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Utilizing The Internet To Improve Student Learning In A First Course In Engineering Economy With Real World Unsolved Problems In Collaboration With Industry

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Engineering Economy Education Research

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1291.1 - 7.1291.17



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Paper Authors

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William Sullivan

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Harpreet Singh

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Kimberly Sward

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Janis Terpenny

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

Main Menu Session 2139

Utilizing the Internet to Improve Student Learning in a First Course in Engineering Economy with Real-World Unsolved Problems in Collaboration with Industry

Janis P. Terpenny1, William G. Sullivan2, Harpreet Singh3, Kimberly Sward1 University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA1/ Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA2/ Alstom Power, Windsor, CT3


This paper reports on results of an experiment to investigate whether technology and the Internet facilitate student learning of Engineering Economy through real world problems in collaboration with industry. An overview of the organization and administration of the collaborative projects is presented. Learning aids and Internet tools are included in this discussion. Assessment results of student performance and perception are also presented. It was found using a bootstrap sample, at a significance level of 0.05, that the grade point average (GPA) of students working on projects in collaboration with industry administered through a variety of tools over the Internet (Experimental Group) was higher than those receiving only traditional classroom style lecture (Control Group). Overall, we conclude that the Internet is an effective and efficient medium for incorporating industry based projects into the curriculum, leading to greater student proficiency with course material and the fundamental concepts of Engineering Economy as applied to the real world. Conclusions and future plans are also provided.

1. Introduction

The inclusion of real-world industry provided problems in undergraduate education reinforces concepts and improves learning in ways not available through traditional methods of lecture or predefined case problems. Students develop problem solving skills, project management skills, communication and teaming skills, and a sense of professionalism through such experiences. For Engineering Economy in particular, real-world problems convey the difficulties of data gathering, assumption making, problem formulation and the importance of economic analysis in decision making. While the potential benefits to students, faculty, and industry partners may be great from real-world problems and collaboration, the investment of time and effort in creating and running such projects can be significant. Reflecting on limited resources and time of all participants, one must question whether student learning is sufficiently improved to justify the significant effort required for offering such experiences in courses other than senior design courses, the most typical course for real-world industry based projects. Further, if learning can be improved, are there methods or technologies that could possibly reduce the logistics and improve the experience for all participants?

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Sullivan, W., & Singh, H., & Sward, K., & Terpenny, J. (2002, June), Utilizing The Internet To Improve Student Learning In A First Course In Engineering Economy With Real World Unsolved Problems In Collaboration With Industry Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10151

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