Learning By Teaching: Student Developed Material for Self-directed Studies

Learning By Teaching: Student Developed Material for Self-directed Studies

J. Schminder, H. Najafabadi, R. Gårdhagen (2016).  Learning By Teaching: Student Developed Material for Self-directed Studies. 10.

Motivating students for active learning is a challenge and theory-loaded engineering courses are no exception. Many didactical approaches (e.g. learning by teaching, flipped classroom or multimedia teaching) have been tested and evaluated in the last decade to facilitate deep learning. However, most of these approaches were developed and tested in non-engineering classes why implementation in engineering disciplines can be challenging due to the different boundary conditions and teaching aims.

This paper presents an attempt to adopt the above mentioned approaches to a new introductory course for gas turbine engineering, given to students in their final year of different master programs, at Linköping University, Sweden. The foundation of our approach is based on the assumption that a student centered focus with students actively embedded in the teaching process improves learning.

To achieve this, the students were given an assignment in which they prepare and teach an essential topic that may not be covered extensively in the lectures. The assignment consists of a written report, creating a problem, and giving a lecture. First the students study relevant literature concerning the topic and summarize their gained knowledge in the report. After that, they create problems in which the presented theory is applied. Previous research has shown that active teaching, by the students, is essential to ensure high learning outcome. However due to time limitations the students cannot present their lecture live in front of their fellow students, therefore the idea emerged to let the students teach by producing short videos.

The material created by the students is collected and uploaded in a student platform called LISAM. This is a learning environment in which students can collaborate, communicate, and exchange digital course material interactively between each other and the teacher. The content from the reports is copied to LISAM in a simple Wiki application creating a digital reference book for current and future students. The problems are also uploaded and serve as additional preparation for the exam or just to delve into a specific topic. This platform also offers the possibility of having a video channel where the produced teaching videos are uploaded and presented. It became apparent that the students use their videos as introduction and preparation before lectures and as repetition of the content that was taught earlier in the course.

A survey highlights that the advantages with this system are manifold. The students indicated that these class activities have promoted their creativity and improved their ability in explaining a complex engineering topic. Their teaching also changed their attitude to learning, they also saw a meaning in their task: teaching fellow and next generation students.

With the presented procedure students and teachers are working actively together towards a common aim: to establish deep and wide knowledge by using and creating student developed course material for continuous and individual learning.

Proceedings of the 12th International CDIO Conference, Turku, Finland, June 12-16 2016

Authors (New): 
Jörg Schminder
Hossein Nadali Najafabadi
Roland Gårdhagen
Active learning
Flipped Classroom
CDIO Standard 2
CDIO Standard 8
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