Background and justification of the project
Acoustics as an academic subject can be complex and it requires substantial background knowledge in physics and mathematics to fully understand the underlying mechanisms. The contents of the acoustic courses we teach at the department of the built environment revolve around theories, measurements, and computational methods of acoustics with a focus on environmental, building, and room acoustical applications.
To successfully teach those aspects, it is necessary not only to explain meanings of mathematically represented formulations and physical quantities but also to show visualizations and auralizations of wave propagation in rooms, through structures, and in outdoor environments. The forementioned aspects are embedded in the current lectures and teachers keep improving their teaching materials to assist students’ learning. However, to develop the knowledge and skills as expressed in the learning objectives of our courses, students need good supplementary materials (examples) that fit the individual student: what helps for one student might not be helpful for another student.
The benefits of the digital learning platform are significant: students can access teaching and learning resources that are useful for them at any time for their convenience, and the teaching efforts of lecturers are reduced. To create a better online teaching and learning environment, it would be beneficial to have our own digital learning resources tailored to our curriculum that provide a more coherent learning environment for students.
Objectives and expected outcomes
The objective of this project is to provide a digital educational platform that helps to improve the efficiency of the students learning, at a low effort of the involved teachers. The digital platform will be in the form of a website with open learning resources. The resources on the platform will be geared to our curriculum of acoustic courses. On the website, students will be able to choose their enrolled courses and be directed to related learning materials. The learning materials are complementary to the current study materials, will include:
- Digital clips and pencasts explaining concepts in acoustics,
- Visualizations and auralizations of concepts in acoustics,
- Interactive simulators,
- Digital quiz and exercise elements,
- Acoustic measurement and simulation tutorials,
- Open resources for programming scripts, measurement data, etc.
The outcome of this project will have educational added value in that it:
- Facilitates the understanding of students and makes the learning experience more interesting,
- Increases the average knowledge level and competitiveness of our students,
- Enables learners to access learning materials whenever and wherever, and
- Reduces the workload of teachers in the long term.
Dissemination and sustainability of the project
Every year, we have 40 to 60 bachelor students enrolled in the multidisciplinary courses (the Science of Sound and Music series), 100 to 250 bachelor students in the courses of the department of the built environment, and another 20 to 50 master students for the Architectural Acoustics series. Information on how to use the online platform will be accommodated in the course’s syllabi.
Since the courses are given every year the project outcome will inherently be sustainable. Particularly, learning resources related to fundamental concepts can be used for decades as long as proper website maintenance is performed. The platform contents will be periodically updated by the staff of the building acoustics group when this is necessary due to a change of lecture contents or curriculum.
The platform will be open access to generate awareness and provide knowledge regarding acoustics to the general public and to provide a lifelong learning experience for alumni. As the platform will also be available to other educational and research institutions, it will increase the visibility of the university and the research group internationally, as well as to professionals working in the industry. The platform will be announced through social media, newsletter of acoustical societies (European Acoustical Association, Young Acoustician Network, etc.), and by means of a conference presentation.
Results and learnings
This project begins in 2022.