Course Syllabus

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ENGR 102 Design Engineering and Problem Solving

Foundations of Engineering and Computer Science

Course Overview

Description: Explore foundational engineering concepts such as design principles, usability, problem solving, computational thinking, and logic. Deepen your knowledge of Computer Science (CS) & Software Engineering through overviews and Boolean algebra operations using truth tables, digital circuit diagrams, and introductory Python. Boost your teamwork, communication, and technical writing skills by developing and testing software and researching CS topics in a group, and start building skills to find a job.

Credits: 3

This course combines approximately 90 hours of instruction, online activities, and assignments for 3 credits.

Prerequisites: None (part of ENGR 100/102/103 sequence)

Instructor name: Eric L. Vogel

Instructor email:


As the course description indicates, these Ecampus sections of ENGR 102 cover two types of topics:

  1. General engineering principles that are relevant for all engineering majors
  2. Technical topics that are most relevant for CS majors

If you are not a CS major, you may prefer a more general set of topics that are more directly applicable to your major; see the Engineering+ site for ENGR 102 on-campus sections with less of a computer science focus. If you have no alternative but to take this Ecampus course, and the computer science topics are outside your comfort zone, plan to spend extra time and effort to understand them. And you may need to reach out to the course teaching assistants or the instructor to help you find your personal Rosetta Stone that unlocks those topics for you.

That effort may seem necessary only to complete the course, but it will actually benefit you in unexpected ways once you start your career in your chosen field. Virtually every project in industry is carried out by an engineering team that includes software engineers. Even though these topics may not be directly applicable to your career goals, they will help you understand the issues that software engineers face, and the things they consider and contribute to the engineering design process and to solving complex engineering problems.


This syllabus and schedule are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances.

Technical Assistance

If you experience any errors or problems while in your online course, contact 24-7 Canvas Support through the Help link within Canvas. If you experience computer difficulties, need help downloading a browser or plug-in, or need assistance logging into a course, contact the IS Service Desk for assistance. You can call (541) 737-8787 or visit the IS Service Desk online.

Learning Resources

This course does not have a required textbook. Reading assignments will be provided in the form of lectures, articles online through OSU’s library, and other online resources.

Measurable Student Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate effective team practices while designing solutions to engineering problems. 
  2. Identify project deliverables and create a work plan for an engineering design project as a team including concept generation, evaluation, and brainstorming.  Be able to articulate limitations related to social or structural inequities such as: racial, cultural, gender, socioeconomic and accessibility.
  3. Define convergent and divergent thinking and demonstrate their role in a relevant team design project. 
  4. Use engineering judgement to identify errors and uncertainties in a solution and diagnose their causes. 
  5. Communicate technical concepts effectively through written, oral, digital or visual presentation. Develop an awareness and identify communication strategies for a wide range of audiences. 
  6. Identify and use relevant computational tools to solve an engineering problem. 
  7. Articulate goals for academic, personal, and professional achievement, including major selection, by generating a resume or digital portfolio.

Course Content and Schedule



Due Wed

Due Fri


Problem Solving


Discussion 1: Introductions and Computer Science Experience



Discussion 2: Current Issue Commentary

Homework 1: Truth Table Practice

Quiz 1: Weeks 1-2 



Discussion 3: Boolean Algebra Practice

Assignment 1: Circuit Emulation (Three Ways)



Discussion 4: Assignment 2 Practice

Homework 2: Test Table Practice

Quiz 2: Weeks 3-4


Software Engineering

Discussion 5: Decision Trees

Assignment 2: Circuit Emulation (Four Ways)


Usability Engineering

Discussion 6: Design In Real Life (IRL)

Homework 3: Assignment 3 Preparation (Group Homework) *

Quiz 3: Weeks 5-6


Soft Skills for Engineers

Discussion 7: Job Search Aid Draft

Assignment 3: Z-Score Python Script (Group Assignment) *
Assignment 3: Z-Score Project Report (Individual Assignment)


Computer Hardware & Software

Discussion 8: Open Source in Society

Homework 4: Job Search Aid

Quiz 4: Weeks 7-8


Computer Science at Oregon State University

Discussion 9: Final Project Brainstorming

Assignment 4: Command-Line Puzzle



Discussion 10: Final Project Check-In

Final Project Proposal (Group Assignment) *

Quiz 5: Weeks 9-10


Final Project Poster (Group Portfolio Project) * (due Tue of finals week)

Discussion 11: Course Reflection (Extra Credit) (due Wed of finals week)

* Items shown in bold red are group projects.


