Innovative Digital Approach to Class Could Be the Future of Engineering Education
Engineering generally like to improve and innovate everything they see or use. This interest applies even in engineering education. With the goal to transform engineering education Paul Nissenson, a mechanical engineering professor at Cal Poly Pomona, led the years-long project. This project transformed one traditional lecture-based course in mechanical engineering into an interactive course.
Through the new digital approach, the students were able to access the courses even outside the classes
- More than 60 videos covering the course lesson were produced.
- An online homework platform was cleverly designed
The outcomes of the experimental teaching methods were outstanding. It showed a sharp escalation in the number of passing students.
In fluid mechanics section, the passing rates are approximately 60-70 percent when taught through traditional lecture-based classes. On the other hand, through the new digital approach, Nissenson achieved a result of 83, 84, and 94 percentage.
Increased Team Size
In 2015 seven professors of Cal Poly Pomona teamed up to improve the passing rates of the classes. Five of them were engineering faculty member who helped in the production of the videos. On the other hand, two were sociology and psychology students who studied the response of students.
- Every class began with a quiz on the video content, to ensure that the students view their homework assignments.
- Most of the time in the classes focused on solving problems.
- Team battles: The students were paired to solve problems
- Videos are combined with Connect, a platform developed by McGraw Hill Education to provide students with an interactive textbook.
A mechanical engineering student junior John Kest said: “This course was easier for me, but not because the material was easy.” He further added that “The format of the class made it easier to learn and so much less stressful.”