June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics
24.86.1 - 24.86.13
A Pilot Study of an Online Accelerated Statics Course with Intensive Video DeliveryAlthough online learning is extremely popular with 6.7 million of students taking online classes(Landry, 2013), it has not been widely used for extremely technical courses such as those in thefield of engineering. Transformative learning was first conceptualized in the 1990’s by Mezirowand others based on the conscientization theories of Freire. In order for optimal learning andtransformation to occur, both the student and the professor must learn to evaluate the learningprocess differently. For the professor, this means examining what has traditionally been done inthe past and what can be done in the future to enhance learning for all students. The traditionalbehaviorist model which focuses on grades as a reward and punishment system is no longerenough to ensure success of the majority of students in the educational environment today.Professors must evaluate techniques and methods that can assist in meeting the multiple learningstyles of the students in their classes. For the student, transformation includes reflection, practiceand creating personal relevancy and meaning in the learning process.This pilot study of student perceptions of educational efficacy based on transformative learningprinciples was conducted in an online eight-week accelerated engineering Statics class in thesummer of 2013. The complete course was delivered online in a Blackboard LearningManagement system. Traditional online course materials such the textbook, additional readings,homework practice and text-based materials were supplemented with numerous short videoscreated with an iPad and Doceri program. This program allowed the faculty member to discussconcepts, work example problems, and perform calculations directly in a video format. Thisenabled the students to visualize each step of the problem and the instructor was able to usevarious colors and highlighting features to demonstrate salient points. Student assessments werecompleted remotely, and students submitted handwritten calculations for both tests andhomework assignments through the course management system. Designated office hours werealso held through video conferencing to ensure students received feedback and assistance andremained actively engaged in the coursework.Twelve students were enrolled in the Statics course in this pilot study at a small privateuniversity in Texas that is well known for its traditional engineering programs. After thecompletion of the course, all students were invited to participate in a 20 item Likert-type surveywith three additional open-ended questions that assessed the overall content, format, instructionalfactors and particularly the video content. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and 50%of the students volunteered to participate in these interviews. Survey data was statisticallyanalyzed and interview data was categorized according to prevalent themes and was triangulatedwith the survey data. In addition, an identical final exam was given to this group that had beengiven in the Fall 2012 semester for the traditional face-to-face course. The mean scores finalexam for the pilot study online group and the Fall 2012 class were compared using a t test whichyielded no significant differences (p=0.445, p < .05).Overall, students perceived this online offering positively because it met their personal needs.The availability of this course over the summer allowed the students to concentrate on this onedifficult course without having to juggle multiple other courses as was required during the falland spring semesters. It also allowed them to continue their engineering education whileworking to save money for school. One hundred percent of the students interviewed indicatedthese videos were very helpful to their learning of statics and felt these videos should also beused as supplementary material in a face-to-face class. ReferencesBourne, J., et al. (2005). "Online Engineering Education: Learning Anywhere, Anytime." Journal of Engineering Education. 94(1): 131-146.Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, Herder and Herder.King, K. P. (2011). "Teaching in an Age of Transformation: Understanding Unique Instructional Technology Choices Which Transformative Learning Affords." Educational Technology 51(2): 4-10.Kitchenham, A. (2008). "The Evolution of John Mezirow's Transformative Learning Theory." Journal of Transformative Education 6(2): 104-123.Landry, L. (2013). "Over 6.7 million students are taking class online." Pearson Future of Higher Education Babson Survey. Retrieved 8 Jan 2013, from http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2013/01/08/2012-babson-survey-of-online-learning-6-7-million- students-taking-classes-online/.Mezirow, J. (1975-2006). Various Sources. Adult Education Quarterly and Jossey-Bass Publishers.Miller, A. (2012). "Disruptive and Transformative Education: Designing learning in the digital age." eLearn, 2012(11): 1.Veletsianos, G. "Emerging Technologies and Transformative Learning." Retrieved 25 Feb 2011, from http://www.veletsianos.com/2011/02/25/emerging-technologies-and-transformative- learning/.
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