Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Web-based statics course

OLI Engineering Statics is a freely available, on-line Statics course coauthored by Anna Dollár and Paul Steif. The course is part of a suite of cognitively informed, web-based introductory level undergraduate courses that were developed at Carnegie Mellon University under the Open Learning Initiative. The initial development of this course was supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Further development of the OLI Engineering Statics course has been supported by the National Science Foundation under grant DUE 0918271.
The OLI Engineering Statics course contains many interactive elements, including: simulations, “walk-throughs” that integrate voice and graphics to explain an example of the procedure or a difficult concept, and, most prominently, computer tutors in which students practice problem solving, with hints and feedback. The course is built around a series of carefully devised learning objectives that are independently assessable.While individual learners can and do use OLI Engineering Statics, it is also increasingly used in Statics courses led by instructors. In different settings it: replaces the textbook, acts as a supplement to the textbook, or functions as the primary instruction in a instructor-led, distance course. When a group of students enter OLI Engineering Statics using an instructor-generated course key, then the instructor has full access to those students’ activities in the course, including graded quizzes, and can leverage that knowledge to improve classroom instruction. Information about the Open Learning Initiative generally may be found here. The Open and Free version of the OLI Engineering Statics may be found here.
Information for instructors who are interested in setting up an academic section of OLI Engineering Statics for their students and blending OLI into their class may be found here.
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