Running an open MOOC on learning in laboratories

Kist, Alexander A. ORCID: and Remon, Hannah Campos and Orwin, Lindy and Maxwell, Andrew and Maiti, Ananda and Terry, Victoria and Albion, Peter ORCID: (2017) Running an open MOOC on learning in laboratories. In: 28th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2017): Integrated Engineering, 10-13 Dec 2017, Manly, Sydney, Australia.

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CONTEXT Teaching in laboratories plays an integral role in education. This includes both proximal as well as remote laboratories. In many instances, learning activities are designed around equipment and traditional laboratory activities. Pedagogical aspects and instructional design are often not considered or are an afterthought.

PURPOSE The aim of this project was to help to address this gap by designing, implementing and facilitating an open online course on the pedagogy of using laboratory experiences in the curriculum.

APPROACH The MOOC for Enhancing Laboratory Learning Outcomes (MELLO) has been designed to assist educators at all levels, from schools to universities, to improve the quality of laboratory experiences in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education. Experienced educators seeking to review and revise current practices or beginning educators were all welcome to participate. Based on learning theory and research literature, online course has been developed that covers constructive alignment of practical activities with the wider curriculum, learning objectives, pedagogical approaches to laboratory learning, laboratory modalities and session planning.

RESULTS 120 participants from Australia and around the world took part in the course. While the participants did not work on their own laboratory activity throughout the courses (as envisaged when designing the course), participants who actively took part in the course were positive about the value of the course.

CONCLUSIONS The MOOC has been capable of supporting a large number of participants including university educators around the world who use laboratory experiences and will continue to do so through future iterations of the course. Moving forward, there is scope to adapt the pedagogical approach of the course to cater for the way the participants
have engaged with the material.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2020 01:47
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2021 21:41
Uncontrolled Keywords: laboratory teaching, practical learning activities, MOOC
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1399 Other Education > 139999 Education not elsewhere classified
09 Engineering > 0999 Other Engineering > 099999 Engineering not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390303 Higher education
39 EDUCATION > 3999 Other Education > 399999 Other education not elsewhere classified
40 ENGINEERING > 4099 Other engineering > 409999 Other engineering not elsewhere classified

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