Delivering an engineering course across multiple campuses and online
conference contributionposted on 12.05.2021, 23:58 by Fae MartinFae Martin, Aruna JayasuriyaAruna Jayasuriya, Benjamin TaylorBenjamin Taylor
CONTEXT: CQUniversity began offering the first year of the undergraduate engineering course at three regional campus locations in 1992. Laboratory facilities required for first-year delivery were modest and, at that time, teaching was all done face-to-face. By the late 1990’s, the university had begun to invest in technology that allowed robust video-conference connection between campuses. Due to continued advances in technology, the undergraduate engineering offering at CQUniversity has now expanded to include the full course on four regional campuses with a fifth campus soon to offer all four years. Individual campus class sizes vary from around 40 students for first-year units to as few as 1 student for some upper-level discipline units. PURPOSE: Many CQUniversity students are the first person in their family to go to university and there is also a high proportion of mature students. By delivering across multiple campuses as well as online, CQUniversity gives students the opportunity to access learning support for their engineering studies regardless of their location or whether they are in full-time employment. This paper relates the technological and educational strategies used to deliver an undergraduate engineering course effectively and efficiently across multiple campuses as well as online. APPROACH: Effective and efficient teaching delivery to multiple sites requires a toolbox of technologies and delivery strategies to be available to teaching staff. Depending on the content to be delivered and the distribution of the student cohort, teaching staff can select the most appropriate technology and delivery strategies. RESULTS: A toolbox of technologies and delivery strategies designed to facilitate effective and efficient delivery across multiple campuses and online has been developed at CQUniversity. The available systems include: the use of dedicated videoconference teaching rooms in a number of different formats suitable for lectures or workshops which can be centrally recorded; web-based videoconference software that can be either used on a desktop or be connected to the videoconference teaching rooms; and an online learning management system where recorded lectures/tutorials are automatically uploaded. These systems have evolved and been integrated over time in order to meet the needs of students and staff distributed across a large geographical footprint. CONCLUSIONS: Ensuring a good learning experience for small student cohorts distributed over multiple campus locations requires teaching staff to have a range of delivery strategies available to them. The technologies and strategies now utilised by CQUniversity provide students the opportunity to access high quality support and learning resources regardless of campus location.