Inclusion of research labs in Engineering as learning playgrounds

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Garcia Gunning, Fatima C.
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University College Cork
National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
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Research Projects
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Traditional teaching practices in Ireland for “hard”-science subjects, such as Physics or Engineering, are still prevalently based on whiteboard content delivery, PowerPoint-based methods, and sometimes, within under-funded purposed-built teaching labs, leaving very little manoeuvre or willingness to incorporate student interaction, in addition to a strong focus on end of semester exam based assessment of learning. Very often any deviation from traditional methods of teaching and assessment are perceived as “dumbing down” the course. The proposal of this Lightning Talk is to show how enabling flexibility in the teaching environment, by incorporating either topical research discussions or bringing a high-tech research lab to a teaching module, can stimulate student engagement, curiosity, discovery and learning. Moreover, the talk will also contain a discussion on using different assessment techniques, such as consultation surveys and reports, where a richer picture of true understanding can be drafted, and compare outcomes between report-based and exam-based types of assessment, showing no signs of “dumbing down”.
Student engagement , Curiosity , Discovery , Learning , Assessment , Report-based assessment , Exam-based assessment , Topical research discussion , High-tech research lab
Garcia Gunning, F. C. (2019) 'Inclusion of research labs in Engineering as learning playgrounds', Learning Connections 2019: Spaces, People, Practice, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland, 5-6 December, pp. 162-164. doi: 10.33178/LC.2019.32
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