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Exploring the Impact of a MATLAB Programming Interactive e-Textbook in a First-Year Engineering Course

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Technical Session 5: Topics related to Engineering

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

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Paper Authors


Krista M. Kecskemety Ohio State University

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Krista Kecskemety is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University. Krista received her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering at The Ohio State University in 2006 and received her M.S. from Ohio State in 2007. In 2012, Krista completed her Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering at Ohio State. Her engineering education research interests include investigating first-year engineering student experiences, faculty experiences, and the connection between the two.

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Kadri Akinola Akanni Parris Ohio State University

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Dr. Kadri A.A. Parris is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University (OSU). He is the holder of a Master’s Degree in Transportation Engineering and received his Doctorate in Civil Engineering (Geotechnical) with a concentration in Pavement Design, both at OSU. In addition, he holds Project Management Professional (PMP) certification with the Project Management Institute (PMI).
Dr. Parris is actively involved in curriculum design, introduction of innovative pedagogies of engagement and the practice of engineering education through teaching several courses across the department. He is integrally involved in the design and delivery of the Pre-Freshman and Cooperative Education Program and others of that ilk at OSU, as a part of his specific interest in soft skill development, diversity, recruitment and retention initiatives.

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Nicholas Rees Sattele Ohio State University

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Nicholas is an Undergraduate Research Associate with The Ohio State Department of Engineering Education. He is in the process of completing a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering in the Integrated Business and Engineering Honors Program at Ohio State. His interests include incorporating Entrepreneurial Minded Learning into engineering coursework and interdisciplinary innovation.

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ABSTRACT Exploring the Impact of a MATLAB Programming Interactive e-Textbook in a First-Year Engineering Course

This full paper seeks to explore the degree to which the use of an interactive e-textbook impacted student performance in introductory MATLAB programming. Introductory programming in first-year engineering continues to be an exciting challenge both for students and instructors. The use of traditional textbooks for supplemental instructions and reference material has been standard practice at The Ohio State University. With the desire for increased student engagement and greater retention of the material the faculty have investigated the use of an interactive e-textbook. The interactive textbook employed, utilizes animations, participation activities, challenge activities and programming lab assignments which are geared to evaluate the student’s learning and faculty’s effectiveness of instruction.

For the purposes of this study, there are 3 populations that will be considered as data sources: 1. Autumn 2017 semester with the traditional static textbook (23 sections). 2. Spring 2018 semester pilot with the interactive online textbook (3 sections). 3. Autumn 2018 semester with the interactive online textbook (23 sections). In each semester, each section of approximately 72 students per section received instruction covering the same material and using the same evaluation criteria. In the data we will consider removing instructor differences by using those that taught the course using both the standard static textbook and the interactive online textbook. We will be investigating student performance on exams and programming assignments from these 3 populations.

In addition, what may be of particular significance is the extent to which students spend more time actively using the interactive textbook. This contribution is potentially significant in that it can be used to find correlation to any changes in grades for assignments and MATLAB exam content. The study will begin by looking at overall grade trends but will also eventually investigate rubric-level detail in student grades. The intent is to also examine trends in student performance data between Autumn and Spring semesters. Because the off-term sections (Spring) may have a different student population we need to conduct a larger study about this data to determine its validity in this context.

Thereafter, with further study, it may be worthwhile exploring broader adoptions of interactive textbooks in engineering education for coding and other suitable content areas. The eventual aim is to conduct a longitudinal study which will look at assessing to what extent retention of material increases from this basic introductory course to a more advanced course with the same coding language.

Kecskemety, K. M., & Parris, K. A. A., & Sattele, N. R. (2019, June), Exploring the Impact of a MATLAB Programming Interactive e-Textbook in a First-Year Engineering Course Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32812

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