June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.1160.1 - 13.1160.6
Teaching Engineering Economy Online in Construction Program
The importance of Engineering Economy is very evident as more and more engineering and technology programs are offering it as a required course. The course is very important because most topics covered in it are used everyday in our both personal and professional endeavors. Although students have difficulties with the course when offered in the traditional classroom setting, those difficulties are exasperated when the course is offered online. This paper and/or presentation will highlight personal experiences teaching Engineering Economy online to construction management students.
What is Engineering Economy?
Engineering Economy is a technical course that deals with the financial aspects of investments to help engineers and managers make decisions that are beneficial to the stakeholders. The course “provides a systematic framework for evaluating the economic aspects of competing design solutions.”1 It is a required course in most engineering, engineering technology, and construction management programs. Sullivan et al (2006), observed that “Engineering (and construction management), without economy, usually makes no sense at all.”1
What is Online Teaching?
It is the teaching of courses through the internet. For many years, teaching took place during face-to-face meeting in a traditional classroom. However, in the last decade or so, we have experienced “explosive growth” in the use of online learning. Some of the advantages of online learning to students that have been cited by scholars include greater and higher quality interaction with students, increased convenience and flexibility, better accessibility, enhanced knowledge of educational technology, increased opportunities for professional recognition, and high levels of student learning.2 In spite of the aforementioned benefits offered by online learning, some of the commonly cited barriers by scholars are “more time required”, “inadequate compensation”, “ownership issues”, “more work to develop and teach online”, “technical difficulties”, and “inadequate training, support and the addition of new roles.”2
Teaching Engineering Economy Face-to-Face
In general, engineering economy does not require rigorous mathematical background which is welcome news in the construction management program. Most daily real-world engineering economy problems can be solved with knowledge of algebra. In spite of the relatively simple mathematics knowledge requirement, students “sweat” in engineering economy course (Vajpayee 2001, v)3 which has been addressed in previous ASEE Annual Conference presentation.4 The reasons students sweat, I imagine, are as varied as respondents. In general, some students find engineering economy hard because of the time and interest rate components. The challenge the authors faced whether in online or face-to-face teaching was to make the
Alungbe, G., & Mohammed, J., & You, Y. (2008, June), Teaching Engineering Economy Online In Construction Program Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4148
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