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Better Preparing Students For Basic Measurements Courses

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Trends in Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.259.1 - 7.259.6



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Paper Authors

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Mark Barker

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

Main Menu Session 1566

Better Preparing Students for Basic Measurements Courses

Mark Barker Louisiana Tech University


This paper will examine the difference in performance between two groups of students enrolled in the junior- level Mechanical Engineering course Basic Measurements (MEEN 382). This course covers measurement theory and application in a lecture and laboratory format. The primary difference between these two student groups is their curriculum background, due to a change in the Mechanical Engineering curriculum at Louisiana Tech University. As a result of the transition from the old engineering curriculum to the new curriculum, there is a unique collection of students proceeding through our Mechanical Engineering program, particularly the current junior class: some of these students have been through a traditional engineering curriculum, while others have been through the integrated freshman and sophomore curriculum. Some details of this new curriculum will be offered in this paper; further information can be found in Nelson and Napper. 1 These performance data will be used to investigate the effectiveness of the new curriculum in preparing students for the material presented in the Basic Measurements course.

I. Background of the Freshman Integrated Curriculum

About four years ago, the College of Engineering and Science at Louisiana Tech University began developing an innovative freshman engineering curriculum. The cornerstone of this new curriculum is the creation of Engineering Problem Solving courses and the integration of these new courses with Engineering Mathematics courses and Science courses. The purpose of the integration is to provide experience with the engineering use of the skills being learned in math and science. The typical freshman year consists of three academic quarters. During each of these three quarters, an Engineering Mathematics course (three semester credit hours or SCH) is taught along with an Engineering Problem Solving course (two SCH). Two Chemistry courses and a Physics course are also required during this three-quarter academic period. This freshman engineering curriculum began in the Fall quarter of 1997 with a pilot group of 40 self-selected students, who experienced the integration of the math, science, and engineering problem solving courses. The content and presentation of the math and science courses were examined as part of the creation of the engineering problem solving courses. The integration is provided through extensive links between the math and science principles, and the use of these principles in solving engineering problems. The following academic year, the curriculum was refined based on the pilot group’s experiences and feedback, and the program was expanded to include 120 freshmen. Also, the pilot freshman integrated group became the pilot group for the integrated sophomore curriculum.

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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Barker, M. (2002, June), Better Preparing Students For Basic Measurements Courses Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10609

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