Recruitment and retention is a major problem within Electrical Engineering at undergraduate level.\ud Experience at the University of Brighton has shown that the majority of students recruited to these programmes struggle to cope with modelling and analysis of electrical circuits, which is critical to their design capability. Hence it is necessary to offer a study package of remedial input to bring them up to the standard required for progression to subsequent years.\ud It has become progressively more difficult to achieve the required level of engagement with this study package. The problem came to a head in 2006/7 when most students failed to achieve a pass mark in the phase test used to gauge the success of its assimilation. Hence a programme of action was initiated to improve engagement with the study package as it was delivered, in near real-time, and to reduce the reliance of assessment upon examinations only. Computer moderated quizzes were introduced to stimulate engagement with guided reading materials very soon after those materials were delivered to the students. This new strategy gave pleasing results. The performance of the cohort on the phase test at the end of the material was very much improved. The addition of a ‘Coursework Element’ from the quizzes gave all students a significant lift on their overall marks, and this improved their confidence and gave them encouragement throughout the remainder of the year with their application-oriented studies, which built on this material
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