PUBLICATION OF FREE ACCESS TEACHING MATERIALS IN THE OCW PLATFORM FOR DISTANCE LEARNING AND SUPPORT FOR CONVENTIONAL TEACHING IN MATERIALS ENGINEERING
In the last years, the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) has made an important effort to develop new learning platforms based on new and/or different teaching-learning strategies. One of these projects is publication of free access content in the Open CourseWare (OCW) platform which is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to provide free access teaching materials to all internet community. This initiative is being followed by a great number of Universities and it provides a new concept of teaching-learning process which is exceptional for distance learning. We have prepared a full subject in the OCW platform regarding teaching of Polymeric Materials and Composites in Materials Engineering degree. The structure of the contents must be well organized in order to make the learning process easier. First of all, some general information about the subject must be given in order to focus the learning process. Bibliography and consulting material must be provided and appropriately commented and also, connexions with other subjects must be described in a clear way. This gives the student an overview of the subject in the overall degree course. An additional file with a subject guide is critical to ensure a good learning process. This guide provides detailed information on how the different items (theoretical, practical, supplementary...) must be arranged and sequenced. We have divided the contents into four different items: theoretical documentation, information for practical sessions, supplementary material and video links. Regarding theoretical documentation, a complete description of the main concepts is given in PDF format. Students have to work with this material to learn the main topics. With regard to the practical sessions, information about objectives, procedures, equipment and questions are provided in a PDF file, so that, although students can’t carry out the practical session, they can learn the basis of the techniques and work with them. Also, complementary information with solved problems, guides, and all additional interesting information is provided. Furthermore, as UPV has also developed a multimedia platform as support for teaching in engineering, called Polimedia, this could represent an interesting support tool for teaching and tutorship tasks. As Polimedia is structured in “digital learning objects, DLOs” full links to these video objects are provided to complement information in the OCW subject. Our experience in OCW subject has revealed that it is useful for both distance learning and as support for conventional teaching process in polymeric materials in Materials Engineering degree.