U.S. holidays this term (no office hours; instructors, GTAs, and ULAs will not be working):

  • Mon Jan 16


Letter Grade Floors/Ceilings


Percent Floor

























Distribution of Points by Assessment


Pts each



















Final Project Proposal




Final Project Poster




Total Points:




Note: since everyone must get 100% on the Syllabus quiz to unlock the remaining course materials, its score is not included in the total points for the course.

Course Policies

Student Conduct

Allowed 😊

NOT allowed 😞

Showing your work to an instructor or TA, or sharing report drafts with your discussion group.

Giving your work to a (current or future) student so they can copy it.

Discussing strategies and concepts with classmates.

Submitting someone else's work as your own or claiming their work as yours.

Submitting incomplete work before the deadline with a note saying you are going to resubmit.

Asking for an extension after missing the deadline for an assignment (except in unavoidable emergencies).

Asking too many questions by email, in Teams, or on the class message board.

Not understanding what you need to do, not asking for help, and then asking what you can do after it’s too late.

Disagreeing with someone on the message board.

Name-calling, stalking, or counter-productive comments.

Discussing the assigned reading or quiz questions in Teams, on Ed Discussion, or in your Canvas discussion group.

Sharing the quiz questions or answers publicly or outside of a class communication medium.

Late Work Policy

You must submit all assignments before the due date. We do not accept submissions if the deadline is missed. If you do not submit before the due date, you will receive no credit.

However, we do have a "revision grace period" policy for Assignments 1, 2, 3 and 4. If you are unable to complete an assignment to your satisfaction before the due date — for any reason — you may notify the TA (via a Canvas comment along with the original on-time submission) that you plan to submit a revision. All you need to say is "Revision grace period"; you do not need to state a reason or apologize for taking advantage of this policy. You may then submit a vision within 3 days.

Special note: Discussion posts, quizzes, homeworks, and the final (Final Project Proposal and Final Project Poster) are not eligible for late revisions.

If you 1) submit a partial fulfillment of the requirements before the due date, 2) include a comment for the TA when you submit your first attempt, and then 3) resubmit a revised version of your work within 3 days, your grade will reflect your final submission only without incurring penalties. If you do not resubmit within 3 days, your grade will reflect your original (potentially incomplete) submission.

Please note that if nothing is submitted by the deadline, Canvas will put an automatic 0 in the gradebook for that assessment. Graders will skip grading assignments that have a 0 put in already. For eligible Assignments, if you submit something (anything) before the deadline, then Canvas won't put that 0 in and your grader will see your submission. They will check for a comment to see if you are planning to use the revision period, and if so then they will hold off on grading your work until the revision period ends. So if you want an extension, submit something before the deadline, or you'll get a 0 that won't change. 

Exceptions may be made at the instructor’s discretion for documented emergencies e.g. hospitalization, or extraordinary extenuating circumstances (e.g. your country loses internet). 

Discussion Participation

Students are expected to participate in all graded discussions. While there is great flexibility in online courses, this is not a self-paced course. Discussions are due on Wednesdays, however you will benefit more from them if your make your first post earlier.

Proctored Exams

There will be no exams in this course.


Incomplete (I) grades will be granted only in emergency cases (usually only for a death in the family, major illness or injury, or birth of your child), and if the student has turned in 85% of the points possible (in other words, usually everything but the final project). If you are having any difficulty that might prevent you from completing the coursework, please don’t wait until the end of the term; let me know right away.

