EGEE 102
Energy Conservation for Environmental Protection

EGEE 102 Syllabus - Spring 2023


EGEE 102: Energy Conservation for Environmental Protection

This syllabus applies only for online students and is divided into several sections. You can read it sequentially by scrolling down the length of the document. It is essential that you read the entire document as well as material covered in the course Orientation. Together these serve as our course "contract."


Dr. Derek M. Hall

Dr. Derek M. Hall

Non-Tenure Line Assistant Professor of Energy Engineering

Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering

College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University

  • Email: Please use the Canvas course email system and send all messages to all teachers (see the Inbox link in Canvas). In an emergency, use
  • Office Hours: By Appointment via Starfish. Everyone taking the online course is encouraged to use the office hours to talk to the instructor personally via Zoom.

Course Overview

Description: Energy is a vital component of modern society. Much of the general population believes that the energy sources we depend on are perpetual. While people believe that energy use is the culprit for environmental damage, they are not aware of the methods and principles by which energy conversion devices operate. This general education course will provide you with the necessary knowledge and information on the main operating principles of devices/appliances that are in common use and information on which to make the right decision in selecting the most energy efficient and economical choice. These devices are day-to-day appliances such as refrigerators, washers and dryers, ovens, etc., and home heating or cooling and transportation choices. The course also provides necessary information on heating furnaces, insulation, doors and windows, lighting, and air conditioning principles. The objective of the course is to expose you to energy efficiency in day to day life in order to save money and energy and thereby protect the environment. I hope the information in this course will help you become an environmentally-responsible individual of this Global Village.

Prerequisites: None

When you successfully complete this course, you will be prepared to:

  • understand and appreciate energy efficiency and environmental concepts;
  • explain the basic operating principles of day-to-day energy conversion devices;
  • discuss various options to increase energy efficiency;
  • examine ways to save energy and money; and
  • explore ways to save the environment.

What I Expect of You

On average, most students spend eight to ten hours per week working on course assignments. Your workload may be more or less depending on your study habits.

I have worked hard to make this the most effective and convenient educational experience possible. The Internet may still be a novel learning environment for you, but in one sense it is no different than a traditional college class: how much and how well you learn is ultimately up to you. You will succeed if you are diligent about keeping up with the class schedule and if you take advantage of opportunities to communicate with the instructional team, as well as with your fellow students.

Specific learning objectives for each lesson and project are detailed within each lesson. The class schedule is published under the Calendar link in Canvas (the course management system used for this course).

Required Course Materials

In order to take this course, you must have the required course materials and an active Penn State Access Account user ID and password. You will use this user ID and password to access any online course materials, which are presented through our course website and in Canvas. If you have any questions about obtaining or activating your Penn State Access Account, please contact the IT Service Desk (resident students) or the Outreach Helpdesk (World Campus students).

Assignments and Grading

EGEE 102 will rely upon a variety of methods to assess and evaluate student learning, including:

  • Ten Weekly Quizzes
  • Three Mid-term Exams
  • Final Exam

See the Course Assignments page for more detailed information about each of these categories.

It is important that your work be completed by the designated due date. I strongly advise that you not wait until the last minute to complete these assignments—give yourself time to ask questions, think things over, and chat with others. You'll learn more, do better...and be happier!

Due dates for all assignments are posted on the course calendar in Canvas.

Assignment Feedback: Usually, one week will be given to the students to submit any reports, etc., in Spring, Fall and 12 week summer semesters. It takes a week to grade these, and, therefore, it is reasonable to expect the grades back a week after the submission.

Make-up Exam Policy: (Missed Exams/Assignments) The only acceptable excuse is a conflict with another legitimate academic activity. You need to contact the instructor and get prior written approval to reschedule an exam. Prior notification and approval for a make-up exam must be obtained by the student at least 72 hours prior to the scheduled exam.

Note: All weeks run from Sunday through Saturday, with the exception of the first and last week. All the due dates and times are Eastern Standard / Eastern Daylight Times.

University Policy 47-20 is followed for this course. Grades shall be assigned to individual students on the basis of the instructor's judgment of the student's scholastic achievement as set forth in Section 47-60. This specifically includes the instructor's judgment regarding an appropriate academic sanction for academic dishonesty defined in Section 49-20.

