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Work-in-Progress: Challenges to Developing Online Homework for Upper-level Engineering Courses

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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

Computers in Education Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1488.1 - 25.1488.10



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Paper Authors


Cindy Stowell Ph.D. Sapling Learning

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Cindy Stowell is the Director of Content at Sapling Learning. She obtained her B.S. in chemical engineering at Virginia Tech and her Ph.D. in chemical engineering at University of Texas, Austin. She began working for the online learning company Sapling Learning in 2006.

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Work in Progress: Challenges to Developing Online Homework for Upper-Level Engineering Courses Although online homework is frequently used for larger freshman-level math and sciencecourses, the presence of commercial online homework in sophomore-level and higherengineering courses is virtually nonexistent. From the perspective of a company that producesonline homework, the effectiveness of and need for upper-level, online engineering homeworkare not the obstacles to creating such a product. Rather, the cost of developing effective onlinehomework is hard to justify given the smaller market size of these disciplines. The experiences and outcomes of creating commercial online homework for theintroductory chemical engineering course, Material and Energy Balances, will be discussed as acase study. In addition to analyzing this product from a profitability standpoint, student andinstructor survey data will be presented, indicating the reactions to using online homework in acourse that traditionally has not had this resource. Finally, a collaborative solution to bringing quality online homework to smaller-marketdisciplines, such as thermodynamics and fluid mechanics, will be proposed. This approachdrastically reduces the up front development cost of a product and allows student access to aneffective product that would otherwise not be created.

Stowell, C. (2012, June), Work-in-Progress: Challenges to Developing Online Homework for Upper-level Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22245

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