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2017 Zone IV Best Paper: Assessment of Long-term Effects of Technology Use in the Engineering Classroom

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

The 2017 Zone Best Paper Session

Tagged Topic

Council of Sections

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Paper Authors


Sean St. Clair Oregon Institute of Technology

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Sean St.Clair is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Civil Engineering Department at Oregon Tech, where he teaches structural engineering courses and conducts research in engineering education. He is also a registered Professional Engineer.

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This paper summarizes a longitudinal study of the effects of instructional technology on learning and knowledge retention. Two very different types of software were introduced to students in an undergraduate mechanics course and the effects of this technology use were assessed a number of different times over a twenty-five week period. The study took place in three sections of an undergraduate mechanics course. Students in one section used a tool-type software. In a second section, students used a content-type software. Students in the third section represented a control group and did not use any software. To ensure the study’s validity, demographic data were collected from and compared between each of the three sections and the study was replicated in a subsequent term. Students were assessed immediately following the intervention and five, ten, and twenty-five weeks later. The results of these assessments were compared among groups to determine the effect of the technology use on learning and retention. Results indicated that each of the three groups had very high levels of retention but that there were no differential levels of learning, retention, or long-term retention among the three groups. Students using technology, however, were able to solve a greater number of problems during the special session than those working by hand. It was thus concluded that instructional technology can make the educational process more efficient without hindering learning or long-term knowledge retention.

St. Clair, S. (2017, June), 2017 Zone IV Best Paper: Assessment of Long-term Effects of Technology Use in the Engineering Classroom Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27435

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