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Work-in-Progress: The Impact of MatLab Marina - A Virtual Learning Environment on Student Learning in a Computing for Engineers Course

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Computers in Education (CoED) Engineering Poster Session

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1395.1 - 23.1395.13



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Paper Authors


Priya T Goeser Armstrong Atlantic State University

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Dr. Priya T. Goeser is an associate professor of Engineering Studies at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah. She received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Delaware. Her current research interests are structural health monitoring, functionally graded materials and innovative teaching methods in engineering education.

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Wayne Johnson Armstrong Atlantic State University


Shonda L Bernadin Georgia Southern University

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Dr. Shonda L. Bernadin is an associate professor of Electrical Engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Georgia Southern University. Dr. Bernadin received her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Florida A&M University, her M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Florida, and her Ph.D. from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Florida State University in 2003. Her research interests include digital signal processing, speech/voice analysis, and engineering education.

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Delana A. Gajdosik-Nivens Armstrong Atlantic State University

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Dr. Delana Gajdosik-Nivens is the assistant dean of the College of Science and Technology and a Professor of Chemistry at Armstrong Atlantic State University.

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ASEE 2013 Annual ConferenceThe Impact of MatLab Marina: A Virtual Learning Environment on Student Learning in a Computing for Engineers Course AbstractProgramming is a skill that is a crucial component in most engineering analysis and designfunctions. Hence, all engineering curriculums include programming courses and many useMATLAB, a technical computing language. Teaching and training students to becomecompetent and efficient programmers however, continues to be a challenge. Engineering facultyhave implemented several pedagogical approaches to address this challenge, including the use ofVirtual Learning Environments (VLEs). This work presents an investigation of the incorporationof the VLE – MatLab Marina as a supplement in Computing for Engineers courses and its impacton student learning at two institutions: ____ and ____.MatLab Marina, developed by the first author at _____ is a framework of virtual learningmodules dedicated to the improvement of student learning of programming concepts usingMATLAB. Currently the VLE consists of ten learning modules with a total of fifty multimediatutorials. These modules cover fundamental programming concepts such as arrays, conditionalstructures, iteration, functions as well as applications such as plotting and solving linearalgebraic equations. Each learning module consists of a set of multimedia tutorials that present abalanced, dual approach to algorithm development and programming using MATLAB.Computing for Engineers is a freshmen engineering course wherein students study thefundamentals of programming and learn to solve engineering problems using MATLAB.Currently, the average enrollment for the course including all ten sections at both institutions is315 students per semester, of which about 65% successfully complete the course. In addition,based on student performance in subsequent courses that use MATLAB extensively,approximately 70% of the above students are still not as proficient with programming as theyshould be. Student performance and learning is a clearly a significant problem. It is proposedthat MatLab Marina will be a vital supplement to all such courses with significant impact onstudent learning and performance.Assessment techniques include identifying successes and challenges in implementation ofMatLab Marina from a faculty perspective, quantitative and qualitative assessment of studentlearning gains and a comparative control group study. Pre/Post concept tests consisting of fivemultiple-choice and five fill in the blanks type questions (at least one from each of the moduleson fundamental programming concepts) are completed by all students. The data from these testsprovide: (1) a quantitative assessment of student learning gains and (2) evaluation for a controlgroup study which compares the learning experience and performance of students in sections thatintentionally incorporate MatLab Marina vs. those that do not. Student Assessment of LearningGains (SALG) surveys are also used to identify key student experiences and perspectives of theVLE. The results of this study will highlight effective methodologies for incorporating MatLabMarina as a supplement and its further development so as to have significant impact on studentlearning and performance. After successful implementation and completion, MatLab Marinawill be made available to the global engineering community. Further details includingassessment results, faculty and student perspectives will be discussed in the paper.

Goeser, P. T., & Johnson, W., & Bernadin, S. L., & Gajdosik-Nivens, D. A. (2013, June), Work-in-Progress: The Impact of MatLab Marina - A Virtual Learning Environment on Student Learning in a Computing for Engineers Course Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22781

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