The learning initiative described in this paper looks at how the adoption of a flexible, online learning approach can be used to optimise teaching and learning in engineering materials to a variety of engineering disciplines. The main driver for adopting this approach was to increase the effectiveness of delivery of subject matter. Practical examples are given of delivery strategies, activities and assessment protocols. This flexible, online approach required the development and implementation a learning management system for the provision of online lectures, audiovisual material, discovery-based learning activities and communication tools for the guidance of students in the self-management of their personal learning styles. The implementation of such an online initiative led to an encouraging response from both students and staff. This was seen as pivotal in its contribution to the success of the overall learning strategy.