S1-FY6-2 - Empirical and iterative evaluation model for the development of e-learning content for freshmen of electrical engineering degree programs

2. Research-to-Practice Work In Progress
Heiko Fechtner1 , Mark Stenner1, Benedikt Schmuelling1
1 University of Wuppertal

E-learning can be a powerful tool for the enhancement of knowledge transfer and delivers advantages for the different types of learning (visual, auditory etc.). Nowadays, the wide spread of mobile devices offers the opportunity to share knowledge in real-time. The integration of e-learning content into academic teaching is a logical conclusion of this technological development.

The first steps at the university can be a challenge for freshman. Hence, the necessary support can be realized by e-learning content. In addition, freshmen have problems to transfer the contents learned into practice. Therefore, video-tutorials for the preparation of practical exercises (e.g. correct use of a multimeter) and the presentation of hints for a more efficient learning strategy can be a promising solution to increase the knowledge transfer and the students´ motivation.

One weakness of current e-learning programs is the content development without a continuous evaluation and feedback of the students, respectively. This weakness will be highlighted and discussed in the full paper by a literature review. For the consideration of the students’ needs during the development process, our empirical and iterative evaluation model is used. The applied methodology composed the predictive, formative, summative, and post training evaluation for a continuous optimization of the e-learning content. For the identification of the students´ needs and wishes, the predictive evaluation is the first step of the used evaluation model and needs to be realized before the e-learning content is fully developed. The further evaluation steps will be implemented during (formative, summative) and after (post training) the students use the e-learning content. The first predictive evaluation has been done in January 2020 with 50 students of the course “principles of electrical engineering 1” at the University of Wuppertal and delivers helpful information for the development of the e-learning content (e.g. preparation for practical exercises). The developed e-learning content is one part of the blended learning concept (lecture, e-learning, practical exercises) that is applied at the University of Wuppertal (Germany).

In the upcoming full paper, the developed and applied evaluation method and a detail analysis of the survey results will be presented. In addition, the e-learning behavior of approx. 290 students of the course will be analyzed based on logged data. The findings will be discussed in the context of the current state of the art of e-learning at universities. A further content of the full paper will be the presentation of the first content of the e-learning program. The current e-learning program includes, among others, multiple-choice questions, analysis of electrical networks, and interactive exercises. A further highlight of the e-learning program is the presentation of background information depending on the knowledge gaps of each user.

The analysis results presented in the upcoming full paper will give a good insight into the learning behavior of engineering students in the early stages of their studies. Thus, it can be summarized that the developed evaluation model and the findings of the full paper are transferable to other disciplines like mechanical engineering to enhance the learning success of engineering degree programs.