E-learning represents manifestation of the imperative for materials education to respond to the consumer (employer and students) orientation that impels so much of our society today. The real strength of internet, a global tool, cannot be exploited when it comes to online learning (including collaboration) for industrial apprentices employed full-time. A personal reflection in the light of a comprehensive statistical analysis is presented. Fifty six (56) higher education engineering students, working for a local aerospace industry (Airbus), were surveyed who recently studied materials science and engineering using carefully moderated part-online modules. Pedagogies and various practices of delivering synchronous and asynchronous online activities are presented. Appropriate feedback (timely constructive criticism) and e-moderated edutainment (learning by multi-media) were identified as the most efficient aspects of successful online materials biased programmes. Further enhancement in the interactive content is suggested for enhancing the learning process. Students’ learning needs can further be accommodated in elearning context by empowering learners, maximising the use of social media and online-forums, developing range of digital literacies (e.g. virtual tensile testing laboratory for HE students, (www.mse.4mg.com), treating learners as managers of their own learning, supporting use of learners own technology (smart phone apps) and being inclusive and very clear on expectations - how learners manage in a digitally complex environment. Tools for conducting interactive and development provoking assessments (summative and formative) are summarised. Challenges (institutional and general barriers) for successful implementation of open and distance learning are presented. Some of the major ones are: a) lack of funding for novel/ experimental technology; b) compromising individual learner needs; c) lack of consumer demand and appreciation among wider participation; d) online learning not replacing development of personal interactive and augmentative skills; and e) lack of awareness of e-platforms and tools among academia.
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
|Event||4th International Materials Education Symposium - Cambridge University, UK|
Duration: 1 Apr 2012 → …
|Conference||4th International Materials Education Symposium|
|Period||1/04/12 → …|