Technology and Knowledge

Distance Learning Course in Science and Engineering using Case Studies – "DLC"Training programme for teaching online for university teachers (TPTO)

Distance Learning Course in Science and Engineering using Case Studies – "DLC"Training programme for teaching online for university teachers (TPTO)

The purpose of the project was to plan, design, develop, test, and evaluate case study-based and mock case study-based distance learning courses for science and engineering. Although the emphasis was on development for distance courses, case studies also complement more traditional delivery modalities. These case study-based courses allowed students to utilize available theory, problem solving skills, teamwork techniques, and case study specific documentation to evaluate and "implement” real life projects. Focus was placed within the courses on Computer Aided Process Control.
Students of science and engineering do not (especially in countries in transition) have enough opportunity to learn industrial solutions of technical and technological projects. Students often receive theoretical knowledge without the possibility of seeing how different technical problems are solved in real industrial environments. With the rapid development of the Internet we now have accessible and inexpensive media with which to offer information online, in real time. Using the Internet, it is possible to follow industrial processes which may be physically located far away from educational institutions. The educational projects could be based on industrial case studies available on the Internet and be investigated from a distance.
The idea to build such a system was generated during the realisation of a distance learning course of Real-time Computer Systems for students from the University of Sarajevo in academic years 1996/97-1999/2000, and taught by Stanko Blatnik, project director of this proposal. Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a result of its destroyed economy from the war, had no opportunity to enable students to see real time computer systems. We have organised visits of students to Slovenia where they had the opportunity to see course systems in industry. However, with the now available better communication systems we could develop, teach, and problem solve almost all industrial cases online. Such systems could be used in other countries with similar problems as Bosnia and in developed countries where large savings of time and money are a consideration.
The anticipated target groups to benefit from this project included:
- educators preparing distance learning courses on Internet or planning to supplement existing courses with case study scenarios.
- students of vocational technical high schools, science and engineering universities, industrial companies offering lifelong training of their employees, and educational institutions providing adult education.
The DLC project was realized in 2 years, including the main activities of definition, user analysis and interface design, development and testing of software for creating distance learning course based on case studies, definition of content for the Computer Aided Process Control course, development of educational materials using earlier developed tools, collaboration with industrial partners, testing and evaluation of course in real environment (for high schools and universities).
The DLC expected outputs and products included:
A software package which may be used as a tool for distance learning case-based courses and the implementation of tools for the development of Computer Aided Process Control courses which are independent products. Both products are supported.


Section: Technology and Knowledge

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Type: Education


Project Status: Finished

Start/End: 11/2000 - 10/2002

Project Duration: 24 months