June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.76.1 - 22.76.11
An innovative approach in teaching “Measurement Laboratory” coursesThis paper presents an innovative approach in improvement of a laboratory based course in“Measurement Laboratory”. The instruction is dual based on both TRIZ and hands-on laboratoryexperimental approaches, leading Engineering Technology students to gain skills and experiencein industrial/technological real-life setting as well as in developing innovative ideas. Thiseducational strategy promotes creativity among students, develops an innovative environmentand also enables them to identify the best optimum design alternative for an engineeringproblem.Traditional laboratory instruction offered up to now a general, vague and too broad vision overmostly mechanical measurements, using LabView as interface between physical set-up and dataacquisition system only seldom and as a prepared package delivered to the student (a “black-box” approach). That limited student understanding as well as his/her engagement in developingthe experiment and ultimately grasping the methodology of generating an optimal experimentalset-up that serves the purpose of the proposed investigation, the various sources of error anderror propagation in such experiment. That led also to disconnection between lectured materialand laboratory activity.To overcome these issues, we proposed an integrated lecture/experiment package, where thestudent is fully involved in creating and analyzing the experiment during laboratory activity,based on his prior knowledge gained from previous courses as well as in class lectures (deliveredprior to each lab activity and closely linked to each lab activity). In this way the student has theopportunity of applying what he learned. Students will be introduced to LabView and berequired to create and generate VI’s (virtual instrument) to collect needed data from physicalexperiments. For “Measurement Laboratory” course students are introduced to more appealingmeasurement methods, based on new techniques rather than based on mature or even outdatedtechniques that traditionally are taught in class. For example, they will have lab activities basedon reaction times statistics measurements using PIC microcontrollers analyzed vs. computerbased LabView VI of the same measurement; capturing temperature measurement using a Kthermocouple, a microchip family linear active thermistor and LabView VI’s (created by thestudents) to measure and statistically analyze temperature variation. The software and thephysical experiment are connected using a NI DAQ 6009 data acquisition board. In this way, thecourse gains multi- and interdisciplinary character, enabling students to acquire necessary skillsin developing their future projects including “Senior Design”.Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) developed by Genrich Altschuller is becoming animportant theoretical tool in academic and industrial environment around the world and lately inUnited States. Also, there is a consensus that TRIZ offers a highly effective pathway toinstructing students in producing novel solutions to technical problems in a systematic way.
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