Asee peer logo

A Study Of Freshmen Students’ Outlook To Media Based Tutorials Of Matlab/Java In Computing For Engineers

Download Paper |


2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.126.1 - 12.126.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Jean-Claude Thomassian Georgia Southern University

visit author page

Dr. Jean-Claude Thomassian received his BS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toledo in 1992 and 1993, respectively, and MS and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from The University of Toledo in 1995 and 2002. His main professional interests are in mixed mode IC design and electrical engineering education; his recent research activity concentrates on symbolic analysis of circuits and MOS models.

visit author page


Risa Kumazawa Georgia Southern University

visit author page

Dr. Risa Kumazawa received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin in 2002 after receiving her MS in economics from Illinois State University in 1995 and her BA in economics from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1994. Her research focuses on applied econometric analyses of labor market and macroeconomic topics.

visit author page


Patrick kinnicutt Central Michigan University

visit author page

Dr. Patrick Kinnicutt received his SB and SM degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1989 and 1991, respectively. He received his PhD in Information Technology in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1995. Dr. Kinnicutt is currently an Assistant Professor of Science Informatics at Central Michigan University, where he holds a joint appointment in the Geology and Computer Science Departments. His areas of research include spatial modeling and visualization, applications of non-Euclidean distance metrics in geotatistical modeling, applied image processing.

visit author page

Download Paper |

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

A Study of Freshmen Students’ Outlook to Media Based Tutorials of MATLAB/JAVA in Computing for Engineers


Adequate time is not made available in modern four year engineering curricula to teach introductory programming the traditional way. One way to improve the introductory programming outcomes is to employ media based tutorials. This paper explores the assessment results of a study of freshmen students' outlook to media based tutorials. The study is based on a survey completed by thirty two students enrolled in “Computing for Engineers” at Georgia Southern University. The students major in different engineering disciplines, namely aerospace, computer, civil, chemical, electrical, and mechanical. The tutorials are designed to introduce freshmen students on how to use MATLAB/JAVA programs to simulate simple problems. The results from the study will be analyzed to evaluate the freshmen students' outlook to media based tutorials. The students responded favorably to the developed media based tutorials.


In this paper, we present the results of a study and feedback that the students completed based on their outlook toward a media based tool that was used in the instruction of MATLAB/JAVA for computing for engineers. Our analyses follow other studies on media based instruction. Cohen et al1 found that students learned more from such instruction methods compared to traditional methods of instruction. Powell et al2 took their analyses further and found that such instructional methods had the effect of raising the GPAs of the students.

BlueJ3 is a Java™ development environment specifically designed for teaching at an introductory level. It was designed and implemented by the BlueJ team at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia, and the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK. More information about BlueJ is available at

Computing for Engineers

The course deals with foundations of computing with an introduction to design, analysis of algorithms and an introduction to design and construction of programs for engineering problem- solving. The sole prerequisite is Calculus I. Students from aerospace, civil, chemical, computer, electrical and mechanical engineering programs enroll in this course, as it is required for their majors. It is a three credit hour course (two 50 minutes lecture combined with a two hour laboratory meeting each week). The pilot study was conducted for this course. At the completion of this course, students should be able to:

1. Have a working knowledge and general understanding of the MATLAB4 environment. 2. Know the basic types of arrays such as numeric, cell and structure arrays that are implemented in the MATLAB environment. 3. Implement functions (mathematical, user-defined, and advanced) in MATLAB and gain experience with data file management.

Thomassian, J., & Kumazawa, R., & kinnicutt, P. (2007, June), A Study Of Freshmen Students’ Outlook To Media Based Tutorials Of Matlab/Java In Computing For Engineers Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2775

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: © 2007 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