Johnson, P., Jack, H., “Impact Of The WWW on Engineering Education”, Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society, South Bend, IN, June, 1998.

The Impact of the WWW on Engineering Education

Paul Johnson and Hugh Jack, Padnos School of Engineering, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, MI

Presentation Overview

Student Research on the Web

Student Created Web Materials

Faculty Created Web Materials


Student Research on the Web

Students create pages of engineering resource materials

Their results are available to others on the Internet


Students can search for resources that were not accessible before


University web sites often provide extensive resources and links appropriate to class work


Commercial search engines provide resources for engineering searches of technical data


The World Wide Web Virtual Library provides access to engineering information at sites throughout the world


Much of the most complete engineering information requires a paid subscription for access


Student Created Web Materials

Students create their own home pages

There is a high level of ownership


They create content using HTML and proprietary packages

When using application files the content remains “live”


Faculty Created Web Materials

Faculty add structured resources that help guide the students’ learning experience

Class homepages provide easy access to course information and resources

Resource lists can be provided for students to go beyond the material in their textbook and as starting points for class assignments


The course content becomes more accessible

We can add pictures and other items that are hard to add with traditional printed media


Virtual Laboratories

A laboratory can become a much more accessible resource

The student can explore in ways not previously possible



The Web provides new access to information

But the access does not necessarily increase quality

If we are aware of what is available and possible

we can make the web useful to students