E. Nevin, E. Mageean, M. Llorens-Salvador

Dublin Institute of Technology (IRELAND)
This paper provides an objective analysis of student engagement with continuous assessment over a three year period. The results of two groups of students from different stages of a modularised level seven engineering programme were examined. As both groups had taken modules where they studied numerical differentiation, this topic was selected and the corresponding assessment results and attendance of both groups were analysed.

Two assessment methods were used to evaluate student engagement. The first method of assessment required the student to complete a laboratory assignment and submit it within a specified period of time. The second method of assessment involved an invigilated practical exam which was held in the laboratory on completion of the module. For both groups, students were required to attend a one hour lecture each week and a two hour computer laboratory on alternate weeks. Specific module content was introduced through the lecture and the computer laboratory enabled students to apply the material presented in the lectures and work on laboratory assignments relating to a specific topic.

An online course management system was used which allowed students to download lecture materials, obtain model answers and view marks awarded for previously submitted assignments.

The preliminary results and findings of this study are presented in this paper and may be used in part to answer the following questions:
• Is the student’s level of attendance, an indicator of how they will perform in their continuous assessment?
• Does the scheduling of weekly lectures and bi-weekly laboratory classes have an effect on the student’s performance?
• How does a student’s performance in a laboratory assignment compare with their performance in an invigilated laboratory exam?