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STUDENT EVALUATION OF MODULES FOR IMPROVING TEACHING-LEARNING EFFECTIVENESS

STUDENT EVALUATION OF MODULES FOR IMPROVING TEACHING-LEARNING EFFECTIVENESS,Poay Hoon Lim,Suyin Gan,Michael Ian Hartley,Michael Cloke

STUDENT EVALUATION OF MODULES FOR IMPROVING TEACHING-LEARNING EFFECTIVENESS  
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Achieving a good understanding of difficulties enco untered by students in their course of studies contributes greatly towards an effective teaching-l earning process. While module curriculum is closely related with teaching, little attention has been given to the evaluation of modules compared to the evaluation of teaching by students. The purp ose of this study was to identify difficulties encountered by engineering students in the modules taught. Unlike the current practice of Student Evaluation of Module (SEM) at the University of Nottingham, whereby individual module SEM questionnaires are distributed, an alternative SEM questionnaire that comprises all the modules taught in the semester was developed. Students from different Schools of Engineering (Mechanical, Chemical and Environmental, Electrical and Electronics) were asked to rank the modules according to the level of difficulty in their respective prog rammes. The causes of difficulties, the way to overcome difficulties and to increase students' int erest in the modules were explored. Considering all valid responses obtained from these engineering students, two to three modules were identified as difficult in each school. The majority of studen ts found understanding theories and concepts to be the most difficult part in their learning proces s, followed by the application of theories and concepts; they also encountered difficulties in wor king on problem sets or assignment. Students identified more worked examples and further explanation in theories and concepts would help them overcome these difficulties. To increase students' interest in the modules, multimedia illustration of difficult concepts gained the highest vote, followe d by link to applications on industrial practice an d visits to industrial sites. In terms of learning ou tcomes, the majority of students perceived that the y have learned problem solving techniques, applicatio ns of theories and concepts and problem recognitions. Compared to the existing SEM practice, more than three quarter of students responded positively that our SEM provided more feedback about the modules and facilities available. Besides achieving efficiency in terms of data collection an d data analysis, a global analysis on all modules offered in each engineering school is accomplished. This allows not only a global view on major factors affected the shortcoming of a programme but also facilitates comparison among modules in the programme. With the convenience of extracting i ndividual result analysis on each difficult module from our SEM, individual module related information can be obtained as a guideline for teaching-learning improvement as well as curriculum development purposes.
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