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Assessing the Learning Gains of Manufacturing Students in an Integrated Hands-on Curriculum

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.252.1 - 26.252.9



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Paper Authors


Mukasa E. Ssemakula Wayne State University

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Mukasa E. Ssemakula is a Professor in the Division of Engineering Technology, at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, in England. After working in industry, he served on the faculty of the University of Maryland before joining Wayne State. He is a leader in developing and implementing new pedagogical approaches to engineering education. He also has research interests in the area of manufacturing systems. Contact:

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Gene Yeau-Jian Liao Wayne State University

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GENE LIAO is currently Director of the Electric Transportation Technology program and Professor at Wayne State University. He received a M.S. in mechanical engineering from Columbia University, and a doctor of engineering from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has 15 years of industrial practices in the automotive sector prior to becoming a faculty member. Dr. Liao has research and teaching interests in the areas of hybrid vehicle, energy storage, and advanced manufacturing.

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Shlomo S. Sawilowsky Wayne State University

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Shlomo S. Sawilowsky is Professor of Educational Evaluation and Research and WSU Distinguished Faculty Fellow. He is the founding editor of the Journal of Applied Statistical Methods. His areas of interest are in research and experimental design, psychometrics, applied robust and nonparametric statistics, and quantitative and qualitative program evaluation.

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Assessing the Learning Gains of Manufacturing Students in an Integrated Hands-on Curriculum The lack of hands-on experience is one of the major competency gaps in engineeringeducation. Funding agencies such as NSF have strived to address this concern. TheManufacturing Integrated Learning Lab (MILL) was an outcome of these efforts. The MILLModel for Engineering Education (Mill Model for short) was developed by [_____]. The modeluses team‐based projects, coordinated across multiple courses, culminating in the design andmaking of a functional product. The unifying theme is the design and ultimate fabrication of afunctional product that students encounter repeatedly in the various courses. An assessmentinstrument to gage student learning in the target areas has been developed and subjected topsychometric analyses. The results indicate excellent structure of the instrument. This projectwill deploy said assessment instrument at the four original MILL implementation sites as well asthree additional comparison sites not implementing the MILL Model. Analysis of thecomparative performance of the two groups of students will be undertaken to ascertain thelearning gains attributable to implementation of the MILL Model. The pool of availablepsychometrically validated assessment items will also be expanded during the course of theproject. A repeated measures MANCOVA will be conducted to assess the magnitude of theeffectiveness of the MILL Model in increasing student learning outcomes in targetedcompetencies. Statistical tests will be conducted at nominal α = 0.05 level. This project uses psychometrically validated standardized testing to evaluate and validateattainment of target hands-on competencies. This is an innovative use of standardized testing forprogrammatic evaluation as opposed to standard comparison curricula. It can documentattainment of specific targeted learning outcomes for accreditation and other assessmentpurposes. By comparing performance on the test instrument between intervention groups andcomparison non-intervention groups, the project will document the learning gains attributable theMILL Model intervention. The use of a psychometrically validated standardized testincorporating a physical manipulative to evaluate attainment of hands-on engineeringcompetencies is unique and is expected to be a significant contribution to the field.

Ssemakula, M. E., & Liao, G. Y., & Sawilowsky, S. S. (2015, June), Assessing the Learning Gains of Manufacturing Students in an Integrated Hands-on Curriculum Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23592

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