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Evaluating the Impact of Online Delivery of a Process Dynamics and Control Course

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Novel Pedagogical Techniques I: Online, Electronic, and Apps!

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Mary Staehle Rowan University

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Dr. Mary Staehle is an Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Chair of Biomedical Engineering at Rowan University. Before joining the Chemical Engineering faculty at Rowan in 2010, Dr. Staehle worked at the Daniel Baugh Institute for Functional Genomics and Computational Biology at Thomas Jefferson University and received her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware. Her research is in the area of biomedical control systems, specifically neural regeneration. Dr. Staehle is also particularly interested in chemical, bio-, and biomedical engineering education.

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Process Dynamics and Control is a required course in most Chemical Engineering programs. Students typically find the material challenging, and for some, the subject seems divorced from the remainder of the curriculum. In fact, some students claim that it feels as though they are learning another language. To address this and to improve learning, instructors have utilized a variety of pedagogical approaches. A recent survey found that a large percentage of Process Dynamics and Control instructors use simulations for instruction and/or assessment. The hypothesis underlying this study is that moving the course to an online delivery method enhances student learning in Process Dynamics and Control. These increases would follow from (a) asynchronous learning and the ability to re-watch lecture material and (b) the ability to conduct simulations alongside lecture effectively. Two cohorts of students are contrasted: a group of students taking the course entirely in-person in a traditional classroom-based course and a group of students taking the course with online delivery but in-person exams. Students in both groups were taught by the same professor and completed identical final exams. This paper examines student perceptions and compares and contrasts the performance of these two cohorts in order to answer whether online delivery of the course is advantageous or detrimental to students.

Staehle, M. (2017, June), Evaluating the Impact of Online Delivery of a Process Dynamics and Control Course Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28304

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