Some features of EG1104
- Participatory workshop-lectures for active learning
- Advanced web-based iTutorial system
- NUS WebCast lectures
- Inquiry-based tutorials
As the Faculty of Engineering moves towards the new learning
paradigm, courses may have to be taught differently from past
practices in order to emphasise student-centred learning rather
than teacher-centred teaching. Here we share some modifications
to the way we teach the course module EG1104 Statics. This
course, taken by some 1200 engineering and cross-faculty students,
now has the following features:
1. Participatory workshop-lectures for active learning,
even with a large class size of 400 students per session.
Peer instruction via buzz groups are encouraged in class by
posing concept quizzes and thought-provoking puzzles at regular
intervals during lectures. Printed lecture notes with critical
information left out on purpose allow students to discover
and learn during the workshop-lecture as they actively work
through their notes. It is important to note that the contents
of the lecture have to be pruned judiciously to allow for
such participatory lectures.
2. Advanced web-based iTutorial system for learning
anywhere, anytime. The web-based tutorials have advanced diagnostic
capabilities to assist students to learn independently and
at their own pace. By programming the lecturers experiences
into the tutorial system, common mistakes can be intelligently
pointed out by the system with further clues provided to entice
students to think further on how to solve the iTutorial problem.
To discourage copying, the numbers used in the tutorial questions
are randomised and are unique for each student. Students are,
however, encouraged to collaborate and solve the problems
together if they prefer to do so. The web-based tutorial system
also allows the lecturers to monitor the students performance
in the tutorials at a glance so that students who are lagging
behind may be identified at an early stage despite the huge
class size. Based on a survey held at the end of the course,
students have found the system friendly and easy-to-use. Some
comments on web-based iTutorials obtained from a student survey
Click here for examples of iTutorial questions.
the idea of iTutorial is very good. It
makes students keep pace with what is being taught and should
be adopted in other modules
iTutorials are good for foundation building
it is a very good scheme. I really enjoyed
learning Statics. If not for the iTutorials, I may not have
learnt Statics well
3. NUS WebCast lectures combined with the use of an
innovative IT product that allows one to literally write over
an LCD monitor touch screen with a digitising pen, enabling
students to see the lecturer writing virtually over PowerPoint
slides. In a survey, it was found that students gave an overwhelming
preference to the use of such an editable PowerPoint system
over conventional transparencies/non-editable PowerPoint slides.
By webcasting lectures, students are accorded the convenience
of being able to attend lectures anywhere within
the campus. Such lectures are also archived and deposited
into the Universitys multimedia-on-demand server so
that students can review portions of the lectures if necessary
to reinforce their understanding of topics that were perhaps
found difficult to grasp during the actual lecture.
Click here for a view of WebCast lectures.
4. Inquiry-based tutorials that provide opportunities
for students to develop their inquiry skill that is so essential
for life-long learning. Questions in these tutorials are designed
to provoke questioning from the students due to their vagueness,
open-ended nature, life-like and novel problems. In these
tutorials, the students are encouraged to spar with their
tutors and among themselves. Based on a survey, about 60%
of the student population strongly agree that the inquiry-based
tutorial questions do stimulate innovative and creative thinking.
Click here for an example of inquiry-based tutorial
5. Assessment consisting of three open-book quizzes
(25%), one exploratory laboratory experiment (5%), web-based
tutorials (10%) and an open book examination (65%).
The course lecturers of EG 1104 are grateful to the educational
development team of CITA Engineering for assisting in the
development of the iTutorial system.