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An Analysis Of Team Learning Experiences And Educational Outcomes In Robotics

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Conference

2002 Annual Conference

Location

Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Mobile Robotics in Education

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

7.161.1 - 7.161.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/10606

Download Count

69

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Paper Authors

author page

David Ahlgren

author page

Igor Verner

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

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Analysis of Team Learning Experiences and Educational Outcomes in Robotics

David J. Ahlgren1/Igor M. Verner2 Trinity College/Technion—Israel Institute of Technology

Abstract

This paper argues that educational research, which assesses learning and instruction in introductory robotics courses, is essential to the evaluation, improvement, and dissemination of robotics programs. The authors consider their experiences in teaching robotics as an introductory engineering subject at Trinity College in the United States, and as a graduation project course at the Mevohot E’ron High School in Israel. Both programs focus on team-based design of fire-fighting mobile robots to compete in the Trinity College Fire-Fighting Home Robot Contest. For these courses we discuss educational objectives, course content and organization, learning activities, and educational outcomes.

Introduction

There is a rapidly growing literature on robotics as an instructional medium in university and secondary school education with a main focus on describing initiatives, courses, and instructional tools. However, limited progress has been made in the conceptualization of learning and instruction processes that underlie successful introductory robotics courses. Important open questions relate to prerequisite knowledge, integrated curriculum, learning by design and teamwork, robotic competitions, assessment, and evaluation. Finding answers to these questions requires educational research, which will help improve teaching and offer the means to evaluate and disseminate robotics programs. To achieve these goals, the educational research should thoroughly examine possible curricular models and team learning experiences in order to optimize educational outcomes of the robotics course. This includes studying educational features of robotic competitions, which can significantly stimulate learning motivation of students, and intensify the learning process.

In this paper the authors consider their experiences in teaching robotics as an introductory engineering subject at the university and high-school levels in the United States and in Israel. Examples include a first-year engineering design course at Trinity College and a high-school course at Mevohot E’ron in Israel. Both focus on team-based design of fire- fighting mobile robots to compete in the Trinity College Fire-Fighting Home Robot Contest. For these courses we discuss educational objectives, course organization, outline, learning activities, and educational outcomes. Special attention is paid to assessment of team learning experiences in designing, building and operating robot systems. Our case studies showed that a commonly used assumption on homogeneous prerequisites, learning activities, progress, motivation and attitudes of students in teams is not valid in the introductory robotics course at Trinity College. Therefore educational outcomes of the course cannot be evaluated using only average statistical rates. We discuss findings of educational assessment and point out on possible improvements in the introductory robotics course.

1 Department of Engineering, Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut 06106. dahlgren@trincoll.edu 2 Department of Education in Technology & Science, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, 32000, ISRAEL. ttrigor@tx.technion.ac.il

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Ahlgren, D., & Verner, I. (2002, June), An Analysis Of Team Learning Experiences And Educational Outcomes In Robotics Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. https://peer.asee.org/10606

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