Another 8 modules from FoSE recognised as Provincial First-class UG Modules

22 November 2022

Recently, the Zhejiang Education Department announced the list of the 2022 Provincial First-class Undergraduate Module. There are eight undergraduate modules from the Faculty of Science and Engineering that have been recognised in this third batch of Zhejiang Provincial First-class Undergraduate Modules: Architectural Engineering Design 1; Process Engineering Laboratories; Databases & Interfaces; Principles of Ecology; Global Environmental Process; Interpreting Environmental Data; Industrial Design Professional Practice; and User-Centred Research and Design.

In order to actively and proactively respond to the new technological innovations and industrial changes, the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FoSE) is working on the cultivation of innovative future-facing talents with the ability to solve complex engineering problems. FoSE has always been committed to developing students’ learning experiences through a mixture of lectures and hands-on experience, workshops, tutorials and laboratory sessions. For example, in the Process Engineering Laboratories module, students are required to finish the engineering design project in groups. Students are able to experience the whole process of engineering design, from the experiment design, making process and risk assessment reports, collecting and analysing the data, and finally optimising the process. More importantly, teaching staff give their feedback, both written and oral, throughout the module. The programme and module are also in line with industrial development. As a compulsory module for the BEng (Hons) Architectural Environment Engineering students, based on the content issued by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), the module Architectural Engineering Design 1 has, in recent years, been updated according to the engineering regulations and code used in China. The module convenor, Dr Zhiang Zhang, also plans to build long-term partnerships with companies to bring the learning to the site, and to provide students with learning experiences in more industrial contexts.

In the User Centred Research and Design and Industrial Design Professional Practice modules, the teachers have innovatively introduced traditional Chinese culture and ideas into the design class. Product Design and Manufacture programme students are required to design lamps showcasing their understanding of Yangming culture and demonstrate their creative abilities through the four dimensions of functionality, aesthetics, interaction design, and technology integration. Both Chinese students and international students have the opportunity to explore the beauty of Chinese traditional culture. Students from Zambia and Malaysia also demonstrated their understanding of Yangming culture and produced two excellent works. Their designs were also exhibited in the Yangming Former Residence.

The idea of “unity of knowledge and action” has always been rooted in the teaching philosophy of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. Through project-based learning, students are able to put the knowledge they learn from class into use in order to solve problems in the real world.

In the Principles of Ecology module, Dr Tengwen Long also works on the integration of the module with local history and culture. Students visit Yuyao Hemudu relics and Tianluoshan sites to learn about the history of Ningbo, Zhejiang and all of China, delivering a vivid history and culture class to students at home and abroad.

FoSE has been investing in online teaching and increasing interaction in class. Courseware and learning materials for each module are uploaded to Moodle to ensure that every student can access the learning materials from anywhere. In many modules, teachers have adopted a flipped classroom model, in which students can take the initiative for their learning. Critical thinking and independent learning are also supported and encouraged.

In the Interpreting Environmental Data module, the flipped classroom and online tests received positive feedback from students, with many final-year students commenting that the module had increased their interest in data science, and inspired them to study further in a data science-related postgraduate programme.

Our students are key stakeholders in the FoSE/UNNC teaching and learning experience. Their suggestions and opinions are highly valued. In the Databases and Interfaces module, Dr Matthew Pike champions a continuous feedback system (as he does in all his module), enabling students to provide anonymous feedback on a continual basis. Matthew has found great value in following this approach and has adapted his teaching, where appropriate and possible, to address student concerns.

Professor Dave Towey, Faculty Associate Dean for Education and Student Experience (ESE), expressed his great satisfaction with the most recent success of colleagues in having these modules recognised. He commented that, as the Faculty moves forward with its plans to enhance the ESE for students and other stakeholders, this recognition of the excellent work being done by colleagues is most welcome. He looks forward to including more student input, with students as partners, in the future ESE development of the Faculty, Campus, and entire University of Nottingham.