Funded by

Delivering Open Educational Resources for Engineering Design (delOREs)



This project will create static and dynamic collections of university-level Open Educational Resources (OERs) and other openly available resources relevant to Engineering Design. Doing this will firstly help make such resources more easily discovered by those with a specific interest in Engineering Design, and secondly provide a showcase of these materials and examples of their use. The static collection will be delivered in the form of a blog. The dynamic collection will utilise rule-based facetted classification (developed at Bath) and Bayesian filtering (developed at Heriot-Watt) in order to select those OERs from the wider source collections most relevant to particular topics.

Aims and Objectives

The aim of the project is to provide on-line educational resources fitted to HE-level engineering design learning and teaching. The objectives of the project:

  1. Create a static collection of OERs in content and presentation suitable for first-year students.

  2. Use Bayesian filtering and rule-based classification to create a dynamic collection of OERs useful to higher-level students studying engineering design.

  3. To promote the use of OERs for engineering design by raising awareness of their existence, facilitating their discovery and demonstrating their use.

  4. Demonstrate the application of Bayesian filtering and rule-based facetted classification within the JISC information environment.

Project Methodology

Work at Heriot-Watt. A classification of early-year curriculum topics will be developed (from existing curricula). This will be used to select content for the static collection, which will be used to train a statistical inferencer (Bayesian filter) to identify material useful in general to the target audience.

Work at Bath. The trained filter will then be used to deliver appropriate OERs from their source to a rule-based classifier (Waypoint) which will categorize each resource according to a multi-facetted classification scheme. The user will use Waypoint to identify on the fly suitable resources selected from context-appropriate subject/topic/curriculum criteria.

Anticipated Outputs and Outcomes

This outcome of this research will be:

• The increased knowledge, appreciation and use of engineering design OERs for undergraduate students and HE teachers. This has the potential to improve the quality of learning and teaching.

• The provision of more easily accessible information to independent learners outside formal education. This is of special importance to engineering design practitioners, or engineers wishing to understand this engineering sub-discipline.

• An increased understanding of how thematic collections of OERs can be collated from diverse sources through human selection or by automatic means.

• A basis for delivering other material to target audiences.

This project outline originally appeared on the JISC website as archived at https://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20140614065923/http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearning/oer2/delores.aspx under a CC-BY-ND-NC license.