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Me350 Remote Education: Experiences In Teaching Engineering To Non Engineering Majors Studying Abroad

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Poster Session

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.874.1 - 13.874.13



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Paper Authors


Brian Novoselich United States Military Academy

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Brian Novoselich is a Major in the United States Army and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY. He holds a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering.

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Bobby Crawford United States Military Academy

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Bobby Crawford is a Colonel in the United States Army and the Director of the Aero-Thermo Group in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY. He holds a M.S. and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering and is a licensed Professional Engineer.

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Erica Young United States Military Academy

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Erica Slate Young is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the United States Military Academy at West Point. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and her Master of Arts in Mathematics Education both from Appalachian State University and her doctoral degree in Mathematics Education from the University of Texas at Austin.

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

ME350 Remote Education: Experiences Teaching Engineering to Non-Engineering Majors Studying Abroad


This paper examines the development and implementation of a remote, asynchronous mechanical engineering course taught to seven non-engineering majors. The students studied abroad in five countries on three continents and in four different time zones. The content of the course includes topics in the areas of Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and Heat Transfer. Particular emphasis is placed on how the ME350 remote education model affects resource allocation, student performance, and student perception of the learning experience. Because course content between the resident and remote formats was nearly identical, a meaningful comparison of student time spent per lesson is addressed, showing that overall, students spent similar amounts of time on the course, regardless of the venue. A significant issue for remote students was reliable communications with the host institution. Internet connectivity varied widely based on student location and could not be adequately assessed prior to implementation of the program. Key learning points associated with this experience are addressed. The course director conducted a personal time survey which revealed that approximately two hours were spent in development of remote course content for every hour of student utilization. Anonymous student time surveys also indicate that both resident and remote students devote a comparable amount of their time to the course. Regardless of venue, all students took the same final examination at the host institution under controlled conditions. Remote students performed better than local students on the final examination, but, overall course grades were comparable. Exit survey results indicate that remote students completed the course with a more positive perception of their learning experience when compared to their counterparts. A concise list of lessons learned that has been shared with the United States Military Academy Center for Teaching Excellence and International Affairs Office is included.


As the U.S. Army strives to be more culturally aware, the United States Military Academy (USMA) has put renewed emphasis on the enrichment of student education through the semester abroad program. The goal of the Academy is to have approximately 15% of all students spend a semester in a foreign country. The emphasis equates to approximately 150 students studying abroad per year.1 The greatest percentage of these students come from the Department of Foreign Language, not from the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering (CME). As a part of the USMA curriculum, all students not enrolled in an engineering major are required to take a 3- course core engineering sequence. This core sequence can be in a number of engineering disciplines: Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Systems, Environmental, Nuclear, and Computer Science. Despite the fact that a majority of students studying abroad come from non-engineering majors, CME must ensure that its “non-majors” are afforded the opportunity to complete their graduation requirements in the federally mandated 47 months. Remote education is becoming an ever increasing component of meeting this stringent timeline. CME taught its first remote education course in the fall of 20051. Since that time, four additional courses in the department

Novoselich, B., & Crawford, B., & Young, E. (2008, June), Me350 Remote Education: Experiences In Teaching Engineering To Non Engineering Majors Studying Abroad Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3535

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