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Developing and implementing engaging activities aligned with the learning outcomes of a module within a higher education programme is essential to successful teaching practice in the 21st century. Substantial research evidence indicates that student engagement plays a pivotal role in the academic performance and success of the student. The aim of this research is to compare student performance after adopting an alternative pedagogic approach utilising digital photography as a tool to engage the student in an engineering discipline. The activity was designed to promote student engagement by integrating digital photography, replicating authentic construction professional practice and focusing on images as a key means of communication and to aid the learning. Such strategies can promote student inclusion by eliminating literacy challenges associated with the traditional lecturing approach. A questionnaire to students revealed that those from a construction background perceived that they gained a deeper understanding of the subject matter and a richer learning experience, and advocated that more teachers on their programme should adopt a similar teaching strategy. A comparison of assessment results from two previous student cohorts (n=36 students) found that the alternative approach yielded superior exam performance. The careful planning and implementation of combined teaching strategies in a single engaging activity can deliver improved student performance without the need for additional material or financial resources.
Gleeson, M. (2014). Analysing the impact of digital photography projects on student engagement and performance in a higher education engineering discipline. ICERI2014 Proceedings , pp. 5623-5633.