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Distance Learning in Chemical Engineering: Past, Present, and Future

Distance Learning in Chemical Engineering: Past, Present, and Future
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Author(s): Ashleigh J. Fletcher (University of Strathclyde, UK), Mark Haw (University of Strathclyde, UK), Miguel Jorge (University of Strathclyde, UK) and Kenneth Moffat (University of Strathclyde, UK)
Copyright: 2021
Pages: 31
Source title: Handbook of Research on Determining the Reliability of Online Assessment and Distance Learning
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Ana S. Moura (University of Porto, Portugal), Pedro Reis (University Fernando Pessoa, Portugal) and M. Natália D. S. Cordeiro (University of Porto, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4769-4.ch005


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Online teaching and learning opens up great opportunities, particularly in terms of widening access to education, but also poses important challenges related to delivery, student engagement, adapting contents, and ensuring reliability of assessment. Some of these challenges assume particular relevance in engineering degrees, due to their strong practical dimension, the connection to industrial practice, and the need for programme accreditation. This chapter focuses on the example of the Chemical Engineering Distance Learning degree at the University of Strathclyde, describing its decade-long transformation from a mainly correspondence-based course to a fully online programme. The main challenges faced by course directors and teaching staff are identified, and the response to those challenges is critically discussed. Finally, a reflection is presented on the future of distance learning programmes in the context of expected developments enabled by online technologies, artificial intelligence, and collection of rich datasets on learner engagement and development.

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