Your grade for the class will be evaluated based on the awareness of some basic facts about energy use, ability to articulate principles of energy conversion devices, ability to analyze energy efficiency of various conversion devices, and perform basic quantitative analysis of economic and environmental analysis of energy conservation. Assessment is performed through exams, quizzes, and class participation.

Below is a table with the breakdown of each assignments value as a percentage of the total course grade.

Assignment Points Percent of Grade
Quizzes 350 points (best 8 of 10) 35%
Mid-Term Exams 400 points (best 2 of 3) 40%
Final Exam 250 points 25%
Participation / Extra Credit 30 points 3%


  • Online Students: There will be a total of 10 online quizzes, one for each lesson. These quizzes are based on the material covered in each lesson. You will take these timed quizzes after completing each lesson. The quizzes will be scored and will count toward your grade. The two lowest scores will be dropped in calculating the final grade.
  • You will only have TWO opportunities to take each timed (20 minute) quiz before the deadline (see the Calendar link for due dates). Once the quiz is started you cannot save and finish later. You must finish and submit the quiz before the deadline - not just start before the deadline. You will receive feedback for each quiz that you take. This feedback will be available only after the end of the participation deadline for a given quiz.
  • No makeup quizzes will be given under any circumstances (including sickness, family emergencies, computer/Internet issues or accidental clicks on wrong buttons). For these kinds of reasons, quiz scores are dropped.


  • There are three midterm exams (Only your best 2 scores will count toward your grade).
  • A comprehensive final exam (25%) is required for everyone and consists of all multiple choice questions. Questions will be similar to the quiz questions and/or previous exams.

Participation Extra Credit: 3%

In this online class, participation is through the message board. For extraordinary participation throughout the semester by posting stimulating discussions or links to articles that you came across and discussing in detail how that adds value to the class or constructive detailed replies, I will add up to 3% extra credit. Routine questions or replies such as "where is homework 1 link?" or "when do we get our grades back" or even plain links to articles without your detailed discussion would not qualify. Extra credit is totally based on quality and quantity of the postings as determined by me. No correspondence will be entertained on this subject.

Extra credit points will be awarded for extraordinary participation throughout the semester in the Extra Credit Discussion Board. (Registered students can access the discussion board in Canvas.) I will add up to 3% extra credit if you regularly post stimulating discussions or links to articles that you came across during the semester. You should also discuss in detail how your post adds value to the class. I will also consider constructive detailed replies to existing posts. Routine questions or replies such as "where is the homework 1 link?" or "when do we get our grades back" or even plain links to articles without your detailed discussion would not qualify. Extra credit is totally based on quality and quantity of the postings as determined by me. No correspondence will be entertained on this subject.

I will use the Canvas grade book to keep track of your grades. You can see your grades in the grade book, too, by clicking the Grades link in Canvas. Overall course grades will be determined as follows. Percentages refer to the proportion of all possible points earned.

Letter Grade and Corresponding Percentages
Letter Grade Cumulative Percentages
A > 93 %
A- > 90% and < 93%
B+ > 86% and < 90%
B > 81% and < 86%
B- > 75% and < 81%
C+ > 68% and < 75%
C >60% and < 68%
D > 52% and < 60%
F < 52 %
X Unsatisfactory (student did not participate)

Please note that grades will not be rounded up in this class. For example, a 92.9 will remain a 92.9 and therefore will be an A-. In those circumstances, participation extra credit will help. See above.

EGEE 102 Course Schedule

imagePrintable Schedule

This course has 10 lessons. Most lessons are one week long but a few span two weeks. See our Calendar in Canvas for specific lesson time frames and assignment due dates.

NOTE: See the Canvas Calendar for a full semester calendar of events.

Lesson 1: Energy and Society
Readings Read the online Lesson 1 material and any additional readings mentioned within the lesson.
Assignments Lesson 1 Quiz
Lesson 2: Energy Supply and Demand
Readings Read the online Lesson 2 material and any additional readings mentioned within the lesson.
Assignments Lesson 2 Quiz
Lesson 3: Energy Efficiency
Readings Read the online Lesson 3 material and any additional readings mentioned within the lesson.
Assignments Lesson 3 Quiz
Lesson 4: Energy and the Environment
Readings Read the online Lesson 4 material and any additional readings mentioned within the lesson.
Assignments Lesson 4 Quiz
Exam 1
Lesson 5: Home Heating Basics
Readings Read the online Lesson 5 material and any additional readings mentioned within the lesson.
Assignments Lesson 5 Quiz
Lesson 6: Home Heating Systems
Readings Read the online Lesson 6 material and any additional readings mentioned within the lesson.
Assignments Lesson 6 Quiz
Lesson 7: Home Cooling
Readings Read the online Lesson 7 material and any additional readings mentioned within the lesson.
Assignments Lesson 7 Quiz
Exam 2
Lesson 8: Windows
Readings Read the online Lesson 8 material and any additional readings mentioned within the lesson.
Assignments Lesson 8 Quiz
Lesson 9: Lighting
Readings Read the online Lesson 9 material and any additional readings mentioned within the lesson.
Assignments Lesson 9 Quiz
Lesson 10: Appliances
Readings Read the online Lesson 10 material and any additional readings mentioned within the lesson.
Assignments Lesson 10 Quiz
Exam 3

