This week we have continued with our quest for the best resources available; we are now using version 7 of the data entry form with optimised efficiency. Now a resource can be recorded within a fraction of the time it would take using previous interfaces.
One topic for discussion this week was the potential inclusion of commercial examples. We realised that there were some which did provide some useful information on how the knowledge is applied in the real world, however that there are others which simply exist to promote a product in the related market.
For example, the following two links were found when searching for interactive resources related to jet engines:
Trent Engine from Rolls Royce
The CF34-3 Engine from GE Aviation
While the first is very informative indeed, albeit in a commercial context, the second is purely promotional and has no real educational quality. We therefore decided only to include those such as the first link, lest the results become diluted by the use of too many non-informative instances.
Besides, most students can’t stretch their loans to cover jet engine purchases!
We are now well underway with the process of identifying potentially useful resources relevant to the Engineering programmes of study here at the University of Liverpool (currently just over 5,000 links!). The best way to illustrate the importance of our work (and what we are actually doing) is with an example!
For instance: an Aerospace Engineering student who wishes to learn about Dutch roll (an out-of-phase combination of rolling, side-slipping, and yawing of an aircraft), does NOT wish to find the following:
"Dutch roll 1" - looks tasty, but not really relevant to aerospace engineering
As tasty as it looks, this is a good example of the many topics which present a degree of ambiguity to the search process and results like these are unwanted.
"Dutch roll 2" - this looks more like it!
As part of our work we are not only finding relevant resources but we are filtering out such links which are not relevant to engineering education, so students could come up with more results like this and many other useful types of resource (apart from images).
On Friday last week, there was a final meeting with representatives from all of the organisations who have been involved in projects with the now former UKCME. We attended the afternoon session and gained an insight into the wide scope of potential applications of both current and recently completed projects. It was also useful for us to see which kinds of companies had been funding these projects and how they intended to contribute to or benefit from certain aspects of them.
As this is our first entry, we’d like to introduce ourselves; we are a group of students from a range of engineering disciplines at the University of Liverpool, and for the next few months we will be working on the ENGrich project. Using our experience as engineering students, we hope to bring a new perspective to the project. We believe our insights into learning techniques make us ideally suited to the task.
For the past few days, we have been familiarising ourselves with the short- and long-term aims of the project. We have begun to classify visual media available on the Web that is relevant to the University of Liverpool Engineering modules and to identify resources that will aid future students. These resources will be linked to the appropriate modules. As we believe the devil is in the detail, we have been, and hope to continue, identifying online resources that we can highly recommend for future students.
We will be updating our blog over the coming weeks to keep you informed; to keep you entertained until next time, here is our link of the day: Logic Flows