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Implementation and Assessment of a Blended Learning Environment as an Approach to Better Engage Students in a Large Systems Design Class

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Design in Engineering Education (DEED) Engineering Poster Session

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.692.1 - 23.692.13



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Paper Authors


Reid Bailey University of Virginia

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Reid Bailey is an associate professor in the Department of Systems and Information Engineering at the University of Virginia. Previously, he has held faculty positions centered on engineering design at the University of Arizona and the University of Dayton. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech. in 1997 and 2000. He earned his B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University in 1995.

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Michael C Smith University of Virginia

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Mike Smith earned his B.S. and M.S. at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has worked across a variety of application domains including manufacturing, transportation, defense, and health care. His 20+ years in the private sector and ten years in academia give him the combined perspective of academic rigor and pragmatic problem solving that helps bring solid solutions to challenging problems. Mr. Smith and his wife Amanda have four children and two grandchildren. He enjoys biking, hiking, camping, reading, and hanging out with the grandkids.

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Implementation and Assessment of a Blended Learning Environment for Case Study Based InstructionBlended learning refers to combining traditional face-to-face learning environments with onlineeducation tools and approaches. With the ubiquitous use of laptops by students and theproliferation of low and no cost tools to facilitate online education, opportunities for blendedlearning are more available now than ever before. Additionally, many universities are facinggrowing enrollments that push the limits on the scalability of classroom pedagogies. Forexample, providing students the opportunity to orally present technical work becomeschallenging as the number of students per class grows to large numbers. Furthermore, decadesof prior research in education has shown the effectiveness of formative feedback and anauthentic, active, and collaborative environment in promoting student learning. It is in thiscontext that the authors redesigned a class to take advantage of several blended learningapproaches in an effort to provide a higher quality learning environment.The purpose of this project is to implement and assess the impact of integrating blended learningapproaches in a case study based class that faces growing enrollment. The goals of integratingblended learning approaches into this class were to provide better formative feedback morequickly to students, to continue to integrate authentic work in the class through case studies, andto provide a more active and collaborative learning environment.The blended experience for this class has several components, including • Student teams recording presentations with video-capture software (instead of just turning in Powerpoint files for feedback). • Peer review of aforementioned recorded presentations and other deliverables, utilizing an online peer-management system (called “PRAZE”) to reduce the complexity of administering peer review for a large number of students • In-class polls using Google Docs • Chat rooms (using a Sakai-based course management platform) used during class for instructors and/or teaching assistants to comment to all students without interrupting the primary activity in class, and • Video-capture of lectures covering several of the core topics, thereby allowing the instructors to spend class time on more engaging ways of helping students learn new topics (i.e., flipping the classroom)The assessment plan for this project is multidimensional and focuses on the effectiveness of theblended approaches in promoting quick formative feedback, active learning approaches, andcollaborative learning … all in an effort to ultimately improve student learning. To this end,evaluation will include an end-of-course survey aimed at collecting student perceptions of thedifferent blended approaches, the matching of data on who watches online lectures to grades onspecific assignments and questions, content analysis of course feedback as compared to prioryears, and observations by instructors and teaching assistants with respect to implementationease of the technology within the class.

Bailey, R., & Smith, M. C. (2013, June), Implementation and Assessment of a Blended Learning Environment as an Approach to Better Engage Students in a Large Systems Design Class Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19706

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