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Effectiveness Of Teaching Engineering Economics Fundamentals To Undergraduate Engineers Using A Self Taught Computer Tutorial

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Innovative Teaching Methods in Engineering Economy

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.509.1 - 9.509.7

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Paper Authors

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Donald Merino

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

Session 1139

Effectiveness of Teaching Engineering Economics Fundamentals to Undergraduate Engineers Using a Self Taught Computer Tutorial

Donald N. Merino, Ph.D. P.E.; Vishwajeet Rana, MBA MS

Stevens Institute of Technology


This article assesses the effectiveness of teaching engineering students using a computer based tutorial. To test the effectiveness of this method of learning the difference in a student’s pre and post test scores for individual modules was analyzed. In addition, the computer based tutorial individual modules post test average was compared to the average grade in traditionally (lecture based) courses to assess the learning effectiveness among modes of instruction. The average by module was compared to the overall average to determine the consistency of modules with each other. Lastly, the average grade for all modules was compared to a summary test to determine a student’s retention. Fundamentals of Engineering Economics is the subject matter for these self taught computer mediated tutorials.

The students sampled were undergraduate engineering students taking a required engineering economics core course. This course includes a self taught computer tutorial for the fundamentals of engineering economics. Sample size was 129 from two different semesters.

Research results indicate that there is a positive difference that is statistically significant (at 95% confidence level) between the pre and post tests for all the modules thus indicating that the students learned from these tutorials. The post test grades for individual modules were either significantly different from the traditional method grade (82%) or were not different. Since the difference were greater than or equal to zero this indicates that the computer based modules was effective versus the traditional instruction. The average on individual modules was no different than the overall average thus indicating consistency among the modules. Lastly, comparing the results from a summary exam confirmed that the students retained their knowledge.

This study concludes that computer based tutorials are effective for teaching engineering economics fundamentals. Implications of this research are that self taught computer based tutorials could be substituted for traditional instructor based lectures without impairing what a student learns – at least in the case of engineering economics fundamentals.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Merino, D. (2004, June), Effectiveness Of Teaching Engineering Economics Fundamentals To Undergraduate Engineers Using A Self Taught Computer Tutorial Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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