Asee peer logo

Pedagogical Considerations in Use of Online Problem Sets in Technical Courses

Download Paper |


2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Approaches to Virtual Learning

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Carmine C. Balascio P.E. University of Delaware

visit author page

Carmine C. Balascio, Ph.D., P.E., is an Associate Professor in the departments of Plant and Soil Sciences and Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Delaware. He earned bachelor’s degrees in agricultural engineering technology and mathematics from UD. He earned an M.S. in agricultural engineering and a Ph.D. double-major in agricultural engineering and engineering mechanics from Iowa State University. He has taught engineering and engineering technology courses in surveying, soil mechanics, site engineering, and stormwater management for over 30 years. He has research interests in urban hydrology, stormwater management, and enhancement of student learning. He is in his thirteenth year of service on Delaware’s Engineering Licensing Board, the DAPE Council, and has been active on several NCEES committees.

visit author page

Download Paper |


This paper discusses the author’s experience with using the LON-CAPA learning management system (LMS) for on-line problem set delivery in seven civil and environmental engineering, engineering technology, landscape architecture, and plant science courses offered at the University of Delaware over more than 14 years. Courses are delivered in-person but with a substantial “flipped classroom” component. LON-CAPA 1 is a free, open-source, LMS developed and supported by Michigan State University. LON-CAPA includes sophisticated testing and assessment components that provide a variety of formats for online homework (HW) problems. A review of literature and the author’s experience form the basis for discussion of the pedagogical considerations associated with use of online problem sets that count for a significant portion of student grades. Advantages of online problem sets include: significant reduction in if not elimination of cheating, better more individualized student/instructor interaction, and increased motivation for students to engage actively with the material and complete assignments successfully. Online problem set characteristics promote these results through immediate feedback, support of problem-based and collaborative learning, and facilitation of mastery-based learning and grading.

Balascio, C. C. (2017, June), Pedagogical Considerations in Use of Online Problem Sets in Technical Courses Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28733

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: © 2017 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