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An emerging literature focuses on differences in learning style between the so-called millennial generation and preceding generations of students. Concurrently, a number of intuitions have developed among engineering educators about millennial students, most with the common theme of lowered tolerance for lecture settings. Two current threads addressing the ldquolower attention span problemrdquo are (a) approaches under the rubric active learning and (b) technology developments such as web-enabled screen movies and pod-casts. The second thread is often aimed at a technology ldquofix.rdquo Experience shows that any technology fix is of itself minimal value. We focus on possibilities for improved instructional design. Specifically, our research question is the following: What is the effect of augmenting course material with web-based, voice-over slide presentations punctuated with full screen demonstrations and interactive quizzes? We report on our first steps to develop voice-over slide presentations with embedded quiz questions and full motion screen demonstrations in a web-accessible environment. Initial results focus on student attitudes based on data collected in Summer and Fall terms, 2007. Future work will include quantitative evaluation of learning outcomes.
Date of Conference: 22-25 Oct. 2008