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Assessing Level of Laboratory Instruction to Engineering Technology Students

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

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Paper Authors


Elaine M. Cooney Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

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Elaine Cooney is a Professor and Program Director of Electrical Engineering Technology at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. Elaine is a leader in the development of core competency documents for Engineering Technology for State of Indiana's Transfer Single Articulation legislation. She is also a Senior IDEAL Scholar with ABET, which means that she presents assessment workshops with other Senior IDEAL Scholars.

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Andrew McNeely Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

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Andrew McNeely was a lecturer in the Electrical Engineering Technology department of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI. He teaches courses in circuit analysis and instrumentation + controls. His research interest lies in the areas of methods to better incorporate technology into curriculum and improving first year programs. He has a B.S. in Technology with an emphasis in Electrical Engineering Technology and a M.S. in Technology with an emphasis in technical communications , both from IUPUI.

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Paul Yearling P.E. Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

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Paul Yearling
Education: PhD. Major: Mechanical Engineering, Minor: Applied Mathematics
Professional Engineer License
Certifications: Lean Six Sigma Black Belt
Current Position: Associate Chair Engineering Technology and Mechanical Engineering Technol

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This study investigates what amount of assistance (text and hyperlinks) optimize student understanding of instructions in an engineering technology lab. The target course is a junior level instrumentation class taken by mechanical engineering technology, electrical engineering technology and computer engineering technology students. In the past, the instructor has created lengthy documents giving detailed step-by-step instructions on how to complete each lab assignment. During lab time, some students will ask questions that are answered in the instructions, making the instructional team question if the students are reading the assignment before coming to lab. One possible reason for lack of student pre-reading is the length of the documents. Would student be more likely to read instructions and comprehend them if the instructions were shorter and the students clicked on hyperlinks only when they determined they needed more information? The authors revised approximately two-thirds of the lab assignments, dividing the assignments into three categories of detail: High level instructions with hyperlinks for details; Medium level of instruction with a few hyperlinks; detailed instructions all in one document (existing format). Students were surveyed on their understanding of the assignments and lab report grades were compared to instruction level. The study was truncated because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so only partial results are presented. These partial results indicate that students prefer a “medium” level of instruction: an assignment that contains all the steps, but with details in hyper-linked documents.

Cooney, E. M., & McNeely, A., & Yearling, P. (2021, July), Assessing Level of Laboratory Instruction to Engineering Technology Students Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36709

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