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Concurrent Offering of Online and Face-to-Face Courses: Synergies and Challenges

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

ME Curriculum and Assessment

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.310.1 - 24.310.11



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Paper Authors


Howard N. Shapiro Iowa State University

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Dr. Shapiro is a professor emeritus of mechanical engineering at Iowa State University. He received his BS in mathematics, and his MS and PhD in mechanical engineering from the Ohio State University and served as a faculty member and administrator at Iowa State for 30 years. In 2005 he became associate vice president and professor at Wayne State university in Detroit, Michigan where he served until 2012. He is now back at Iowa State teaching in mechanical engineering.

Dr. Shapiro's technical research is in energy efficiency, thermodynamics, refrigeration and energy policy. He has also published and presented heavily in pedagogical subjects, including active learning and learning communities. He is co-author of Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics with Michael Moran, Daisie Boettner, and Margaret Bailey, a recognized leader in thermodynamics education world wide for over 30 years.

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Gloria Starns Iowa State University

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Concurrent Offering of Online and Face-to-Face Courses: Synergies and ChallengesWith the advent of a Master of Engineering degree programs, departments of mechanicalengineering have began offering online sections of master’s level courses concurrently with theface-to-face, on-campus sections. This creates significant opportunities and challenges. In thispaper, the authors explore these issues through case studies that document their experience withteaching concurrent sections of graduate courses. The authors discuss synergies, such as theopportunity for traditional full-time graduate students to interact with off-campus students whomostly are part-time and employed in engineering positions, ways in which online teaching caninform face-to-face teaching, and opportunities to compare the assessment of student learning foronline and face-to-face instruction. Some of the challenges include managing faculty workloadif both sections are considered a single assignment and finding ways to engage the onlinestudents in similar fashion to the face-to-face students. The authors conclude the paper withlessons learned and recommendations for how this type of offering can be made most effective.

Shapiro, H. N., & Starns, G. (2014, June), Concurrent Offering of Online and Face-to-Face Courses: Synergies and Challenges Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20201

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