Today we’ll be talking about COMP1205, the module on Professional Development for Computer Scientists. In moving from 10 to 15 credits, we took the opportunity to change the teaching and assessment methods.
From experience, we realised that teaching the material by lecture doesn’t work. These are practical skills, so need practice! We designed weekly activities to give experience of time management, independent learning, literature searching and referencing.
What was interesting was that we allowed the students to self-assess this. Students consider whether they have finished satisfactorily, and click “Mark Reviewed” in Blackboard. We hassle the disengaged.
We got the students to write a CV, after having completed a couple of activities to determine what their marketable skills are, with the goal that the students will apply for internships.Submitted CV now.
Students then reflected on how well they met 5 criteria. Their reflections were marked by staff. Students immediately got feedback on how well their CV met the goals of a good CV, and help if they were way off mark.
As practice for later modules, we had students write a formal technical report. They then peer reviewed 2 of their colleagues’ reports (against criteria), giving students quick feedback.
For purposes of moderation, we also got each student to review their own report, and staff intervened to feedback in any cases where students had unrealistic opinions of their work.
We also administered our exam on computer, allowing us to have a large corpus of questions, from which each students’ exam was selected.
The exam was multiple choice, which meant we could very quickly retrieve results. Unfortunately, because it was an exam, feedback was delayed (but could have used it formatively too).What did we learn?
Doing all of these things required technology support. This made things easier, but only when it worked! Each system has a learning curve, so allow time to test and ask for peer help!
You may have noticed, we did a lot of different things, and while that gave the students a lot of good experience, it was a lot to manage, especially when each was in a different system.
We’re running the course again now. We’re making some minor adjustments such as moving the CV exercise to before the careers fair.I’ve been Rikki Prince, this is Kate Dickens and we both work for CITE.