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eLearning Hands-On: Blending Interactive eLearning with Practical Engineering Laboratory

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IJILT Volume 33, Number 5, ISSN 2056-4880


Purpose: Integrating laboratory work into interactive engineering eLearning contents augments theory with practice while simultaneously ameliorating the apparent theory-practice gap in traditional eLearning. The purpose of this paper is to assess and recommend media that currently fulfil this desirable dual pedagogical goal. Design/methodology/approach: The qualitative approach compares the eLearner-content interactivity deriving from Mathematica's Computable Document File (CDF) application, Pearson's myLab and Lucas-Nuelle's UniTrain-I. Illustrative interactive examples written in JavaScript and Java are thereby drawn from an engineering eLearning course developed at the University of Botswana (UB). Findings: Based on its scientific rigour, wide application scope, engineering analytical depth, minimal programming requirements and cross-subject-cum-faculty application and deployment potential, the authors found the CDF to be a versatile environment for generating dynamically interactive eLearning contents. The UniTrain-I, blending a multimedia information and communication technology (ICT)-based interactive eLearner-content philosophy with practical laboratory experimentation, is recommended for meeting the paper's dual eLearning goal as the most adept framework to-date, blending dynamic interactive eLearning content with laboratory hands-on engineering experimentation. Research limitations/implications: The lack of other competing frameworks limited the considerations to only the three mentioned above. Consequently, the results are subject to review as the ongoing research advances new insights. Originality/value: The conclusions help eLearning designers plan ICT-based resources for integration into practical electrical engineering eLearning pedagogy and both CDF and UniTrain-I help dispel the prevailing apparent disquiet regarding the effectiveness of the eLearning-mediated electrical engineering pedagogy. In addition, the cited examples document an original electrical engineering eLearning course developed at the UB.


Kiravu, C., Yanev, K.M., Tunde, M.O., Jeffrey, A.M., Schoenian, D. & Renner, A. (2016). eLearning Hands-On: Blending Interactive eLearning with Practical Engineering Laboratory. International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, 33(5), 278-299. Retrieved March 21, 2019 from .

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