This paper presents the ongoing activities of a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded collaborative research project, its iterative research design, and the preliminary findings. Five engineering professors at five university campuses, [Texas A&M University (TAMU) College Station, Prairie View Texas A&M (PVAMU), California State University Long Beach (CSULB), The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), & Stanford University] as well as a technology expert and four learning scientists at the leading campus (TAMU) have worked in collaboration over three semesters on two objectives. One objective is to create an online textbook for teaching energy and its sustainability to all college majors. To provide the most meaningful and relevant information to students from all majors in their courses, our five professors, who are experts in their fields, are authoring an online textbook with embedded dynamic content that can be frequently updated according to emerging technical developments and sociopolitical, economic, and environmental events. To assess the pedagogical merit of the developed textbook, as our second objective, we identified several instruments and administered them at the participating campuses to collect the control data. In this paper, we discuss the nature of the courses taught in the five campuses, progress in the textbook project initiative, and the control data collected over the two semesters. Our project activities, administration of the instruments, and the lessons learned provide insights to similar efforts aimed to implement online and up-to-date content material in teaching courses that are trans-disciplinary and dynamic in nature.