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Online Modules Enable Prerequisite Review and Mastery During Design Courses

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Environmental Engineering Pedagogy and Innovation

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.953.1 - 24.953.13



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Paper Authors


Stephanie Butler Velegol Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Dr. Stephanie Butler Velegol received her BS in Chemical Engineering from Drexel University in 1996 and her PhD in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. She taught for 2 years as a visiting Professor in Chemical Engineering at Bucknell University. She has been teaching Environmental Engineering courses in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Penn State University since 2009. She is pioneering the use of on-line courses for summer courses, flipped courses throughout the semester and professional development in Pennsylvania. In addition, she has advised over a dozen students on the use of Moringa seeds for sustainable water treatment in the developing world.

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Sarah E. Zappe Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Dr. Sarah Zappe is Research Associate and Director of Assessment and Instructional Support in the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education at Penn State. She holds a doctoral degree in educational psychology emphasizing applied measurement and testing. In her position, Sarah is responsible for developing instructional support programs for faculty, providing evaluation support for educational proposals and projects, and working with faculty to publish educational research. Her research interests primarily involve creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship education.

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Mary Lynn Brannon Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Online modules enable prerequisite review and mastery during design courses. All engineering capstone courses are designed with the expectation that students will useknowledge they have obtained in prerequisite classes to design an engineering solution.However, students often come into the design course without mastery of the prerequisitematerial. Faculty then use class time to review this material, reducing the time that can be spenton the objectives of the course such as engineering design, professional correspondence, andimproving technical writing and presentations skills. To solve this problem, we have created aset of online instructional materials that can be used by students in an EnvironmentalEngineering capstone course to ensure that they have mastered the prerequisite material beforeand while engaging on the design project. In this case the students designed a water treatment system to remediate acid minedrainage entering the headwaters of a local river. This design required knowledge of massbalances, reactor design, acid/base chemistry and particle setting. To test for mastery of theseprerequisite topics, a pre-quiz was given on these topics during the first week of class. Thesequizzes were graded for mastery and returned to the students. The students were directed to arelated online video that reviewed the specific engineering topic covered by the question. Thestudents then took a quiz on the same topics during the 3rd week of the course that counted aspart of their grade. We will discuss how the use of the videos affected their mastery of the material, asassessed by their post-test performance. In addition, we will discuss how the students interactedwith these online modules as assessed by student surveys and focus groups. Finally we willinclude the benefits and costs from the faculty perspective. This will allow us to makesuggestions for applying this technique to other disciplines within engineering and otherEnvironmental Engineering courses.

Velegol, S. B., & Zappe, S. E., & Brannon, M. L. (2014, June), Online Modules Enable Prerequisite Review and Mastery During Design Courses Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22886

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