Part of the 4TU.Federation
4TU.
Centre for
Engineering Education

Project introduction and background information

The basic engineering courses in BAT; Engineering 1 (FTE-13303) and Engineering 2 (FTE-13807) have been discussed for a couple of years. Students have complained about unclear structure, large number of different elements and missing challenges, while unmotivated students were the despair of teachers. The low evaluation scores for those basic engineering courses were discussed within the board of the educational institute repeatedly.

Objective and expected outcomes

This problem has to be solved not only to guarantee quality of the courses themselves, but also for follow up courses. Students developing an inactive working attitude once will keep problems later, too. Therefore, a committee of students, lecturers and members of the educational committee proposed to redesign the basic engineering study track in BAT. The novel study track should motivate students and teach them an active study attitude. As students should get an active study approach early and the two courses with the most obvious problems are in the first year of the bachelor, we would like to start in 2017 with engineering 1 and engineering 2, both courses of BAT1. If the approach is successful other courses will follow.

Results and learnings

Teachers and students already started a process to improve the current education together. Evaluation showed that both students and teachers, see lack of motivating didactic in combination with inactive students as underlying problem. Thus, the main aim of the improvement has to focus on simulation of active participation. Engineering 1 and 2 will be good test cases to introduce didactic methods stimulating active participation that can be applied in other courses, later in the study programme.

In 2017 teachers want to design a new set up for the engineering study track. Students already volunteered to give feedback on the new set up in 2017. In addition, Educational Staff Development submitted names of staff able to support teaching staff with didactic innovation. The planning is to implement first didactical changes already in the 5th and 6th term of this academic year (2016/2017). In those terms the current courses are scheduled. For 2017/2018 the distribution of learning outcomes in the study track will change. Thus, the final implementation of the innovation will be completed in the 5th and 6th term in 2017/2018. If the new didactic approach leads to better evaluation of the (novel form of) engineering 1 and 2 the approach will also be used in follow up courses. Thus, those courses will have to be adapted in later years.