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Modernizing Teaching Methods In The Classroom – Does It Impact Student Performance?

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Program Delivery Methods and Real World Concepts

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.937.1 - 11.937.6



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Paper Authors


Kathryn Abel Stevens Institute of Technology

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Kate Abel serves as the Program Director for the Bachelor of Engineering in Engineering Management Program in the Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology. She holds a Ph.D. in Technology Management and Applied Psychology. She teaches courses in Total Quality Management, Engineering Economy, Entrepreneurial Analysis of Engineering Design, Statistics for Engineering Managers, Engineering Management and Senior Design. Her research areas include knowledge engineering, as well as, knowledge and information management. She has published over 10 refereed journal articles and conference papers.

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

Modernizing Teaching Methods in the Classroom – Does it Impact Student Performance?


Does the use of technology in a typical classroom setting build a more effective educational method that truly assists students to learn more and do better in class? This is the research question addressed in this paper.

To study this, a Statistics for Engineering Managers course was analyzed. The course was required for all junior Engineering Management students at Stevens Institute of Technology. Traditionally, the course was taught via a whiteboard and marker. In 2002, the course was modified and all notes traditionally provided on the board, were transferred to Powerpoint slides. The purpose was to change the focus for the student, from note taking, to the digestion of presented material. In essence, the purpose was to allow the students to concentrate on understanding the material, rather than copying it down before it was erased from the board.

Final grades over the course of several semesters were compared via a regression analysis. Data were not analyzed until the end of the fourth semester to eliminate grading prejudice in the study. Analyses demonstrated that students who were provided the same material via Powerpoint slides achieved higher grades than those who were provided the material via white board.

Lessons learned from this research could impact the possible restructuring of classes, including traditionally math based, whiteboard, courses such as Statistics, since the results from this research indicate that those students that are provided Powerpoint notes do significantly better than those that do not.


A range of issues contribute to the success of learning and teaching with technology (Alexander 2001). Just as there are various methods used to teach in the classroom, there are also various methods students use to solve problems in the classroom. Pitman, Gosper and Rich (1999) report that different students use different course related materials (paper vs. computer) in differing ways and to different degrees. Thus, the use of varied teaching resources is very important in order to match individual student learning styles and could have important implications for future educational programs and curriculum contents (Holman 2000).

Authors, such as Wallace and Mutooni (1997), concur with results that students participating in web based instruction perform better than those receiving traditional classroom instruction. They stated that such teaching methods could provide more effective and economical engineering education. In addition, they concurred with the

Abel, K. (2006, June), Modernizing Teaching Methods In The Classroom – Does It Impact Student Performance? Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--95

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