified the alignment of the modules as a strength. The weaknesses identified by students were related to their attitudes (attendance and punctuality, and the reduced number of times they contacted the teachers outside the timetabled slots) and to the teachers (their lack of/or limited support, feedback and availability). Students answering questions on the teachers' competencies perceived those as strengths, including their pedagogical competencies. Such competencies may not have been put into practice adequately, as students did not feel supported properly by teachers in the learning process. Teachers identified the use of teacher-centred strategies and passive and deductive teaching approaches as weaknesses. However, the data analysed did not show any evidence of shifting the teaching and learning approach from teacher-centred to student-centred. The authors believe that there are several possible reasons that shape the resistance to more active learning approaches to learning and teaching: teachers are often overwhelmed by the workload associated with implementing student-centred strategies and active and inductive teaching approaches; what is verbalised and what is implemented by teachers often differs. This may indicate a 'single-loop learning' approach, focused on the quality of teaching, without linking it to that of learning. Additionally, career progression often ignores completely the performance of academics as teachers, focusing on research performance. To improve the quality of teaching and learning, and academic success of students, while reducing dropout rates for 1 st year engineering students, additional strategies are needed. Those include adopting student-centred teaching and learning approaches. Thus, higher education teachers should be supported and given adequate pedagogical training and resources. Simultaneously, teachers implementing such approaches to teaching and learning need to be encouraged and rewarded by their institutions.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 27 December 2018
Venue - Dates: 3rd International Conference of the Portuguese Society for Engineering Education, CISPEE 2018, Aveiro, Portugal, 2018-06-27 - 2018-06-29
Keywords: Engineering education, Evaluation, Qualitative, Quality, Quantitative, Student-centred approaches, Teaching and learning

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 428766
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/428766
PURE UUID: 86b3c59f-6fa8-4b2d-8cf7-c63efa3c4366
ORCID for Margarida Pinho-Lopes: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0808-6307

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 08 Mar 2019 17:30
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 01:37

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