The effectiveness of online learning objects in helping students master required course competencies in mechanical engineering


A study was undertaken to determine the effectiveness of using online learning objects to help students master the skills needed to satisfy required course competencies in two basic undergraduate mechanical engineering courses. Each course in the department has a defined set of required competencies that each student must satisfy in order to receive a passing grade in the course. Multiple opportunities are provided for satisfying each course competency during the semester, including the final examination. Two introductory mechanical engineering courses, dynamics and fluid mechanics, were selected for this study. After introducing the concept underlying the given competency in class, students were assigned a homework set that required the use of an online learning object related to the competency. Mastery of the competency was tested using a pop quiz during the next class meeting and multiple-choice problems on the final examination. The performance of students who had used the online learning object was compared to that of students in another semester who had covered the same material and had been assigned similar homework in the traditional manner of chalkboard and written assignments. Differences in the performances of the two groups will be discussed along with a learning style assessment conducted for the students in both classes. © American Society for Engineering Education, 2006.

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ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings

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