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North American 2015 Materials Education Symposium

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Teaching Materials Science and Engineering Online: Challenges and Opportunities

Prof James F. Shackelford | University of California, USA

Teaching Materials Science and Engineering Online: Challenges and Opportunities

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The past decade has seen initial enthusiasm and then considerable skepticism about the promise of online education. Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been the focus of much of that discussion. Informed by this debate, UC Davis Extension has embarked in recent years on a number of offerings in online instruction for the field of materials science and engineering: 1) A complete set of online lectures in conjunction with the introductory materials textbook Introduction to Materials Science for Engineers. The use of these lectures in various formats will be discussed, focusing on their use in the 'flipped classroom.' 2) A hybrid course consisting of the lectures in item 1 along with traditional laboratory experiments on campus during UC Davis Summer Sessions. A comparison of that offering with a parallel offering of the introductory course with in-class lectures will be given. 3) A MOOC based on key topics covered in the full online course in item 1 entitled 'Ten Things Every Engineer Should Know About Materials Science.' 4) A Masters Certificate in Materials Science and Engineering for working professionals. This certificate program is being developed among a consortium of universities including UC Davis. Our experience at UC Davis with these various online offerings will be reviewed along with broader comments on the overall potential of online education.