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Examining student attitudes to improve an undergraduate online engineering 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

Innovations in Aero Curriculum and Program Level Administration

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Devayan Debashis Bir Iowa State University

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Benjamin Ahn Iowa State University

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Continuous developments in web technology and the use of online teaching mediums such as Blackboard has made it easier to conduct online courses. Online courses are being offered in universities around the U.S. and are getting increasingly popular due to the flexibility of schedule, availability of a wide variety of course materials and integrated clips which could offer an effective delivery method for teaching and the possibility of a reduced degree cost. It is necessary to take into account contemporary student attitudes towards online pedagogy to improve the content provided and which aspects of the course to focus on. With the increasing popularity of online courses, it has become essential to provide quality education through these mediums by a continuous effort to improve the course content and delivery. The course under scrutiny is Mechanics of Materials course which was conducted during the summer of 2016 at Iowa State University. The course consisted of weekly modules which was inclusive of topic video lectures, instructor solved sample problem videos, course materials and assignments which were to be submitted at the end of each week. Each module consisted of 3-4 topics introducing new concepts and solved sample problems. Each topic video were approximately 12 minutes long and the sample problem videos were 10 minutes. Apart from modules students could contact the professor via email regarding questions or use the online office hours where the professor and students could virtually meet. An anonymous survey was administered at the end of the course to all students who were enrolled for the course. The survey consisted of demographic questions about the student, open ended questions and Likert type questions about various aspects of the course. The survey will be analyzed for common themes among students from different demographic characteristics. Also each students’ progress throughout the semester had been tracked which include assignments and test scores. The students’ performance in theses online assignments which were topic specific will help us understand which modules were problematic to students. By using the data obtained from the survey and the scores obtained by the students we will revise the specific modules, lecture videos, assignments and tests for a better course content and delivery. This will also give insight into attitudes of student categories based on demographic characteristics.

Bir, D. D., & Ahn, B. (2017, June), Examining student attitudes to improve an undergraduate online engineering course Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28317

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