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International 2012 Materials Education Symposium

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The Preparation and Initial Delivery of an Online Undergraduate Engineering Materials Unit

Dr David Steele | University of South Australia

The Preparation and Initial Delivery of an Online Undergraduate Engineering Materials Unit

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In the final quarter of 2010, Open Universities Australia accepted a proposal from the University of South Australia to host a Graduate Diploma of Engineering course comprising of 25 units. Our task was to prepare a first year level unit on the fundamentals of engineering materials which would be suitable for delivery online. The content of the unit would mirror that of the course currently delivered on-campus using traditional face-to-face lectures, tutorials and practical sessions. The online unit developed comprises of audiovisual asynchronous lecture summaries, additional web-based resources, discussion and support forums and bi-weekly synchronous tutorial sessions. Student assessment is conducted using a series of time-limited quizzes, web-based practical assignments, the group preparation of an ePoster and a final examination. I will outline the process, organisation and preparation of the online teaching resources undertaken over a six month period in 2011 by a team comprising of materials educators, researchers and professional staff members of the University's learning and teaching unit. I will also provide a personal commentary on the process highlighting some of the difficulties managed. My presentation will close with some of the initial observations and experiences on the inaugural delivery of this unit in 2012. In addition I will identify how these experiences and teaching materials and practices developed have subsequently been adopted to ensure the maintenance of best practice teaching on-campus.