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Web Based Alternatives For Learning Engineering Science

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Web Education: Delivery and Evaluation

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1289.1 - 8.1289.13

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Paper Authors

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Kevin Lansey

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Jeff Goldberg

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

Session XXXX

Web-Based Alternatives for Learning Engineering Science

Jeff Goldberg1 and Kevin Lansey2 1 Department of Systems and Industrial Engineering/ 2 Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics College of Engineering and Mines University of Arizona


As curricula receive increasing pressure to reduce credit hours while including non-traditional elements, the engineering science component has sometimes been the target of cutbacks. However, knowledge of the fundamental concepts remains critical to engineering education. The existing paradigm for teaching engineering science is three credit hour blocks of material. This three-unit course depth may not be necessary, but a basic comprehension of the material is vital.

Over the past four years, eight faculty members in the College of Engineering and Mines (COEM) at the University of Arizona have created a web-based course, ENGR 211. The course consists of eight 1-credit hour modules on engineering science topics and spans the areas traditionally covered by the Fundamentals of Engineering professional exam (statics, thermo, dynamics, fluids, mechanics, materials, electric circuits, and economics). The modules are now part of the required curricula in 2 departments and demand from a variety of sources is rising rapidly (75 credit hours during Fall 2002, 100 registered for Spring 2003). In this paper, we describe the overall system used in the course, the methods of delivery and student support, and a comparison of learning outcome measurements from the traditional 3-unit classes. We also include discussion on our experiences with the difficulties of running such a class.

1. Introduction

In Spring 1998, the to the University of Arizona (UA), College of Engineering and Mines (COEM) using a grant from the General Electric (GE) Foundation started on the development of 1-credit web based modules on various topics of engineering science. The "need" for these modules is a direct result of a University mandate to reduce credit hours in all programs (or advertise as a 5-year program). Each department in the COEM was required to reduce degree requirements to 128 credits or less. The strategy of most of the programs was to cut out materials that were not directly related to the major. Note that the general engineering science courses at the UA are typically 3 credits (45 hours of class meeting time during the semester). So, if a department wanted a breadth of engineering science - for example, material on statics,

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition. Copyright 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Lansey, K., & Goldberg, J. (2003, June), Web Based Alternatives For Learning Engineering Science Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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