Guidelines for a Productive and Effective Online Classroom

Students are expected to conduct themselves in the course (e.g., on discussion boards, email) in compliance with the university’s regulations regarding civility. Civility is an essential ingredient for academic discourse. All communications for this course should be conducted constructively, civilly, and respectfully. Differences in beliefs, opinions, and approaches are to be expected. In all you say and do for this course, be professional. Please bring any communications you believe to be in violation of this class policy to the attention of your instructor.

Active interaction with peers and your instructor is essential to success in this online course, paying particular attention to the following:

  • Unless indicated otherwise, please complete the readings and view other instructional materials for each week before participating in the discussion board.
  • Read your posts carefully before submitting them.
  • Be respectful of others and their opinions, valuing diversity in backgrounds, abilities, and experiences.
  • Challenging the ideas held by others is an integral aspect of critical thinking and the academic process. Please word your responses carefully, and recognize that others are expected to challenge your ideas. A positive atmosphere of healthy debate is encouraged.

Expectations for Student Conduct

Student conduct is governed by the university’s policies, as explained in the Student Conduct Code ( . Students are expected to conduct themselves in the course (e.g., on discussion boards, email postings) in compliance with the university's regulations regarding civility.

Communication & Where to Go for Help

Eric L. Vogel (instructor):

I am available 9am-12pm Arizona time weekdays. During those times, I am more likely to respond to questions that do not require an appointment: direct messages in Teams or questions posted in Ed Discussions or the Teams General channel (see details below). I'm also available for consultation through Teams or Zoom by appointment, although your first line of defense for getting assistance should be the teaching assistant office hours sessions. There are many such sessions throughout the week to try and accommodate your work schedules and time zones. If you have conflicts attending office hours, let me know so we can try and set up a session that fits your schedule.

My communication preference for less time-critical communications is by email from your OSU email account (university policy) to, especially for matters of a personal nature. Please put [ENGR 102] in the subject line so your email won't get lost, and use an email program rather than sending messages through Canvas. If you try to contact me through any of the above methods outside my normal availability hours, I should get back to you within one business day. 

You can ask questions to the teaching assistants, your classmates, or me in these forums:

  • Ed Discussions (a Q&A forum for help from other students, the teaching assistants, and the instructor — link in the Canvas nav bar.)
  • Teams (a forum for more informal interaction with other students, and also for office hours — link in the Canvas nav bar.)
    1. To join us on Microsoft Teams, visit the link in the nav bar (
    2. Login with your OSU ONID and password
    3. Join the ENGR 102 Team Channel using the Team Code 1jj87qf

When you email your teaching assistants or me, you should expect a response within one business day, and you can expect your assignments to be graded within five business days of the due date.

Grader-to-student mapping, teaching assistant help session times, and teaching assistant contact information will be provided in an announcement at the beginning of the term.

Help with this Course

1st Priority: Use the Ed Discussion board for questions about the course content, so that we can all benefit and learn together.

2nd Priority: Chat with teaching assistants during their office hours on Teams for help with assignments and homework. 

3rd Priority: Post in the Teams general channel to chat about the course or connect with your fellow students, teaching assistants, and instructor.

For questions about grades or requests for extensions: email your instructor (teaching assistants cannot help with these).

Contact Information

Instructor contact information
Eric L. Vogel:

Teaching assistant contact information
Armin Hastings (GTA)
Defeng Tao (GTA)
Kyle Donovan (ULA)
Zoe Downen  (ULA)
Chelsea Li (ULA)
Calvin Saelee (ULA)

Teaching assistant office hours (scheduled times where they are available to answer your questions in real-time on Teams via video or chat):

Teaching Assistant Office Hours (Pacific Time)
Day Start End Teaching Assistant Session Type
10:30 AM 11:30 AM Zoe Downen Video
2:30 PM 3:30 PM Zoe Downen Video
4:00 PM 5:00 PM Kyle Donovan Video
10:00 AM 12:00 PM Kyle Donovan Video
1:00 PM 2:00 PM Calvin Saelee Chat
3:30 PM 5:00 PM Chelsea Li Chat
10:30 AM 11:30 AM Zoe Downen Video
12:00 PM 1:30 PM Chelsea Li Chat
2:30 PM 3:30 PM Zoe Downen Video
4:00 PM 6:00 PM Calvin Saelee Chat
10:00 AM 12:00 PM Kyle Donovan Video
1:00 PM 3:00 PM Calvin Saelee Chat
3:30 PM 5:00 PM Chelsea Li Chat
2:00 PM 4:00 PM Calvin Saelee Chat
Saturday 12:00 PM 1:00 PM Calvin Saelee Chat

