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A Shift In Teaching Methodology: From Instructor Led To Student Driven Multimedia Instruction

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.83.1 - 10.83.17



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Paper Authors

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Patricia Backer

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

A shift in teaching methodology: From Instructor Led to Student Driven Multimedia Instruction

Patricia Ryaby Backer San Jose State University

Abstract Multimedia can be a powerful tool in exploring the nature of the world around us, including its technological systems. This paper describes the design, development, and evaluation of self- paced multimedia and web-based modules that are used in an advanced General Education (GE) course in the College of Engineering at San José State University. The design and development cycle of these modules began in 1994 and spanned nine years. The General Education course, Technology and Civilization (TECH 198), is designed to introduce students to the realm of history and usage of technology in society and to increase their awareness of both the uncertainties as well as the promises of the utilization of technology as a creative human enterprise. The goal of these multimedia modules is to have the students use technology as they explore its impact on our society over time. Although the web and multimedia materials were developed by one instructor, they are used by all instructors in this class in different ways. The continuous improvement of the multimedia is driven by the evaluation of the multimedia by students and other faculty. Each year, the multimedia and web-based modules are revised to reflect the evaluative input gathered from the various constituents (students and faculty). The evaluation process and the subsequent revisions of these materials have created a new type of resource analogous to an e-book but including a rich environment of video clips, audio clips, text, and graphics. Another shift is in the sharing of expertise. In the twice yearly meetings focused on course development, input from faculty content experts is integrated into the multimedia modules for the subsequent revision.


In university settings, the field of technology has been expanded in the last ten years with courses that focus on the interactions of technology and society. These courses are presented in various ways; some focus on the ethics of technology while others take an artifact-based approach. In many cases, however, these courses expand technology to a greater student population through either General Education or as required courses in other disciplines. In broadest terms, these courses can be classified as science, technology, and society (STS) courses.

The Department of Aviation and Technology at San Jose State University (SJSU) has offered a STS course under the university’s General Education curriculum since 1981. This course, Technology and Civilization, has been housed in three different General Education areas. It began as a course in the Social Sciences area and was categorized under Social Issues. In 1992, SJSU dramatically revamped their General Education (GE) program. GE was divided into lower “Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Backer, P. (2005, June), A Shift In Teaching Methodology: From Instructor Led To Student Driven Multimedia Instruction Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14607

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