Asee peer logo

Transforming a Large-Enrollment, Engineering Statics Course into Quality Online Instruction by Adapting Proven Instructional Strategies

Download Paper |


2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Android TA: Course Automation and the Fate of the Professor

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1374.1 - 25.1374.9



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Pil-Won On University of Missouri, Columbia

visit author page

Pil-Won On os Instructional Designer/E-learning Specialist, College of Engineering, University of Missouri at Columbia. On has a M.S. in instructional systems technology from Indiana University, Bloomington.

visit author page

author page

Hani A. Salim University of Missouri, Columbia

Download Paper |


Transforming a Large-Enrollment, Engineering Statics Course into Quality Online Instruction by Adapting Proven Instructional Strategies Emerging technologies and a global movement toward outcomes-based programaccreditation such as the U.S. Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET)progressively mandate changes and improvements of the traditional engineering educationdesign and delivery. However, it is discovered there is a lack of validated frameworks that wouldbe adapted to make advances in engineering education (Felder et al, 2011). In other disciplinessuch as education and educational psychology, it has been researched and implementedsufficiently that better teaching methods facilitate learning more successfully than the traditionallecturing approach which has been dominant in engineering education (Felder et al., 2000). Hall (2002) defined explicit instruction as “a systematic instructional approach thatincludes set of delivery and design procedures derived from effective schools research mergedwith behavior analysis”. Hall (2002) also addressed two essential components to well-designedexplicit instruction as listed in the following: (a) Visible delivery features are group instruction with a high level of teacher and student interactions (b) The less observable, instructional design principles and assumptions that make up the content and strategies to be taught. The authors have been facing challenges to offer the introductory engineering staticscourse in the traditional lecturing format: in a typical lecture-hall like classroom filled with over300 students per semester, an instructor lectures with heavy scripting and drawing on achalkboard and occasional demonstration of mechanical objects such as scaled-down models.The students get bored and distracted easily and it is even more challenging for those who sit faraway from a podium to follow the instructor’s explanation of mechanical processes and reactiondrawn on a chalkboard. Due to the heavy research load that the instructor must fulfill in order tomaintain credentials on professorship, the instructor who sincerely cares for his students’academic success always wishes for more devoted time he could spend on helping students. The instructor has teamed up with an instructional designer and tried to overcome theaforementioned challenges by promoting best practices for the large-enrollment, introductoryengineering course design and delivery. Alongside being demanded by the department forincreasing enrollment rates of the introductory engineering courses offered in the affiliatedinstitution and the global growth on the market for educating prospective engineers, it wasnecessary to consider a flexible and expandable course delivery option. In the spring of 2011, the authors have been collaborating to develop an online course forthe intro-level engineering course, Statics and Elementary Strength of Materials which has beentaught in a traditional lecturing format for the past years. Due to the drastic change on the coursedelivery method, it was necessary to conduct the complete transformation by redesigning thecourse format as well as the existing curriculum. In this paper, the authors will discuss how they have adapted proven instructionalstrategies into the engineering discipline by demonstrating the development of the online staticscourse. Explicit instruction has been implemented as a core instructional strategy for redesigningthe course. This study is currently in the implementation stage and it is planned to collect thedata from two groups: a face-to-face section and an online section. The students’ acquisition ofknowledge and experience in two different settings will be examined. Building best practices ofonline instructional development in Engineering is relatively new. The authors perceive the valueon promoting new ways of better teaching in Engineering and intend to contribute the lessonslearned from their own practices to the community.ReferencesFelder, R. M., Woods, D. R., Stice, J. E., & Rugarcia, A. (2000). The Future of Engineering Education: II. Teaching Methods That Work. Chem. Engr. Education, 34(1), 26-39.Felder, R. M., Brent, R., & Prince, M. J. (2011). Engineering Instructional Development: Programs, Best Practices, and Recommendations. Journal of Engineering Education 100(1), 89-122.Hall, T. (2002). Explicit Instruction. National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials. Retrieved from

On, P., & Salim, H. A. (2012, June), Transforming a Large-Enrollment, Engineering Statics Course into Quality Online Instruction by Adapting Proven Instructional Strategies Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22131

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: © 2012 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