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A View On Instruction: The Economics Of It All

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.47.1 - 1.47.7



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Paper Authors

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Mario G. Beruvides

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C. Patrick Koelling

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3557

A View on Instruction: The Economics of it All

Matio G. Beruvides, C. Patrick Koelling Texas Tech University / Virginia Polytechnic Institute& State University

Abstract In the industrial engineering undergraduate curriculum, one course has followed a very traditional educational format both from the instruction and the learning point of view. The course is engineering economics. This course is a fundamental course for industrial engineers as well as for other engineering disciplines (mechanical, electrical, civil, etc.). Although there have been several initiatives to rethink this course, by and large there has been little change in the pedagogical delivery of the course material for the last number of years. This paper investigates the current (prevalent) teaching approaches to this course. An informal survey was conducted with students at two institutions to obtain the customer’s prospective with respect to the use of weekly quizzes to improve student’s knowledge retention. The results of the survey are analyzed and discussed in the context of traditional (receptive accrual) and non-traditional (cognitive mediational) approaches. Also discussed m the realities of the instructor’s work demands, work loads, and job priorities. Suggestions are provided to practitioners and researchers on the potential instructional technique.

Introduction The academic community has a long standing and frequently visited topic: that of how best to instruct pupils. The engineering education community is not immune to this debate (see [7], [11], and [18] to mention a few). Specitlcally in engineering, many changes are affecting the future of pedagogy as we know it. Such topics as distance learning, exporting engirtcering education [12], and softening enrollments [14] have made for a very uncertain and fluid enviromnent for engineering educators.

Notwithstanding all these charges in technology, environmen~ and demographics, one point still holds true: there are students and there are teachers.l Thus, the transmission, acquisition, and practice of advance knowledge is a human factor problem.z An understanding of both, the human ability for learning and the subsequent human factor design of the instruction is crucial. This paper looks at one specific aspect of instruction and learnin g (the chunking of information) to improve the problems with short term vs. long term memory. A specific pedagogical format (weekly quizzes) was applied to a group of engineering economic students at one university. A second group of students at a second university were used as the control group. Both set of students were surveyed to determined their perceptions on the instructional technique. The results of the survey and a discussion of the implications of those studies are provided.

1 Some believe that in the future our ehildnm will be taught by computers. We disagree. Just by the simple realization of the changing nature of technology, the need for instructors will in fact increase not demase. Secondly, those who view the future of instruction as “computer driven,” fail to see a profession as a practice which has a complex socio-technical component. 2 Few, in engineering education, have approached instruction and learning fmm a human factor perspective. This is especially sad for industrial engineers who are the guadans of this discipline.

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Beruvides, M. G., & Koelling, C. P. (1996, June), A View On Instruction: The Economics Of It All Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6387

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