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Computer Managed Learning And Assessment Integrated Within A Materials Engineering Program For Nonmajors.

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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

Materials Science for Nonmajors

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.330.1 - 9.330.9

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Paper Authors

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Aaron Blicblau

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

Computer Managed Learning and Assessment Integrated Within a Materials Engineering Program for Non-Majors

Aaron S Blicblau

Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia


This paper reports on an on-line learning initiative in Engineering Materials for first year students in diverse disciplines of engineering. This initiative was developed for general first year engineering students to incorporate an on-line assessment system for the major aspects of learning and teaching: lectures, tutorials and laboratory work. This teaching approach required the availability of a data delivery system (using a proprietary brand of software), for provision of pedagogical material. In particular, tutorial-based inquiry was associated with both a general engineering problem based learning approach and a team approach to problem solving. The hands-on laboratory work was intimately integrated within the data delivery system for both pre laboratory learning, and post laboratory team review in applications utilised by non-materials engineers (notwithstanding other engineering disciplines) and assessment. Feedback from the student and staff about the course content, laboratory structure and data delivery system relevant to many facets of engineering was encouraging and seen to contribute to the overall learning strategy of knowledge of materials within the general engineering environment.


All engineers must have a basic knowledge of materials behaviour! The significance of teaching materials to all engineering students was identified by the Institute of Materials in the mid 1980s as being of prime importance1,2 as well as by the National Research Council3 as being of great importance. The recommendations of these reports give a clue as to why this subject is compulsory. So, all first year engineering students at Swinburne University of Technology (SUT) must enroll and pass a first year subject in Engineering Materials and Processes. However, none of the students will major in Materials, since SUT does not have such a course. It was the foresight of the course designers as early as the 1970s when SUT was still a technical college and before it became a University that materials was a core- enabling subject relevant to all forms and applications of engineering. All engineering students must enroll in first year engineering materials irrespective of their chosen engineering discipline.

There are over 200 enrolments in first year engineering but from at least six different streams of engineering (Table 1), and Engineering Materials is but one of eight subjects taught in first year. This results in two major difficulties. The first, (because it is only one of eight subjects) is that the students are not aware of the importance of materials to their chosen profession, and the second, more pragmatic to the teaching program, is how to deliver teaching matter and assess such a large cohort of (disinterested) students.

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

Blicblau, A. (2004, June), Computer Managed Learning And Assessment Integrated Within A Materials Engineering Program For Nonmajors. Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015