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Addressing engineering teaching issues in online distance learning
Mulligan, Brian; Reid, Stephen
Efforts by IT Sligo to transfer courses into an online distance learning format since 2002 ran into three significant obstacles, namely the expense of developing learning materials for niche areas, an inability to teach mathematical topics using asynchronous communication techniques, and a requirement to facilitate hands-on practical laboratory sessions. The first two of these obstacles were addressed relatively quickly by the use of existing learning materials and by the use of synchronous conferencing systems for live online teaching. This approach along with attendance at the Institute for practical laboratory sessions, led to rapid growth of online courses within the country, but restricted the recruitment of international students. This final obstacle is now being addressed through the EU funded project entitled Knowledge and Innovation Transfer in Engineering (KITE). The IT Sligo element of the project is to investigate, develop and invest in systems to deliver “practical” subjects online. To date this has resulted in the development of a facility to allow remote access to laboratories where students can both control and monitor physical equipment. Early testing with students has shown remote access to be extremely effective and popular, with students able to access equipment at any time during the day or night, and work is underway to increase the range of physical equipment available to distance learners.
Keyword(s): Web-based instruction; Distance education; Engineering education; Engineering - Study and teaching
Publication Date:
2011
Type: Conference item
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Institution: Connacht-Ulster Alliance
First Indexed: 2015-09-15 15:05:01 Last Updated: 2016-08-16 06:28:14