Content on demand for fourth year advanced materials and manufacturing students

Brabazon, Dermot, Donovan, Lynda, Egan, Andrew, O'Mahony, Michael P., Melia, Mark and Smyth, Barry (2012) Content on demand for fourth year advanced materials and manufacturing students. In: ISEE 2012, 4th International Symposium of Engineering Education, The University of Sheffield, UK, 18th -20th July 2012.


There is growing recognition of the key role that social and informal learning play in Higher Education. There is also increasing interest in technologies that enable, capture and channel this type of learning to students at their point of need and personalised to their ability. The objective of this project was to leverage research technologies from the areas of adaptive hypermedia, social and semantic search to create an application to deliver learning resources to students tailored to their specific learning needs. In this project, some 130 digital learning resources, specific to a final year advanced materials and manufacturing module, were made available to the students via a Help Block plugin in the Moodle Virtual Learning Environment. The students were required to use the Help Block as a just-in-time learning resource to help them complete a continuous assessment assignment. The assignment required the students to select an advanced manufacturing process and associated material describing the manufacturing process steps, control and specifications and presenting the technological benefits of the process and material used relative to competing processes and materials. Post-trial, students were asked to complete a questionnaire to describe their experience with the Help Block in terms of whether it assisted them in completing the assignment, for example, and its ease of use. The system, evaluation findings, and some suggestions for future system enhancements are presented in the paper.

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