You can meet or chat with any of the teaching assistants during these sessions if you have questions or need help with the course. Post your questions in the Teams General channel (for general questions) or send a chat message for questions about your work. 

Help with University Life

For those of you who are new to OSU and the College of Engineering, there are many resources available to support you. Some of these are relevant to all students, and some (like walk-in services) are only really available to students on campus, but that includes Corvallis-area-based Ecampus students. Don't hesitate to take advantage of these resources, since they are funded by your fees and you are completely entitled to use them for your benefit! 

This is the exhaustive list. A subset is listed below:

Mental/Physical Care:

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)

My Student Support Program

OSU Assist: Mobile Crisis Response

Student Health Services

Survivor Care & Prevention (CAPE)


Academic Resources:

Academic Success Center

CoE IT Help Desk

File Space on Engineering Servers

Oregon State Page

Study Spaces

Valley Library

Writing Center

Educational Opportunities Program

Disability Access Services

Cultural Resource Centers

Leadership Academy

Ecampus Student Services

Student Success Team



Engineering Tutoring

The Mole Hole (Chemistry help)

The Wormhole (Physics help)

The Mathematics and Statistics Learning Center (MSLC)



Career Center

Career Coach

Ecampus Career Hub

Job Shadow Program

OSU Employment/Job Search

Undergraduate Research Opportunities


Financial Aid:

Basic Needs Center

Financial Aid Office

Scholarship Universe


Ecampus Financial Hardship Grant



Adventure Leadership Institute (ALI)

Recreational Sports

Wellness Coaching

Student Clubs 

University Policies

Academic Calendar

All students are subject to the registration and refund deadlines as stated in the Academic Calendar:

Statement Regarding Students with Disabilities

Accommodations for students with disabilities are determined and approved by Disability Access Services (DAS). If you, as a student, believe you are eligible for accommodations but have not obtained approval please contact DAS immediately at 541-737-4098 or at DAS notifies students and faculty members of approved academic accommodations and coordinates implementation of those accommodations. While not required, students and faculty members are encouraged to discuss details of the implementation of individual accommodations.

Statement Regarding Religious Accommodation

Oregon State University is required to provide reasonable accommodations for employee and student sincerely held religious beliefs. It is incumbent on the student making the request to make the faculty member aware of the request as soon as possible prior to the need for the accommodation. See the Religious Accommodation Process for Students .

Establishing a Positive Community

It is important you feel safe and welcome in this course. If somebody is making discriminatory comments against you, sexually harassing you, or excluding you in other ways, contact the instructor, your academic advisor, and/or report what happened at so we can connect you with resources. Note: Most OSU employees, including faculty, may be required to report suspected sexual misconduct, domestic violence, or discrimination to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access.

Accessibility of Course Materials

All materials used in this course are accessible. If you require accommodations please contact Disability Access Services (DAS) .

Additionally, Canvas, the learning management system through which this course is offered, provides a vendor statement certifying how the platform is accessible to students with disabilities.

Academic Integrity

Integrity is a character-driven commitment to honesty, doing what is right, and guiding others to do what is right. Oregon State University Ecampus students and faculty have a responsibility to act with integrity in all of our educational work, and that integrity enables this community of learners to interact in the spirit of trust, honesty, and fairness across the globe.

Academic misconduct, or violations of academic integrity, can fall into seven broad areas, including but not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; falsification; assisting; tampering; multiple submissions of work; and unauthorized recording and use.

