School of Computing
Ian Smith, John Morrison, Richard Hetherington, Rosie Doyle, Kendall Richards
The learning experience is totally switched around with the students effectively researching, preparing and delivering the lecture series. This was supported by a series of four support workshops that focused on the required skills needed: 1.Assessment Brief; 2.Critical Thinking; 3.Defending Ideas; and 4.Presentation Skills. The students were also required to reflect on peer feedback of their presentations and write a reflective report and improve their presentations. The Defending Ideas workshop was based on a Confident Futures event originally developed for postgraduate students and was considered to be a key personal development opportunity for students in their final year of study. The students were assessed on their ability to research a topic, present their conclusions, respond to questions, question peers, critique peers, and to use critique and critical reflection to review and revise their presentations.
This activity improves the graduate skills of the students. Delivered in the first trimester of the final year this activity directly impacts on the first deliverable of honours providing key academic skills and a deep understanding of research, critical thinking and presentation. This activity complements a similar activity in the second trimester.
The students overcame initial reservations and “bought in” to the underlying benefits as evidenced by comments in their reflective reports. Students found the module to have been a positive experience, particularly in terms of its impact on the development of their honours projects. Students provided useful feedback to the module team and this was implemented in revisions for delivery of the module next year. The learning experience was refined but not significantly changed.
Student Voices. Some of the students did not appreciate the type of assignment they were given …. arguing it was not learning visual effects …. students realised that the research they conducted was learning about actual visual effects. The process of learning when researching the topic and the presentation itself was a new skill … especially if compared to other university modules. Student 1 I was one of the last to give my presentation and as such witnessed a lot of high quality work before I was to step up ….. I was a bit disappointed at the questions I was asked afterwards, but I think that was due to the lack of information offered in my presentation. Student 2 So coming from this module I can say that I have brought away a lot of influences and issues that will be good to have when I will be giving my presentation for my honours project. Student 3 By presenting the prepared materials in front of the audience I gained the necessary skills for similar situations in the future, especially the upcoming viva voce. Student 4 By letting all of us give our presentations and receive various comments from the class seems a little harsh but once you were able to process these comments into the practical side of things it critically appraises issues that once pointed out are easily rectified. Student 5
19 November 2010