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Blended learning approach to include the innovative use of vodcasts (video-podcasts) to enrich students learning experience in structures laboratory

Mann, P. (2009) Blended learning approach to include the innovative use of vodcasts (video-podcasts) to enrich students learning experience in structures laboratory. In: Eunis 2009 : IT: key of the European space for knowledge, Santiago de Compostela, June 23rd-26th, 2009. Cursos e congresos da Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Servizo de Publicacions e Intercambio Cientifico, Santiago de Compostela. ISBN 9788498871388

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Students may have difficulty in understanding some of the complex concepts which they have been taught in the general areas of science and engineering. Whilst practical work such as a laboratory based examination of the performance of structures has an important role in knowledge construction this does have some limitations. Blended learning supports different learning styles, hence further benefits knowledge building. This research involves the empirical studies of how an innovative use of vodcasts (video-podcasts) can enrich learning experience in the structural properties of materials laboratory of an undergraduate course. Students were given the opportunity of downloading and viewing the vodcasts on the theory before and after the experimental work. It is the choice of the students when (before or after, before and after) and how many times they would like to view the vodcasts. In blended learning, the combination of face-to-face teaching, vodcasts, printed materials, practical experiments, writing reports and instructors’ feedbacks benefits different learning styles of the learners. For the preparation of the practical laboratory work, the students were informed about the availability of the vodcasts prior to the practical session. After the practical work, students submit an individual laboratory report for the assessment of the structures laboratory. The data collection consists of a questionnaire completed by the students, and the practical reports submitted by them for assessment. The results from the questionnaire were analysed quantitatively, whilst the data from the assessment reports were analysed qualitatively. The analysis shows that students who have not fully grasped the theory after the practical were successful in gaining the required knowledge by viewing the vodcasts. Some students who have understood the theory may choose to view it once or not at all. Their understanding was demonstrated by the quality of their explanations in their reports. This is illustrated by the approach they took to explicate the results of their experimental work, for example, they can explain how to calculate the Young’s Modulus properly and provided the correct value for it. The research findings are valuable to instructors who design, develop and deliver different types of blended learning, and beneficial to learners who try different blended approaches. Recommendations were made on the role of the innovative application of vodcasts in the knowledge construction for structures laboratory and to guide future work in this area of research.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
ID Code:6169
Publisher:Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Servizo de Publicacions e Intercambio Cientifico

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