It is important that you understand what student actions are defined as academic misconduct at Oregon State University. The OSU Libraries offer a tutorial on academic misconduct, and you can also refer to the OSU Student Code of Conduct and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standard’s website for more information. More importantly, if you are unsure if something will violate our academic integrity policy, ask your professors, GTAs, academic advisors, or academic integrity officers.

Ecampus Reach Out for Success

University students encounter setbacks from time to time. If you encounter difficulties and need assistance, it’s important to reach out. Consider discussing the situation with an instructor or academic advisor. Learn about resources that assist with wellness and academic success.

Ecampus students are always encouraged to discuss issues that impact your academic success with the Ecampus Success Team . Email to identify strategies and resources that can support you in your educational goals.

Other Ecampus Student Resources

For mental health:

Learn about counseling and psychological resources for Ecampus students. If you are in immediate crisis, in the U.S. you can dial 988 to reach the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

For financial hardship:

Any student whose academic performance is impacted due to financial stress or the inability to afford groceries, housing, and other necessities for any reason is urged to contact the Director of Care for support (541-737-8748).

Code of Conduct

The Code of Student Conduct prohibits Academic Misconduct and defines it as:

Any action that misrepresents a student or group’s work, knowledge, or achievement, provides a potential or actual inequitable advantage, or compromises the integrity of the educational process.

To support understanding of what can be included in this definition, the Code further classifies and describes examples of Academic Misconduct, including cheating, plagiarism, assisting and others. See the Code of Student Conduct: for details.

You are expected to do your own work and demonstrate academic integrity in every aspect of this course. Familiarize yourself with the standards set forth in the OSU Code of Student Conduct Section 4.2. You must only access sources and resources authorized by the instructor. You may not show your work to any other current or future students without the instructor’s authorization. Violations of these expectations or the Code of Student Conduct will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. If there is any question about whether an act constitutes academic misconduct, it is your responsibility to seek clarification and approval from the instructor prior to acting.

Tutoring and Writing Assistance

The College of Engineering Peer Tutoring Program is a free academic support service staffed by trained engineering students. We offer one-on-one and group tutoring for a variety of classes, including prerequisite and technical coursework. Tutoring can be accessed via drop-ins virtually or in Johnson Hall. Access COE Tutoring from within your Canvas class by clicking on the COE Tutoring button in your course menu. Note that there is no tutoring specifically for ENGR 102. However, the computer science emphasis of this Ecampus course means that CS 161 tutors may able to help with general algorithmic and computational tasks, and possibly some programming principles as well.

The Oregon State Online Writing Suite is also available for students enrolled in Ecampus courses.


Your instructor may ask you to submit one or more of your writings to Turnitin, a plagiarism prevention service. Your assignment content will be checked for potential plagiarism against Internet sources, academic journal articles, and the papers of other OSU students, for common or borrowed content. Turnitin generates a report that highlights any potentially unoriginal text in your paper. The report may be submitted directly to your instructor or your instructor may elect to have you submit initial drafts through Turnitin, and you will receive the report allowing you the opportunity to make adjustments and ensure that all source material has been properly cited. Papers you submit through Turnitin for this or any class will be added to the OSU Turnitin database and may be checked against other OSU paper submisions. You will retain all rights to your written work. For further information, visit Academic Integrity for Students: Turnitin – What is it?

Student Learning Experience Survey

During Fall, Winter, and Spring term, the online Student Learning Experience surveys open to students the Wednesday of week 9 and close the Sunday before Finals Week. Students will receive notification, instructions, and the link through their ONID email. They may also log into the survey via MyOregonState. Survey results are extremely important and are used to help improve courses and the learning experience of future students. Responses are anonymous (unless a student chooses to “sign” their comments, agreeing to relinquish anonymity of written comments) and are not available to instructors until after grades have been posted. The results of scaled questions and signed comments go to both the instructor and their unit head/supervisor. Anonymous (unsigned) comments go to the instructor only.

Student Bill of Rights

OSU has twelve established student rights. They include due process in all university disciplinary processes, an equal opportunity to learn, and grading in accordance with the course syllabus:

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Course Summary:

Date Details Due