McGraw, K. (2008) PowerPoint presentation from the Assessment of Learning Outcomes in Engineering (aloe) International Conference, London, 27th Nov 2008.








Centre for Open Learning of Mathematics, Science, Computing and Technology (COLMSCT)

Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302).


• Background

• Methodology

• Student & AL Surveys Findings

• New T191 Module Revision (Oct 08)

• Reflections

• Future Developments


• BEng/MEng (Hons) Accredited Degree in Engineering

• 2 Embedded PDP Modules:-

• -T191 Personal & Career Development in Engineering

• -T397 Key Skills for Professional Engineering

• Constructively Aligned Activities (Biggs & Tang 07)

• QCA Key Skills at Level 4 and 5

• QAA Benchmarking Statement / UK-SPEC (06)

• Final Assessed Portfolio of Evidence


• End of Module Student Survey

• T191 -127 responses out of 265 (48.0%)

• T397 - 45 responses out of 99 (45.5%)

• Associate Lecturer (AL) Survey

• T191 – 6 responses out of 17 (35.3%)

• T397 - 4 responses out of 11 (36.4%)

• Students and AL’s satisfied with T397

• 10 ‘Areas of Concern’ Identified on Surveys

Student Survey Findings

• ‘Areas of Excellence’

• professional help & guidance received from AL’s

• - AL support at Face to Face & on-line tutorials

• ‘Areas of Concern’ (on T191)

• - 15.8% students did not find module interesting

• - 24.2% students said that they did not enjoy course

• - 74% of students spending more than 4hrs per week

• (45% studying 5-8 hrs per week,23% 9-12 hrs/week)

• Some students experienced difficulty with Time


• - 49% fell behind on their Study Calendar schedule

• - 38.8% found it difficult to catch up with their studies

• 16.9% of students experienced difficulty in managing their own learning and identifying their preferred learning styles

AL Survey Findings

• Students need more guidance on what is required to achieve assessment criteria; how learning outcomes are aligned to activities and what is relevant evidence?

• 4 AL’s recommended that more Activities should be closer constructively realigned (Biggs &Tang 07) to

Engineering UK-SPEC and at the start of the course an explanation of the role of T191 in the BEng degree programme

• 3 AL’s said that there were too many activities (59) some of which were repetitive and demanded huge amounts of study time

• AL’s said that some students struggled to Self Assess their current Key Skills at Level 4 ; identify current Skill

Gaps and how to plan to fill the gaps

• AL’s said that some students were finding it difficult to produce Personal Development Plans (PDP) for their

Final Assessment Portfolios of Evidence

T191 Module Revision (Oct 08)

• Remapped transferable skills learning outcomes against new QAA Engineering Benchmark Statement /UK-SPEC

(06) statement

• Addressed findings from Student and AL Surveys

• New ‘Introductory Rationale’ included in prologue to explains role of T191 within BEng programme; more guidance on what is required; how learning outcomes are aligned to the activities/assessments and what constitutes relevant ‘evidence’ for portfolios

• Number of activities combined/reduced from 59 down to

26 (56% reduction) with realignment to UK-SPEC

• Amount of main text reduced by 40% into one binding

• Introduced new CV (max 4 sides) linked to OU Careers

• Included online ‘Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire’

(Felder & Silverman 1988) activity

• Constructively realigned Key Skills self assessment task

• Introduced new ‘Personal Development Planning’ activity for the ECA Portfolio


• New revisions of T191 should help students better achieve transferable skills learning outcomes

• Amount of Study Time is reduced and more manageable

• Activities realigned to Engineering outcomes

• Students should be more motivated and engage better with OU and wider Engineering communities

• 1 st Presentation (Oct 08) to be Evaluated and feedback sought from students (End of Course Survey)

Future Developments

• New version of T191 to form part of a proposed Work

Based Learning module on the new OU Foundation

Degree in Engineering

• Considerably greater use of on-line VLE opportunities such as use of My Stuff archives and template downloads for students to use as evidence for their portfolios

• Work on this project could help to inform work on another COLMSCT project on Engaging OU Engineering

Students in Community (07-09)

Any Questions?