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Balancing e-lectures with podcasts: a case study of an undergraduate engineering module

Edirisingha, P. & Fothergill, J. (2009). Balancing e-lectures with podcasts: a case study of an undergraduate engineering module. Engineering Education, 4(2), pp. 14-24.


The work described in this paper is based on an engineering module that has run for six years (each academic year since 2004). The module is run online although the learners are campus-based students. This has provided an unusual opportunity to compare the same students’ experiences of on-campus and online courses. The course comprises a rich online environment including e-lectures, podcasts, video clips, website links, animations, background reading, formative quizzes, summative assignments and discussion boards. The e-lectures comprise a PowerPoint-like screen with a spoken audio track and other facilities, including a rolling transcript, video controls (for stopping, pausing and rewinding) and a search facility. Each e‑lecture is short (a maximum of ten minutes) and links to some of the learning materials (e.g. video clips and formative quizzes). The podcasts are mp3 audio files, each lasting approximately ten minutes, and are produced weekly and published through the virtual learning environment. This paper presents a pedagogical model that has been designed to develop a structure for combining these virtual learning elements and considers some of the opportunities provided by such innovative approaches for the enhancement of engineering teaching at undergraduate level. It presents research findings on student learning outcomes and provides suggestions for adopting the design for learning model presented in the paper.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Departments: Presidents's Portfolio
School of Science & Technology > Engineering > Electrical & Electronic Engineering
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