Mavromihales, Michael (2019) Enhancing Teaching-Learning Effectiveness in Mechanical Engineering Education Through Structured Interventions and Action Learning. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Established teaching and learning methods are increasingly coming under scrutiny. This research documents the application of progressive methods of teaching and learning whilst introducing a range of disparate Action Learning (AL) delivery methods. Action Research (AR) methodology forms the basis for this work. As a means for learning, Games Base Learning (GBL) has historically been used in a range of subject areas but with limited application in Engineering and Technology. Although GBL provides a good means of motivating the learner whilst also promoting learning as fun, its effect in meeting quantifiable educational objectives remains much under-researched and therefore unknown. This research attempts to introduce GBL as part of Mechanical Engineering Education and evaluate the outcomes in both qualitative (by gauging the student learning experience) and quantitatively (by measuring changes in assessed work results as well as application). Game Based learning (GBL) activity is introduced as part of a holistic approach in supporting knowledge acquisition within a Mechanical Design undergraduate programme.

This research reports on the level of student engagement and the extent to which learning outcomes were met through the introduction of such activities as part of the case studies. Novel approaches in delivery of engineering education are presented. Frameworks and methodology are produced that can be adopted in other Higher Education Institutions for improved delivery, attainment and engagement and student achievement. Novelty in the work is also presented through the empirical data as evidence of the pedagogical benefits of educational games. This research reports on the design, development, implementation and evaluation through analysis, blended learning based on Action Research (AR) methodology.

This research bridges the gap between current and ‘traditional’ practice in teaching and learning in Mechanical Engineering Education through structured interventions in order to quantify enhanced learning experiences. Although it applies interventions to teaching and learning in the subject area of Mechanical Engineering subjects, specifically, but not exclusively, within design and manufacture. It focuses on Active Learning techniques such as Activity Based learning (ABL) and Games Based Learning (GBL) with the intention of reinforcing and applying prior underlying theoretical fundamentals. It reviews and evaluates a selection of approaches in teaching and learning on undergraduate mechanical engineering courses.

As part of a blended learning environment, the use of Electronic Voting System for reflective learning and explorative thinking is considered. The work demonstrates how such voting systems can enhance the student learning experience by integration within a flipped classroom approach, coupled with reflective learning and experiential learning. Varied instruments of delivery and assessment along with novel methods to encourage student engagement and participation has led to improved student performance and acquisition of knowledge and skills, often with significant improvement.

Each of the approaches described as part of this research has brought unique benefits to teaching and learning fundamentals however there is evidence that combined, produce a powerful set of tools for mechanical engineering education.

FINAL THESIS - Mavromihales.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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