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A Distance Learning Subject In Polymer Engineering

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Novel Upper-Level Materials Curricula

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.37.1 - 9.37.5

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Paper Authors

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David Roylance

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2164

A Distance Learning Subject in Polymer Engineering

David Roylance

Department of Materials Science and Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139


The Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT has for many years offered a graduate subject in Mechanical Properties of Polymers, which includes such topics as rubber elasticity, anisotropic elasticity, mechanics of composites, viscoelasticity, yield and fracture. In recent years this subject has made increasing use of web-based delivery, which offers a number of conveniences and enhanced topic coverage. This web-based coverage is now part of MIT’s Open Courseware Initiative, so it is available worldwide. Most recently, the availability of the web material along with videotaped lectures has been important in making the subject a part of a distance-learning venture MIT is conducting with the Malaysia University of Science and Technology (MUST). The subject will be offered for the first time in Malaysia in Spring 2004, and this paper will outline steps taken by MIT and MUST in implementing it.

I. The Overall MUST Program

The Malaysia University of Science and Technology (MUST) is a recently-founded academic institution intended to provide a dramatic improvement in Malaysia’s infrastructure for research and development, principally by educating highly skilled persons for that country’s technical industries. In 2002, MIT and MUST entered into a collaborative agreement in which MIT would provide assistance to MUST in several areas, in particular the development of academic and research programs at the Masters Degree level1.

The MUST/MIT subjects are taught in Malaysia by MUST faculty, with MIT faculty providing assistance to MUST faculty in subject development and delivery. This differs from other MIT distance-learning subjects in which MIT faculty deliver lectures either in person at the remote site or by electronic transmission from the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA USA. MIT subjects selected for replication at MUST are videotaped as they are taught at MIT, and the videotapes of lectures along with web-based courseware are made available to MUST. MIT faculty also travel to MUST for direct discussions with the MUST instructor of the subject to assist in lecture development. MIT provides assistance when MUST students or faculty have questions regarding the content or homework as they are delivered at MUST. To prevent MIT faculty workloads from being overloaded by these additional demands on their own regular teaching duties, an MIT teaching assistant at MIT funded by the MUST/MIT program is appointed to act as an intermediary between the two institutions.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Roylance, D. (2004, June), A Distance Learning Subject In Polymer Engineering Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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