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Does Knowing a Study’s Outcome Further Impact It’s Conclusion: A Classroom Study

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Engineering Economy Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Engineering Economy

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Paper Authors


Kate D. Abel Stevens Institute of Technology (School of Engineering and Science)

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Kate Abel serves as the as the Director of the Bachelor of Engineering in Engineering Management Program in the School of Systems and Enterprises at Stevens Institute of Technology. She holds a Ph.D. in Technology Management and Applied Psychology. She has held several professional service positions, including the President of the Engineering Management Division of the American Society for Engineering Education and the President of Epsilon Mu Eta, the Engineering Management Honor Society. She teaches courses in Total Quality Management, Engineering Economics, Logistics and Supply Chain Analysis, Entrepreneurial Analysis of Engineering Design, Statistics for Engineering Managers, Management of Engineering and Technology, and Senior Design. Her research areas include knowledge engineering, as well as knowledge and information management. She is a member of the Board of Advisors at West Point for the Department of Systems Engineering. She is also a member of several professional societies, including ASEE, ASEM, ASME, and EMH.

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Recently, authors from West Point and MIT wrote about the impact of varied computer usage on student performance in an Economics class*. The study demonstrated that students perform more poorly when allowed to use computers in the classroom. The current article takes this conclusion one step further using an Engineering Economics class. Would students who were not allowed electronics in the classroom and also informed about this West Point/MIT study perform differently than students who were simply not allowed to use computers in the classroom? It is hypothesized that students who are informed about the study and its outcome and not allowed to use computers will perform better than those who are simply prohibited from the use of computers in the classroom.

* Payne Carter, Susan and Greenberg, Kyle and Walker, Michael, “The Impact of Computer Usage on Academic Performance: Evidence from a Randomized Trial at the United States Military Academy”, SEII Discussion Paper # 2016.02, May 2016.

Abel, K. D. (2017, June), Does Knowing a Study’s Outcome Further Impact It’s Conclusion: A Classroom Study Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28189

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