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Clemson University's Experimental Engineering In Real Time (Expert) Program: Assessing The Benefit Of Real Time Sensors In The Curriculum

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.298.1 - 8.298.8



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Paper Authors

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Benjamin Sill

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Elizabeth Stephan

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

Session 1526

Clemson University’s EXPerimental Engineering in Real Time (EXPERT) Program: Assessing the benefit of real-time sensors in the curriculum

Matthew W. Ohland, Elizabeth A. Stephan, Benjamin L. Sill General Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634


EXPerimental Engineering in Real-Time (EXPERT) is a three-year NSF-sponsored project at Clemson University to study the benefit of using experiments with real-time sensors to improve student understanding of the graphical representation of various physical concepts and auxiliary benefit in understanding the concept itself. The project builds on successes by Physics education researchers (primarily with motion sensors) that combine the use of technology and hands-on engineering experiments to achieve visual analysis of phenomena in real-time in the classroom. The previous work is being expanded in two ways: a broader range of phenomena are being explored and a more controlled assessment of the benefit of real-time sensors is being conducted. A combination of multiple-intervention and switched replication assessment protocols will be used to determine the comparative benefit of curricula developed with and without sensors in either a laboratory or a lecture / demonstration mode. A pre-test / post-test design will be used to account for the effect of differences in the initial preparation of the different study populations.

While the primary objective of the project is to understand the benefit of the use of this educational technology, the sensor-based laboratories are designed to be accessible for use as modules by college faculty and by secondary school teachers and students as well so that, if the technology should prove effective, broader implementation will be practical. This paper introduces the methodology of the experiment and reports on the status of the development of laboratories. A variety of laboratory activities have been developed, including two that have been developed in sensor-based and non-sensor-based versions.

The use of technology in the classroom

Although there are many who assume that the use of classroom technology has significant potential to benefit the education of students, the body of evidence supporting that assumption is still small.1 Even if it is assumed that most lecturers possess the necessary characteristics, research suggests that the exclusive use of the lecture in the classroom constrains students’ learning.2 To be effective, the use of technology in the classroom must balance the utility of technology with the ability of the instructor to incorporate it within a busy schedule. Despite the many innovations of the last several decades, it is evident that the chalk-blackboard-lecture format is still predominant. Various sources discuss the perseverance of this traditional method of instruction.3,4,5,6 Since even many who continue to lecture exclusively admit that it is due largely to their comfort with the approach, we should not be surprised that even undergraduates who have been exposed Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Sill, B., & Stephan, E., & Ohland, M. (2003, June), Clemson University's Experimental Engineering In Real Time (Expert) Program: Assessing The Benefit Of Real Time Sensors In The Curriculum Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12618

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