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Impact Of Innovative And Highly Interactive Online Activities On Energy Efficiency Education

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Trends in Energy Conversion/Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.717.1 - 10.717.14



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Paper Authors

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Wendy L. Mahan

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Martin J. Gutowski

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Brian H. Victor

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Mark Deluca

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Sarma Pisupati

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

Impact of Innovative and highly interactive Online Activities on Energy Efficiency Education

Sarma V. Pisupati 1, 2, Mark Deluca 3, Marty Gutowski 2, Wendy Mahan 3 and Brian Victor3 1 Energy and Geo-Environmental Engineering Department/2 John A. Dutton e-Education Institute/ 3Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) Division of Information Technology Services The Pennsylvania State University University Park PA 16802


Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection (EGEE 102) course has been taught at Penn State since the fall of 2001. Over the past seven semesters the enrollment has increased from 69 to 760. This course was selected by the University under the “Courseware” initiative to be offered as an online course. To develop the online version of EGEE 102, the Energy and Geo-environmental Engineering Department, the Teaching and Learning with Technology Unit of the University’s Information Technology Services and the John A Dutton e-Education Institute have collaborated to generate highly interactive learning objects in an innovative manner.

As a part of this endeavor, four home activities (simulations) using Macromedia Flash were developed. The goal of these simulations is to engage students through animations and enable students to calculate their energy consumption, analyze their energy consumption patterns and utility bills, understand the economics of insulation addition, and conduct an energy audit on a virtual home.

Each of the students worked with a unique data set for each of these activities. The data sets for energy consumption of appliances or monthly energy bills for each student are generated using Perl scripts and are retained in the MySQL database. These student specific datasets are delivered through the Flash simulations. The students complete the required activity and submit their results via the Flash interface. The submitted values are automatically compared with the student-specific data sets and the correct numerical answers as calculated by the PHP script. This process minimizes the time required for the faculty to grade the reports, increased faculty efficiency, reduced grading errors, and counters plagiarism as duplicate submissions are ineffective.

Informal student assessment indicated that the highly interactive Flash simulations were a motivational environment enabling comprehension of the cognitively challenging

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright© 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Mahan, W. L., & Gutowski, M. J., & Victor, B. H., & Deluca, M., & Pisupati, S. (2005, June), Impact Of Innovative And Highly Interactive Online Activities On Energy Efficiency Education Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14849

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