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Assessment Of Engineering Experimentation And Instrumentation

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Novel Measurement Experiments

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

14.255.1 - 14.255.12



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Paper Authors

author page

Mysore Narayanan Miami University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Assessment of Engineering Experimentation and Laboratory Instrumentation Abstract

The artistic science of measurement and control is normally referred to as Instrumentation. The varied attributes of physical systems are usually measured using well designed instruments. A small list may include voltage, current, resistance, inductance, capacitance, frequency, pressure, stress, strain, viscosity, flow, radiation, etc. Instruments are normally modeled as simple input-output devices. The author taught a new course in the area of Engineering Instrumentation during 2005 – 2006 and experimented with some new ideas. He also successfully designed, developed and implemented certain assignments and exercises to enhance student learning and discovery. In this course, the author attempted to move away from a teaching and learning paradigm to a discovery paradigm. This is a junior/senior level course which also includes a set of creative laboratory experiments that aim at providing hands-on experience to students. As a part of this course curriculum development, the author implemented certain assessment techniques. In this presentation the author describes how he assessed the outcomes for selected topics in this specific course. He also provides and some data he has collected and provides suggestions for further improvement.


Utilizing real-world problems as a stimulus for student learning is not at all new and has been in practice for a very long time. Problem-based learning has been defined as minds-on, hands-on, focused, experiential learning. (Wilkerson & Gijselaers, 1996). A problem-based curriculum is significantly different from the traditional discipline centered curriculum. (Woods, 1994). Instructors are considered to serve as problem solving colleagues assigned with the responsibility of promoting interest and enthusiasm for learning (Narayanan, 2005 & 2006). Instructors are also encouraged to act as cognitive coaches who can nurture an environment that can support open inquiry. (Barrows, 2000). It is important that the aims and objectives of problem-based learning are reflected in every aspect of the learning environment created. Problem-based curriculum should document accomplishments at the upper levels of Bloom's Taxonomy Triangle. (Boud & Feletti, 1991). Scholars in the area of cognitive science and educational psychology have identified four features that clearly separate a problem- based curriculum from a traditional, topic-based curriculum. (Nickerson, et. al. 1985). In this presentation, the author describes how he has utilized the four features in the course he teaches. He also presents analyses of the feedback data he has obtained and suggests guidelines for further improvement (Narayanan, 2007 & 2008).

Four Features of Learning:

Scholars have identified four features that clearly separate a problem-based curriculum from a traditional, topic-based curriculum (Narayanan, 2007 & 2008). []

Narayanan, M. (2009, June), Assessment Of Engineering Experimentation And Instrumentation Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5040

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: © 2009 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