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Communication And Compatibility: Introducing Electronic Media Techniques In Computer Based Engineering Laboratories

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.107.1 - 1.107.5



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Paper Authors

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Eric J. Shaw

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

Session 1426

Communication and Compatibility: Introducing Electronic Media Techniques in Computer-Based Engineering Laboratories

Eric J. Shaw University of Alabama in Huntsville


Computer-based engineering laboratories, such as those used to present engineering graphics and simulation courses, provide instructors with an opportunity to introduce a wide range of additional topics to students, from basic computer use tutorials in freshman graphics to social issues of relevance and privacy in graduate-level courses. The professor that wishes to treat such areas will be most successful in a laboratory environment that includes computer monitor projection capabilities, as well as individual workstations. In examining the expanded utilization possibilities of engineering computer laboratories, though, other issues must be addressed before a strategy of implementation can be advocated. To explore the role of information technology in the college classroom, we must more clearly define its missions in both the education environment and the engineering workplace. We can then identify key areas that information technology and services (IT&S), and specifically engineering computer laboratories, can assist in achieving these goals, supported by examples from the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) College of Engineering.


Engineering educational institutions must provide their students with computer facilities. Areas such as numerical methods, engineering graphics and systems simulation have evolved such that they cannot be presented without such facilities. However, several issues surrounding the use of information technology (IT) in education, and in the workplace, have not been examined in as much detail as perhaps is warranted by this inclusive implementation. Computers have been placed in classrooms across the country, but have they increased learning in a relevant fashion, in significant areas? We provide information technology and services (IT&S) to students, but do we also provide them, or even ourselves, enough basic operational training? Computers have increased productivity in the workplace, but have they increased the quality of the output? We're transferring more information, but are we communicating more effectively?

The Role of Computers in Engineering Education

Among the most important skills the college student must cultivate is the facility for critical evaluation of innovation and change, which are typified by information technology. The virtues of IT in the classroom have been extolled by many education administrators and public officials. The conscientious instructor,

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Shaw, E. J. (1996, June), Communication And Compatibility: Introducing Electronic Media Techniques In Computer Based Engineering Laboratories Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--5921

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