Developing models for enhanced learning in engineering

Abstract : Over the past few years, augmented or enhanced learning has emerged as a way of improving learning processes by adapting the learning experience to the heterogeneous profiles of contemporary students (Goodman 2001). Within this environment, technological advances are allowing these students to develop their knowledge and understanding through situation-based learning (Blumenfeld, 1991). As a research team, we are keen to harness the full potential of these evolutions in order to produce a learning environment that is adapted to the engineer in the 21st century. In order to achieve this, we are implementing the ground breaking work that is being undertaken in the institution's laboratories into innovative teaching supports that are enabling the students to interact with the material both within the classes and beyond (Laurillard 2009). The development of enriched teaching supports is a part of a wider movement within the Ecole Centrale de Nantes that seeks to develop the role of ICT in Education. Within the scope of this communication, we will focus on two particular innovations that are proving to be promising avenues for exploration with our pedagogical project. The first of these evolutions is the eZoomBook concept that recently emerged from cross-laboratory cooperation at the Ecole Centrale de Nantes. eZoomBook (currently undergoing a patenting and valorisation process) is an electronic book that is presented in multiple formats ranging from the complete version of a document to different abridged versions. Each version corresponds to a given reading time and level of difficulty. The reader is effectively free to navigate between the different levels and can therefore personalize the content in function of their interest and ability. The second of these evolutions is the integration of simulators within these multi-scale documents. These simulators allow students to reproduce scientific phenomena in a portable fashion. Students are able to interact with the data, allowing them to see the resulting scenarios that arise when they modify the different variables for many given data sets. In this paper, we will show how this enhances both the students' understanding and motivation. These interactive supports are being integrated into existing ePub technology ensuring that they can be consulted both online and offline and are readable on desktop computers in addition to the majority of tablets and smartphones. This was considered to be essential when undertaking this work as we move towards the democratization of higher education. Whilst these learning supports can be considered as breaking away from praesential models, we prefer to consider them as evolutions within the learning environment that reflect the legacy of more traditional pedagogical practices. To ensure this continuity, the supports are being developed within the different teaching departments of the institution involving close collaboration with the different pedagogical teams. In addition, the development team is considering the anthropological, psychological and sociological impact of these novel forms of human-machine interaction, ensuring the long-term viability of this venture. Blumenfeld, P. C., et al. Motivating Project-Based Learning: Sustaining the Doing, Supporting the Learning. Educational Psychologist, vol. 26, issue 3-4, Routledge. New York : 1991. Laurillard, D. et al. Implementing Technology-Enhanced Learning. Technology-Enhanced Learning, 2009, Part 5, 289-306, Springer. Houten : 2009. Goodman, P. S., (Ed.). Technology Enhanced Learning: Opportunities for Change, Taylor & Francis, Routledge. New York : 2001.
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Communication dans un congrès
6th Centrale Beihang Workshop, Dec 2012, Lille, France. Paper 1, 2012
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Simon Carolan, Morgan Magnin, Christine Evain, Guillaume Moreau, Francisco Chinesta. Developing models for enhanced learning in engineering. 6th Centrale Beihang Workshop, Dec 2012, Lille, France. Paper 1, 2012. <hal-00783543>

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