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Developing a Student Learning Strategy to Bridge Virtual Learning and Hands-on Activity

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session II

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Gon Namkoong Old Dominion University

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Gon Namkoong, Ph.D.
Associate professor
ECE department
Old Dominion University
Applied Research Center
12050 Jefferson Avenue
Suite 717
Newport News, VA 23606
Tel: 757.269.5349

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This paper addresses the effectiveness of combined virtual and physical hands-on activities in students’ learning which was infused in the capstone senior design project. Senior design projects are open-ended and are similar to the research that scientists perform toward a more comprehensive understanding of nature or new scientific knowledge. As a reinforced learning methodology to greatly assist students’ reasoning and problem-solving skills, virtual learning was first integrated at the planning stage of their projects. This approach is in contrast with the typical senior design courses where only limited resources are available for planning experiments. Using virtual learning, students are able to revisit or learn new background theories and principles and identify and test a hypothesis before they actually engage in physical hands-on activities. This reinforced learning strategy efficiently guided students in preparing, confronting, and tackling the open-ended, inquiry-based problem with solid theoretical knowledge and principles. As a result it provided better planning for the physical hands-on activities. When engaged with physical hands-on activities, virtual laboratories were also be used to identify the disparity between theoretical and experimental results and additional activities designed to interpret the differences. This practice truly allowed students to experience the entire scientific process from solid theoretical reasoning obtained from virtual laboratories, to designing their own activities, to initial observations, and to follow-on activities based on the results of earlier activities. Our evaluation indicates that pedagogical modules of team based investigation using virtual and physical hands-on activities were very effective for students' learning.

Namkoong, G. (2016, June), Developing a Student Learning Strategy to Bridge Virtual Learning and Hands-on Activity Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26732

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