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Lessons learnt and changed
understanding: Can Machine
Dynamics students survive without
my lectures?
Ian Howard
Mechanical Engineering
Presentation Overview
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My Teaching Style
Intro to Machine Dynamics 231
Flipping the Classroom Experience
Overview of Outcomes from S1, 2013
Lessons Learnt
Future Modifications
Conclusions
My Teaching Style
• Content & resources provided
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Full lecture notes
iLectures from previous years
Current iLectures
All Tutorials provided from week 1
• Interactive explanation of material
– Annotation using graphics tablet
– Group discussion in lecture as appropriate
– Worked examples
• Tutorials
– Focus on problem solving
Intro to Machine Dynamics 231
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200+ students (Max has been 270)
Runs concurrently in MIRI (~100 students)
Last major unit change in 2004
Technically Focused
Fundamentals of Dynamics and Applications
Introduction to Machine components
Students struggle with concepts/visualisation
Flipping the Classroom Experience
• What changes were made for 2013?
Machine Dynamics 231
Number of students
Assessment Weighting
Lecture Hours per week
Tutorial Hours per week
Tutorial size
Tutorial Venue
2012
229
50 % exam,
20% group assign,
20 % test,
10 % lab
3
1
2013
209
50 % exam,
20% group assign,
20 % tute activity,
10 % lab
1
1
9 classes,
20 – 30 students each
6 classes,
30 – 40 students each
Building 300 classroom
style.
Working alone
Building 216
new teaching space.
Assembled in groups of 4-6
Flipping the Classroom Experience
Rationale for reducing lecture time
(suck it and see)
Advantages
Disadvantages
Free up time
Less time for interaction
Less emphasis on content
Less able to convey myself to
the students
More focus on core material
Less time for ‘jokes’ …
Increase responsibility of
students to be engaged
Less time to tell them …
Frustration – how else will they
know??
More expensive overall ??
Flipping the Classroom Experience
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Tutorial Activities
Replaces mid semester test
20 % weighting
10 activities submitted, marked and returned
1 activity per week over 10 weeks
Cost 5 hrs per week in marking
Designed to engage students every week
Overview of Outcomes
Tutorial Activity Results
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1.5
0.5
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1.5
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1.5
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1.5
0.5
0.5
1.5
0.5
1
0.5
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1.5
2
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0.5
1
1
1.5
1.5
0.5
0.5
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1.5
1.5
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0.5
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1.5
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0.5
0.5
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1.5
0.5
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1.5
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1.5
Overview of Outcomes
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Unit mean mark improved 58 % - 65 % (2012/13)
Exam mean mark improved 46 % - 55 %(2012/13)
Mean tutorial mark of 63 %
Attendance at the 1 hr lecture improved
Tutorial attendance (compulsory) improved
Tutorial activities forced students to engage with
material weekly
Lessons Learnt
eValuate Outcomes
Unit Name: Machine Dynamics 231
Unit Number: 308805 Response Rate: 25 - 21 % 2012 – 2013 results
1. The learning outcomes in this unit are clearly identified. 98 - 98
2. The learning experiences in this unit help me to achieve the learning outcomes. 91 - 77
3. The learning resources in this unit help me to achieve the learning outcomes. 91 - 83
4. The assessment tasks in this unit evaluate my achievement of the learning outcomes. 91-92
5. Feedback on my work in this unit helps me to achieve the learning outcomes. 74 - 78
6. The workload in this unit is appropriate to achievement of the learning outcomes. 87 - 88
7. The quality of teaching in this unit helps me to achieve the learning outcomes. 84 - 75
8. I am motivated to achieve the learning outcomes in this unit. 94 - 85
9. I make best use of the learning experiences in this unit. 94 - 89
10. I think about how I can learn more effectively in this unit. 92 - 84
11. Overall, I am satisfied with this unit. 88 - 81
Lessons Learnt
• eValuate Comments
– As expected – the good, bad and ugly
• Some Good comments
– The weekly tutorial activities are a great way for us to refresh and
study the content learned in the lecture.
– the tutorials activities were for me the best way to learn the
concerned subject each time.
– The videos from the past years was really useful in helping me
understand certain topics better.
– The short revised lectures were helpful, with the addition of more
detailed lectures available on blackboard.
– Where diagrams and movies are presented, make it much easier to
visualise the systems we are studying. Technical drawings are not very
good at helping see what it is we are supposed to be seeing
– The tutorials are the most helpful bycovering the practical aspect of
the subject that are tought.
– good lecturer and lots of notes available
Lessons Learnt
• Some Poor comments
– I found that the lectrues mostly focused on deriving
equations and not enough time was spent on worked
examples. I found the quality of the lecture notes
poor and I also had a tutor that was not only
extremely difficult to understand, but his hand
writing was also unreadable making coming to the
tutorials almost pointless. The fact that every
member in the group assignment had to attempt all
questions was frustrating as well.
– The lectures were generally unhelpful and the
tutorials were similar. The labs were also unhelpful in
understanding content especially as it had not yet
been studied in most cases
Lessons Learnt
• Student comments for
improvements
– Increase tutorial time to 2 hrs
– Improve quality of tutorial sessions
– Increase time between lecture and tutorial
Future Modifications
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Increase tutorial time to 2 hrs
Improve quality of tutorial sessions
Increase time between lecture and tutorial
Try out some in-class tutorial assessments
Try out some on-line quizzes
Conclusions
• Reducing lecture time appeared to have little
bearing on student engagement
• Student engagement can be increased using
compulsory tutorial activities
• Overall student grades improved giving
encouragement for further developments in
2014

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