Course Communications

Any email correspondence should be sent through Canvas email or PSU email for authenticity purposes. Canvas email is the preferred method. This course has hundreds of students and only one instructor, who also teaches other courses and is involved in other university activities.  As such, please plan for a 48 hour window before seeing an answer to your email Although attempts will be made to reply as quickly as possible, you should not assume that all the emails sent after 5:00 PM or over the weekend will be replied to on the same day, even if a homework assignment is due that day. PLAN AHEAD. EXPECT DELAYS and/or COMPUTER PROBLEMS. The assignments are open formultiple days to help you with this.

Class Support Services

Penn State Online offers online tutoring to World Campus students in math, writing, and some business classes. Tutoring and guided study groups for residential students are available through Penn State Learning.

Course Policies

Late Policy

I do not expect any "late work." In exceptional circumstances (prolonged sickness or legitimate University Activities), you should contact me. Job interviews or University Club meetings or family visits, etc., do not count as exceptional circumstances. Course lessons are available to you in advance. It is your responsibility to plan ahead and work ahead if necessary to accommodate your personal schedule. This flexibility is one of the great features of online learning. Take advantage of it.

Technical Requirements

For this course, we recommend the minimum technical requirements outlined on the World Campus Technical Requirements page, including the requirements listed for same-time, synchronous communications. If you need technical assistance at any point during the course, please contact the HelpDesk (for World Campus students) or the IT Service Desk (for students at all other campus locations).

Internet Connection

Access to a reliable Internet connection is required for this course. A problem with your Internet access may not be used as an excuse for late, missing, or incomplete coursework. If you experience problems with your Internet connection while working on this course, it is your responsibility to find an alternative Internet access point, such as a public library or Wi-Fi ® hotspot.

Mixed Content

This site is considered a secure web site which means that your connection is encrypted. We do however link to content that isn't necessarily encrypted. This is called mixed content. By default, mixed content is blocked in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome. This may result in a blank page or a message saying that only secure content is displayed. Follow the directions on our Technical Requirements page to view the mixed content.


This course must be viewed using the latest version of Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or Edge. Internet Explorer is not supported. If you use any other browser, or if you are not using the latest version of your browser, some pages containing equations may not render properly. In addition, javascript must be enabled for equations to render properly. If you have any issues with equations not rendering properly, please update your browser to the latest version or try using a different browser. If you need additional technical assistance at any point during the course, please contact the HelpDesk (for World Campus students) or the IT Service Desk (for students at all other campus locations).

Penn State E-mail Accounts

All official communications from Penn State are sent to students' Penn State e-mail accounts. Be sure to check your Penn State account regularly, or forward your Penn State e-mail to your preferred e-mail account, so you don't miss any important information.

Academic Integrity

This course follows the procedures for academic integrity of Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Penn State defines academic integrity as "the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner." Academic integrity includes "a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception." In particular, the University defines plagiarism as "the fabrication of information and citations; submitting others' work from professional journals, books, articles, and papers; submission of other students' papers, lab results or project reports and representing the work as one's own." Penalties for violations of academic integrity may include course failure. To learn more, see Penn State's Academic Integrity Training for Students

Course Copyright

All course materials students receive or to which students have online access are protected by copyright laws. Students may use course materials and make copies for their own use as needed, but unauthorized distribution and/or uploading of materials without the instructor’s express permission is strictly prohibited. University Policy AD 40, the University Policy Recording of Classroom Activities and Note Taking Services addresses this issue. Students who engage in the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials may be held in violation of the University’s Code of Conduct, and/or liable under Federal and State laws.

