The PVC (Education) Digital Uplift Engineering team in collaboration with Dr Ivan Perez-Wurfl (Course Convenor) and Dr Daniel Chung (recent PhD graduate) worked to enhance and improve the student learning experience of students in SOLA2051 - Project in Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy 1 from the Faculty of Engineering, by providing them with different tools to track their progress throughout the course. The course is core to the overall program in this School and a pre-requisite to the second-year project course SOLA2052.
A significant component of the course is a hands-on engineering project and reporting in a lab environment. A typical scenario of these lab sessions was to provide students with different combinations of electrical components to build an electrical circuit and take various measurements. The team developed a range of videos (fig. 1) showing the practical steps involved in this, so that students could watch and review before attending the lab sessions.
fig. 1 - Laboratory video: using an Arduino as an I-V measurement device
STACK questions in Moodle:
Another component to the course was the completion of prelab and lab reports throughout the term. Traditionally, the reports took a significant time to mark, were completed in .pdf format by the students and did not give demonstrators adequate time to provide constructive feedback. To ensure students were receiving real-time feedback on their progress, the team worked on enhancing these reports. The team developed an integration of Google Charts and programming with Maxima in STACK, so that students were able to compare ideal models against their experimental data using the validation step in the STACK questions (fig. 2). This provided students with instantaneous graphical feedback on data fitting, so that they could stay on the right track. The report was randomised on all levels, providing students with different combinations of electrical components, to test their knowledge. The team also developed marking algorithms capable of handling this randomisation.
fig. 2 - STACK question used to mark a lab report with data fitting in the feedback field
Other online resources:
A course learning map was introduced as part of the digital uplift (fig. 3), to guide students through their course journey. Online lessons were also created using H5P, so students could re-visit the course contents at any time. Finally, a customised dashboard was created to allow the academic and students to visualise their performance against other groups for the final group assessment.
fig. 3 - Course learning map and activities
Team members involved in the project:
Dr Ee Teng Kho, Educational Design and Delivery Manager, Educational Delivery Services, PVC(E), UNSW Sydney
Dr Felipe Crisostomo, Educational Developer, Educational Delivery Services, PVC(E), UNSW Sydney
Dr Qingyang Lei, Educational Developer, Educational Delivery Services, PVC(E), UNSW Sydney
Dr Ivan Perez-Wurfl, Course Convenor, SOLA2051 - Project in Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy 1
Dr Daniel Chung, Tutor, SOLA2051 - Project in Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy 1
For information about the Digital Uplift program (part of the Inspired Learning Initiative) get in touch with the PVCE team: DigitalUpLift@unsw.edu.au