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Assessment of a Laboratory Oriented Study Curriculum

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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

Pedagogical Innovations in Laboratory Education

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.250.1 - 22.250.12



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Paper Authors


Mysore Narayanan Miami University

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Dr. Mysore Narayanan obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Liverpool, England in
the area of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He joined Miami University in 1980 and
teaches a wide variety of electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering courses. He has been
invited to contribute articles to several encyclopedias and has published and presented dozens of
papers at local, regional , national and international conferences. He has also designed,
developed, organized and chaired several conferences for Miami University and conference
sessions for a variety of organizations. He is a senior member of IEEE and is a member of
ASME, SIAM, ASEE and AGU. He is actively involved in CELT activities and regularly
participates and presents at the Lilly Conference. He has been the recipient of several Faculty
Learning Community awards. He is also very active in assessment activities and has presented
dozens of papers at various Assessment Institutes. His posters in the areas of Bloom’s
Taxonomy and Socratic Inquisition have received widespread acclaim from several scholars in
the area of Cognitive Science and Educational Methodologies. He has received the Assessment of
Critical Thinking Award twice and is currently working towards incorporating writing
assignments that enhance students’ critical thinking capabilities.

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Assessment of a Laboratory Oriented Study CurriculumUtilizing real-world problems as a stimulus for student learning is not at all new and hasbeen in practice for a very long time. Wilkerson & Gijselaers have defined Problem-basedlearning as minds-on, hands-on, focused, experiential learning. The artistic science ofmeasurement and control is normally referred to as Experimentation and Instrumentation. Thevaried attributes of physical systems are usually measured using well designed instruments. Avery short list may include the measurement of voltage, current, resistance, inductance,capacitance, frequency, pressure, stress, strain, viscosity, flow, radiation, etc. Instruments arenormally modeled as simple input-output devices. The author taught a new laboratory orientedcourse in the area of Engineering Instrumentation during 2005 – 2006 and experimented withseveral new ideas. He also successfully designed, developed and implemented certainassignments and exercises to enhance student learning and discovery. In this course, the authorattempted to move away from a teaching and learning paradigm to a discovery paradigm. Theauthor is of the opinion that instructors must be considered to serve as problem solvingcolleagues assigned with the responsibility of promoting interest and enthusiasm for learning.Instructors should also be encouraged to act as cognitive coaches who can nurture anenvironment that can support open inquiry. It is important that the aims and objectives ofproblem-based learning are reflected in every aspect of the learning environment created.Problem-based curriculum should document accomplishments at the upper levels of Bloom'sTaxonomy Triangle. Scholars in the area of cognitive science and educational psychology haveidentified four features that clearly separate a problem-based curriculum from a traditional,topic-based curriculum. In this presentation, the author describes how he has utilized the fourfeatures of problem solving in the courses he teaches. He also presents assessment data he hascollected over the years and analyzes the feedback data he has obtained and suggests guidelinesfor further improvement.

Narayanan, M. (2011, June), Assessment of a Laboratory Oriented Study Curriculum Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17531

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