For example, uploading completed labs, homework, or other assignments to any study site constitutes a violation of this policy.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. The Office for Student Disability Resources website provides contact information for Campus Disability Coordinators at every Penn State campus. For further information, please visit the Office for Student Disability Resources website

In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled. You will participate in an intake interview and provide documentation. See documentation guidelines at Applying for Services from Student Disability Resources. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus’s disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations.

Change in Normal Campus Operations

In case of weather-related delays or other emergency camps disruptions or closures at the University, this online course will proceed as planned. Your instructor will inform you if there are any extenuating circumstances regarding content or activity due dates in the course due to these delays or closures. If you are affected by a weather-related emergency, please contact your instructor at the earliest possible time to make special arrangements.

Reporting Educational Equity Concerns

Penn State takes great pride to foster a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. Acts of intolerance, discrimination, or harassment due to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or veteran status are not tolerated (Policy AD29 Statement on Intolerance) and can be reported through Educational Equity via Report Bias.

Counseling and Psychological Services

Many students at Penn State face personal challenges or have psychological needs that may interfere with their academic progress, social development, or emotional well-being.  The university offers a variety of confidential services to help you through difficult times, including individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, consultations, online chats, and mental health screenings.  These services are provided by staff who welcome all students and embrace a philosophy respectful of clients’ cultural and religious backgrounds, and sensitive to differences in race, ability, gender identity, and sexual orientation.  Services include the following:

Counseling and Psychological Services at University Park  (CAPS): 814-863-0395
Counseling Services at Commonwealth Campuses
Penn State Crisis Line (24 hours/7 days/week): 877-229-6400
Crisis Text Line (24 hours/7 days/week): Text LIONS to 741741

Military Personnel

Veterans and currently serving military personnel and/or spouses with unique circumstances (e.g., upcoming deployments, drill/duty requirements, disabilities, VA appointments, etc.) are welcome and encouraged to communicate these, in advance if possible, to the instructor in the case that special arrangements need to be made.

Connect Online with Caution

Penn State is committed to educational access for all. Our students come from all walks of life and have diverse life experiences. As with any other online community, the lack of physical interaction in an online classroom can create a false sense of anonymity and security. While one can make new friends online, digital relationships can also be misleading. Good judgment and decision-making are critical when choosing to disclose personal information to others whom you do not know.

Deferred Grades

If you are prevented from completing this course within the prescribed amount of time for reasons that are beyond your control, it is possible to have the grade deferred with the concurrence of the instructor, following Penn State Deferred Grade Policy 48-40. To seek a deferred grade, you must submit a written request (by e-mail or U.S. post) to the instructor describing the reason(s) for the request. Non-emergency permission for filing a deferred grade must be requested before the beginning of the final examination period.  It is up to the instructor to determine whether or not you will be permitted to receive a deferred grade. If permission is granted, you will work with the instructor to establish a communication plan and a clear schedule for completion within policy.  If for any reason, the coursework for the deferred grade is not complete by the assigned time, a grade of "F" will be automatically entered on your transcript.


This course will be conducted entirely online. There will be no set class meeting times, but you will be required to complete weekly assignments with specific due dates. Many of the assignments are open for multiple days, so it is your responsibility to complete the work early if you plan to travel or participate in national holidays, religious observances or University approved activities.

If you need to request an exception due to a personal or medical emergency, contact the instructor directly as soon as you are able. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Diversity, Inclusion, and Respect

Penn State is “committed to creating an educational environment which is free from intolerance directed toward individuals or groups and strives to create and maintain an environment that fosters respect for others” as stated in Policy AD29 Statement on Intolerance. All members of this class are expected to contribute to a respectful, welcoming, and inclusive environment and to interact with civility.

For additional information, see:

Mandated Reporting Statement

Penn State’s policies require me, as a faculty member, to share information about incidents of sex-based discrimination and harassment (discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and retaliation) with Penn State’s Title IX coordinator or deputy coordinators, regardless of whether the incidents are stated to me in person or shared by students as part of their coursework. For more information regarding the University's policies and procedures for responding to reports of sexual or gender-based harassment or misconduct, please visit Penn State's Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention & Response website.

Additionally, I am required to make a report on any reasonable suspicion of child abuse in accordance with the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law.


Please note that the specifics of this Course Syllabus can be changed at any time, and you will be responsible for abiding by any such changes. All changes will be communicated with you via e-mail, course announcement and/or course discussion forum.