During the Foundation Year, use is made of the Personal Response System (PRS). This allows you, and lecturers to interact during lectures giving the lecturer instant feedback on how well the material is being understood. The system works in the same way as “Ask the Audience” on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”. PRS has been used for the past 4 years in the School of Computing and has proved popular with students in helping them to understand the lecture material. This is just one of the novel teaching methods using technology is being used in the school. Other examples include on-line quizzes and web-based crosswords
Changes to foundation year teaching
Use 30 credit themes which run over two semesters to give greater flexibility to manage a balanced and engaging teaching style which can deal specifically with issues of transition.
Three major themes:
Software Design and Development,
Problem-Solving and Modelling, and
Use content drawn from the current set of modules but emphasise coherence and connections
Introduce a two-semester 15 credit module which addresses soft-skills, collaborative and group-working, PDP, promotes employability skills and fosters study skills to encourage independent learning.
Use (but monitor!) portfolio-based assessment approach to allow students to build up work over two semesters
Use Social Software – Blogs, Wikis, Virtual Social Spaces – to provide a vehicle for collaboration.
Maintain a one-semester 15 credit module which allows some specialisation in the student’s chosen route.
Promote the introduction of joint assessment opportunities between the major themes and the “collaborative working” module.
Build time for remediation into the timetable at the start.
Maintain strict attendance monitoring and use participation in formative assessment as a Learning Objective.
Set up a dedicated Foundation Year Teaching Team, composed of enthusiastic and approachable staff with proven teaching ability to oversee the academic delivery.
Use the same staff to provide pastoral, academic and remediation support for students.