Teaching strength of materials at distance : Instructional design for a computer-based solution
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
The concern of the academic staff at the Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) regarding the continued poor student performance in a core course in engineering (Strength of Materials) has prompted the researcher to undertake a research to solve this problem. Solutions to the student performance problem were sought using a general approach known as ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation) process and the specific instructional model of Smith and Ragan. Analysis phase identified the learner profile and specific learner needs and they also pointed to a computer-based solution. The analysis of the learning task was done using the Revised Bloom's taxonomy (RBT) and it resulted in a set of classified learning objectives. This classification helped in the selection of instructional strategies that were incorporated in the design of the CAL module. The identified learner profile and the learner needs were also considered in the design. An evaluation on the effectiveness of the CAL module showed that there has been a highly significant improvement in the student performances. Other evaluations carried out on the use of the CAL module and its user-interface also produced high satisfaction ratings. As result of this research a tested model for CAL module development to address learning performance problems at the OUSL and elsewhere has been produced. Also, a draft framework for selecting instructional strategies to suit different learning outcomes has been introduced as an outcome of this research.