Asee peer logo

A Fluid Flow Experiment Utilizing Computer Aided Laboratory Instruction

Download Paper |


2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.31.1 - 6.31.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Scott Morton

author page

Donald Smith

Download Paper |


Experiential discovery laboratory exercises and computer-aided instruction (CAI) are both effective pedagogic means for complex science learning. The combination of these two techniques into computer aided laboratory instruction (CALI) has the potential for being a highly effective teaching method with several attractive side benefits. These side benefits include: significantly reduced supervisory and grading workload, reduced laboratory equipment cost, and reduced laboratory space. These side benefits are achieved through unattended, open laboratory operation and computer grading of the laboratory exercise. Only one laboratory station is required, and students can conduct the experiment whenever the equipment is available. This paper reports initial progress on the development of a CALI experiment using the LabView G programming language. The objective of this experiment is to determine the relationship between pressure drop and fluid flow rate for water flowing through capillary tubes and orifices. The total CALI experience consists of: • Completing a computer-administered qualifying test, • Diagramming the flow circuit on the computer screen, • Selecting appropriate virtual instruments, • Placing and connecting the physical hardware, • Sampling and logging data, and • Completing a computer-administered post-test. Initial results show enhanced understanding of the relationship between pressure drop and fluid flow rate by students performing the CALI experiment. Observation of the students during the experiment indicated a positive benefit from the hands-on experience of their handling and connecting the physical hardware. CALI participants evidenced greater awareness of the function of the various components than did the control group performing a comparable, traditional, laboratory experiment.

Morton, S., & Smith, D. (2001, June), A Fluid Flow Experiment Utilizing Computer Aided Laboratory Instruction Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9278

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2001 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015