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On Demand Learning Augmenting The Traditional Classroom

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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

Outstanding Contributions to ME Education

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.940.1 - 13.940.15



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Paper Authors


Jakob Bruhl United States Military Academy

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Major Jakob Bruhl is an Instructor in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point. MAJ Bruhl received his B.S. and in Civil Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (1996). He earned a M.S degree in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri at Rolla (2000) and a M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign (2006). He is a registered Professional Engineer in Missouri.

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James Ledlie Klosky

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Led Klosky is an Associate Professor and Director of the Mechanics Group in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Dr. Klosky received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1987 and 1988, respectively. He earned a Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1997, He is a registered Professional Engineer in Maryland.

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Elizabeth Bristow United States Military Academy

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Elizabeth Bristow is an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point. She received her B.S. (2002), M.Eng. (2004), and Ph.D. (2006), all in Civil Engineering, from Texas A&M University. Her research interests include the security of water distribution systems, their role in effective emergency response, and their interdependence with other critical infrastructures.

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

On-Demand Learning – Augmenting the Traditional Classroom: Details on the Effectiveness of Short, Simple, Instructor-Made Videos in an Engineering Course Abstract

In the spring of 2007, short, focused, instructor-made videos intended to supplement classroom presentations were successfully incorporated as an additional learning resource in the last half of a fundamentals of engineering course at the United States Military Academy. Based on the success of this introduction, the use of these videos was dramatically expanded in the same course for the Fall 2008 semester. A detailed study of the effectiveness of this resource was undertaken, and this paper reports the effectiveness of this resource on academic performance and student perceptions of learning. We discuss usage trends and preferences throughout the semester as students discovered and acclimated to having additional instruction available whenever and wherever they were studying. The paper also discusses the usage of the video resource based on learning styles and previous academic performance. It is clear that visual or sequential learners are not the only ones who like this resource; the videos were equally used by global and verbal learners. Another concern addressed is the hypothesis that growing the use of video will lead students to abandon textbooks and other traditional resources in favor of watching videos and “pattern matching.” This concern proved invalid during the semester – students still used multiple resources to study and prepare assignments, including their textbook. The observation from Spring 2007 that watching these videos improves students’ perception of learning as well as their academic performance was corroborated on a broader scale in Fall 2008. The academic benefit is quantified using a predictor of performance based on students’ grade point average at the start of the semester. It is shown that those students who made use of the videos improved their academic performance as compared to those who chose not to use the videos. The authors conclude that significant benefit can be gained by creating and posting short, simple, instructor-made videos.


Dramatic and continuing improvements in internet availability, connection speed, and computer technology have led to a change in the way many people receive information. In the pre-internet world, people had much less choice in how they gathered information; it was a “push” world. That is, information was pushed to the people through newspapers, television and other limited outlets. If you wanted to see a movie, you went to the theater where a movie that a remote producer had decided months ago was “right for The People” was scheduled. If you wanted to learn of the news events of the day, you tuned in to the appropriate channel at the scheduled time and received what the stations had programmed. Newspapers allowed people to “pull” some information as an individual scanned for items of interest, unlike the broadcast news, but the choice and content richness were limited by the format.

Along came the VCR; people could now watch a movie they wanted when they wanted. With a VCR a person could also now record television shows or news broadcasts and watch them at a time that was more convenient. The world was shifting to a “pull” environment. The introduction of the DVD provided more information than just the movie itself and allowed us to

Bruhl, J., & Klosky, J. L., & Bristow, E. (2008, June), On Demand Learning Augmenting The Traditional Classroom Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3776

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