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The Effect of On-Line Videos on Learner Outcomes in a Mechanics of Materials Course

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Innovations in Teaching: Mechanics

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1446.1 - 22.1446.16



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Paper Authors


Jeffery S. Thomas Missouri University of Science & Technology

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Jeffery Thomas is an assistant teaching professor in the department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, MO. He received a B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering and a Ph.D. in engineering mechanics from Missouri S&T. He is a licensed professional engineer. His technical interests are in mechanical characterization, construction, and the influence of force on biological systems. His artistic interests are in music.

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Richard H. Hall Missouri University of Science & Technology


Timothy A. Philpot Missouri University of Science & Technology

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Timothy A. Philpot is an Associate Professor in the Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering Department at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Dr. Philpot received a Ph.D. degree from Purdue University in 1992, an M.Engr. degree from Cornell University in 1980, and a B.S. from the University of Kentucky in 1979, all in Civil Engineering. Dr. Philpot teaches engineering mechanics and structural engineering courses at Missouri S&T. He is the author of the textbook Mechanics of Materials: An Integrated Learning System, 2nd Edition (Wiley, 2011). He is also the developer of two noted software packages: MDSolids – Educational Software for Mechanics of Materials and MecMovies, both recipients of the Premier Award for Excellence in Engineering Education Courseware. MecMovies was also selected as a 2006 MERLOT Classics Award and Editor's Choice Award for Exemplary Online Learning Resources.

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Douglas R. Carroll Missouri University of Science & Technology

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Dr. Douglas R. Carroll, Ph.D., P.E., is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. He recently became the Director of the Cooperative Engineering Program, a cooperative program between Missouri S&T and Missouri State Universities.

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The Effect of On-Line Videos on Learner Outcomes in a Mechanics of Materials Course The Mechanics of Materials course is one of the core engineering courses included in thecurriculum of mechanical, civil, mining, petroleum, marine, aeronautical, and several otherengineering disciplines. As a core course, the Mechanics of Materials course typically has largeenrollment. Initiatives aimed at improving the effectiveness of the engineering core courses canhave a major impact on engineering education by virtue of the large number of students affected. Computers afford opportunities for creative instructional activities that are not possible inthe traditional lecture-and-textbook class format. The study described in this paper examines theeffectiveness of online video that has been used in various ways in a Mechanics of Materialscourse over the past three years. The content delivered via the Internet included familiar lectureformat videos, narrated screen-capture video, and videos of demonstrations and laboratoryactivities. In this study, four differing approaches to present the Mechanics of Materials course toapproximately 950 students in 16 course sections over a three-year period were compared. Thefirst approach involved traditional, face-to-face lectures. The second approach combined face-to-face lectures with videos, recorded by the instructor outside of the classroom, covering thesame topics as the classroom lectures, and posted to a class web site. The third approachcompletely replaced the face-to-face lectures with videos. The instructor was available in hisoffice during class time to answer questions, but the classroom was used for examinations only.The fourth approach was an “inverted format” in which class attendance was optional. Theinstructor went to the classroom during class time to assist only those students who wanted extrahelp with their assignments. Most students utilized the online videos exclusively for coursecontent and assistance with problem-solving assignments. Using common final exam scores as a quantitative measure of effectiveness, initial resultshave shown that students perform very well in the inverted course compared to otherinstructional formats. Additionally, there is some indication that high-ability studentsparticularly benefit from the inverted approach. Since these videos are available on the Internet,students have easy access to them. They can use them at times that suit their study habits, andthey can work with the media without external pressure until they feel comfortable with theirunderstanding of a topic.

Thomas, J. S., & Hall, R. H., & Philpot, T. A., & Carroll, D. R. (2011, June), The Effect of On-Line Videos on Learner Outcomes in a Mechanics of Materials Course Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18877

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