Project introduction and background information
The course 'ETE-22806 Principles of Urban Environmental Management' is the first Master Urban Environmental Management (MUE) course that all students following this programme have to take. Its student population has a large diversity in background knowledge. The course serves as the basis for all follow-up MUE courses. As a consequence, it is of introductory nature with a broad content spectrum (15 topics with lecture and often a tutorial), so very limited in-depth content. As a consequence, the course mainly teaches low-cognitive level knowledge, and sometimes teachers have to spend time on knowledge that is assumed to be present when students start this course. This results, depending on students’ background, in strong overlaps with previous education. In addition, this differs per course topic for individual students. Hence, the course is very challenging for some students lacking advanced knowledge while others find it too simple because it is not new and not in-depth. In addition, it has turned out that, when starting the course, some students think that they already have the knowledge, but after assessment (individual assignment and written exam) it becomes clear that this is not always the case.
Objective and expected outcomes
To better deal with these challenges, a pre-course assessment will be developed that will be used to 1) inform students about what knowledge they need to know prior to starting the course (meaning that some self-study might be needed; learning materials will be supplied); 2) inform lecturers about the general knowledge that the student group has concerning a topic, on which they can act (increase/ decrease depth of lecture). We will build a pre-course assessment in Blackboard. This will be a quiz that assesses prior knowledge related to the 15 topics taught in the course. The quiz will provide feedback on the results as well as content that can be used to improve the students’ prior knowledge.
Results and learnings
During this project a pre-course assessment will be developed that will cover all 15 topics of the course and thereby inform the students and lecturers on the level and diversity of prior knowledge in light of the course learning objectives. This pre-course assessment will be beta-tested in period 1 of the 2018-2019 academic year. The assessment will be open on Blackboard 4 weeks in advance of Period 1. During or after completion of the pre-course assessment students will be advised which content to study prior to the lecture in order to ensure that they have sufficient prior knowledge. Lecturers can make use of general pre-course assessment results to give more, or less, attention to certain content.
- High-quality scientific knowledge;
- Rich learning environment;
- Flexible and personalized learning paths.