Asee peer logo

How To Develop An Exciting, Motivating Course Using Four Course Design Concepts

Download Paper |


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

5.333.1 - 5.333.6



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Maher E. Rizkalla

author page

Charles F. Yokomoto

Download Paper |

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

Session 1630

How to Develop an Exciting, Motivating Course Using Four Course Design Concepts

Charles F. Yokomoto, Maher E. Rizkalla Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

I. Introduction

In this paper, we will describe how we used four course design concepts to develop two new courses that have been successful in exciting and motivating students. Our efforts to include motivation and excitement as course design parameters are tied to increasing importance being placed on retention rates, graduation rates, and student satisfaction with their college experience in recent years [2-3]. Faculty members are beginning to buy into the idea that retention rates and graduation rates must be improved in order to bring public accountability to the table in curriculum planning. Developing courses that are motivating and exciting will certainly help this cause. This is in contrast to the prior faculty beliefs that (1) it is not their responsibility to motivate and excite students, (2) students should be motivated by what the future will bring when they earn their degrees, and (3) should be excited by the course materials under the assumption that they chose their major based on interest.

Anderson-Rowland [4] reported that a students’s reaction to first-year engineering courses is a key to retention, and Tinto [5] reported that persistence depends on the student’s level of integration into the college environment. Interviews with students and surveys of student satisfaction have led us to conclude that they are not necessarily as committed as we thought, take too heavy a course load for the number of hours they work per week on income producing jobs, and place higher priority on courses that they find motivating and exciting. Thus, in order to improve student satisfaction, motivation, and retention and to promote student success, we developed the two courses with various combinations of the four course design concepts covered in this paper.

The four course design concepts that we will describe are just-in-time delivery of instruction [1, 6-9], attached learning [6, 7, 9], integration of knowledge [8, 9], and only-as-needed selection of the course contents [8, 9]. Since they have been described extensively elsewhere, they will be reviewed in this paper only briefly. The two courses, developed under separate grants from the Department of Education’s Fund for Improvement in Post-secondary Education (FIPSE), include “Introduction to Engineering Methodology,” a course for freshman students, and “Electronic Fundamentals for Electric Vehicles,” an elective for seniors that brings together senior EE and EET students for a common design experience. The former course illustrates the use of just-in-time delivery and attached learning, while the latter course illustrates the use of both integration of knowledge and the only-as-needed method for selecting course contents. We will describe these four concepts, explain how they work to motivate and excite students, and describe how the two courses use the four concepts. The paper also reports the results of four years of assessing student satisfaction.

Rizkalla, M. E., & Yokomoto, C. F. (2000, June), How To Develop An Exciting, Motivating Course Using Four Course Design Concepts Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8430

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2000 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015