Technology-Enabled Content in Engineering Technology and Applied Science Curriculum: Implications for Online Content Development in Teacher Education

Joyce Pittman
Eugene Rutz
Virginia Elkins
University of Cincinnati


This preliminary study compared the effects of technology-enabled courses and face-to-face instruction using student learning styles and student preferences for content types. Two groups of students enrolled in problem-based courses (one in the College of Engineering and the other in the College of Applied Science) were included in this quasi-experimental research. A survey was used to collect information about the students’ preference for content types. Kolb’s Learning Styles Inventory was used to measure student learning styles preferences. The results indicated an expected preference in the engineering technology disciplines for concrete experience over abstract conceptualization. Neither the delivery medium nor the content type (face-face or online) had any statistically significant impact on students’ final performance. A significant finding was that both group profiles suggested differing needs for presentation of content and learning styles for students in the two colleges. The conclusion was that learning styles could influence content type preferences among students in either environment (face-to-face or online) but this hypothesis needs more research.

About the Author(s)...

Joyce Pittman, is an assistant professor in the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services at the University of Cincinnati.  Dr. Pittman has served as co-Principal Investigator for this project with responsibility for instructional design of content and development of appropriate pedagogy for technology-enabled learning. Dr. Pittman is on the Board of Directors for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Association for Teacher Educators Technology Commission, and the National Digital Equity Task Force-U.S. Department of Education.

Eugene Rutz, College of Engineering at the University of Cincinnati, served as the Principal Investigator for the project. In addition to providing overall project management, he has contributed to: development of a pedagogy for technology-enabled content, training of faculty on use of technology, development of evaluation instruments, and analysis of project data and results.

Virginia Elkins, College of Applied Science at the University of Cincinnati, served as co-Principal Investigator with responsibility for development of evaluation instruments, assessment of students learning styles, and analysis of student satisfaction surveys.

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