Computer assisted learning in engineering degree programmes: a survey at the end of the 20th century

The findings of a 1999 survey of Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) materials in use in engineering degrees is described. The survey concentrated on the UK with a smaller exercise conducted in Australia, and explored packages used, modes of use, interactivity and student attitudes. The survey revealed widespread but not prevalent CAL material use amongst the academics surveyed, who appreciated the pedagogical benefits but were less convinced that the right material is already available. They prepare their own material as often as selecting an off-theshelf package for use in the early years of degree programmes, especially for coursework and tutorials. Time-tabled use and the incentive brought by assessment appear important in maintaining positive attitudes amongst students. Comparing major English-speaking HE markets in the UK, Australia and US revealed how little material is implemented across borders, suggesting the availability of a wealth of materials yet to be exploited.