June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Computers in Education
12.1479.1 - 12.1479.12
The Use of a Course Management System in Environmental Engineering For the Education of the Global Citizen
Educating the Global Citizen is the goal of many well-intentioned faculty in Engineering. How to merge that lofty goal into an often already packed course can be a challenge. As the need for exposure to “real world” issues becomes more urgent, instructors must find creative ways to make the connections between the theoretical and technical training that occurs in the classroom and issues and events occurring outside the classroom.
The use of course management systems could facilitate the process of educating the engineer of the future by providing multiple avenues for exploration. We, an Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering and a Course Developer from the Distributed Education and Multimedia Department at our institution, worked closely to implement web-based tools and integrate aspects of social responsibility into an introductory course in Air Quality. For a year, we worked together to transform notes and resources into digital format and tested a number of tools within the available course management system (WebCT) at our institution.
The conversion of class notes to digital PowerPoint (PPT) format was undertaken to support a deliberate process-oriented pedagogy that required or strongly encouraged in-class note-taking (a mode of cognition or content interaction)1. Students only had pre-class access to partial/incomplete notes. The PPT design of in-class lecture notes was intended to support the flow of lecture content, facilitated insertion of problem-solving sequenced so students could immediately apply their knowledge, and allowed the instructor to interact with students more freely. Complete notes were unavailable for download or print - only for online review after class or before exams, thereby diminishing a typical faculty fear of posting course materials and losing class engagement. Fleeting availability of complete notes was used to promote student review in a more regular (weekly) fashion. In-class access to the web added content interaction during discussions that required information searching (e.g., to complete a table comparing CO2 emissions from various countries). In-class and on-line discussions on the social implications of topics such as Greenhouse gases and the Kyoto Protocol were also pursued.
As part of the assessment process, students were given two entry surveys on the first day of class. One survey dealt only with issues regarding the use of WebCT and an on-line survey dealt with basic concepts related to the course content. Results from both surveys helped shape the format and the content of the course. Students were informed of the most salient issues emerging from these surveys and were asked for input at various points in the semester via on-line surveys and other formative assessments. A final survey assessed the progress on the general topics covered in the entry survey and the effectiveness of the use of the course management system.
Montoya, L., & Moore, C. (2007, June), The Use Of A Course Management System In Environmental Engineering For The Education Of The Global Citizen Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2306
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