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Using Technology To Enhance The Traditional Lecture

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Internet Delivery of Mechanics Courses

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1566.1 - 12.1566.14



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Paper Authors


Douglas Carroll

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Dr. Douglas R. Carroll, PE is a Professor in the Interdisciplinary Engineering Department at the University of Missouri-Rolla. He is best known for his work with solar powered race cars, winning two national championships and publishing a book on solar car design. He has received many teaching awards in his career. His research interests are composite materials, solar-electric vehicle technology, and educational research.

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Hong Sheng University of Missouri

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Dr. Hong Sheng is an Assistant Professor holding joint position at the Business Administration Department, and Information Science and Technology Department. Dr. Sheng received her Ph.D. degree and master degree from University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a specialization in Management Information Systems (MIS), and her bachelor degree from Shanghai Jiaotong University, China. Her research interests include mobile commerce and ubiquitous commerce, strategic implications of mobile technology to organizations, trust and privacy issues in information systems, use of IT to support teaching and learning, RFID in health care, and Human-Computer Interaction. Dr. Sheng has published her research in journals such as Communications of the ACM, IEEE Transaction on Education, Journal of Strategic Information Systems, Journal of Database Management, and International Journal of Electronic Business.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Using Technology to Enhance the Traditional Lecture


The advancement of information technology has provided faculty with many opportunities to adopt and incorporate it into traditional classroom teaching. However, the new technology is not always better. For many topics, the best strategy is still the traditional chalk- and-talk lecture. There are three critical requirements that must be met before new technology is adopted on a large scale.

1. The new technology should be able to facilitate student learning and understanding. It should be better than a traditional lecture. 2. The new technology should be easy to use. Learning to use the technology should not create excessive work for the faculty member. Class preparation should take approximately the same amount of time as for a traditional lecture. 3. The new technology should be reliable and convenient.

The author is currently using a technological method for teaching engineering mechanics courses that meets the criteria listed above. A key component to the method is that the faculty member projects complex figures on the board and then uses chalk (or markers or a smart board or a tablet) to modify the figures. This teaching method blends the traditional lecture with the new technology, utilizing the new technology to improve the quality of the traditional lecture. From the instructor’s perspective, preparing the lecture takes approximately the same amount of time as preparing a traditional lecture. The use of technology has been well received by the students, improving student satisfaction, and also improving student performance on the department final exam.

The new technology has also been very helpful in providing distance office hours. Distance office hours are not just for distance students; the on-campus students have benefited more from the distance office hour sessions than the distance students. Students no longer have to make the trip in to the faculty member’s office to get help with the homework. They can get help from their dorm room or apartment. The author has been setting a couple of hours aside the evening before homework is due, and providing office hours from his home, sitting in his recliner, and approximately one-third of the students in the class log in to get help with the homework. It is convenient for faculty and students, and is a very effective teaching tool.


The chalkboard is a very effective tool for teaching. It frees us from our short term memory. With the chalkboard, the teacher can put several ideas up at once, and show how the ideas are related, or how one idea flows from another. The students can watch ideas and arguments develop in a logical manner, and the process can be paused and restarted to be sure the students understand and keep up with the lecture. Figures can be drawn to utilize our visual learning capabilities. The chalkboard is useful in teaching all subjects, but is especially indispensable in teaching mathematics and science. Following is a quote from Samuel May:

ASEE 2007 National Conference

Carroll, D., & Sheng, H. (2007, June), Using Technology To Enhance The Traditional Lecture Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1849

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: © 2007 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