Student reactions to electronic learning modules in BME

Robert A. Linsenmeier*, Melvin Andrew McElrath, Wendy Murray, Laura M. Haugh-Scheidt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The VaNTH ERC developed the CAPE/eLMS platform for electronic delivery of problems. The design goals for CAPE/eLMS were to provide a platform that was consistent with principles of the "How People Learn" framework, particularly more frequent and useful feedback to students than is often provided on traditional homework. At the same time, the system provides information to instructors on students' frequent errors, relieves the need to spend time on grading, and can provide practice on topics that are not easily done with penciland-paper assignments. The CAPE/eLMS system has been shown to provide benefits in vector analysis and free body diagram construction, but the extent to which the original goals have been met has not been fully analyzed across modules. As one component of that, we analyzed data from surveys included at the end of selected CAPE/eLMS homework problems used in biomechanics and physiology courses. Likert scales from strongly disagree to strongly agree were used for each question. The pattern of responses was similar across problems. In response to the survey question: "I thought this was a useful homework problem," 50 to 70% agreed or strongly agreed for the 3 biomechanics modules investigated. A high percentage of students intended to return to these modules to review for exams. In the 6 physiology modules analyzed, the range of perceived usefulness was larger, with 30 to 85% of the students agreeing or strongly agreeing that different modules were useful. Two other survey questions: "I liked doing this problem on the computer rather than in the traditional way," and "Using the eLMS system helped me understand the concepts behind the problem" were significantly correlated with "usefulness." Within almost all modules in biomechanics and physiology, students who considered a module useful were those who preferred doing the module electronically and those who indicated that the electronic format helped them understand concepts. Many students appreciate the usefulness of CAPE/eLMS modules, but differ considerably in their responses to the electronic format. Those who find it frustrating are apt to dismiss the utility of the module and those who are accepting of the electronic format tend to find the modules useful. This suggests that enhancement of the electronic experience itself could allow more students to recognize the learning benefits of this technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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