OLI Statics course 

OLI Engineering Statics is a freely available, on-line Statics course coauthored by Anna Dollár and Paul Steif (in alphabetical order). The course is part of a suite of cognitively informed, web-based introductory undergraduate level courses that were developed at Carnegie Mellon University under the Open Learning Initiative.  The initial development of this course was supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Further development of the course is currently supported by the National Science Foundation under grant DUE 0918271.


The OLI Engineering Statics course contains many interactive elements, including: simulations, “walk-throughs” that integrate voice and graphics to explain an example of the procedure or a difficult concept, and, most prominently, computer tutors in which students practice problem solving, with hints and feedback. The course is built around a series of carefully devised learning objectives that are independently assessable. 


While individual learners can and do use OLI Engineering Statics, it is also blended by instructors into their Statics courses.  It can be used in many ways, for example:

  • act as a supplement to the textbook
  • replace the textbook, with its interactive exercises serving as part or all of homework assignments
  • serve as the primary instruction in a distance course, with the instructor providing assistance on-line or in occasional sessions 

When students enroll in OLI Engineering Statics using an instructor-generated course key, then the instructor has full access to those students’ activities in the course, via Learning Dashboard and Gradebook, and can leverage that insight to improve classroom instruction.


This Google site is intended for instructors of Statics and provides them with several resources listed in the navigation bar (on the left) which are intended to help them: set up an OLI Engineering Statics course section for their students, direct their students to sign up for the OLI course, relate OLI topics to those in traditional textbooks, and blend OLI into a lecture-based course. The site also provides examples of classroom activities, as well as some background information.

We welcome any feedback you have on the course, so that we may continue to improve it. In particular we are interested in the following:

  • How have you used OLI Engineering Statics in your course (in class, as HW assignment, mandatory or not etc.,)?
  • If you decided not to use the course, why not?
  • For the topics currently covered by the OLI Engineering Statics course, were you satisfied with the materials? If no, why not?
  • What additional topics would you like to see covered by the OLI Engineering Statics course?
  • What other support for instructors using the OLI Engineering Statics course would you like to have (e.g., class activities)?
  • Any other suggestions you have that might help us improve the OLI Engineering Statics course
 Anna Dollár (dollara(at) ) and Paul Steif (steif(at)