eFellow Grants - 2023

Advanced Course Redesign for Blended or Online

Dr. Yijia Gu

Assistant Professor

Materials Science & Engineering


  •  Principles of Engineering Materials (Aero 3877)


“Principles of Engineering Materials” (Aero Eng 3877, co-listed with Chem Eng 5300, Physics 4523, Met Eng 5810, Cer Eng 5810) is a course designed majorly for the undergraduate students of Aerospace Engineering. It examines engineering materials with emphasis on the selection and application of materials in industry. 

The applicant received the course material from another faculty member of MSE and taught the course in Fall 2021 with few changes. The content and structure of the course were developed largely based on “Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering” (Met Eng 2210, Cer Eng 2210) with minimum changes relative to aerospace applications. According to end-of-semester student feedback of course evaluation (CET), the course content needs to be more focused. Furthermore, in-class observation (CAFE teaching partners program) suggests more in-class activities to improve student engagement. CAFE also suggests that the course structure should be improved, as the current homework assignments and in-class quizzes are off-balanced.

Currently, this course is in a face-to-face format. The applicant also would like to create an online format of this course to make it more appealing for students on co-op or internship and for students who prefer studying off-campus for various reasons.

In this project, the applicant proposes to redesign Aero Eng 3877 - Principles of Engineering Materials. The specific objectives include:

  • Modify and focus course materials more on aerospace applications
  • Modify the course structure, as the current structure has too many homework and exams but almost no in-class quizzes
  • Increase interactive class components to improve student engagement 
  • Develop an online format of this course

 Dr. Xiaoming He




  • Blended lectures (pre-recorded) and guided coding (in-classroom) for Math 5602 (Mathematical Foundation of Finite Element Methods)


The redesigned Math 5602 (Mathematical Foundation of Finite Element Methods) will be a new blended course that is open to all S&T students and mainly taught by Dr. Xiaoming He. The UM students and UMKC students can also take it through the course-sharing program. The goal of this course is to serve as a bridge between the mathematical formulations of the covered finite element methods and the practical code package of these
methods, by discussing the construction of the finite element methods in the recorded lectures for the slides and implementing them through in-classroom guided coding, homework, and projects. In the new blended format, students will be much better prepared for the lectures through the recordings before they start to transfer the mathematical formulations to the real code through guided coding. Hence the guided coding will be more efficient and productive to help students reach a higher level of understanding of both
the mathematical formulation and the implementation of the finite element methods under a unified framework.

 Dr. Bih-Ru Lea

Associate Professor

Business and Information Technology


  • Redesign and Deploy ERP 2110 Introduction to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) as a Blended Course


The objective of the proposed eFellow project is to redesign and deploy ERP 2110 Introduction to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) from its current in-person form to a blended course format while maintaining the same level of academic rigor and student engagement. Furthermore, ERP 2110 is a required core course for both the Business major and the IST major in the Department of Business and Information Technology (BIT), and it is the first entry course at the freshmen or sophomore level that students need to take before taking other ERP courses. Several minors and certificates are built on upper-level ERP classes, so students’ experience and success from ERP2110 are important in the current in-person format, the proposed blended option, or future online course offering possibility. 

The strategic significance of the proposed ERP2110 redesign is to offer a blended online-in-person option at the department level, the S&T level, and the UM system level. The widespread implementation of ERP systems over the last two decades has led to challenges for companies to recruit a skilled ERP workforce and for universities to educate graduates with ERP knowledge (Charland, et. al.,20151; Lea, et. al., 20202). A steep learning curve and heavy infrastructure investment resulted in few academics who have intimate knowledge

capable of offering ERP courses (Becarra-Sanchez, et. al., 20003), and that has limited the ability of U.S. universities in addressing this industry-critical need and has led to IT outsourcing that hinders our nation’s competitiveness and economy. At the department level, the ERP program has the most comprehensive and unique ERP curriculum in the state of Missouri and the nation. The department is in a unique position to address such ERP workforce challenges and offering ERP 2110 in a blended format is essential and the first step to increasing the enrollment for those who cannot attend an in-person class. At the S&T level,
the BIT department’s ERP program is unique among all four UM System schools, thereby giving Missouri S&T a singular strength not easily replicated by the other three campuses. The advantage to us is to increase S&T’s online presence with a unique in-person experiential learning experience, to explore new collaboration opportunities with our sister UM schools, and to cultivate new corporate-sponsored programs. At the UM System level, the offering of a well-designed ERP 2110 blended course can serve as the first step to offering additional ERP educational programs that other universities cannot easily replicate to create a niche market in the highly competitive online education market.


 Dr. Radu Puslenghea

Assistant Teaching Professor



  • Principles of Macroeconomics (Econ 1200)


Principles of Macroeconomics (Econ 1200) is a general education requirement class and it is taken by most freshmen students. It is taught in a lecture-heavy format (usually 3 meetings per week) and in large sections which, before the pandemic, would average 70+ students, but could go up to 130.


This makes it very challenging to maintain student engagement, it limits the opportunities for meaningful instructor-student interactions (necessary both for checking to understand and to promote deeper student investment in the educational activities). Furthermore, it requires an evaluation system that focuses on a handful of big tests which may introduce significant variance in the assessment of overall individual student performance throughout the class.


In order to address these challenges, this proposal intends to streamline both the teaching material and activity, so that every week there will be two class meetings dedicated to discussing theory, while the third-class period will be dedicated to applications. 


Essentially, this arrangement is intended to serve the same purpose that labs provide in a science class:  hands-on experience for the subjects taught during the lectures, as well as, graded class activities and applications to allow for a more consistent evaluation of student performance and engagement throughout the entire semester, as opposed to discrete and arbitrary intervals.


The overarching goals of my course redesign proposal can be succinctly summarized as follows: first and foremost, to more soundly and clearly ground economic theory into practice and emphasize its real-world applications, help students develop a better understanding of the material, create a more meaningful and involved class experience and promote higher interest in the subject.

An anticipated benefit, of particular significance for the proposed class structuring plan, is that it incentivizes students to take a more active role in their educational experience. In this setup, every week, they are making steady, measurable, and significant progress towards their own academic goals, as well as the stated course learning objectives. 

The process also works in reverse: by providing the instructor with additional, timely information on how students absorb the material, it can raise early red flags about situations in which a particular student may benefit from additional help and/or academic counseling and thus help increase student retention and success.