Learning and Teaching Investment Fund 2011

Summary of projects

Project title

Establishing best practice for optimising learning in a Technology Enhanced Active Learning Environment - TEALE

Project leaders

Johan du Plessis

Project team

  • Neil Robinson
  • James Macnae
  • Phillip Wilksch

Project summary

Several new courses were taught within the Physics TEALE spaces for the first time in 2011. This project was undertaken to support the changes that had to be made in teaching methods, learning materials and to establish at least some pointers to the best practice of teaching a very traditional and formal science such as Physics in a modern space.

Several new activities were designed for the TEALE space: a group workshop on nuclear power, simulation measurements on earthquakes and tsunamis, simulation experiments, demonstration experiments using all possible AV support, experiments where students constructed the apparatus themselves, computer interfaced experiments etc.

Also included in this project is Technology Enhanced Active Learning support for the first year laboratories. Computers and tablets were introduced for three first year courses to improve the report submission processes and to provide immediate feedback on laboratory assignments. All first year laboratory notes were revised and laboratory template reports were prepared.

These initiatives have been reported at three workshops, one national conference and at the SEH L&T forum.

It is clear from student and demonstrator feedback obtained via surveys, focus group discussions and interviews that these changes improved student satisfaction. Some shortcomings were also identified and small changes to the TEALE space are proposed

Outcomes

  • Initiatives reported at
      • Three L&T workshops (2nd June, 15th July, 8th Dec 2011)
      • Tech Tasters at SEH L&T Forum (25th Nov 2011)
      • ACDS Conference Sydney (19th July 2011)
  • New activities designed for use in PHYS2124:
      • Freefall simulation (adapted),
      • Solar cell efficiency demonstration experiment,
      • Centripetal force simulation (adapted),
      • Radioactivity (demonstration experiment),
      • Nuclear power workshop and debate
      • Spectroscopy (group experiment)
      • Earthquakes simulation and measurement (adapted)
      • Climate change worksheet
      • X-rays simulation and calculations
      • Electronics computer interfaced experiment
  • New activities for PHYS2070
      • 10 new electronic laboratory computer interfaced activities all designed to be completed online in TEALE space
  • New laboratory notes for three first year courses
      • 20 revised lab notes, report template, Excel resource spreadsheet for data analysis and presentation, marking rubric
  • Automatic rubric designed for use in laboratory report marking
  • New activities for Physics service courses
      • 6 new laboratory demonstration experiments making use of rich AV support
  • Formal student and demonstrator feedback obtained under ethics approved processes
      • Surveys
      • Focus group discussions
      • Interviews

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