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Automated Problem Generator For Asynchronous Learning

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.227.1 - 6.227.9



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Paper Authors

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Thomas Lacksonen

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An Engineering Economy course was taught in an asynchronous learning environment. Since the course is primarily mathematical story problem-based material, a technique was required to replace the traditional ‘instructor solves problems at the chalkboard’ portion of a lecture-based course. The Dynamic Engineering Economy Problem (DEEP) generators were designed on a spreadsheet. Each of the 29 generators could create quasi-random problem sets and solutions for one class of engineering economy problems. To assist students, context-sensitive help was provided for all data elements and problem sections. Students were guided to the solution step- by-step, with answer checking, partial solution, or complete solution available at each step. Upon completion of one problem, additional problems could be generated if desired. Visual Basic macros attached to the spreadsheet generated problems, calculated solutions, checked student answers, and displayed solutions. The generators were used in both an asynchronous distance education section and a self-paced computer lab-based section of Engineering Economy. In both cases, the hands-on learning led to high student satisfaction and a significant understanding of the material. Similar generators could be developed for the problem-based component of any technical course.

Lacksonen, T. (2001, June), Automated Problem Generator For Asynchronous Learning Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--8944

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