Team project work for distance learners in engineering - Challenges and benefits

Mark Endean, George Weidmann, Alun Armstrong, Jim Moffatt, Tony Nixon, Bob Reuben

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Team Engineering (first presented in Autumn 2006) was the first course (module) at the Open University (OU) to use wikis and video-conferencing in combination to support the work of project teams. Teams of five students, working remotely from one another, tackle an engineering project over thirty-two weeks. The teams schedule regular meetings throughout the project and these are conducted using FlashMeeting, a lightweight video-conferencing system being developed by the OU's Knowledge Media Institute, KMi (http://flashmeeting.open. ac.uk). Unlike other systems, FlashMeeting requires no software installation. In addition, it not only archives the meetings but also provides detailed analysis of the proceedings. The teams are encouraged to use the wiki facility in the OU's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) for their collaborative report-writing. The collective work of the team is assessed through these reports. The performance of the individual is assessed through their reflective account of the project. In developing this, the archiving facility in FlashMeeting has been of huge help. For the next presentation of the course, a learning journal is to be added to the mix of means of support. Feedback from tutors and students alike has been extremely positive, whilst recognising the limitations of the technologies in their current implementations. This paper gives an account of the students' achievements and offers an assessment of the pedagogical potential of using these media together.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEE 2008 - International Conference on Innovation, Good Practice and Research in Engineering Education
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventInternational Conference on Innovation, Good Practice and Research in Engineering Education 2008 - Loughborough, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Jul 200816 Jul 2008

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference on Innovation, Good Practice and Research in Engineering Education 2008
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLoughborough
Period14/07/0816/07/08

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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    Endean, M., Weidmann, G., Armstrong, A., Moffatt, J., Nixon, T., & Reuben, B. (2008). Team project work for distance learners in engineering - Challenges and benefits. In EE 2008 - International Conference on Innovation, Good Practice and Research in Engineering Education