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All Lectures Are Not Created Equal

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.73.1 - 3.73.9



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Paper Authors

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Richard Gilbert

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Mark Maughmer

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Marilyn Barger Hillsborough Community College

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Renata Engel Pennsylvania State University

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

Session 1675

Session 1675

All Lectures are Not Created Equal Marilyn Barger, Renata Engel, Richard Gilbert, Mark Maughmer FAMU-FSU College of Engineering/The Pennsylvania State University/University of South Florida/The Pennsylvania State University

Abstract In an educational environment that pressures new faculty to become effective and dynamic teachers there is a tendency to overuse and perhaps misuse the new cadre of information transfer tools as well as the lecture. In undergraduate engineering education lectures are commonly used to promulgate two levels of proficiency: Those that deal with basic skills and those that deal with synthesis of knowledge. These two learning levels are similar in that they must maintain the integrity of the lecture structure, but different in their content, complexity, and commission.

Student success in skill-developing courses is absolutely critical if the metamorphosis from engineering student to the engineering intern is to occur. It is impossible to overestimate the value of these courses. It is also impossible to assure student success in these same courses if they are only lecture-based.

Student success in the design, capstone, and/or integration courses is absolutely critical if the metamorphosis from engineering intern to engineering professional is to occur. It is impossible to overestimate the value of these courses. It is also impossible to assure student success in these same courses unless they include a significant lecture-based component.

This paper will focus on the lecture’s role for delivering material from either of these two extreme learning levels or an intermediate plateau. It will consider how lectures are properly and improperly employed in the various courses within an engineering curriculum. It will also illustrate the companion role that problems and projects play in the student learning experience.

Overview There are several real constraints assigned to the task of transforming a college freshman into a proficient engineer. Time, talent, and tender certainly top the list. Even if talent and tender were eliminated, for example, by momentarily considering the best student body at a well- endowed engineering college taught by the best faculty possible, time would still be a formidable issue in itself. An engineering curriculum must use its courses to move its students from potentially algebra illiterate high school graduates through a reasonable introduction of the various engineering disciplines and finally into and ultimately completing the requirements of a selected engineering field. This is to be accomplished in a nominal four year time period in which usually 50% or more of the student’s courses are not within the engineering domain.

Gilbert, R., & Maughmer, M., & Barger, M., & Engel, R. (1998, June), All Lectures Are Not Created Equal Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--6913

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