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Engineering Theory And Practice Via A Web Link

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.273.1 - 5.273.19



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Paper Authors

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E. Max Raisor

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C. Greg Jensen

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Session 3220

Engineering Theory and Practice via a Web-Link

C. Gregory Jensen, E. Max Raisor

Mechanical Engineering Brigham Young University Provo, Utah


Maintaining ABET accredited engineering programs requires hands-on laboratory experiences in addition to course instruction and theory. This paper presents some essential points to consider, and some “traps” to avoid, as digital (Semester on Line and Independent Study--Distance Learning) courseware is developed with laboratory elements that require hands-on applications.

Valuable insights gained (and lessons learned) from a two-semester teaching and skills development experiment in distance learning are reported in this paper. The experiment included basic instruction in the fundamentals of engineering graphics, coordinate and geometric tolerance controls (GD&T), and CAD. The primary objectives of the experiment was to develop a philosophy which would help to (1) ascertain the effectiveness of using the Internet as an effective means of course delivery, and (2) satisfy student interaction requirements in hands-on laboratory practice, using third-generation CAD systems. The authors developed a digital course extension that accomplishes both tasks. An engineering graphics course, taught on the BYU campus in Provo, Utah, was simultaneously offered, via the Internet, to students located at Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho. The course contained a demanding CAD skills development and practice component, which could only be satisfied through a web-link to the CAE/CAD laboratories at BYU. Students at Ricks were able to participate in the synchronous lectures relayed via video and audio Internet conferencing, and/or they could use the Internet to access the asynchronous lectures stored on the BYU Web-server. This teleconferencing approach worked very well for the presentation of theory, facts, examples, demonstrations, etc. The challenge (and at least one workable solution), reported in this paper, was to develop an effective technique for providing an interactive hands-on element for the laboratory exercises, and operator skills development and assessment.

I. Introduction

During the past year the educational benefits of on-line instruction have been debated in The Chronicle of Higher Education(1,2,3,4,5,6). Various authors have argued the foundational principles underwriting the “virtual university” and whether or not, such an innovative development can meet the high standards of traditional colleges and universities1. The question has also arisen regarding accreditation for such offerings3, and, if accredited, to what measure of quality4? The

Raisor, E. M., & Jensen, C. G. (2000, June), Engineering Theory And Practice Via A Web Link Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8354

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