Structural Engineering Basics

StructureFrom September this year I will be teaching the Structures 1 course to both Civil and Aerospace engineering undergraduates here at Manchester.  This will be a large class so there will be limited time for me to interact with students on a one to one basis. With this in mind, I will be experimenting with two (new for me) approaches to teaching.

First I will be using “video tutorials” to present some of the really key concepts covered in the course.  Some of these are already available here.  Any comments on these would be very welcome, as would ideas for further videos.  I would also be interested to hear the experiences of others who have taken this approach – what is the ideal length for a video? what techniques work well? what should be avoided?  As well as helping with large-class teaching these videos are also part of a move away from having the classic lecture as the centre-piece of a course towards “blended learning” where course material can be accessed at any time anywhere in the world, as needed.

Secondly I will be asking final year undergraduates to help me and PhD students in the tutorials for the course.  This I think will be beneficial both for the tutors, who will develop teaching and communication skills, and for students who will be tutored by people for whom the challenge of understanding the concepts covered is a fresh experience.  If you are an undergraduate on either a Civil or Aerospace Engineering course at Manchester and are interested in being a tutor, please send me  a CV and a solution to this problem.

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