Asee peer logo

The Education Sector Revolution: The Automation of Education

Download Paper |


2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Best of Computer in Education Division

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1188.1 - 23.1188.19



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Hatem M Wasfy Advanced Science and Automation Corp.

visit author page

Mr. Hatem Wasfy is the president of Advanced Science and Automation Corp. (ASA) a company that specializes in the development of online virtual learning environments, and advanced engineering simulations. He has helped design several interactive learning environments that include a CNC machining course, a centrifugal pump maintenance course, an undergraduate physics course, and a welding course. He received a B.S. in 1994 and an M.S. in 1996 in Mechanical Engineering from the American University in Cairo. Mr. Wasfy’s research interests include advanced learning systems, cavitation modeling, computational fluid dynamics, internal combustion engine modeling and design, and AI rule-based expert systems.

visit author page


Tamer M. Wasfy Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

visit author page

Dr. Tamer Wasfy is an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering, at Indiana University–Purdue University in Indianapolis and chairman of Advanced Science and Automation Corp. (ASA). Prior to that, Dr. Wasfy worked as a research scientist at the University of Virginia at NASA Langley Research Center. Dr. Wasfy founded ASA in 1998. He is the software architect for commercial multibody dynamics, finite element and virtual-reality software systems that are marked by ASA and used by automotive and aerospace companies, government agencies, and academic institutions. Dr. Wasfy authored and co-authored over 75 peer-reviewed publications in the areas of flexible multibody dynamics, finite element modeling of solids and fluids, belt-drive dynamics, tires mechanics/dynamics, visualization of numerical simulation results, engineering applications of virtual-reality, and artificial intelligence. He received two ASME best conference paper awards as first author. Dr. Wasfy is a member of ASME, AIAA, SAE and ASEE. Dr. Wasfy received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University in 1994.

visit author page


Riham M Mahfouz Thomas Nelson Community College

visit author page

Riham Mahfouz has more than nine years of experience in teaching at the college level. She is currently working as the department head of the Chemistry department at the Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) where she teaches and serves as course coordinator for the following courses: preparatory chemistry, organic chemistry, and online college chemistry. Mahfouz has extensive training and experience in developing online courses. She has developed online college chemistry courses using the ASSURE Model of instructional design and the standards created by the Quality Matters faculty-centered peer review process for certifying the quality of online courses.

visit author page


Jeanne Peters Advanced Science and Automation Corp.

visit author page

Jeanne Peters is the vice president of Advanced Science and Automation Corp. Peters received a B.A. in Math/Computer Science from the College of William and Mary. She worked at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. for over 20 years as a senior programmer/analyst for George Washington University, University of Virginia, and Old Dominion University. She co-authored over 70 journal and conference papers in the areas of: computational mechanics, finite element method, shells/plates, composite material panels, and tires. She has also worked on numerous projects to create advanced engineering design and learning environments for space systems which include multimodal user interfaces. Peters directs the development of advanced virtual reality applications, including scientific visualization applications and web-based multimedia education/training applications at Advanced Science and Automation Corp.

visit author page

Download Paper |


The Education Sector Revolution: The Automation of EducationDuring the past 200 years a number of revolutions have taken place in several sectors of theworld economy such as the agricultural, industrial, and service sectors. The main traits of theserevolutions have been a push towards automation that has caused a quantum leap in productivity,and a corresponding vast reduction in the need for human labor. We believe that the educationsector is about to undergo a similar revolution in which automation of instruction delivery usingIntelligent Tutoring Systems (ITSs) will vastly improve accessibility to learning at a fraction ofwhat that education costs today. This will be achieved while obtaining better student outcomes ascompared to traditional learning using human teachers in classroom settings.There are three main requirements for automation in any field to be viable: the availability of atechnological solution that can replace human labor, the need for a large number of similar items,and a lower cost for automation as compared to manual methods at a similar or superior quality.Today, computer based ITSs provide the required technological solution for instruction deliveryautomation. ITSs can deliver not just a course, but an entire curriculum seamlessly, and cancontinuously assess student learning during course delivery to ensure that each student achievesfull proficiency in every course topic. Furthermore, ITSs can pinpoint the root cause of anyassessment failure of the student by tracking the cause of failure up through the ontology tree ofthe course. The ITS can also answer a student’s natural language questions using intelligentontology-based search, and an advanced expert system. Finally, ITSs can ensure that studentsretain the knowledge that they have gained perpetually if they keep using the ITS system byassigning expiration dates to the learned knowledge that are a function of the knowledge’sdifficulty, and criticality, and on the measured memory ability of each student. Concerning thesecond requirement for automation, the large number of students who are required to learn thesame content in numerous topics provides an ideal setting for developing automated courses at avery small development cost per student. As for the third requirement, ITSs can deliver coursesand virtual reality labs at a small fraction of the cost of traditional learning methods without theneed to pay for human instructors, textbooks, class/lab space, lab equipment, or consumables.Furthermore, since computer based ITS courses are delivered over the internet, campus housingand transportation costs for students can be eliminated. Finally, research has shown that welldesigned ITSs can be more effective than traditional classroom instruction, and we expect futureITSs will be more effective even than one-on-one tutoring.In this paper, we will present a review of the various ITSs that are currently available. Theframework for an effective ITS will also be presented and its potential demonstrated. The needfor efficient tools to create the ITS content will also be discussed.

Wasfy, H. M., & Wasfy, T. M., & Mahfouz, R. M., & Peters, J. (2013, June), The Education Sector Revolution: The Automation of Education Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22573

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: © 2013 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