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Evaluating Constructive Alignment Theory Implementation in a Power Systems Analysis Course Through Repertory Grids

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2 Author(s)
Luigi Vanfretti ; Electr. Power Syst. Dept., KTH R. Inst. of Technol., Stockholm, Sweden ; Mostafa Farrokhabadi

Individuals perceive their environment in terms of their individual mental structures that in turn determine their attitudes toward that environment. This is the focus of personal construct theory (PCT), which states that experiences are meaningful only in relation to the way they are “constructed.” Within the higher education system, the “constructs” developed by students determine the way in which they perceive their learning environment and are used to judge or evaluate their learning experiences. To reveal the constructs developed by students, a structured interview methodology known as the repertory grid technique can be used. In this paper, the repertory grid technique is exploited to evaluate a consensus-based constructive alignment theory implementation in a M.Sc.-level power systems analysis course. The repertory grid technique is utilized as an approach to effectively gather feedback from students through interviews during course evaluation meetings. It is shown that the repertory grid technique provides much valuable, insightful quantitative and qualitative data. Experience in using this technique revealed shortcomings that are illustrated and discussed in detail. Various visual and statistical methods are applied to analyze the elicited repertory grids. These analyses, along with the other traditional feedback channels, gave insight into the teaching and learning activities (TLAs) involved in implementing Constructive Alignment Theory in a course and helped determine specific elements of the course design needing improvement for future course deliveries, thus helping to improve education in a cornerstone course of power systems engineering.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Education  (Volume:56 ,  Issue: 4 )