Blended Learning in Computer Science for Students of Mechanical Engineering

K. Henning, A. Hermanns, and J.S. Jakobs (Germany)


Blended Education, Curriculum Design and Devel opment, Experiencing Software Development, Large Groups, Educational Networks, Project Work 1 The Need for Computer Science in Mechanical Engineering Computer systems are used nowadays in virtually all areas of engineering. Some examples are as follows: • A common use in mechanical engineering is in the simulation of mechanical systems, for example in determining the oscillations of components with complex geometries. • A frequent applica


The course Computer Science in Mechanical Engineer ing is based upon a blended learning concept which teaches engineering students the basic principles of computer science. Classical teaching methods such as lecturing and the use of examples classes are devel oped to include multimedia presentations, interactive learning programs (”learning games”) as well as hyper texts and an internet discussion forum. During project work the students experience a software development process in small teams - from problem analysis via pro gram testing to program implementation. The central support of the course is provided by an internet platform from which the students can ac cess videos of the lectures, interactive learning pro grams for help with complex themes, additional learn ing material to complement the content of the lectures and a newsgroup where students and teachers can ex change information and ideas. This paper describes why computer science is teached to mechanical engineering students and how the course is structured in order to reach the didactic goal. On the basis of the described experience some ad vice is given for anyone who wants to set up a blended learning course. In this context also some pros and cons of the described ICT concept are mentioned.

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