Salt Lake City, Utah
June 20, 2004
June 20, 2004
June 23, 2004
9.187.1 - 9.187.11
Session # 3664
An Integrated Laboratory Vs. A Traditional Laboratory, Is there a difference?
David Niebuhr, Heather Smith
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
Do integrated, graphics-rich laboratories foster enhanced learning when compared to traditional laboratory experiments? More and more, higher education emphasizes the need to utilize integrated approaches to learning. We performed a comparative study involving over 500 engineering students. Using corrosion of metals as our subject we performed two sets of experiments. In the control lab, students answered questions and performed traditional, structured experiments. Our modified lab integrated science, engineering, and math and utilized multi media and colorful graphics. More importantly though, it required the students to problem solve and work through a real engineering challenge. The results are discussed and include a statistical analysis of the data. The implications of the results will shape the direction in which the lab evolves and will shape future experiments in the department’s curriculum.
Engineering education is in the midst of a renaissance as the new millennium has arrived. More and more universities are recognizing that the traditional approach of teaching basic courses (math, physics, chemistry) as separate, isolated disciplines is affecting the numbers of students who remain in engineering majors and graduate as engineers. For example, calculus is a freshman course, yet the application of calculus principles may not come until late sophomore or junior year. This leaves the student to feel that calculus is unimportant and strictly a “weeder” class due to the high failure rate. At the Colorado school of Mines, the integration of courses is taken one step further where integrated laboratories replace traditional laboratories in electrical circuits, fluid mechanics, and stress analysis.1 The laboratory experiments are designed to combine math and physics and require students to build and analyze small, laboratory scale systems. Creating integrated labs have been the premise of many other studies in both engineering and multidisciplinary education.2,3,4
The need to integrate and foster innovative teaching ideas was recognized by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the early 90’s. In 1993 the NSF sponsored a seven school education coalition.5 The focus of this coalition was to develop curricular change that integrated the traditional fundamentals in mathematics and science plus emphasized problem solving and
Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2004, American Society for Engineering Education
Niebuhr, D., & Smith, H. (2004, June), An Integrated Laboratory Vs. A Traditional Laboratory, Is There A Difference? Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/12727
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: © 2004 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