June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Computers in Education
26.591.1 - 26.591.13
Electronic Notebooks to Document the Engineering Design Process: From Platform to ImpactAs technologies develop, the tools we use in our classes to support student learning are everevolving. While this change can provide avenues for new exploration and enhanced educationalexperiences, critically assessing these developments is essential to ensure that there are addededucational benefits to these new technologies and tools. This paper details an electronicnotebook that was implemented in select sections of a first-year engineering course to replace theuse of traditional paper-based notebooks. While the implementation seemed successful, criticalassessment data was collected to truly measure the impact of the change and new technology. Inthis paper we will report on the electronic notebooks themselves and the assessment results.Five out of nine sections of a first-year engineering course with approximately 32 students eachimplemented the electronic notebook. The notebooks were used to document a semester longdesign build project that included all phases of the engineering design process. A survey wasdistributed to all students across both the electronic notebook sections and traditional paper-based sections to assess students’ perceptions of the notebooks. The survey was developed usingbackwards design where specific learning objectives for the notebook, regardless of medium,were mapped to specific survey questions. Open ended survey questions were also asked togather additional details about the notebooks that were not captured elsewhere. We received 216(Electronic=124, Paper=92) responses to our survey (a response rate of 75%) and based on ourpreliminary analysis there are differences between the electronic and paper-based notebooks inspecific learning objectives. There were 4 learning objectives that exhibited large differences(>9%) in students who Agreed (A) and Strongly Agreed (SA) between the electronic notebookpopulation and the paper notebook population. Two objectives favored the electronic notebook:“Our notebook will be beneficial when applying for a job.” (Electronic=64%, Paper=52% A/SA)and “Use electronic data management systems (Google Docs, DropBox, etc.) (Electronic=92%,Paper=83% A/SA) to document the design process.” Whereas the other two objectives favoredstudents with the paper notebooks: “Our notebook is a good representation of the work I put intothe robot project.” (Electronic=57%, Paper=67% A/SA) and “Creating a notebook has helped merelate my technical skills to my professional skills.” (Electronic=63%, Paper=74% A/SA).To ensure that technological enhancements to our courses provide added educational benefits,critical assessments of changes must be conducted. This work is an example of that where asurvey was used to evaluate the impacts of an electronic notebook that replaces a traditionalpaper-based notebook. Based on our results, the implementation is a success and will beimplemented in all sections in the future.
Kajfez, R. L., & Kecskemety, K. M., & Kross, M. (2015, June), Electronic Notebooks to Document the Engineering Design Process: From Platform to Impact Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23929
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