Development of an E-Learning Architecture Based on Numerical Computing Software for Electrical Engineering Education in Open and Distance Mode

Premaratne, Isuru A
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and Open University Malaysia (OUM)
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In this paper an eLearning architecture is proposed which is based on Octave software to use in Electrical Engineering education. It is always challenging to interpret physical meaning of a concept only by teaching in a classroom environment. Therefore all engineering courses recommend and include laboratory exercises in the curriculum to verify theories which are taught by printed lesson materials or lectures. These kind of laboratory activities can be performed only in a laboratory environment hence it is difficult for students to learn at their own pace or time. Where Electrical Engineering courses offered in open and distance mode it is more difficult to find time for students to engage in laboratory activities. As an alternative, interactive eLearning materials have been introduced for open and distance mode. Although the interactive materials can provide an effective learning experience to students, it is not a straightforward option for educators as it requires more computer programing knowledge and additional time to setup the tools. This research is focused on developing an eLearning architecture which requires less computer programming knowledge than existing methods. For this method, Octave software has been used as the platform which provides opportunity of distributing both the platform and the eLearning material with an open license. The material developed on this platform is self-instructional and capable of running at user desired time and pace which would provide flexible learning. As the platform supports text, calculations and graphing on same workspace, the material could cater all learning styles. Learning outcomes are aligned constructively according to the Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes (SOLO) taxonomy. The material was tested allowing learners to attempt self-assessment questions. Results are analyzed to grade the overall achievement of learning outcomes. // Paper ID 231
Open and Distance Learning (ODL), eLearning
Sri Lanka