DEVELOPMENT OF INTERNATIONAL ENGINEERING E-COURSES FOR PROMOTION OF ENERGY EFFICIENT AND SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS
Universidad de Burgos (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:One of the most important objectives of the European Union (EU) energy strategy is looking for sustainable development through the improvement of energy efficiency and the promotion of renewable energy sources. Following the Directive 2002/91/EC on the energy performance of buildings, buildings will have an impact on long-term energy consumption and new buildings should therefore meet minimum energy performance requirements tailored to the local climate. At present, 40% of the energy consumption within the EU corresponds to the residential sector, buildings being the single largest consumer. As the application of alternative energy supply is generally not explored to its full potential, the technical, environmental and economic feasibility of alternative energy supply systems should be considered. Within this context, the EU has launched the Intelligent Energy – Europe programme for the promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. It helps all of us to produce and use energy in more intelligent ways and to increase the use of renewable energy sources.
Within the context of an Intelligent Energy – Europe project, ten partners coming from four central and southern European countries have developed concrete pilot actions planned and implemented towards building integrated model of sustainable communities, based on an analysis of the local framework conditions and on data collected in energy audits. Among the partners are local or regional Energy Agencies, Universities, installers and manufacturers of renewable energies appliances and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) innovation centres. One of the most important barriers detected in promoting energy efficient buildings is the need of an adequate training of the engineers and technicians usually involved in the energy efficiency and renewable energy supply projects in buildings. The University role in the project has been the development of international postgraduate engineering courses on renewable energies and energy efficiency in buildings.
The University of Burgos has prepared the training material and has organised an on-line, e-course for international participants. The e-course has been a higher level course for those, for example, with an engineering degree who wished to become specialized in the field of the renewable & energy efficiency applications in buildings. This paper presents a case study on the development of the international e-course, planned for an expected student workload of 100 hours. The course has been fully delivered by UBUCampus-e, the learning content management system of the University of Burgos for distance teaching. Besides electronic books and links to technical web sites, some multimedia presentation with interactive exercises and questionnaires, technical video and hypermedia tools were included to promote active learning. The assessment rely on questionnaires and exercises in each module. A survey on student’s attitudes and engagement with the e-learning course has been performed. Some questionnaires and the tracking facility of the UBUCampus-e have been used for. Results show that the programme is flexible enough to fulfil the different engineering training needs in the energy subject of nationals from countries with different degrees of socio-economic and industrial development. Moreover, it could be adopted as a model for other international courses in several engineering subjects.
Keywords: International engineering education, renewable energy, e-learning.