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An Online Engineering Dynamics Class for College Sophomores: Design, Implementation, and Assessment

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Division Technical Session 10

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Anurag Purwar Stony Brook University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Anurag Purwar is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stony Brook University (SUNY).

Dr. Purwar's research work has been published in several international journals and conferences and he is the recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching by Stony Brook University. His research has been funded by National Science Foundation (NSF), NY-state SPIR, -Center for BioTechnology, -SensorCAT, SUNY Research Foundation, SUNY Office of Provost, and numerous industry partners.

Dr. Purwar is currently an Associate Editor of the ASME Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering and of Taylor and Francis International Journal of Mechanics Based Design of Structures and Machines.

He received A.T. Yang award for the best paper in Theoretical Kinematics at the 2017 ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Conference and the MSC Software Simulation award for the best paper at the 2009 ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences (IDETC) . He is the recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching by Stony Brook University and the winner of the 2018 FACT2 award for Excellence in Instruction given to one professor from the entire SUNY system.

He has been twice elected as a member of the ASME Mechanisms and Robotics committee and served as the Program Chair for the 2014 ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, as the Conference Chair for the 2015 ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Conference and has served as symposium and session chairs for many ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences. He was the general Conference Co-Chair for the 2016 ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences (IDETC/CIE).

He has won two SUNY Research Foundation Technology Accelerator Fund (TAF) awards, which helped bring a multifunctional Sit-to-Stand assistive device ( ) to the market. The device won the SAE Top 100 Create the Future Award in 2016. Dr. Purwar gave a TEDx talk on Machine Design Innovation through Technology and Education ( which focused on enabling democratization of design capabilities, much needed for invention and innovation of machines by uniting the teaching of scientific and engineering principles with the new tools of technology.

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Catherine A. Scott Stony Brook University

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Catherine Scott is the Assistant Director for Faculty Development - Testing, Assessment & Evaluation, in the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at Stony Brook University. In her role as the Asst Director, Catherine provides assistance and support in programmatic assessment and development, as well as course-level assessment in strengthening student learning outcomes. With seven years of experience in planning, programming, and supporting faculty and staff in assessment related activities, Catherine provides expertise in survey, test and rubric development, as well as conducts focus groups and prepares statistical reports supporting assessment activities. Catherine holds an M.A. in Public Policy, as well as an M.A. in Higher Education Administration.

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This paper presents design, development, and implementation of a new online Engineering Dynamics class for post-secondary sophomores. This class was offered for the first time at Stony Brook University in the summer of 2016 to 70 students who came from 11 different universities.

Engineering Dynamics, which deals with the science of motion is a core class of undergraduate Mechanical Engineering discipline. The anecdotal and quantitative feedback from the students indicate that the class is of appreciable difficulty in content and presents a major roadblock to timely graduation rate. Dynamics typically requires students to apply newly acquired knowledge of vector- and differential- and integral-calculus, differential equation from their freshmen and sophomore year. What makes this even more difficult is that Engineering Dynamics, by its very nature, is organic and connected -- topics sequentially build upon previous concepts. This prevents a fragmented and discrete treatment and presentation of the course material and in turn increases cognitive load on students.

It is widely believed among the students that this class is best taken in-person, while the paucity of an online version of the class seems to indicate that the educators have not been completely onboard either with the creation of one. This could be attributed to either the lack of effectiveness in delivering the course outcomes using an online medium or the difficulties associated with creating such a class.

However, these challenges also pose an opportunity to create a well-designed and executed online Dynamics class, which can help students overcome some of their fears and difficulties and also help departments meet their program-level and student-outcomes. An online version of the class consisting of topical videos of the lecture, on-line quizzes and homework, and assessments could 1) facilitate self-study and -pacing of the material on part of students, 2) enable problem solving and critical discussion between students and instructors using an online forum, and 3) scale-up the class to a large number of students.

Purwar, A., & Scott, C. A. (2019, June), An Online Engineering Dynamics Class for College Sophomores: Design, Implementation, and Assessment Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32082

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