June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.431.1 - 24.431.12
Development, assessment and evaluation of remote thermo-fluids laboratory experiments: Results from a pilot studyAbstractAn integral part of a mechanical engineering and other engineering programs are laboratoryexperiences. While the benefits of hands-on laboratories are in providing environments forstudents to apply theoretical knowledge, the changing landscape of engineering education todayis spurring consideration of alternate means of offering laboratory-based education. Oneapproach is that of developing remote or online laboratory experiences, which is particularlyattractive for our mechanical engineering program at XYZ University in the following ways: 1)They can help address capacity issues caused by increasing enrollments; 2) They can facilitateonline learning opportunities for off-campus students, including the increasing number ofstudents pursuing internship and co-op opportunities, thus enabling offering to new students andpotentially minimizing time to degree for in-program students. Offering lab activities onlinedemands modification of current laboratory systems or the creation of new systems. In additionany laboratory experience that is thus delivered must be assessed for its impact on studentlearning in comparison with the traditional experience. Consequently we have endeavored topilot selected laboratory experiences in our undergraduate engineering: two laboratory exercisesin the Fluids course covering pumps and linear momentum concepts and one exercise in the HeatTransfer course covering steady state conduction and extended surfaces. In each case, acomputer-based remote access was established to view and control the experimental apparatuses,thus providing students with a mechanism to conduct the experiments in a remote (online)environment. For each laboratory, about 50% of the class conducted the lab in the traditional in-class format while the other 50% conducted the exercises in the ‘remote’ mode. Assessment ofstudent learning included student self-assessment of understanding of concepts (throughsurveys), feedback on the actual experience itself and direct assessment of their understandingthrough lab report scores as measured by teaching assistants. The results for the fluidslaboratories showed that there was no significant difference in the learning of the students.Results for the heat transfer laboratories are being compiled currently. The pilot study suggeststhat some laboratory experiences can be successfully ported to a remote or online mode withoutsacrificing the student learning experience. Issues and challenges associated with the design anddelivery of the system will also be discussed.
Sundararajan, S., & Dautremont, J. (2014, June), Development, Assessment and Evaluation of Remote Thermo-fluids Laboratory Experiments: Results from a Pilot Study Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20322
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