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Work in Progress: Hearing You Loud and Clear: the Student Voice as a Driver for Curriculum Change in a Chemical Engineering Degree Course

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Work-In-Progress Postcard Session

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count

9

DOI

10.18260/1-2--33624

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33624

Download Count

142

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Paper Authors

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Deesha Chadha Imperial College London

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I currently work as a senior teaching fellow in the department of chemical engineering at Imperial College London having previously worked in academic development for a number of years at King's College London.

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Marsha Maraj Imperial College London

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Marsha has been an educator in higher education for over 14 years. She is currently a Senior Strategic Teaching Fellow in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London (ICL) where she teaches mechanical design to third-year chemical engineering students. She is enthusiastic about using collaborative approaches and student partnerships in the scholarship of learning and teaching. Her current educational research focuses on exploring the connections among peer learning, social capital and academic motivation.

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Andreas Kogelbauer Imperial College London

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James Campbell Imperial College London Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0978-0483

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Currently a teaching fellow at Imperial College London, Chemical Engineering Department

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Clemens Brechtelsbauer Imperial College London Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-9554-6740

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Clemens Brechtelsbauer holds a degree and a doctorate in chemical engineering from Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg and worked for 13 years in primary pharmaceutical process development, first at SmithKline Beecham and later at GlaxoSmithKline before joining Imperial College London. His main educational research evolves around experiential learning, particularly participatory design, which takes techniques proven to be successful in modern project management and applies them to an educational setting. One key feature is involving students as major stakeholders in designing their own learning.

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Colin Paul Hale

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Umang Vinubhai Shah Imperial College London

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Klaus Hellgardt Imperial College London

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Abstract

A curriculum review can be an intricate and arduous process, made more complex due to a myriad of interwoven threads that inform the curriculum. This is often the case in chemical engineering due in part to the accommodation of employer expectations, requirements from accreditation bodies and the multidisciplinary, integrative nature of an engineering degree which depends on students acquiring a wide range of attributes, and which focuses on application and relevancy (Felder et al. 2000; Gomes et al. 2006). In this paper, we present our efforts to review the chemical engineering curricula at a research-intensive HEI in the UK. This review is being orchestrated by institutional managers to ensure that programmes of study throughout the HEI better reflect student needs and expectations and adhere to a recently revised institutional teaching and learning strategy. This review is also driven by a recognition that the student body has changed with traditional modes of teaching seemingly outdated and ineffective. Instead, students are digital natives who like problem-solving, being able to appreciate the relevancy of what they are being taught and expect their teachers to be approachable (e.g. Sproken-Smith et al. 2015).

The approach taken to this review is principally a case study (Stake 2010) which is polygonal in nature - involving staff, students, former graduates and employers. Even though we acknowledge that students are one of many drivers of curriculum change, their voice is an increasingly powerful one (Cuthbert 2010). In this paper, we present evidence of the student voice, which will inform curriculum review via questionnaires and interviews. Questionnaires have been prepared and administered to students to solicit responses on the following five topics of interest: technology enhanced learning, interactive pedagogies, assessment practices, mechanisms used to provide pastoral support and the development of skills and capabilities. These five topics had been identified as relevant in earlier focus groups with students. Interviews are currently being organised (targeting a total of 10-12 students from different year groups) that explore students’ learning experiences within their context which we will also report on in the course of this presentation. Our findings will highlight areas of focus for our ongoing curriculum review and provide valuable insights into the student experience.

References: Cuthbert, R. (2010), Students as customers, Higher Education Review, 42(3): 3-25 Felder, R.M., Woods, D.R., Stice J.E. and Rugarcia, A. (2000), The future of engineering education, Chemical Engineering Education, 34(1): 26-39 Gomes V.G., Barton G.W., Petrie J.G., Romagnoli J., Holt P., Abbas A., Cohen B., Harris A.T., Haynes, B.S., Langrish, T.A.G., Orellana J., See H.T., Valix M. and White D. (2006), Chemical engineering curriculum renewal, Education for Chemical Engineers, 1:116-125 Sproken-Smith R., Buissink-Smith N., Bond C. and Grigg G. (2015), Graduates’ orientations to higher education and their respective experiences of teaching and learning, Teaching and Learning Inquiry, 3(2): 55-70 Stake, R.E. (1995), The Art of Case Study Research, Sage: Thousand Islands, London and New Delhi

Chadha, D., & Maraj, M., & Kogelbauer, A., & Campbell, J., & Brechtelsbauer, C., & Hale, C. P., & Shah, U. V., & Hellgardt, K. (2019, June), Work in Progress: Hearing You Loud and Clear: the Student Voice as a Driver for Curriculum Change in a Chemical Engineering Degree Course Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33624

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015