Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Please note that all times are shown in the time zone of the conference. The current conference time is: 25th Nov 2020, 04:00:31pm SAST

Session Overview
Online and Blended Learning 1
Monday, 16/Nov/2020:
12:30pm - 1:30pm

Session Chair: Deborah Blaine
Location: Studio 1

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Engineering Student Attitudes to E-Reading in Remote Teaching Environments

Sherif Welsen, Matthew Pike, James Walker

The University of Nottingham Ningbo China, China, People's Republic of

Rational: Academic libraries are increasingly offering online e-books because they provide convenient access for students, cost savings, logistical advantages and significant portability. Current research suggests that this trend will continue in the future. In parallel with the growth of the e-book market and the development of e-book library collections, librarians and information scientists have conducted a number of research studies to investigate the impact of e-books on collection development: specifically, relating to the challenges and questions of e-book management and service. Consequently, researchers have considered it pertinent to explore the behaviours and strategies of e-book readers.

Scope: In January 2020, institutions around the globe faced significant disruption due to COVID-19. Many university’s accelerated their adoption of online/e-learning approaches in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. Though e-books were at an early stage of adoption and the culture of using them in academia was slowly growing, they suddenly became the preferred option, if not the sole option because libraries were closed. Accordingly, some of the popular publishers; for example, Cambridge University Press, have offered online higher education textbooks as free-to-access. Over 700 textbooks were available for a certain period of time; regardless, of whether those textbooks had previously been purchased. Furthermore, MIT Press offered complimentary access to its catalog of eBooks to support faculty and students who were working and learning remotely.

Methodology: Despite the increasing interest from librarians and learning technologists, prior to 2020, there were few well conducted studies investigating the habits of e-book users, especially amongst engineering students. Despite of the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, an opportunity has arisen to survey student attitudes regarding the adoption of e-reading in an academic context. In this paper, a case study is presented that investigates the impact of the mandatory use of an e-book textbook in a final year undergraduate engineering module at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China. The paper investigates Science and Engineering students’ usage and attitudes towards e-books when using their available e-readers, which include PCs or portable devices. A cross-sectional survey containing 8 nominal questions, 4 open questions and 3 Likert questions was developed and deployed to final year students from two programs, electrical and electronic engineering and mechatronics engineering who were attending the module Integrated Circuits and Systems. The analysis included simple statistics, and principal component analyses.

Findings: The results of this study highlight approaches to improve support for e-reading in an academic environment. Of particular interest to librarians are student attitudes after their adjustment to e-books, which have implications for future purchasing decisions. Furthermore, student strategies for adjusting their learning techniques as a result of forced engagement with e-books illustrate preferences that can inform educators.

In conclusion, the forced adoption of e-books has presented the opportunity to investigate student acceptance and strategies. This research provides evidence for purchasing decisions and strategies for adopting e-books in wider education Higher Education syllabi.

The Utilization of Augmented Reality Technologies within the Engineering Curricula – Opportunities and Challenges

Dana Al Akil, Vian Ahmed, Sara Saboor

Department of Industrial Engineering, American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

With the rapid development of technology, the usage of Augmented Reality (AR) in combination with real-world technologies has advanced quickly in recent years. Augmented Reality is what combines videos, photos, texts and location data of real-world with computer generated data. Recently, increased interest from both academia and industry has grown to study and deploy AR technology. Current literature found that AR was integrated into many fields of the industry, like navigation, tourism, engineering, medicine, and entertainment. However, its deployment in education and specifically in high education seems to be limited. Therefore, more research is required in this regard. Applying AR in education will improve the teaching process and help students in understanding and analyzing engineering concepts on a deeper level as well as enhance their technological application skills. Additionally, implementing AR on campus will add a competitive advantage to higher education establishments considering the rising competition in the education sector. This paper aims to explore the potential use of AR in the engineering education sector by evaluating the factors that would enable augmented reality application and identifying the associated challenges accordingly. To achieve this, a mixed-method strategy approach is employed by conducting a set of interviews and surveys with industrialists, software vendors, educators, and students in order to understand identify the potential use of AR applications within the engineering discipline, including the challenge and barriers facing their integration in this discipline. This paper there reports on the findings of this study, to provide a an overview of how to improve the teaching process and instructional tools within the Engineering curricula through the use of AR technologies.

Effects of Coronavirus Pandemic Spread on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education in Higher Learning Institutions.

Shadrack Maina Mambo, Fidel Omusilibwa Makatia

Kenyatta University


The traditional pedagogical methods of delivering content for STEM related subjects have been shaken to its core. Normal delivery under ideal conditions was a face to face approach with the tutor in front of the class. Practical subjects that have laboratory exercises are carried out in the designated lab areas with the assistance of technicians or technologists. With the advent of coronavirus pandemic, where isolation and social distancing has been implemented to stop its spread and transmission, these modes of content delivery are not feasible.

To fill in the gap and ensure much need STEM education continues despite the fear of coronavirus pandemic spread, online delivery mode of various subjects offered has been adopted. This is done using such platforms as Learning Management System, Zoom Meeting and Google Scholar. However, solving the problem of practical laboratories exercises requires much more than online teaching. This can be solved using virtual reality, simulation and modeling platforms, especially in institutions of higher learning in developing countries.

Pre-recorded versions of practical experiments can be offered to students and related assignments given for practice purposes. Short webinars with details recorded can guide recipients in carrying out experiments without the need for neither technicians nor technologists. Several other types of content deliver exist and a combination of them can be used depending on the areas to be covered.

The exploitation of the suggested content delivery will resolve change of the attitude in learning modes, thereby ensuring high quality and effective understanding of the subject area.

Flexible learning During Educational Disruption: A Case Study of Teaching Integrated Circuits Design

Sherif Welsen, Peter Morgan, James Walker

The University of Nottingham Ningbo China, China, People's Republic of

To date, there has been little written that explains how engineering-related tuition can be rapidly and effectively moved online. Furthermore, there is sparse literature written that focuses on how students can adapt to such technologies in a relatively short space of time. Finally, it is both necessary and prudent to increase discourse on the effective online teaching of technical design subjects. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of online tools such as interactive live lectures, slide annotation, and electronic whiteboard, for engaging students in electrical and electronic engineering education. The paper advances those debates by providing an evaluative analysis from the perspective of students taking an Integrated Circuits design module that was delivered during the 2020 Covid-19 crisis. The major question is, to what extent do electrical engineering students perceive online learning tools to be useful in enhancing their sudden learning change. Responses were collected using an online questionnaire that was offered to 23 students with a 70% completion rate. The findings showed that students engaged well with the technologies, finding them easy to use and beneficial for their learning.

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