"It's Part-Time but Not as We Know It!" - An Evaluation of a Flexible Learning MEng.

Humphries-Smith, T. and Benjamin, C., 2013. "It's Part-Time but Not as We Know It!" - An Evaluation of a Flexible Learning MEng. In: Lawlor, J, Reilly, G, Simpson, R, Ring, M, Kovacevic, A, McGrath, M, Ion, W, Tormey, D, Bohemia, E, McMahon, C and Parkinson, B, eds. International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education - Design Education - Growing Our Future, 15th. Westbury, UK: The Design Society & Institution of Engineering Designers, 210 - 215 (6).

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Abstract

This paper reports on the evaluation of the effectiveness of the principles of delivery of a new flexible learning MEng (Hons) Engineering course at Bournemouth University (BU). The course was developed as part of a Higher Education Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (HESTEM) National Programme project and provides an opportunity for engineers to take higher education qualifications while remaining in full time employment. The first cohort have all progressed from part time, day release Foundation degree Science (FdSc’s) at either another Higher Education Institution (HEI) or Bournemouth & Poole College (BPC) to take units at final year honours level. The development of online units for the MEng programme has been based on the Constructivist approach to learning and the delivery mechanism uses online learning materials delivered via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The paper details how each unit of study begins with a full day face to face tutorial on campus enabling an introduction to the subject as well as allowing ‘faces to be put to names’ thus mitigating the dehumanizing effect of pure online learning. It describes and evaluates how effective this is in ‘kick starting’ the student to student relationship that is essential for an effective learning community to develop. The paper also evaluates how the use of both staff/student and student/student online forums, throughout all units, allows for this community to further develop and enhance the learning experience. The paper concludes that the implementation of a constructivist approach to learning has been very successful for this new course and first cohort of students. This has enabled students to make the necessary transition and has resulted in a good depth of learning and engagement.

Item Type:Book Section
ISBN:978-1-904670-42-1
Number of Pages:6
Uncontrolled Keywords:flexible learning ; engineering ; MEng ; virtual learning environment ; online learning
Subjects:UNSPECIFIED
Group:Faculty of Science and Technology
ID Code:21010
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:03 Jan 2014 13:52
Last Modified:01 Dec 2015 11:48

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