Promoting students' learning experience in large groups through personalisation

Project Details


One of the persistent problems in the higher education sector is the perpetual predicament of teaching students in large groups. Teaching students in large groups as far as vocational courses are concerned becomes a very critical task and highly prone to disastrous failure if the practical applications of the taught subjects are not fully taken into account. The problem is even more conspicuous where the concerned group is a blend of students on different courses with allegedly different sets of expectations, preferences, priorities, needs, and wants. Added to these complexities are the learning styles of the individual students.

Funded by the Centre for Learning and Teaching, University of Brighton, this research project was designed to gauge the needs and the practical possibilities for personalised learning and teaching logs for individual learners in large groups.

The aim of the project was to investigate the potential to personalise the delivery of generic first year modules to improve the quality of learning targeted at the requirements of each course offered in the built environment and civil engineering division.

The aim were achieved through the following objectives:

>To evaluate the effectiveness of existing methods of delivery, the content and the level of the offered module (aiming at BE cross-disciplinary groups in first year) in the context of specific needs and requirements of different courses covered.
>To conduct a study on learning styles of first year built environment students and map these against pedagogical teaching approaches and professional learning expectations based on each course offered in the spectrum of the built environment subject areas.
>To investigate the potential for ‘personalisation’ of teaching and learning strategies in generic first year modules to improve student learning experience and ensure they are adequately equipped to meet the academic challenges in their individual courses from the second year.
>To develop a personalised teaching and learning strategy that will be applied and evaluated in at least one first year module and publish findings.

Key findings

This project’s findings and impact contributed to large groups’ learning and teaching experience by helping to:

Further understand the student’s learning experience in the first year
Improve student retention and engagement through student empowerment and personalisable approach to ensuring that students are retaining what is being taught
Improve the relationships and further integrate content and structure across modules relevant to separate but inter-related courses in the built environment subject area.
>Enhance learning linkages between the generic first year modules and specific second and third year modules
>Improve the intended purpose of the modularity in academia by advocating flexibility and adaptability in the core modules
>Help students develop individuality and independence in academic and professional development within the existing framework of a shared modules as a common but adjustable template >Furnish the ground to ‘personalise’ the generic cross-disciplinary modules to the specifics of the respective courses targets intended to achieve
Piroozfar, A and Adeyeye, O (2012) Personalising teaching and learning experience of built environment students in large groups In: CIB international conference of W055, W065, W089, W118, TG76, TG78, TG81 and TG84 - management of construction: research to practice, Montreal, Canada, 26-29 June 2012.
Effective start/end date1/09/0931/07/10


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