This is an excerpt from an interactive learning module for Mohr's Circle. Students can use the sliders to interact with the Mohr's Circle and stress block to see their relationship. See the demo portal here for more.
Dr Mario Attard and Xiaojun Chen have together built a suite of custom modules and quizzes to aid in a mixture of summative and formative student assessment in Civil and Mechanical Engineering. Used in courses ENGG1300, ENGG2400, CVEN3304, CVEN4309 and CVEN9806 for three years, the modules were custom built primarily so that the teachers could retain full pedagogical and operational control. Using external platforms meant that any issues the students faced might take several days to be resolved, whereas with their own modules, Mario and Xiaojun could resolve issues themselves. The learning and revision modules and online assessments cover many topics in structural engineering and contain features such as in-built timers and scientific calculators, feedback mechanisms, dynamic variables to ensure unique student experiences and live graphs that change with student input.
Once this is complete, the modules are assigned into their associated week for the course in Moodle wherein students receive a set time period to complete each one. The quizzes can be worth anywhere between 15 to 20% of the student’s final grade for summative modules, and completion of formative quizzes is worth 5% of the student’s final grade. All modules come with Gradebook integration in Moodle and contain a performance report at the end of each activity which shows the students all the content they submitted in the quiz. This allows both students and teachers to analyse their own work and trace specifically where they may have gone wrong. All modules and quizzes are automatically marked.
- Teachers retain full pedagogical and operational control making delivery more efficient;
- Utilises live graphical elements that change with student input, a feature that’s lacking in alternatives tools such as STACK;
- Automatically saves student’s input via their browser cache;
- Feedback is provided to the student at every stage as well as a full performance report at the end, rather than just an arbitrary mark;
- Can allow for partial credit applied to students whose answers were close (within a certain percentage of leniency) - this can be programmed in and applied automatically.
- Heavily reliant currently on Xiaojun’s knowledge for the continued maintenance and redeployment of the material for each course.
As described above, the modules are custom made so their application to other domains outside of engineering may be limited. You may wish to look through the demo portal here to see if any of the material may be applicable to your own course.
Any custom-made activity should be clearly based around explicit learning objectives or criteria;
Conduct analysis of your needs and the tools that are available when considering a custom-made solution;
Ensure there is a plan in place for the continued maintenance and management of any custom-made solution so as to prolong the value of the activities.
A range of different modules and activities can be experienced via the demo portal here.