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The Use of Instructional Technology in Materials Courses: First Year and Beyond

Dr Mark De Guire | Case Western Reserve University

The Use of Instructional Technology in Materials Courses: First Year and Beyond

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In the mid-1990s, the core-engineering curriculum at Case Western Reserve University was revised to replace the traditional second semester of freshman chemistry with a course called 'Chemistry of Materials.' Approximately 400 mostly first-year students, with interests across all branches of engineering, take the course. The use of electronic educational technology in this course will be surveyed, including web-viewable digital recordings of all lectures, course administration using two Web-based platforms (Blackboard and CWRU's MediaVision), and the use of CES EduPack in homework and exam problems. CES EduPack is also used in several advanced undergraduate and graduate engineering courses at CWRU, covering second-year students through graduate students. Our experiences with this cross-section of American engineering students provides perspective on the following issues: First-year versus upper-level students: differences in their expectations, abilities, and computer-savviness; The utility of CES EduPack for teaching fundamental materials science (in contrast to design); What students love, and what students hate, about educational technologies; Experience with CES EduPack in non-materials courses, including biomechanics and biomedical materials design.