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Theory to Practice: A Reflection on the Application of Engineering Education Coursework to New Course Development

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Tricks of the Trade

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1247.1 - 23.1247.15



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Paper Authors


Ruth E. H. Wertz Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Ms. Wertz is a doctoral candidate in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She holds a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Purdue University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Trine University (formally Tri-State University). Ms. Wertz is a licensed Professional Engineering in the state of Indiana with over six years of field experience and eight years of classroom teaching experience. Ms. Wertz’s research interests include teaching and learning engineering in online course formats, and the development of information literacy in engineering students.

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Theory to Practice: A Reflection on the Application of Engineering Education Coursework to New Course DevelopmentOne significant challenge for graduate students is translating theories learned in the classroom toreal-world applications. As a second-semester student in an engineering education doctoralprogram I was given an opportunity to develop a new graduate-level course for an online Masterof Civil Engineering (MCE) program. Concurrently, I was enrolled in an Engineering Educationcourse, Content, Assessment, and Pedagogy: An Integrated Engineering Design Approach(CAP) and a Curriculum and Instruction course, Advanced Issues in Distance Education (AIDE).This combination of coursework and employment provided an ideal opportunity to immediatelyapply course concepts to a real-world problem. The purpose of this paper is to reflect on theprocess of translating theoretical course concepts to a new curriculum development project. Myreflection was guided by three overarching research questions: 1) how did I apply theoreticalcourse concepts to develop of a new graduate-level online engineering course, 2) whatchallenges did I face in developing this course, and 3) what lessons learned did I learn that willaid in the development of future courses? I answered these questions by examining thecontributions made by engineering education and distance education bodies of literature, andreflecting on how I synthesized these contributions during the development project. This paperis intended to provide graduate students new to curriculum development with insights regardingthe process and challenges of developing an online engineering course.

Wertz, R. E. H. (2013, June), Theory to Practice: A Reflection on the Application of Engineering Education Coursework to New Course Development Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22632

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