Virtual classroom for teaching the economics of engineering design

Janis P. Terpenny, Kimberly Sward, William G. Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


As decision-makers, engineers must be knowledgeable and competent in multiple aspects of design. Engineering is more than a problem solving activity focusing on simply the expected performance of designed artifacts. Consideration must also be given to the economic consequences of design decisions on life-cycle issues. A major challenge to undergraduate engineering education is to increase student competency in the economic elements that are such a critical part of the engineering process. Many believe that success in this endeavor requires new methods and materials that actively engage students in learning, are more closely aligned with engineering decision-making, and include real-world problems with industry involvement. The objective of this paper is to report on an experiment that has been conducted to determine whether a virtual classroom environment, developed to address these needs, will improve student proficiency in the economic principles of engineering design. This paper examines the implementation of the virtual classroom for the economics of engineering design, including modularized course notes, software, materials for on-line testing/assessment, and collaboration with industry through team projects. In addition, the paper examines the role of the virtual classroom in today's classroom and its potential for future use. Assessment results and discussion on key questions related to the efficacy of web-based materials in education in general are also included.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1291-1305
Number of pages15
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001
Event2001 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Peppers, Papers, Pueblos and Professors - Albuquerque, NM, United States
Duration: Jun 24 2001Jun 27 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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