The role of audiovisual technology in remote engineering/science education: Case study of videoconferencing and online delivery

CHED 366

Niall J. English, School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, University College Dublin, UCD Engineering and Materials Science Centre, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
A programme of courses in molecular simulation techniques has been developed recently at the School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering at UCD, in conjunction with groups/departments at other Irish universities, under the auspices of the Nanoscale Simulators in Ireland. This is aimed partly at students in engineering and science beginning postgraduate-level research, although interested undergraduates, postdoctoral fellows and staff are also encouraged to attend. A key feature of the series of courses is the reliance on remote audiovisual teaching technology, via simultaneous videoconferencing and online delivery, and subsequent online archiving of material and lecture sessions. It was found that the numbers attending the courses grew by some 40% vis--vis initial numbers over several months, as the remote/online availability was found to attract students in comparison to more conventional teaching methods.