Most of us know the rule-of-thumb that students should spend a certain number of hours outside of class studying for every hour in class. Unfortunately, students often develop the view that it is more efficient to come to class and have the instructor cover the material and then only study material that was emphasized or unclear. As faculty members this results in the dilemma of either assuming the students are not prepared and lecturing over basic material or trying to require the students to prepare. Some use readiness quizzes covering the required readings. Some try to intimidate, calling on students to motivate preparation. Various other techniques have been used to coerce students into completing reading assignments before class. In an attempt to improve the students' level of preparation and the education dynamics within class, I modified the format of a senior-level engineering management course. Key to this change was a formal commitment from the students and from me as the instructor to approach the course differently and to take certain specific actions before and during every class. This paper reports on the results of this classroom experiment. It includes surveys from student participants and a group of control students to compare differences in attitudes, behaviors, and academic results. Comparisons are also made to other sections of the same course in previous years.

Meeting Name

ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition (2005: Jun. 12-15, Portland, OR)


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering


American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)

Keywords and Phrases

Classroom learning; College students; Engineering management courses; Safety engineering courses; Accident prevention; Curricula; Societies and institutions; Students; Surveying; Teaching; Engineering education

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2005 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), All rights reserved.