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Applying the Innovation in Engineering Education Framework: Assessing the Impact of Instructional Technology

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Digital Technologies and Learning

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.220.1 - 22.220.12



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Paper Authors


Catherine T. Amelink Virginia Tech

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Catherine Amelink, Virginia Tech
Dr. Catherine Amelink is currently serving as the Research Coordinator for the Institute for Distance and Distributed Learning at Virginia Tech and Assessment Coordinator for the College of Engineering in the Office of the Associate Dean for International Programs and Information Technology. Previously she worked on assessment initiatives with the Division of Student Affairs and the Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Education at Virginia Tech and has served as the Assessment Coordinator for undergraduate education at University of Maryland University College. She is a graduate of the Ph.D. program in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Virginia Tech.

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Shreya Kothaneth Virginia Tech

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Shreya Kothaneth is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech. She is also the lead of the College of Engineering's Instructional Technology Team. Her research interests include diffusion of technology, usability, and cultural ergonomics.

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Glenda R. Scales Virginia Tech

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Dr. Glenda R. Scales serves as both Associate Dean for International Programs and Information Technology and Director of the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP) in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. As Director of CGEP, Dr. Scales manages a state-wide distance learning program that has a long history – over 25 years – providing working scientists and engineers with access to exceptional graduate degree programs. Dr. Scales also provides leadership for international programs, research computing and academic computing within the College of Engineering. She was a member of the core team responsible for launching System X, which was independently ranked on the Top 500 listing in 2003 as the fastest supercomputer at any academic institution and the third fastest in the world.

Prior to coming to the College of Engineering in 2000, Dr. Scales was the Director of Instructional and Research Computing at North Carolina A&T where she led a university team to successfully launch their first virtual campus. She began her career working as a computer analyst for the Department of Defense.

Dr. Scales presents regularly to the American Society of Engineering Education and serves on Ph.D. graduate committees. She is an affiliate faculty member with the Department of Engineering Education and publishes in the area of instructional technology and distance learning.

She holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Instructional Technology from Virginia Tech, a M.S. in Applied Behavioral Science from Johns Hopkins and a B.S. in Computer Science from Old Dominion University.

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Applying the Innovation in Engineering Education Framework: Assessing the Impact of Instructional TechnologyOne component in systematic educational innovation is examining the use and impact ofinstructional technology within the engineering undergraduate curriculum (AmericanSociety for Engineering Education, 2009). Instructional technology such as laptops, usedin conjunction with software such as OneNote and Dyknow, course managementsystems, and social networking platforms can provide students and faculty access toshared learning spaces and allow for mobile learning. Regular use of these tools withinthe engineering curriculum by a cadre of faculty trained to use them effectively canprovide students with opportunities to challenge traditional ways of thinking (Dori &Belcher, 2001; Dori, Belcher, Bessette, Danzinger, McKinney, & Hult, 2003). Nationalattention has been directed at the need to examine the use of instructional technologymore closely, including whether use of these tools has the desired effect on the teachingand learning process (American Society for Engineering Education, 2009).This paper describes the assessment methods currently being employed at a Research Iuniversity that are designed to examine the effectiveness of an undergraduate Tablet PClaptop requirement as it relates to systematic change in the nature of undergraduateteaching and learning. The assessment approach uses constructivist learning theory as aconceptual framework and is outcomes driven, focusing on how students use the Tabletas well as the relationship of that usage to important learning behaviors. How facultyemploy the Tablet and related instructional technology and the pedagogical implicationsfor the classroom environment and student learning is an integral component that is alsopart of this framework. The assessment efforts are quantitative and qualitative in nature,including: a college-wide survey of all engineering undergraduates, focus groups amongstudents that include both first-year students and graduating seniors, individual facultyinterviews, a faculty survey, and a faculty focus group held with one engineeringdepartment. Given the focus on instructional technology evaluation of the infrastructureincluding classroom space, support personnel, and policies are also examined.Discussion will focus on the assessment process used over a five year period, efficacy ofthe materials being employed including the design, refinement of assessment materials,and current method of implementation. We will also share how the findings are beingused to inform curriculum and pedagogy, leading to systematic change in the educationalenvironment. Others can use the information to consider how to assess the impact ofinstructional technology on the learning environment and how to use informationcollected to inform initiatives underway to support usage and implementation.

Amelink, C. T., & Kothaneth, S., & Scales, G. R. (2011, June), Applying the Innovation in Engineering Education Framework: Assessing the Impact of Instructional Technology Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17501

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