We just released an update to our popular online course Principles of Metallurgy. The update includes updated and new content and more exercises for learners to apply their new knowledge.
The course is intended for people working in design and manufacturing and who haven't had much or any metallurgy training. The course covers practical aspects of metallurgy that apply to all metals. The focus of the course is explaining the metallurgical structures that influence metal strength and how these structures are affected by alloy composition, cold working, and heat treating. Specific examples are given for steel, aluminum, and brass.
We want learners to understand how to apply the concepts covered in our courses to design decisions, solving quality problems, and having discussions with customers, suppliers, and metallurgy labs. We sincerely believe that a better understanding of metallurgy will help people be more productive and confident when they are dealing with decisions and problems related to metals.
But, for many people metallurgy is a challenge because it requires learning a whole new vocabulary and being able to visualize microscopic structures and processes. As a metallurgist trainer I have to remind myself that I've been learning and applying metallurgy for a long time. So, it seems straightforward to me.
But, developing online courses that offer learners higher levels of learning is tricky. Common question formats such as multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank must be carefully designed to be more than just regurgitation of facts. Another approach that we implemented in this update is the use of free-form text questions. This enables asking questions that require students to apply their knowledge and type in their answers. After clicking submit they see our answer.
Revisions of our other courses are in the works.