There is a national need for high-quality, upper division courses that address critical topics in materials synthesis, particularly those beyond the present expertise of the typical university department's faculty. A new project has been started to test a novel distance education and faculty development system, called Video Tape Live Audio (VTLA). This, if successful, would at once enlarge the national Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) student cohort studying material synthesis and develop faculty expertise at the receiving sites. The mechanics for the VTLA scheme are as follows: A course is designed in the field selected for emphasis and for which there is likely to be considerable demand, in this example 'Ceramic Materials Synthesis: Theory and Case Studies'. One of the very best researcher/teachers records lectures of TV studio quality with appropriate visuals. Universities and colleges which wish to offer the course agree to offer it at the same hour at least once a week. The videotaped lectures and accompanying text, readings and visuals are shipped to the professor in charge, who has an appropriate background. The professor arranges the classroom TV presentation equipment and supervises the course. Video lectures are played during regular course hours twice a week with time for discussion by the supervising professor. Typically the third weekly classroom period is scheduled by all sites at a common designated hour, during which the course author/presenter answers questions, provides greater depth, etc. on a live audio link to all course sites. Questions are submitted by fax and e-mail prior to the audio tutorial. coordinating professors at various sites have separate audio teleconferences at the beginning and end of the course, dealing with the philosophical and pedagogical approach to the course, content and mechanics. Following service once or twice as an 'apprentice' to the course, the coordinating professors may then offer it without the necessity of the live audio tutorial.
Social Sciences (General)
National Educators' Workshop: Update 95. Standard Experiments in Engineering Materials Science and Technology; 5-10; NASA-CP-3330