Title: EEEN10035 Java Programming
Tutor: Geoff Rubner
1. Course Overview
EEEN10035 is a first year electrical engineering unit introducing students to Java Programming. It has 164 enrolments and received 9 nominations.
2. Comments from students
Geoff Rubner’s online resources for this module were first class and included an online fully interactive set of notes. This split the course up into sections and each incorporated quizzes and challenged which kept the learner fully engaged in the material. Feedback was provided on all of the online quizzes. This system made it much easier to learn when compared to large PDF versions of notes uploaded on other courses.Geoff Rubner also held several interactive tutorials where questions were listed on a screen and students could actually vote for answers on their smart phones. This eliminated some students hesitancy to answer questions in lectures as the votes appeared anonomous on the screen. Feedback was then provided after each question. The online resources could be found on the Java Programming blackboard page. These resources helped me to achieve a 1st in this module even though I expected to struggle. The interactive parts of the course kept me engaged and without it I would not of attained the grade I did.
Geoff is at an advantage in that the subject he is teaching, Java Programming, is essentially computer based so allows much scope for elearning to be incorporated into the course. He uses many different techniques very effectively: ‘mbclick’ in lecture interactive quizzes; online video tutorials guiding through java basics so far and ‘Course Marker’ software to provide exercises and feedback on tasks that we as students complete. So far, though we are only in week 4 of this course, the variety of interactive teaching techniques have been incredibly helpful and I hope to see more in the upcoming weeks of this semester. The discussion boards have also been used effectively as with most units in the EEE course. Response from the lecturer has been prompt and thorough.
The best elearning method used for the Java programming course is the use of an online quiz that can be accessed on the spot with instant answer and a well written feedback helping our understanding. Usually the online quiz is for topics already covered in previous lectures, thus it acts as a revision and also clears out many doubts. The method is very flexible as it can be accessed by majority of the students, those with laptops, smartphone and also normal phones (SMS- text message). The results are also accumulated and directly linked to the blackboard which are automatically saved and can be used in the future. Another fantastic feature is that occasionally we are shown a summary of the entire class performance. This helps us understand how well are we coping in the course.
During the lecture, either in the middle or towards the end the tutor will go into a quiz. This quiz uses a website called http://mbclick.manchester.ac.uk/ and can be accessed from smartphones, tablets or even through simple text messaging if one does not have any internet access. There are 4 questions about what we have learned in the recent class/classes. It means we can discuss with our peers and use our own understanding to come to an answer. The quiz is online so provides immediate feedback and will explain why an answer is correct or incorrect and overall helps to assess a student’s progress.
Mr Rubner uses many different method to engage and help the students in Java Programming. He provides personalised feedback on my performance and gives advice on how it might be improve by providing regular opportunities for me to evaluate my performance and encourage reflection, generally speaking this includes in-lecture quizzes (using mbclick), general assessment quizzes (using blackboard), programming assignments as coursework to submit (using CourseMarker). He encourages us to use new programs and try new things, giving no restrictions on the uses of specific syntax or otherwise. A discussion forum was opened before the course began where students can ask questions to each other or to Mr Bubner directly, he replies very quickly. All course notes, additional exercises, past papers with worked answers are available on blackboard.
Interactive lecture supplementary notes. There was so much stuff, interactive informational sections with pictures and the quizes were useful too.It really helped me learn a challenging subject. There was an excellent balance between knowledge, explanation and testing.
Great, innovative blackboard resources. Exceptionally helpful revision quizzes on blackboard.
The java course I took in the second semester of last year utilized the advantages of blackboard very well. There were a good number of online quizzes which were multiple-choice and marked instantly with feedback. For each graded quiz, there was a warm-up version which could be done as many times before the actual test. There was a forum on blackboard for discussion where questions were answered in good time either by the lecturer or other students. Coursework written in code was also assesed in code and feedback showing potential errors was also generated by the lecturer’s code. The course was interesting and worked well with e-learning techniques.
3. Comments from Dr. Geoff Rubner
What was the most successful aspect of eLearning elements in your course unit?
Students liked the videos and quizzes. In-class I used mbclick as usual, and I received a lot of positive comments about that in the Unit Evaluation Questionnaires.
What was the rationale behind your main eLearning features?
The rationale, as always, is to return as much feedback as possible to students. Also, to continue to try and improve the areas of the course they have difficulties with.