Can Experiential Learning Help Students' Learning and Improve Course Satisfaction?
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CONTEXT: Environmental Management Systems (7407ENG) is a postgraduate course taught at Griffith University. The course attracts a large student enrolment from a wide range of engineering and nonengineering programs. Although, the course had been designed and structured to meet industry expectations and develop critical skills; it had traditionally struggled to achieve high course satisfaction score. Through critical analysis of students’ feedback and reflection on course delivery practices, four issues were identified: (a) poor student engagement; (b) ill equipment with assumed knowledge; (c) course structure and (d) assessment, feedback and feedforward loops. Therefore, it was necessary to redesign the course to address these issues. PURPOSE: What impact will experiential learning have on students’ course satisfaction score and learning? APPROACH: The course was redesigned to be more student focused using experiential learning approach which included careful design of authentic assessment. Student experience was measured using quantitative and qualitative feedback on the university run student experience survey (SEC). The results from two years post implementation of new approach were compared to the results from the year prior to implementation. RESULTS: The results showed that the new approach had significantly improved students’ satisfaction in the course. The new approach also showed that students were more engaged in learning. CONCLUSIONS: The new approach has been successful in improving students’ learning and achievement of learning outcomes as well as improving students’ satisfaction in the course. The approach may be applied in other courses with similar cognitive level.
27th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education: AAEE2016
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