Asee peer logo

A Multi Media Network For First Year Engineering

Download Paper |


1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.23.1 - 1.23.8



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Robert Foster

author page

Denise Dorricott

author page

Dhushy Sathianathan

author page

Richard Devon

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1253

A Multi-media Network for First-Year Engineering

Dhushy Sathianathan, Denise Dorricott, Richard Devon, and Robert Foster The Pennsylvania State University, University Park


First-year engineering courses at The Pennsylvania State University can be completed at any one of the University's 19 campuses. Over the years the first-year engineering curriculum at Penn State Campuses has deviated significantly from the established criteria, and the course content varied significantly from campus to campus. This is primarily due to inefficient communication media, difficulties in sharing course material, and challenges involved in mapping course requirements to the local resources available at each campus. This paper outlines the project underway to build an efficient multi-media network with the 19 campuses via Internet to communicate, distribute, and acquire curriculum related multimedia information for the first-year design course. This network would provide access to course material currently used at the campuses as well as to resources that will enhance the future course content. The network will also provide video-conferencing capabilities and on-line “chat” capabilities to collaborate with industrial partners.


The 19 campuses of the Penn State Commonwealth Education System provide an accessible alternative for 1800 students per year across the state who plan to eventually complete their undergraduate degree at Penn State's University Park, Behrend, or Altoona campuses. At the same time, it presents a serious challenge in terms of ensuring consistency in course expectations, competencies met, content covered, and types of learning experiences offered at the various locations.

Earning design credits at the first-year level is the first step in integrating design throughout the undergraduate curriculum. Several of the colleges in the NSF sponsored Engineering Education Coalition have efforts underway to redesign the first-year engineering course as a design course. This is also one of the missions of the ECSEL (Engineering Coalition of Schools for Excellence in Education and Leadership), where Penn State plays a significant role in integrating design in the first-year. Satisfying design credits means defining competencies for the course, establishing prerequisites, defining design project content, 1 establishing grading policy, and spending sufficient class time on the design activities .

To provide a uniform design experience to all students, a new first-year design curriculum was implemented at all the campuses. In developing and instituting the curriculum, there were unique challenges involved. First, how do we implement a design curriculum that is uniform across all the campuses when the resources available to each campus are dramatically different from one to the another? Second, when a design curriculum is implemented at all the campuses, how can we be assured that the design experience is of appropriate quality that it will be recognized for its design content? These are some of the challenges that need to be addressed, especially if the course will be designated to receive ABET approved design credit.

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Foster, R., & Dorricott, D., & Sathianathan, D., & Devon, R. (1996, June), A Multi Media Network For First Year Engineering Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6201

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 1996 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015