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Hands On Nuclear Engineering Education – A Blended Approach

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

e-Learning Course Development and Instruction

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.638.1 - 15.638.11



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Paper Authors


Marie-Pierre Huguet Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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Marie-Pierre Huguet has been a course developer at Rensselaer since 2001. As such, she has been providing support and guidance in instructional design and instructional technologies to Rensselaer faculty who either seek to integrate emerging technologies into their face-to-face classroom, or teach Web-based or blended/hybrid courses. Dr. Huguet received her Ph. D. in Curriculum and Instruction at the University at Albany. For the past eight years, both at Rensselaer and SUNY Albany, she has been involved in several research projects that have looked at the impact of Web-based technology in education. Dr. Huguet’s primary areas of interest for research and practice include instructional design, Web-based design, integration of Web-based technology, and faculty adoption of emerging technologies.

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Tom Haley Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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Yaron Danon Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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

Hands-On Nuclear Engineering Education – A Blended Approach


Blended instruction has become a powerful delivery mode whose power lies in the merging of traditional, face-to-face instruction and web-based instruction. It also lies in the significant transfer of responsibility for learning from the instructor to the student, a significant – and often challenging – culture change for both students and faculty. In this paper, we share the process, facilitated by an education grant from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that we followed to redesign Hands-on Nuclear Education to allow for a blended delivery format.


Traditionally, engineering education has been content-centered, design-oriented, and permeated by the development of problem solving skills. More recently, team building and collaborative problem-based learning have been added. The amount of content deemed necessary for graduates of engineering degree programs has steadily increased over the last half century1 .

Lectures are frequently used in engineering education to transmit information to students. In an online learning environment, lectures can be captured and replayed anywhere, anytime, thus providing enhanced flexibility for learning. Experts can be easily brought into the online classroom, enabling learning experiences that are not as readily acquired in a traditional on- campus classroom 1.

One of the distinguishing elements of engineering education is the lab requirements 1. The current ABET 2 engineering criteria states that all engineering programs must demonstrate that their graduates have an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data; design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs; and use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice. Successful and effective learning is always related to the degree of implication of the learner in the learning process. With problem-oriented and explorative learning methods, learners are directly implied3.

To serve engineering students effectively and efficiently in today’s digital age, engineering educators need to integrate Web-based and technology rich components into their programs 4. Web-based methods and approaches have become critical components of teaching and learning as both faculty and students have become aware of and utilize many facets of online education 1 such as the integration of a learning management system or of Web 2.0 technologies into the traditional classroom. The experiences of individuals who can do something with Web-based technology that they could not do before and the effective integration of technology are key to the revitalization of engineering pedagogy.

Ultimately, as a blended course, Hands-on Nuclear Education will offer a comprehensive instructional approach to reactor physics, radiation transport and dosimetery measurements through the integration of class lectures with practical application of the material using unique facilities, a low power nuclear reactor and a powerful linear accelerator at Rensselaer

Huguet, M., & Haley, T., & Danon, Y. (2010, June), Hands On Nuclear Engineering Education – A Blended Approach Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16915

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