Asee peer logo

Computer Based Learning For Engineering Mechanics: If We Build It, Will They Come?

Download Paper |


1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.149.1 - 3.149.9



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Terry Hrudey

author page

Stanley Varnhagen

author page

Shelley Lorimer

author page

Roger Toogood

author page

Bill Lipsett

author page

Art Peterson

Download Paper |

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

Session 3666

Computer Based Learning for Engineering Mechanics: “If we build it, will they come?”

Roger Toogood, Bill Lipsett, & Shelley Lorimer Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

Terry Hrudey & Art Peterson Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Stanley Varnhagen Academic Technologies for Learning University of Alberta


This paper describes a series of Computer Based Learning (CBL) modules for courses in Engineering Mechanics (Statics, Dynamics of Particles, Rigid Body Dynamics). The format, content, and pedagogical approach is described. Student reaction and responses to the use of the modules is presented and discussed. Some lessons learned by the authors through the development and implementation of these modules are also presented.


Universities throughout North America are looking for alternate modes of delivery of educational resources: asynchronous learning, distance education, WEB-based resources, and so on. In the next decade, there will be a tremendous change in the way courses are presented and in the resources required. Some observers have likened this evolution in education to that which followed the development of the printing press 1. That evolution, however, occurred over several decades. The current evolution is marked by major developments occurring on a monthly basis.

One of the possible forms of the educational resources for the (near) future are stand-alone programs that are a primary learning resource for a course. Such CBL materials offer a number of advantages: self-paced, asynchronous learning, effective multimedia delivery, release of instructors to provide more personalized “service”, and even possibly economic advantages [1].

This paper describes some CBL courseware for students entering programs in engineering. At the University of Alberta, the target courses (ENGG 130 Statics, ENPH 131 Particle Dynamics) are required of all first year engineering students, and registration in each course is typically over 500 students per year. The third target course (Mec.E. 250 Planar Rigid Body Dynamics) is

1 See the ASEE President’s Letter in PRISM, October, 1997, p. 39.

Hrudey, T., & Varnhagen, S., & Lorimer, S., & Toogood, R., & Lipsett, B., & Peterson, A. (1998, June), Computer Based Learning For Engineering Mechanics: If We Build It, Will They Come? Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--6973

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: © 1998 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