Scenario-based eLearning to promote active learning in large cohorts -Students' perspective

Mio, Cristina and Ventura-Medina, Esther and Joao, Elsa (2019) Scenario-based eLearning to promote active learning in large cohorts -Students' perspective. Computer Applications in Engineering Education, 27 (4). pp. 894-909. ISSN 1099-0542 (

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This work presents results from an investigation on the students' perspective of the use of scenario-based (SBL) e-learning and their performance in a first-year core chemical engineering module in a Scottish university. SBL is a pedagogy that promotes active learning by bringing to the classroom practical and industrial experience. When combined with online delivery, SBL can be used to increase students' engagement in large cohorts. The scenario developed and used in this work was delivered via the Scenario-Based Learning Interactive tool. A survey was used to capture students' insights on the activity and the use of the software. These data were then analyzed in combination with students' exam performance. Two cohorts with around 100 students each participated in this study over 2 years (with 91% response rate in the evaluation questionnaire). They indicate that students fully engaged with this form of learning as it links module content with real industrial applications. There is, however, a significant difference between female and male students in terms of the enjoyment they derived from the computer-based activity with male students preferring the activity over tutorials with opposite results for females. There is no relationship between the perceived level of difficulty of the scenario and the exam performance in either cohort. The majority of students identified that they developed their problem-solving and analytical skills through doing the scenario activity. In general, the students found the software difficult to use which suggests the need to explore other tools for the delivery of scenario-based activities.