Development of a Framework for the Online Portion of a Hybrid Engineering Course

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



The paper describes the development and evaluation of a research-based framework for designing an online component of an engineering hybrid course for teaching Construction Equipment and Heavy Construction Methods. Multimedia design decisions for the online component are grounded in the evidence-based findings from cognitive theories and experimental evaluation studies. Instructional design decisions are matched with course objectives and supportive findings from literature review. The hybrid course will serve for better preparation of undergraduate students for their jobs by teaching students to solve authentic ill-defined engineering problems related to the content of the class. The online component will allow students to gain knowledge of the target concepts in a manner that supports cognitive processing of the target information and provides the foundation for algorithmic and authentic problem solving in the face to face part of the course. The evaluation of the online component design will take place in two steps. First, a usability study and user interface analysis of the online component will be conducted. The data will be collected from three perspectives: users’ (student perceptions measured with a survey, individual interviews, informal observations of program use during which students are engaged in learning focused dialogues), instructors’ (interview with the instructor about how well the hybrid component meets the learning objectives, student pre-test-post learning gains), and multimedia instructional designer’s (data about actual use of the program coming from data base report).Further, the online component will serve as a research platform for conducting multiple experimental studies on its instructional strategies and multimedia program features. The experiments will follow a 2x2 factorial design with the first factor as between subjects factor and the last factor as within subjects factor. The between subjects factor will be a type of instructional strategy (e. g. immediate feedback vs. delayed feedback etc.). The within subjects factor will be level of students’ domain specific prior knowledge. This design will be used to determine which types of instructional strategies work better for novices and which for students who have some prior knowledge of the topic. These studies will serve both for informing the online component design (the most effective features will be chosen for the online component) and providing prescriptive findings for the design of online components for hybrid courses in civil and construction engineering.


International Institute for Innovative Instruction

Publication or Event Title

2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition