Design, implementation and evaluation of an online team and activity-based introduction to engineering course

Benjamin Emery Mertz, Haolin Zhu, Chao Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


As the popularity of online education in engineering increases, project- and team-based classes taught in classrooms must be converted into equivalent online versions. In order to maintain equivalency, content and ABET outcomes must be considered. This is especially difficult when on-ground classes are based on hands-on team activities and projects. The scalability of courses also must be considered due to the growing demand for engineering courses in the online environment. This paper will discuss the creation process, implementation and evaluation of an online Introduction to Engineering course adapted from a largely team- and lab-based on-ground version. The epistemic framework and structure of the course will be discussed, focusing on its teaming and hands-on nature. Specifically, the design and implementation of teamwork throughout the course will be described, with a focus on the final team project, which consists of members designing, building, and testing musical instruments amid constraints that limit their designs based on the designs of other team members. The first two offerings of this 7.5-week course took place during Fall 2013 with more than 110 students, most of whom were non-traditional students working in an engineering-related industry. Since then, another ∼400 non-traditional students took this online course in the following semesters. The course's effectiveness and students' perceptions of the course and their teaming experience will be addressed based on data collected from project deliverables and discussion boards from the first two offerings. Recommendations for similar courses and strategies that can be used to scale this team and activity-based course while maintaining course quality, effectiveness, and student learning experience will also be addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Making Value for Society
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Education
StatePublished - 2015
Event2015 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Seattle, United States
Duration: Jun 14 2015Jun 17 2015


Other2015 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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