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North American 2016 Materials Education Symposium

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E-Learning in Civil Engineering

Prof Christoph Gehlen | Technische Universitat Munchen

E-Learning in Civil Engineering

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The objective of university teaching in the field of "construction materials" is to educate the students in such a way that they can take an integrated approach to drafting and constructing in a material-specific manner, evaluating projects both economically and ecologically, defining requirements on the materials in accordance with their use, predicting and mastering the influences of corrosion and ageing. Meeting this requirement is a huge challenge for the lecturers. In order to achieve this objective, the structure of a "materials" module worth 10 credits in the introductory phase of the course using the classical teaching formats lecture, lecture hall and laboratory exercises has been completely redesigned. The three classical teaching formats have been closely interlinked with e-learning contents (short films, self-tests and forums) which are sorted according to topics and permanently available. The e-learning contents have made independent study with individual time management and learning progress possible, as well as allowing preparation and expansion of the contents conveyed using the classical teaching formats to be supported, steered and tested. Numerous material testing experiments have been filmed, thus consolidating classical laboratory and practical work. This allows learning with the material to be carried out in-depth through additional case studies in significantly smaller groups and much more stimulating laboratory exercises. These activity-oriented working skills are monitored using a newly developed "circuit training test" suitable for the learning objectives. The new concept was put into practice for the second time in summer 2015. Evaluation by students and employees showed that both learners and lecturers are enjoying working with the new concept and are highly motivated. The students' examination results are currently being evaluated and compared with the results of earlier examinations.