Utilization of the virtual classroom as a laboratory for teaching and learning experimentation has increased significantly in recent years as development tools for Web-based applications have become easier to use, and computers have become more capable and less expensive. But, does the virtual classroom improve student learning? Herein we describe the results of two experiments conducted on sections of an Engineering Economy course (ISE 2014) at Virginia Tech during the Spring 2000 and Fall 2000 semesters. The two experiments were designed to determine if student learning of Engineering Economy was significantly affected by two treatments: 1) An industrial team project provided by General Electric (GE) in the Spring and Fall of 2000, and 2) Web-based supplemental course materials in the Fall of 2000. The actual final scores of students in the experimental and control sections were compared (for the Spring and Fall experiments) in order to determine the impact on learning of the project and/or the Web-based support. Results show that required team-based industrial projects, such as those offered by GE, improve learning by allowing students to integrate the principles of engineering economy during actual problem solving activity. Results for the Fall semester indicated that the Web-based supplements to the course did not affect student performance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics