Merrett, Geoff V. and Vaughan, Alun S.
Improving Learning of Electronic Engineering Skills through e-Learning: a Case Study
At 11th European Workshop on Microelectronics Education (EWME 2016), United Kingdom.
11 - 13 May 2016.
In this paper, we report on changes made to a module that is taken by all first-year electronic engineering students, and which covers transferable and engineering skills. To improve students’ perception of and learning experience on the module, half of the taught material was migrated from a traditional ‘physical’ lecture format to specially recorded ‘online’ lectures. The changes were evaluated through 1) looking at how regularly students were accessing material, 2) online questionnaires, 3) focus groups, and 4) the standard module evaluation surveys. The changes were very well received by the students and, in a single year, the overall module rating improved from 60% (static over the preceding three years) to 75%. The changes showed evidence of giving students greater freedom in the way in which they learn, for example allowing them to watch lectures when it best suited their learning style (even if this was at night or on a weekend), pause the lecture while they looked up more information, and rewind sections of the lecture to watch difficult topics again. This has also proved beneficial to international students, as the majority found the online lectures easier to understand, and were able to pause the lecture while they translated unknown words.
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