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Coordinating Learning And Teaching Styles In Undergraduate Engineering Economy

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.343.1 - 9.343.5



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Paper Authors

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Paul McCright

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Joanne Larsen

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


Coordinating Learning Styles and Teaching Styles in Undergraduate Engineering Education

JoAnne Larsen, Ph.D., PE, Paul R. McCright, Ph.D., Gregory Weisenborn, Ph.D. University of South Florida

Abstract A student’s success in undergraduate engineering classes is determined in part by the student’s innate ability, life experiences and the compatibility of the student’s learning style with the instructor’s teaching style. Felder’s Index of Learning Styles (ILS) provides a measurement of a student’s preference to receive, process, and understand information. Use of the ILS provides an instructor with valuable insight into teaching strategies that appeal to a larger sample of the engineering student population and in turn contributes to better retention rates. This study investigates the use of a multifaceted teaching strategy designed to enhance learning, satisfaction and, ultimately, success in a basic core engineering class. This paper explores the relationship between this instructional technique and the broad spectrum of learning styles. The study examines the correlation between the student reported learning style preferences, satisfaction, and success in the course.

Why Are Learning Styles a Hot Topic in Engineering Education? The paradigm shift in the 1950’s from a more hands-on approach to engineering education to a more theoretical approach has resulted in graduate engineers with less ability to solve practical problems. This has created an outcry from industry that engineers are not prepared for the practical applications that define engineering in the “real world”.4

Over the last several years, the concept of measuring outcomes has come to the forefront in engineering and has focused learning measurements toward more practical goals. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) now requires engineering college programs to develop class objectives and measures for assessing the level of achievement of the stated goals. These goals must include both technical and social measures of student growth and development and consequently require newer approaches to instruction. Few students become proficient in practical applications of engineering only through lectures. Engineering faculty members are being exposed to newer techniques that include active learning and cooperative problem solving. Despite some reluctance, they are beginning to apply these newer techniques.1

In an effort to make engineering colleges more responsible for assessment of their programs, the National Science Foundation also has funded educational research and development with considerable assessment planning being included in grant proposals. 1

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

McCright, P., & Larsen, J. (2004, June), Coordinating Learning And Teaching Styles In Undergraduate Engineering Economy Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13614

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