Addressing Engineering Teaching Issues in Online Distance Learning
Addressing Engineering Teaching Issues in Online Distance Learning Stephen Reid 3 October 2012
Overview• Evolution of online programmes delivered by IT Sligo.• Current model for online programmes.• KITE Project – providing Practical Labs• Communication technology narrowing the gap between face-to-face and online.
Initial DesignAsynchronous discussion based learning. “Wrap-around” approach Mason (1998) Attend for Self Practical Study Learning “Wrap- Activities around” Existing VLE Resources
Success of Initial DesignDependent on topic Successful Management B.Sc in Quality Management Wholly Less thanMathematical Technology Inadequate Successful
Modification to Initial DesignSynchronous online classes • Delivered each week • Students can ask questions • Recorded
Emergent Learning Model Handouts Textbooks Websites Resources Live Classes Video Learning Lecturer ActivitiesFeedback Support Fellow Learners
Success and GrowthCriteria to measure pedagogical success • Learning outcomes. • Student satisfaction Medium – not a barrier to learning. 500 Growth 450 • 17 Accredited Programmes 400 350 • Fee income - €2m 2009 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Practical Labs – A limit to growth?Following factors limit growth; • Attendance requirement for practical labs. • Staffing and Laboratory capacityKnowledge and Innovation Transfer in Engineering (KITE) Project • EU Funded, cross-border project. • Delivering Labs … Online
KITE – Remote access to Labs On-demand access 24/7 Give students remote access to software and hardware on campus. “Remote Access” “Software” - - IT Sligo“Training Rig” IT Sligo “On-line student” - Anywhere
KITE – Live practical classes …OnlineLive Class Students remotely access PCs in IT Sligo Lab from home. During the live class the instructor can:• Monitor student progress.• Offer guidance through 2- way audio (VoIP).• Take control of “student” PC to demonstrate solutions, when required.
Benefits and Success of Remote LabsBenefits • Timing of practical labs and theory classes • No requirement to purchase, install software • 24/7 access • All software versions similar. • Potential to reduce travel.Success • No significant difference in results compared to face-to- face. • 80% would recommend online CAD training.
ConclusionIT Sligo Online learning Model • Financially viable • High student satisfaction and learning outcomes • Faster progress using traditional teaching techniques
AcknowledgementsThanks to: • Brian Mulligan – IT Sligo. • INTERREG IVA programme, SEUPB and KITE Project Partners • KITE Team • Lecturing and Technical staff at IT Sligo • Frank Carter, Head of School of Engineering