Asee peer logo

Hybrid Content Delivery: On Line Lectures And Interactive Lab Assignments

Download Paper |


2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Innovations in ECE Education II

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.677.1 - 13.677.15



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Cordelia Brown Purdue University

visit author page

Cordelia M. Brown is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University. She received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Vanderbilt University, her M.S. in Electrical Engineering at Vanderbilt University, and her B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Tuskegee University. Her research interests include assessment of instructional methods, laboratory design, collaborative learning, mentoring, professional development skills, and retention and recruitment issues in engineering education.

visit author page


Yung-Hsiang Lu Purdue University

visit author page

Yung-Hsiang Lu is an assistant professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering of Purdue University and (by courtesy) the Department of Computer Science. In 2004, he obtained an NSF Career Award for studying energy conservation by operating systems. He obtained Ph.D. from the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University in 2002.

visit author page


David Meyer Purdue University

visit author page

David G. Meyer has been very active in curriculum development, learning outcome assessment, design education, and use of instructional technology. He is currently responsible for creating, maintaining, and teaching the core ECE digital systems course sequence. He has written numerous papers on innovative uses of technology in education; more recent research contributions include papers on learning outcome assessment in both lower-division core courses and in senior-level capstone design courses.

visit author page


Mark C Johnson Purdue University

visit author page

Mark C. Johnson is the Lab Manager for Digital and Systems Laboratories at Purdue University. He is a Ph.D. graduate of Purdue University in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). He supervises the ASIC Design Lab, Computer Architecture Prototyping Lab, and Software Engineering Tools Lab. He also co-advises project teams in Digital Systems Senior Design. He supports and maintains many of the electronic design automation tools used in ECE, and is involved in the development and modernization of laboratories for the VLSI and Computer Engineering areas of ECE. He is active with the ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education) Illinois/Indiana Section, and MSE (Microelectronics Systems Education).

visit author page

Download Paper |

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

Hybrid Content Delivery: On-Line Lectures and Interactive Lab Assignments


A few Purdue University Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty members adopted an experimental format for content delivery in a programming course. In the experimental format, lectures are recorded and delivered on-line. Students attend laboratory sessions and can obtain interactive and individualized assistance; each session teaches one programming tool, including version control, visual programming, creating graphical user interface. Four larger-scale programming assignments require design, implementation, and documentation. We have observed that students sometimes “get stuck” by simple programming errors (syntax or logic). Most errors are unique by individual students and difficult to generalize in a traditional lecture setting. Some students respond very positively to this approach. An on-line discussion forum is established for interaction. This hybrid format has been experimented in one sophomore and one junior course on hardware design. This paper presents the results when applying this approach to a senior-level software course. We plan to assess the learning experience of the students and compare the results with the two hardware courses many students have taken earlier.


Since the 1990s, streaming videos through the Internet has become widely adopted for entertainment as well as education. Today’s college students are familiar with this technology. Our institution started podcasting in several classes in August 2005, but many universities have not exploited using streaming videos to enhance learning experience. One objection is the belief that learning should be interactive among students and instructors.

A few Purdue University Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty members1 started an experiment to use “hybrid content delivery” since Fall 2005. In this experiment, lecture materials are pre-recorded and delivered through streaming videos. Students watch the videos at their convenience asynchronously. In addition, students had to attend mandatory lab sessions in which students could work with the instructors and their peers to solve homework problems and the hands-on lab activities. This was called “Directed Problem Solving” (DPS) as the students solved the problems with the guidance of the instructors synchronously. This hybrid format has been offered to a sophomore-level class on digital design and a junior-level class on microcontrollers. Every semester two parallel sessions are offered: one with traditional lectures and the other with DPS. Students were encouraged to select the sessions based on their own learning styles. Since this experiment started more than two years ago, the students have now reached the senior level and a continuation of the experiment is conducted in a senior-level programming class “Object-Oriented Programming using C++ and Java”.

Brown, C., & Lu, Y., & Meyer, D., & Johnson, M. C. (2008, June), Hybrid Content Delivery: On Line Lectures And Interactive Lab Assignments Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3750

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: © 2008 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