Teaching computer-aided design in ten weeks can be difficult. Add to that having 200 engineering freshmen per year, teaching an advanced solid modeling course with no appropriate textbook, skyrocketing costs of introductory engineering textbooks, and varying learning styles and levels, and the difficulty grows exponentially.
A big benefit is being able to incorporate different styles of learning structures. Plus, it is helpful being able to accommodate more-advanced students who are ready to learn a new CAD tool.
Kate Leipold, a lecturer from the Rochester Institute of Technology, was facing just this dilemma. Kate has been utilizing PTC University eLearning Libraries for about six years for her own personal instructor use. Kate teaches both an introductory-level freshman engineering course to about eighty total students per quarter (three out of every four quarters) and another advanced solid modeling course to about thirty students for one quarter per year.
After trying several different engineering textbooks, the cost of having students pay approximately $180 for only a two-credit course seemed unfair. Upon seeing the learning tools and the very low cost to her students, Kate implemented the PTC University eLearning Libraries in place of a textbook for both classes.
For the introductory course, Kate was able to utilize the preexisting content, such as the Air Circulator project, in the ten weeks allotted — with time to spare. With the PTC University eLearning Libraries content, she was able to cover approximately two points per week.
One challenge with the advanced solid modeling course was that it was difficult to find an appropriate book for the content that needed to be covered. With the PTC University eLearning Libraries, Kate was able to pull relevant content into her course and even alter it depending on what her students were interested in learning. So far, the feedback from her advanced class is very positive.
Kate will continue to utilize PTC University eLearning Libraries in her next quarter and looks forward to begin implementing the automated assessment tools and quizzes in both courses.