Online forums: a tool to enhance experimental engineering laboratories

Patricia Munoz De Escalona, Andrew MclAren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
132 Downloads (Pure)


Asynchronous discussion forums (ADFs) were implemented as an e-learning tool to enhance the teaching of principles in materials science for first year undergraduate students in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Time in the laboratory is restricted and therefore only one experiment can be achieved in the class. ADFs were used as means of enhancing content, extending student participation and facilitating student discussion subsequent to the laboratory session. From online feedback surveys, conducted at different stages throughout the class, results showed 60% of the students had never used online forums before, 96% of the students engaged in the activity and 80% of the students agreed that online forums are an alternative platform to use to discuss and compare results when time in the laboratory is restricted. The implementations of ADF encouraged students to conduct deep learning in order to enhance the discussion thread they were involved
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-240
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Mechanical Engineering Education
Issue number3
Early online date24 Nov 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Nov 2017


  • Asynchronous discussion forum.
  • experimental laboratory
  • first year undergraduate,
  • teaching,
  • learning.


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