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Using Recorded Lectures and Low Stakes Online Quizzes to Improve Learning Efficiency in Undergraduate Engineering Courses

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Continuing Professional Development Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1341.1 - 24.1341.15



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Paper Authors


David J. Dimas University of California, Irvine

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Dr. Dimas has over 25 years of experience which centers on consulting in simulation and design and developing and teaching a curriculum of related engineering analysis and product development courses in both commercial and academic settings. He served in a number of top-level management positions at both PDA Engineering and MSC Software including director of training services, customer support,educational sales and product documentation in the computer aided engineering (CAE) market. At MSC Sotware he pioneered new techniques and guided the development of two highly successful inter-active DVD based courses in the application of finite element analysis (FEA) in product development. He also developed a unique, low-cost, flexible method to produce and maintain DVD versions of a curriculum of 15 courses related to CAE. Both provided increased knowledge access, transfer and retention. His industrial background also focused on applying theoretical aspects of numerical methods in simulation and design to wide variety of product development issues. He has served on the faculty at UC Irvine since I986 and has brought these practical applications into the classroom, providing students with significant improvements in their ability to learn the theory and "art" of engineering simulation and design. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering all from UC Irvine.

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Faryar Jabbari University of California, Irvine

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Faryar Jabbari received his PhD, in Mechanical Engineering, in 1986 from University of California, Los Angeles. Since then, he has been on the faculty of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department of University of California, Irvine. His research interests are in control theory and its applications such as earthquake engineering and energy systems. He teaches classes in Dynamics, Control, Vibration and Engineering Mathematics.

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John Billimek University of California, Irvine

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John Billimek is an Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Health Policy Research Institute in the School of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine studying approaches to improve the delivery of healthcare to disadvantaged patients with chronic disease. Dr. Billimek teaches statistics and research methods courses in UC Irvine's masters program in Biomedical and Translational Sciences, blending in-person and online activities to promote learning.

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Using Recorded Lectures and Low Stakes Online Quizzes to Improve Learning Efficiency in Undergraduate Engineering CoursesAbstractSTEM disciplines, especially at research universities have been measurably slowto integrate online modalities into undergraduate classes. Current and futurestudents are now all “digital natives” interacting with the world and absorbinginformation in a very “YouTube” style characterized by short, on-demand, andentertaining chunks of information. Faculty have been reticent to adopt what theyperceive to be unproven technologies while administrators often are unable toallow faculty extra time or budget to investigate the efficacy of new approaches toteaching. This paper describes the results of experiments designed to helpimprove this situation by accessing the effectiveness of two key online modalitiesthat are often the easiest first steps for faculty to adopt and can be very effectiveimproving the operational effectiveness and learning outcomes of the course:Recorded lectures and Online Quizzes. Recorded lectures and Quizzes whereintegrated into two undergraduate engineering courses. The two courses were asophomore level Dynamics class and a senior level Finite Element Analysiscourse. The Dynamics course is required and the enrollments ranged from 320-360, the Finite Element Analysis course is an elective with enrollments between55-80. In the Dynamics course recorded lectures were often used in place of thelive lecture and the in-class lecture time was often “flipped” and used fordiscussion and interaction rather than a traditional one-way lecture. In the FiniteElement Analysis course the lectures where recorded and made available to thestudents prior to the in-class version of the lecture. Quizzes were designed as anassessment tool (rather than purely for grading) aimed at "real time" feedback.This allowed both students and instructors to measure the learning achievementsin the previous week of the course which would allow the instructor to modify thesubsequent week’s lectures accordingly. The results show that student-reportedlearning efficiency improves when recorded lectures are utilized. This was thecase whether the class period was subsequently used to teach a similar lecture orif lecture time was flipped to provide more interactive discussion based learning.The availability of recorded lectures prior to class did not affect students’ decisionto attend class. Students reported that having weekly “low stakes” quizzes andreviewing them in class helped them understand key concepts better. These resultsprovide more evidence of an ever increasing amount of data that supports thelearning efficiency gains that can be attained using a variety of hybrid coursepedagogy and online learning modalities.

Dimas, D. J., & Jabbari, F., & Billimek, J. (2014, June), Using Recorded Lectures and Low Stakes Online Quizzes to Improve Learning Efficiency in Undergraduate Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23274

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