Asee peer logo

Student Learning Materials for Ability Enhancement in an Engineering Course

Download Paper |


2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

That's a Great Idea! Learning-focused Methods to Revitalize Your Courses

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Kristine K. Craven Tennessee Technological University

visit author page

Dr. Kris Craven is currently the Interim Director of the Basic Engineering (BE) Department and a tenured Assistant Professor of the same department at Tennessee Tech University (TTU). I have been employed by TTU since 2000 primarily teaching in the Basic Engineering Program. I have also been teaching junior level courses for the Mechanical Engineering department for several years. In addition to ASEE, I am a member of the Society of Women Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Sigma Xi, and Pi Tau Sigma.

One of my passions is freshman engineering students. I truly enjoy teaching and working with the first-year students. Another passion is outreach activities. I have participated in the starting and running of three different outreach programs that are working to increase the number of female engineering students by getting young girls interested while still attending primary school.

visit author page

Download Paper |


There is a vast array of topics that must be covered in the first Engineering Thermodynamics course. A thorough understanding of these topics will affect the student's success or failure in other engineering courses. Most of these topics rely on the student's ability to retrieve property and state data from various tables that are typically included in the textbook, thus this ability is critical to the student's success in thermodynamics and other engineering courses. Although many textbooks cover this information, the amount of practice problems is often insufficient when compared to the magnitude of the task and its importance within the course. Therefore, additional exercises and supplemental materials have been developed to assure that the students achieve this ability before moving on with the remaining course topics.

Course handouts have been designed and distributed to the students, as well as being posted on the eLearn course site, that are intended to help students create a systematic approach to completing the task at hand. To increase the opportunity to practice and encourage the student to take appropriate time in learning, electronic quizzes have been developed that pull randomly from a large database of questions. The students are allowed to complete the quiz multiple times. Since the questions are chosen randomly from a large database, the quizzes are different every time. Also, the quizzes are enhanced to give feedback for the incorrect responses, again allowing the students to learn from their mistakes.

As a final step in the process, a game has been developed to be played in class at the appropriate point before moving on to the remaining topics. The students are given the general idea of the game beforehand and told that performance on the game will award them with bonus points that will be included in their overall homework average for the semester.

Approximately one-and-a-half weeks of the course are devoted to this critical topic and skill. Similar techniques have been used in other courses and the general concept could be modified to work for many engineering courses.

Craven, K. K. (2016, June), Student Learning Materials for Ability Enhancement in an Engineering Course Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25905

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: © 2016 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