Enhancement of Geomatics Education by Using Internet Based Techniques
The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) has introduced the Moodle Learning Management System (LMS) in 2005. Since then, the number of teachers and users has increased rapidly. With more than 350 active courses hosted on Moodle for this autumn semester, its utility is not to be demonstrated anymore. In 2006, the Geodetic Engineering Laboratory (TOPO) has introduced its on-line undergraduate topography course, with more than 26000 connections during the last semester for 160 students. In accordance with EPFL's guidelines (E-Learning Strategy )1, and with the support of the Funding Programme for Teaching and Learning, TOPO has developed an e-learning platform, fully integrated into a LMS, for the first course in geomatics. The motivation behind this is to move from teaching and learning in a traditional way to a more interactive way: personalized exercises are completed by students on the Internet and are automatically corrected with help facilities. This concept of e-learning, called Exomatic, stimulates the students to be more autonomous in their learning of, and training in, topographic data processing and analysis. The main module of Exomatic is composed of the generation of Internet-based exercises, the presentation of personalized data in a smart user interface, a collection of answers in HTML form, automated corrections and a smart calculator with graphical hints provided by Geogebra. The system provides evaluations for students and statistical feedback for the teacher on student performance and progress. The objective is to improve the autonomy of students and to facilitate the preparation and corrections of exercises for teachers and assistants. Exomatic is a standard Moodle module, and can potentially be shared by a wider community. This paper presents the structure of the programme and its integration into the course content. Its implementation in the LMS and a first assessment by the students are presented.