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IT in the curriculum and e-learning

Engineers Meet Teachers: an Interactive Multimedia e-Learning System for Cross-Discipline Teaching and Learning in Teacher and Engineer Education


Abstract

The introduction of problem-based learning in the delivery of knowledge has proved to improve effectiveness of teaching and learning process, especially in a number of disciplines including social science, education, engineering and medicine. In this respect, an online, multimedia problem-based learning platform known as the interactive multimedia e-learning system or IMELS was developed by the investigators primarily for industrial engineering and was successfully introduced to the teaching of a number of course modules in industrial engineering. While the system provides a stimulating and engaging environment for engineering students, as a generic system, this project aims to extend the system in the education discipline for the training of student teachers in developing pedagogical skills, dealing with disciplinary problems and most importantly, gaining extended classroom experience.

As a parallel objective, the project supports the synergistic collaboration in curricula development where cross discipline teaching is one of the key focuses in the 4-year curriculum reform. As industrial engineers are ‘system engineers’ and teachers are ‘human engineers’, the extended IMELS platform would greatly facilitate the interface between students in these two ‘subtly similar’ disciplines in broadening their experience and to co-construct knowledge in the learning process.

Principal Investigator

Dr. H.Y.K. Lau, Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringContact

Project level

Faculty-level project

Project Completion

August 2008

Deliverables

An innovative and integrated e-learning system known as iTeach for delivering learner-driven web-enabled teaching materials, with the concept of a problem-based approach for teaching and learning in the education field, was developed. In summary, the project delivered the following major components that are incorporated within iTeach:

  1. A web based multimedia presentation including high quality video clips to introduce the subject matter on teacher education.
  2. A web based knowledge-base that includes the topical contents and resources in the area of teacher education.
  3. A virtual school experience that provides a problem based case study platform for students to take part in the learning process. A teacher’s day in a local secondary school is being captured by live video footages and can be experienced on the web. In addition, four classroom scenarios are developed using video clips to represent typical classroom management and teaching issues for student to work on using a problem based learning approach.
  4. An added Web 2.0 ‘Blog’ feature provides multi-party asynchronous online discussion platform for students to take part in problem based group learning and communication.

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