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Improving Student Learning Experience in an Engineering Graphics Classroom through a Rapid Feedback and Re-submission Cycle

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Topics Related To Engineering Design Graphics Division

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.925.1 - 26.925.17



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Paper Authors


Vimal Viswanathan Tuskegee University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Vimal Viswanathan is an assistant professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Tuskegee University. He earned his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. His research interests include design innovation, creativity, design theory and engineering education.

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Maria Calhoun Tuskegee University

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Improving Student Learning Experience in an Engineering Graphics Classroom through the MasteryApproachPictorial representation of three-dimensional objects has been one of the oldest forms of communication.Engineering graphics courses deal with the art of documenting three dimensional objects in two-dimensional format. Prior literature shows that graphics communication is a key skill for an engineer topossess. However, students in engineering graphics classrooms struggle to understand the concepts beingtaught due to a variety of reasons including poor visualization skills, limited class time, huge class sizesand unavailability of simple demonstrations. Most of the schools offer this course in the freshman yearand the class sizes are large. The instructors are typically unable to provide one-to-one instruction tostudents. Often, students also hesitate to ask questions as they are in their freshman year. Once they fail tounderstand the fundamentals of a concept, it propagates throughout the course and the rest of theirengineering curriculum.At Tuskegee University, the instructors of the freshman engineering graphics course implemented amastery approach to teach the course. Mastery approach, in its original form, instructs that students needto learn a concept completely before moving on to the next concept. Due to the limited number of classesavailable in a semester, it is hard to implement this concept in its original form. Hence the instructorschose to implement a variation of the mastery approach. This variation, originally proposed by thePennsylvania State University at Erie, relies on providing additional chances to students to correct theirmistakes and learn a concept completely before they can get any grade on the same. In this approach, theinstructor grades any classwork or homework in a minimum time possible (typically within 2-3 days) andreturns the work to the students. They are given a chance to correct their mistakes in the first attempt andresubmit the work before the next class. In the second attempt, for each mistake they corrected, theyreceive 80% of the marks they lost on the original submission. If a student again commits the samemistakes, the instructor provides them a face-to-face tutorial session and exercises until the studentunderstands the concept. The target of this method is to ensure that students clearly understand all theconcepts before they advance far along the semester.This paper will present a comparison between the mastery approach employed in one section and thetraditional approach employed in the other section (the classes are in progress currently). Theimprovements in students’ spatial visualization abilities, their performances in the class and the resultsfrom an end-of-the course survey will be compared. The paper will also summarize the results andprovide detailed discussions on the observations from these classes.

Viswanathan, V., & Calhoun, M. (2015, June), Improving Student Learning Experience in an Engineering Graphics Classroom through a Rapid Feedback and Re-submission Cycle Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24262

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