The Future of Education

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

Blended Learning in Building Engineering Education

Lars-Åke Mikaelsson, Mid Sweden University (Sweden)

Mats Barthelson, Mid Sweden University (Sweden)

Fredrik Hermansson, Mid Sweden University (Sweden)

Jonas Jonasson, Mid Sweden University (Sweden)

Sofia Widmark, Mid Sweden University (Sweden)

Nils Nilsson, Mid Sweden University (Sweden)

Åsa Lindgren, Mid Sweden University (Sweden)

Abstract

The building engineering education at Mid Sweden University has been committed to be a pilot case for blended learning. All courses in the building engineering program are from the autumn 2012 adapted to a blended learning concept. That means that all courses are available in an integrated mix of ordinary campus and online distance education in real time. The basic online tools are a course platform (Moodle) together with a communication tool (Adobe connect). It is up to the student to decide how he or she will use the online distance tools and the campus education and form a mixture between these forms.

Blended learning is a way of taking in account different needs concerning student study situation. Adult students, bound with house and families, often prefer more distance education while younger students need more campus education.

Traditional lecturing is usually based on the concept “one size fits all”. In blended learning the learning process is adapted to the needs of different student groups in one concept.

Adapting traditional classroom courses for blended learning involves a range of different adjustments and actions. In blended learning the focus is shifted from traditional lecturing towards creating high-quality learning activities for the students.

So far, the results of the project demonstrate that integration of campus-based courses with distance courses functions well. The quality of the education has improved due to adjustment to different students conditions and demands. The attraction of the program has raised since many high qualified motivated students who can´t move to the university campus, can do their studies from home and still participate in a campus classroom situation. Even the study situation of the campus students has improved since all online tools are available also for them.

The pilot case referred here is the first case of blended learning in a whole engineering education program. Since the building engineering education is integrated to other engineering programs  the next step in the development is to involve the other engineering programs and courses in the process.

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