When Dr. Tim Cameron first began teaching, his classrooms were equipped with chalkboards, overhead transparencies, and 35mm slides. Now, the professor uses a tablet in the classroom – if he’s in a classroom at all.
Dr. Cameron, who has taught in the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering for nine years, developed an online course through eLearning’s course development program. He transitioned MME 311 (Dynamic Modeling of Mechanical Systems) into a 100% online experience and delivered the course during J-term.
Engineers are no strangers to technology, of course. Students learn advanced software, implement robotic systems, and work in labs with complex mechanical equipment and 3D printers – but a seasoned professional like Dr. Cameron can still be surprised. “I was impressed with how powerful the tools are,” he said.
Dr. Cameron used tools like WebEx to communicate with students and build a community outside of the classroom. The eLearning course development program mimics this by connecting faculty to one another. “Actually working with other instructors and getting their perspective […] and feedback on ideas” was wildly beneficial, Dr. Cameron found.
He also found the workshop effective at helping him put together “realistic, practical assessments that were well-tied to learning outcomes” and creating rubrics. “I was blown away,” Cameron said, “learning not only all the tools that are available but how much support you can get from the instructional designers.”
While developing an online course is “an incredible amount of work,” Professor Cameron felt it was more than worth it. “The workshop was a very beneficial experience all around,” he said. “For becoming a better teacher, not just putting a course online.”