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Student Opinion on Teaching Thermodynamics Through Synchronous and Asynchronous Distance Learning

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Biological and Agricultural Engineering Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Biological and Agricultural Engineering

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Paper Authors


Tara Gupte Wilson Wright State University

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Tara Wilson is a graduate student in Wright State University's Biomedical Engineering program. She currently works as a clinical researcher & data specialist for Kaleidoscope Innovation, an Infosys company. During her undergraduate career at The Ohio State University she spent four semesters as a teaching assistant for the Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering Department's thermodynamics course. She was also a teaching assistant for OSU’s fundamentals of engineering honors program - a first year, introductory course required for all honors engineering students. Throughout her higher education career she has researched engineering education, in the context of both of those courses, resulting in multiple publications with ASEE. Outside of school and work, she volunteers at the Dublin Food Pantry and with 4 Paws For Ability Inc.

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Ashley Nicole Venturini Ohio State University

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Ashley Venturini is a graduate student in the college of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering at the Ohio State University, where she also completed her bachelor's degree. She currently works as a graduate teaching assistant in the department and has assisted in teaching both thermodynamics and fluid mechanics courses. Her research interests include the use of natural rubber in medical devices and engineering education.

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Ann D. Christy P.E. Ohio State University Orcid 16x16

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Ann D. Christy, PE, is a professor of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering and a professor of Engineering Education at the Ohio State University (OSU). She earned both her B.S. in agricultural engineering and M.S. in biomedical engineering at OSU, and her Ph.D. in environmental engineering at Clemson University. She worked for an engineering consulting firm before entering academia and continues to collaborate with the consulting industry. She has taught courses in bioenergy, biological engineering, capstone design, HVAC, thermodynamics, waste management, professional development, and engineering teaching. Her research interests include energy, the environment, and engineering education. She is assistant dean for teaching and learning in the College of Engineering. She is a second-generation woman engineer.

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This Evidence-Based Practice paper describes the shift of a third-year biological and agricultural engineering thermodynamics course into 100% distance delivery including both synchronous and asynchronous elements. Public health restrictions on in-person gatherings due to the global COVID-19 pandemic shifted many courses that were previously not considered appropriate candidates for e-Learning to an online platform. This was one of those courses. Anecdotal evidence from the teaching team suggested that students preferred this online approach to the more traditional class setting. Written reflections and Likert scale survey data were collected from students in the class that transitioned from in-person to online-delivery to determine their course preference, and indicated positive attitudes towards the online-delivery mode. Additionally, test scores from two previous years were compared to current exams to determine if the change in lecture delivery mode had a significant impact on students’ performance. It was found that the asynchronous lectures did not harm student learning outcomes.

Wilson, T. G., & Venturini, A. N., & Christy, A. D. (2021, July), Student Opinion on Teaching Thermodynamics Through Synchronous and Asynchronous Distance Learning Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37748

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