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Assessing students’ experiences in a virtual learning environment

Chandrasekaran, Sivachandran, Orwa, Julius and Long, John 2016, Assessing students’ experiences in a virtual learning environment, in AAEE 2016 : The Changing role of the engineering educator for developing the future engineer : Proceedings of the 27th Australasian Association for Engineering Education Conference, Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Canberra, A.C.T., pp. 1-12.

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Title Assessing students’ experiences in a virtual learning environment
Author(s) Chandrasekaran, SivachandranORCID iD for Chandrasekaran, Sivachandran orcid.org/0000-0003-2871-880X
Orwa, JuliusORCID iD for Orwa, Julius orcid.org/0000-0001-6041-6751
Long, John
Conference name Australasian Association for Engineering Education. Conference (27th : 2016 : Coffs Harbour, New South Wales)
Conference location Coffs Harbour, New South Wales
Conference dates 4-7 Dec. 2016
Title of proceedings AAEE 2016 : The Changing role of the engineering educator for developing the future engineer : Proceedings of the 27th Australasian Association for Engineering Education Conference
Publication date 2016
Start page 1
End page 12
Total pages 12
Publisher Australasian Association for Engineering Education
Place of publication Canberra, A.C.T.
Keyword(s) cloud learning
project/design based learning
collaborative learning
active learning
Summary CONTEXT Technology has played an important role in the provision of educational equity for learners inAustralian communities. Engaging off-campus students through technology resources is vital for avirtual learning environment in engineering education. To ensure a positive experience for thestudents in off-campus (virtual) learning, the use of modern technology is crucial for collaborative andactive learning.

PURPOSE Design based education is a combination of project based and problem based approaches. Throughsmall or big projects, students work in teams with combinations of off-campus and on-campusstudents. Integration of technology resources takes place within these groups through collaborativelearning and active learning. Even though the facilities and technology support are provided for offcampusstudents, there is always a gap in fulfilling the off-campus students’ learning expectations in avirtual learning environment. Technology plays an important role in providing student engagement insolving design problems, which is a need for the distance learner community in future. The purpose ofthis study is to evaluate students’ experiences on the use of technology in learning and teaching,which is delivered in off-campus mode.

APPROACH The cohorts of students involved in this online survey are from first year undergraduate engineering inTrimester 2, 2016. The online survey analysis of students’ perceptions will help teaching staff to betterunderstand and assess off-campus students’ experiences, challenges and barriers in a virtual learningenvironment.

RESULTS The distance learners’ experiences are analysed from an online survey. This online survey analysesthe students’ experiences on use of technology and how it supports and enhances students learning indistance mode. It also analyses the student learning experiences on project/design-based learningapproach in engineering. In this particular unit (Electrical Systems), students work in teams of 2-3 onlab work and other assignments. The analysed results also discuss the students’ perceptions onteamwork, communication, interaction and assessment.

CONCLUSIONS The aim of the engineering curriculum is to provide learning and teaching support equally for both oncampusand off-campus students. From the analysed survey results, this study reveals that the use oftechnology plays a vital role in students learning from availability and accessibility of materials toassessment methods, lab tutorials, and online seminars. In a project/design based learningcurriculum, the distance learners have an equal opportunity to enhance the learning skills as the oncampusstudents experience in a study environment.
Language eng
Field of Research 091503 Engineering Practice
091599 Interdisciplinary Engineering not elsewhere classified
099999 Engineering not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 930103 Learner Development
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
ERA Research output type E Conference publication
Copyright notice ©2016, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30088930

Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: School of Engineering
Open Access Collection
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