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Educational Software in Engineering Education
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Ramon.Garrote@hb.se.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3971-9894
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis contributes to the quality of engineering education and the accessibility of education worldwide by promoting computer-enhanced teaching and learning. It uses the epistemology of John Dewey (1859-1952) and the action research methodology first advanced by Kurt Lewin (1890-1947). A mixed methods approach that combines qualitative case studies with quantitative research methods is used.

In the first of three case studies engineering students working on their final degree projects participated. To elicit interaction, a learning management system (LMS) was used and the students were strongly encouraged to discuss various aspects of their work.

The second case focused on the barriers to a wider utilization of educational software in engineering education. The case is delimited to lecturers at the School of Engineering at the University of Borås. The investigation focuses on the lecturers’ reluctance to use educational technology and the slow uptake of new pedagogical methods in engineering education.

The third case study covers three subsets of participants. A course intended to improve lecturers handling skills and motivation to utilize educational software in a pedagogically sound manner was given in Cuba, Guatemala and Peru.

The first case demonstrated that computer-enhanced collaborative learning can improve the learning experience and performance of engineering students. The second case showed that LMS tools that facilitate traditional methods are used routinely, whereas lecturers often refrain from using features intended to facilitate collaboration and the creation of communities of learners.

The third case study investigated the use of a complete course package, with all course material and software contained on the same USB drive (LiveUSB Mediated Education, LUME). It is asserted that LUME can facilitate constructivist pedagogical methods and help overcome the reluctance of lecturers to utilize educational software in a pedagogical sound way.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Education, Stockholm University , 2015.
Series
Doktorsavhandlingar från Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik, 38
Keyword [en]
Higher Education, E-learning, Learning Management Systems, Engineering Education, Educational Technology, Pedagogical Use of ICT, Staff Development, Developing Countries
National Category
Pedagogical Work Pedagogy Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-117202ISBN: 978-91-7649-205-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-117202DiVA: diva2:811813
Public defence
2015-09-28, Lilla Hörsalen, Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Frescativägen 40, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-09-04 Created: 2015-05-13 Last updated: 2015-06-24Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Lecturers' attitudes about the use of learning management systems in engineering education: A Swedish case study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lecturers' attitudes about the use of learning management systems in engineering education: A Swedish case study
2007 (English)In: Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, ISSN 1449-3098, E-ISSN 1449-5554, Vol. 23, no 3, 327-349 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study was to examine lecturers' attitudes towards learning management systems (LMS), with particular reference to identifying obstacles to increased use. At the University College of Borås, Sweden, 22 lecturers who had used WebCT during the previous 9 months were interviewed. The answers show that most of the lecturers, including those who only used minor parts of the LMS, believed that they could benefit from using a LMS in the future. The study did not support the hypothesis that fear of the complexity of the system or unwanted effects on education are important reasons for lecturers not to use the LMS. When lecturers decide individually to use tools in the LMS, the major concern is the initial amount of work compared with the expected benefits. Due to the benefits of a fully implemented LMS and the results of this study, it is recommended that institutions in higher education take actions to establish LMS as a standard tool, and support development of the lecturers' professional competence.

Keyword
e-learning, information and communication technology, learning management systems, engineering education, ICT
National Category
Pedagogy Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116031 (URN)
Available from: 2015-04-09 Created: 2015-04-09 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
2. The use of learning management systems: a longitudinal case study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The use of learning management systems: a longitudinal case study
2012 (English)In: E-learning and Education, ISSN 1860-7470, E-ISSN 1860-7470, no 8Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article the use of Learning Management Systems (LMS) at the School of Engineering, University of Borås, in the year 2004 and the academic year 2009-2010 is investigated. The tools in the LMS were classified into four groups (tools for distribution, tools for communication, tools for interaction and tools for course administration) and the pattern of use was analyzed. The preliminary interpretation of the results was discussed with a group of teachers from the School of Engineering with long experience of using LMS.

High expectations about LMS as a tool to facilitate flexible education, student centered methods and the creation of an effective learning environment is abundant in the literature. This study, however, shows that in most of the surveyed courses the available LMS is predominantly used to distribute documents to students. The authors argue that a more elaborate use of LMS and a transformation of pedagogical practices towards social constructivist, learner centered procedures should be treated as an integrated process of professional development.

Keyword
e-learning, learning management systems, engineering education, educational technology
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116043 (URN)
Available from: 2015-04-09 Created: 2015-04-09 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
3. Barriers to a wider implementation of LMS in higher education: a Swedish case study, 2006-2011
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Barriers to a wider implementation of LMS in higher education: a Swedish case study, 2006-2011
2013 (English)In: E-learning and Education, ISSN 1860-7470, E-ISSN 1860-7470, no 9Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article investigates barriers to a wider utilization of a Learning Management System (LMS). The study aims to identify the reasons why some tools in the LMS are rarely used, in spite of assertions that the learning experience and students’ performance can be improved by interaction and collaboration, facilitated by the LMS. Lecturers’ perceptions about the use of LMSs over the last four years at the School of Engineering, University of Borås were investigated. Seventeen lecturers who were interviewed in 2006 were interviewed again in 2011. The lecturers’ still use the LMS primarily for distribution of documents and course administration. The results indicate that their attitudes have not changed significantly. The apparent reluctance to utilize interactive features in the LMS is analyzed, by looking at the expected impact on the lecturers’ work situation. The author argues that the main barrier to a wider utilization of LMS is the lecturers’ fear of additional demands on their time. Hence, if educational institutions want a wider utilization of LMS, some kind of incentives for lecturers are needed, in addition to support and training.

Keyword
e-learning, information and communication technology, learning management systems, engineering education, ICT
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116040 (URN)
Available from: 2015-04-09 Created: 2015-04-09 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
4. LiveUSB Mediated Education: A method to facilitate computer supported education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>LiveUSB Mediated Education: A method to facilitate computer supported education
2011 (English)In: Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, ISSN 1449-3098, E-ISSN 1449-5554, Vol. 27, no 4, 619-632 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this paper the authors analyse the design and implementation of a course about learning management systems (LMS). The course was first given in Cuba and then in Guatemala and Peru, within the project USo+I: Universidad, Sociedad e Innovacion, Mejora de la pertinencia de la educacion en las ingenierias de Latinoamerica financed by the European Union's ALFA III program. In the course only open educational resources (OER) were used and all course material was stored on USB drives together with the needed software. All programs were executable directly from the memory to meet any problems of limited access to the Internet. Problem based learning was used, with the course divided into two weeks of on campus lectures and workshops followed by distance learning for three months, altogether corresponding to ten weeks of full time studies. The authors propose the term LiveUSB Mediated Education (LUME) for a course package, with course material and software contained on the same USB drive. The participants' opinions about the course and their perceptions about LMS and OER were investigated in order to determine the extent to which the LUME method can facilitate cost-effective computer aided education, especially in developing countries.

National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-66857 (URN)000294662400005 ()
Note

3

Available from: 2012-06-05 Created: 2011-12-21 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

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