“… teaching [its] STEM courses by traditional lectures is providing an inferior education to [its] students”
—Carl E. Weiman “Large-scale comparison of science teaching methods sends clear message”
I currently teach two courses, Introduction to Computer Systems, and Software Quality Engineering. In both of them a set of tasks is proposed each week to prepare the class activities that require student participation (flipped classroom). I strongly believe in the use of active learning strategies to increase student engagement as a way to improve the quality of the learning experience.
My main area of research is the design of educational technology and its deployment in learning scenarios to improve the practice of education. My recent work is in behavioral analytics tools for personalization. I apply part of my research to my courses. Check the description of Technology for Active Learning Personalization.
Over the last years I have adopted a flipped classroom or flipped learning methodology. I find it an effective method to increase student engagement in a learning experience. The main challenge is to balance preparation and face-to-face activities. I have participated in research projects in this topic.
Additionally, with Dr Negin Mirriahi we facilitate a seminar on where to start to deploy a flipped learning experience. We have run several editions of the seminar with very positive reviews.
The following video describes what is a flipped classroom and the benefits that may have for the students (part of the MOOC Learning to Teach Online).
Introduction to Computer Systems (ELEC1601)¶
Second semester, first year, core course for the degrees of Bachelor in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology. The course outcomes are:
- demonstrate that students understand how computers work, from the digital logic level to how they execute basic programs,
- design, build, configure, program and test an electronic system for a specific engineering problem observing common professional practice,
- write reports about the design process and its results, and
- engage in team-based design and creative tasks to solve an engineering problem.
The outcomes are mainly addressed by combining three elements:
- Lectures that need to be prepared with previous activities and contain practical exercises discussed with peers and in plenary discussions.
- Tutorials with hands-on exercises about the material seen in the lecture.
- Laboratory sessions. In teams of four, the first six sessions students learn how to use sensors and program a microcontroller. They have to write a report about one of the sessions. In the following seven weeks, the same teams have to use the knowledge acquired about sensors and actuators and think of a creative project that uses that technology and a robot to solve a real life problem.
Sofware Quality Engineering (ELEC5618)¶
This is a first semester, fourth year course for various Bachelor and Master degrees. The learning outcomes for the course are:
- Develop the required quality assurance tasks that influence software development
- Use QA procedures to improve the efficiency of the development process.
- Demonstrate the review process of software development.
- Understand the QA process with respect to Software Development and adhere to standards.
- Understand the risks derived from QA.
- Describe the benefit of performing software quality tasks.
- Write documents to communicate the importance of testing strategies.
- Recognize the importance of QA procedures.
- Work collaboratively to design and implement a software quality strategy.
The outcomes are mainly addressed by combining the following elements:
- Lectures that need to be prepared with previous activities and contain practical situations about how to address the adoption of a culture of quality in a company.
- Laboratory sessions in which students in teams of four analyze the quality decisions currently present open source projects and design the required changes to change the project orientation to include quality aspects.