Online modules enable prerequisite review and mastery during design courses

Stephanie Butler Velegol, Sarah E. Zappe, Mary Lynn Brannon

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


All engineering capstone courses are designed with the expectation that students will use knowledge they have obtained in prerequisite classes to design an engineering solution. However, students often come into the design course without mastery of the prerequisite material. Faculty then use class time to review this material, reducing the time that can be spent on the objectives of the course such as engineering design, professional correspondence, and improving technical writing and presentations skills. To solve this problem, we have created a set of online instructional materials that can be used by students in an Environmental Engineering capstone course to ensure that they have mastered the prerequisite material before and while engaging on the design project. In this case the students designed a water treatment system to remediate acid mine drainage entering the headwaters of a local river. This design required knowledge of mass balances, reactor design, acid/base chemistry and particle setting. To test for mastery of these prerequisite topics, a pre-quiz was given on these topics during the first week of class. These quizzes were graded for mastery and returned to the students. The students were directed to a related online video that reviewed the specific engineering topic covered by each question. The students then took a quiz on the same topics during the 3rd week of the course that counted as part of their grade. We will discuss how the use of the videos affected their mastery of the material, as assessed by their post- Test performance. In addition, we will discuss how the students interacted with these online modules as assessed by student surveys and focus groups. Finally we will include the benefits and costs from the faculty perspective. This will allow us to make suggestions for applying this technique to other disciplines within engineering and other Environmental Engineering courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2014
Event121st ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: 360 Degrees of Engineering Education - Indianapolis, IN, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2014Jun 18 2014


Other121st ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: 360 Degrees of Engineering Education
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityIndianapolis, IN

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Online modules enable prerequisite review and mastery during design courses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this